The first book in this series, Legacy, is not shown here because it was my daughter's book. She thought I
Why did Lu (or her publishers) title this series the Legacy series? Really, the first book mainly involves the prodigy character(s). But, can you imagine a series titled the Prodigy series? It sounds a bit elitist, which the prodigy character, June, is. We can consider Day as the anti-prodigy character who is a prodigy that didn't make the cut but survives anyway (not a plot spoiler).
This series ranks ahead of the average teen series because of what Lu brings to the table of literature. Sure, it's typical teen fare: parents dead, lots of violence and fighting to survive, love interests (will she go with _______ or with ________ when you know all along that she's meant to be with ____).
However, though it irks me to have dead good adults in teen fiction, I do think the legacy that June and Day have involves parents and siblings who strive for good, in fact, gave their lives up fighting evil. Lu also employs symbolism and allusion, trademarks of good literature. Take the names of the main characters: June and Day -- season and time of the most light, at least in the northern hemisphere where this story takes place. Then, the kiss in Prodigy is so strong of an allusion, if you don't see it, you have some missing pieces in your literary background. I would rate Prodigy as the strongest of the three books with a 4 star rating.
As for Champion, the last in the series, one can not just stop at Prodigy! I surmise my issue with Champion is that it moves beyond my originally agreeing with a Commonsense review stating that Legacy was for readers 12 and up. I will say, though, that when Lu brings in the theme of who we become, what shapes us, then she leads us into a story much more than the average teen fiction.
"How had he slowly twisted into the Elector who created such a dark nation? What path had he chosen to follow?" (Champion 263).
We know the legacy of three characters and the choices they make along the way which lead them into the people they become. We also see the choices of a few other characters and what led to their rise or fall. In this respect, I like the story. I'm still giving it 3 stars, but who doesn't finish a series?! Three stars won't stop someone from finishing to see what the end holds. And, to Lu's credit, she does go for a more complex ending. I do intend to read more of her novels.
Writing stories. The deeper aspects of the Legacy series are what elevates this series: the choices that characters make, who they are and who they become. Too often, I saw students from first grade to high school think their normal everyday lives were not as exciting as the latest action movie they happened to watch. I made it my goal to encourage them to see that their daily lives had value in story form. A couple of weeks ago I gave my granddaughters a file of their dad's art work and written work. One of their favorite pieces was a story that he wrote about his dad, their grandpa. The story was loved by Grandpa as well. It's unusual for someone not to want to be a hero (or perhaps "heroic" would be a better word), but heroes don't happen overnight. Small daily actions grow heroes. Daily life, daily choices matter. June and Day, the characters in these books, have flaws, make mistakes. Sometimes our mistakes provide comic relief in our stories and sometimes they provide transparency and reality, but our mistakes need not hold us back from becoming people who in the midst of surviving also grow and thrive in goodness.
I'm into these practices on listening since a friend sent me nine "DO NOTs of an Active Listener" from a 2014 blog of Janice Taylor's. I wish I could figure out how to turn them into DOs except, basically, the DO part of each one is "Just listen." 😌
4. DO NOT interrupt; do not cut the speaker [your child, your student, your friend, your ___?] off mid-sentence. Allow him/her to finish the thought. Just listen.
5. DO NOT plan your responses as the speaker is speaking. Just listen.
6. DO NOT give advice unless specifically asked for it. Just listen.
Certainly this book series is an opportunity to think about social justice as well. How one goes about social justice is a good topic of discussion or of listening: to God, to others, before judging, jumping to conclusions and finding oneself more of a hindrance than a help.