Legacies (Shadow Grail Series #1)

Legacies (Shadow Grail Series #1)

by Mercedes Lackey, Rosemary Edghill

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Legacies, the first book in the exciting new Shadow Grail series from Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill

Who—or what—is stalking the students at Oakhurst Academy?

In the wake of the accident that killed her family, Spirit White is spirited away to Oakhurst Academy, a combination school and orphanage in the middle of Montana. There she learns she is a legacy—not only to the school, which her parents also attended, but to magic.

All the students at Oakhurst have magical powers, and although Spirit's hasn't manifested itself yet, the administrators insist she has one. Spirit isn't sure she cares. Devastated by the loss of her family, she finds comfort with a group of friends: Burke Hallows, Lachlann Spears, Muirin Shae, and Adelaide Lake.

But something strange is going on at Oakhurst. Students start disappearing under mysterious circumstances, and the school seems to be trying to cover it up. Spirit and her friends must find out what's happening—before one of them becomes the next victim...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765317612
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 07/06/2010
Series: Shadow Grail Series , #1
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 339,014
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 950L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is the author of the bestselling Valdemar series, the Obsidian Trilogy (The Outstretched Shadow, To Light a Candle, and When Darkness Falls), the Enduring Flame trilogy (The Phoenix Unchained, The Phoenix Endangered, and The Phoenix Transformed), and the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms. She has written many other books, including Trio of Sorcery, Phoenix and Ashes, Sacred Ground, The Firebird, The Fairy Godmother, and Alta. Lackey is the co-author, with Andre Norton, of the Halfblood Chronicles, including Elvenborn. Mercedes Lackey was born in Chicago and graduated from Purdue University. She has worked as an artist's model, a computer programmer, and for American Airlines, and has written lyrics and recorded more than fifty songs. She lives in Oklahoma.

Rosemary Edghill is a prolific writer in several genres, under her own name and various pseudonyms. She co-wrote the Shadow Grail series with Mercedes Lackey. She lives in upstate New York with several cats and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Read an Excerpt

Shadow Grail #1: Legacies

By Lackey, Mercedes

Tor Teen

Copyright © 2010 Lackey, Mercedes
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780765317612


Spirit looked listlessly out the window of her room. It wasn’t much of a view, just the roof of the next building, part of a parking lot, and some struggling trees beyond. But ever since the accident, there didn’t seem to be much point to anything, and one view was as good as another.

Footsteps at the door made her turn her head. It was the orderly, a college guy who was in premed. Neil was cute enough to be a television doctor, not a real one, and spent time with her that he didn’t have to. Once Spirit would have welcomed the company. Now, Neil was just one more irritating person who kept wanting her to do things. Like get better. What was the point? Why should she bother to get better? But the people wouldn’t leave her alone. Probably they just wanted her out of the nursing home so they could use the bed for someone else.

“Spirit, Oakhurst telephoned. The car is on the way. They’ll be picking you up in about half an hour, and I’ll bring your chair then.� Neil gave her that brown-eyed compassionate look that always made her give up and do or say what he wanted. He’ll make a good doctor someday, she thought.

“I’m ready,� she said, since it was what he wanted to hear. Of course she was ready. She didn’t have anything to take with her, anyway. Everything she had now was really Oakhurst’s.

When she’d finally woken up after the emergency surgery, the hospital had sent in a social worker and a minister to tell her that Mom and Dad and Phoenix had died in the crash, and that “it was a miracle� she had survived. Who’d want that kind of miracle? She couldn’t even go to the funeral. She’d have been the only one there anyway: both Mom and Dad were only children, so no relatives, and, as far as Spirit knew, she didn’t have any grandparents. Mom telecommuted—had telecommuted—to someplace on the other side of the country, and Dad had worked at home, in the workshop and kiln in back of the house. They’d been coming home from a craft show that night. So, no coworkers. And she and Phoenix had both been homeschooled for the last two years, ever since Dad got into a fight with the school board about the curriculum. So, no classmates.

And then, not three weeks later—like a brick falling on someone who’d been thrown off a building—a sheriff’s deputy came to Spirit’s hospital room and told her that there’d been another accident, that her parents’ empty house had caught fire and burned to the ground. There weren’t any neighbors near enough to see and call it in, of course. She’d seen the photos he’d brought her. The only thing left was the chimney and a few heaps of crumpled metal that had been the furnace and major appliances. The fire marshal said he thought “kids� had done it.

