Marie Lu answers burning questions about the final Legend novel 'Champion'. Plus, the cover! -- EXCLUSIVE

champion

Marie Lu’s epic dystopian series, which began with Legend and continued with Prodigy, comes to an end with the third installment Champion (Nov. 5). By the beginning of Champion, June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic, and now they’re on the brink of a new existence — a country at peace, with hope of reunification with the Colonies. Both are back in the good graces of the Republic: June is working within the government’s highest circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high-level military position. But just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies. War threatens the Republic’s border cities once again. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever and, as June soon discovers, the Republic’s only means of defense could cost Day everything he has.

For fans who are itching for more of June and Day’s saga, we have two treats: the first look at the cover of Champion, and a teaser interview with Lu. Check them both out below!

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How does it feel to put a period on the series?
MARIE LU: It feels pretty surreal. On the one hand, I’m so relieved that I’ve actually managed to finish my very first series, and that I’ve been able to see my characters through to the end of their journeys. On the other hand, I feel like how parents must feel when they send their kid off to college. It’s a bittersweet mix.

How do you think your fans will feel when they finish reading? Anything we may be devastated about? Will there be any big deaths?
There are a couple of deaths. And possibly some things to be devastated about. What can I say, I’m a writer — I enjoy forcing pain and suffering on my characters! I can’t reveal much, but I will say that Champion is the only book in the trilogy where I cried while writing it. This is mostly due to having John Lennon’s “Imagine” on my Champion playlist, but still. I hope my readers will at least feel a sense of closure at the end.

Tell us about the cover.
Oh man, I’m absolutely in love with it — this cover is such a thing of beauty. Penguin knocked it out of the ballpark. The gritty rose, the flames, the bullet hole! Every piece of it perfectly symbolizes Champion‘s contents. (My friend Beth Revis, author of the Across The Universe trilogy, contributed the bullet hole concept. It helps to have great minds on your side!)

Any new developments with the movie?
I’m really excited about the finished screenplay, and I know Temple Hill is on the hunt now for the perfect director. Meanwhile, CBS Films and I collaborated with game studio Wicked Sweet Games to create a fun Facebook game for Legend called “Cities of Legend.” Fans can check it out here. Both CBS Films and Temple Hill have been immensely supportive.

Follow @EWStephanLee on Twitter.

Read more:
‘Legend’ author Marie Lu on her buzzy new YA novel
Your favorite YA authors narrate ‘Every Day’ by David Levithan — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
Love ‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth’? 10 other teen reads you can’t miss: ‘Warm Bodies,’ ‘Tempest’ and more

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