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Written by Nancy C
“Sometimes, the sun sets earlier. Days don’t last forever, you know. But I’ll fight as hard as I can. I can promise you that.”
Day and June are in the middle of a dangerous war throughout Champion, and both know that they may die before that war ends. In addition, Day is dying of disease, and knows that his time is extremely limited. In spite of this, both try their hardest at the war and their relationships, to try and build something before they’re gone. Lu adds to the novel’s themes of perseverance and bravery in showing how determined her main characters are to keep fighting in spite of dire circumstances.
“Tell me there is still good in this world. Tell me there is still hope for all of us.”
June has seen the deaths of her brother and parents, and many of her friends. She has had to sacrifice her personal happiness for the sake of the war and has become disillusioned with the world in general. When faced with losing Day as well, she finally says that enough is enough and hopes desperately for a better, happier world. She still retains hope for the world and the people around her, showing once again that she is an incredibly young protagonist, who can still have hope for the future because of her youth and her desire to build a better world.
“Where I come from, we're more about efficiency,' he replies. 'A knife like this'll skewer food, smear butter, and slit throats all at the same time.”
Because Day now works for the Republic in a high-level position, it’s easy to forget his origins: he grew up in extreme poverty, on the streets, and has a criminal history. Lu forces her audience to remember this background, both to show how much he’s grown as a character and to remind readers that he comes from a place of oppression and poverty that influences everything he does.
"For the first time in my life, I am no longer his little sister. Next year I will step across the line and he will still be in the same place. From now on, I will be older than he ever was."
Metias’s death began June’s story, as she tracked down his killers and discovered the corruption within the Republic. In having her talk to his memory in the epilogue of the novel, Lu reminds her readers of her origin story and the grief that underlies everything she fought for. June reflects on where she came from, even though she’s come so far from what that was.
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