Author Marie Lu: ‘Champion’ Is ‘Most Romantic, Most Dramatic’ Of Series

Some major stuff is about to go down in the world of Marie Lu’s bestselling “Legend” series. The third book in the trilogy, “Champion,” sees the people of the Republic, and our heroes June and Day, banding together to face a deadly plague. Not to freak you out, but some characters we know and love won’t fare very well by the end of the book.

“Without giving away any spoilers, it’s probably the book that encompasses the most of the world,” Marie told Hollywood Crush during a break in the action at San Diego Comic-Con. “Each book has sort of been opening up the world more and more, and this one goes out of the confines of the United States, or the broken United States.”

Okay, fine. We can stay mostly spoiler free, but Marie has a few juicier details to spill. “It’s probably the most romantic of the three books, since everything’s coming to a head, and it’s probably the most dramatic of the three in terms of the types of conflicts that they’re facing and the situations that they’re in. There’s a couple of deaths and possibly some things to be concerned about.”

Hold up—deaths? “I don’t know if they’ll be the ones that people are expecting, and there’s surprisingly not as many deaths as I thought there would be. But some things can be worse than death,” Marie teased.

Frankly, when Marie started her trilogy, she figured most of her characters wouldn’t make it to the end. (How very Shakespearean of her.) “When I first started writing ’Legend,’ I just assumed everyone was going to end up dead at the end of the story. It just seemed like where it was going to go,” she said. “But the deaths that happen are hopefully significant ones and ones that will sit with everyone a little bit.”

Not everyone will be happy with how the story concludes, and Marie knows this. She just hopes that fans will be satisfied with how things wrap up. “Everyone has a different definition of what their perfect ending will be,” she said. “I hope at least that it feels conclusive and people won’t be left with a million questions.”

The third books in recent trilogies like “The Hunger Games” and “Delirium” haven’t had a unanimously positive fan reaction, something Marie said she understands as a reader. “I think the last book in a series is always the hardest one to win the fans over. For me, as a fan, when I read book series, I tend to be the most judgmental of the last book,” she said. “So I know if I do it, everyone else does it too. There is definitely that added pressure of ’Is this the way the fans want to see it end?’ They’ve been following the story for so long they want to see the characters come out of it in a certain way. It’s something that I do worry about a little bit. The third one was the hardest for me to write, so let’s see if people like it.”

Find out where you stand when “Champion” hits bookstores on November 5.

Are you excited for “Champion”? How would you like to see the series conclude? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!