She’d been so drugged up the catastrophe really hadn’t registered until later, when she’d realized that if she ever got out of there, there was no home to go back to. And why would she want to go home anyway? There was no one there.

That was when the lawyer showed up.

He wasn’t her Dad’s lawyer, or an insurance company lawyer. He wasn’t anybody local at all. He could have been a lawyer on a TV show, all slick and polished and without a hair out of place. He talked to her as if she was six instead of almost sixteen and told her that her parents had set up a “trust� for her, that the trust was administered by this “Oakhurst Foundation,� that the Foundation was covering all her bills until the insurance could be sorted out, and that when she was fully recovered, Oakhurst would be sending for her, because she’d be living at “The Oakhurst Complex� until she was twenty-one. And she didn’t need to worry about a thing, because she’d have everything she needed.

Never mind that what Spirit needed these people could never give her. Never mind that her parents had never said anything to her about Oakhurst or a trust. Things were already being done, what was left of her life had already been taken over, and Spirit didn’t care enough to fight it. Things kept arriving from Oakhurst—both while she was at the hospital and when—six weeks after the accident—she was moved to a “rehabilitation facility.� Flowers she told the nurses to take. Books she didn’t read. Clothing she didn’t bother to wear. Stuffed bears she told the nurses to give to somebody else. She didn’t want anything. Why should she? Her parents had always taught her that people were important, not things, and all of her people—everyone who counted—were gone. There was nothing left to fight for.

All Spirit wanted to do was to lie down and go to sleep and never wake up again.

Neil was still standing in the doorway.

She was trying to make up her mind about saying something when he broke the silence. “Look, Spirit. Get mad at me if you want, but this moping around you’re doing has got to stop.�

She stared at him. “What?� she demanded, lifted out of her apathy by the bite of anger. “I’m not supposed to be depressed? In case you hadn’t noticed, my whole family is dead, I’m being shipped off to some dumping ground in the middle of nowhere, and nobody cares!�

She felt the tears start then, burning her eyes, burning her cheeks, and she wiped them angrily away. Of course nobody cared! Maybe even Mom and Dad hadn’t cared, if this was their idea of what should be done with her—the treacherous thought had been eating at her for weeks, no matter how hard she tried to suppress it. They couldn’t have cared, they hadn’t told her about any of this, hadn’t consulted her—

“Have you got any idea how much your rehab cost, not to mention your surgeries?� Neil asked, scowling. “Did you know the insurance cut off after ninety days, and Oakhurst picked up after that and paid for everything? And all the extras, too—private duty nurses, your physical therapy sessions, your private room at St. Francis and here—trust me, those things don’t come cheap. Without that rehab you wouldn’t be walking now. So whoever these people are, what ever the school is like, it’s not going to be a dumping ground. But that’s not why you’re being emo—�

“Emo! I am not—�

“What would your folks think?� Neil interrupted ruthlessly. “You! Sitting around hoping to die! They went to a lot of trouble, thinking about what might happen if they were gone, planning for it, finding the place they did! You know how many kids with both parents gone end up in the system, tossed around to group homes, foster homes . . . forgotten? No. You don’t. And you never will. Your parents took the time and planned ahead, even though they hoped it would never come to this, and now there you sit, wanting to throw away their last gift to you like it was nothing. What do you think they’d think if they saw you like this?� Neil shook his head. “It’s not what they’d want for you. And it’s not respectful to them.� With that, before Spirit could think of a retort, before any of the angry replies she wanted to make could actually form into words, Neil turned and left.

It was as if a fire had kindled inside her. How dared he! How dared he say those things! She hated him! But the anger was having a strange effect on her. She began to feel more alive than she had in . . . months. By the time a nurse came to tell her that the car had come for her, Spirit felt almost as if she had awakened from a drugged daze.

The orderly brought her wheelchair—the fancy one that Oakhurst had paid for. She hadn’t needed it in weeks, but she knew it was the facility’s policy that she wouldn’t be let to make the trip from her room to the curb on her own two feet. She’d expected the orderly to be Neil, and had been looking forward to giving him a piece of her mind. Money couldn’t make up for the loss of her parents, her little sister, her life. But she didn’t even see him anywhere on the floor. Good riddance, she thought sourly.

She scanned the curb as they emerged into the bright light of a September afternoon, looking for the sort of car she expected would pick her up to take her to an orphanage. She was looking for some kind of van, but all she saw was a limousine—an actual Rolls-Royce in a rich chocolate brown. She frowned; the nurse had been very specific that her car was here.

Her car.


She took a closer look. On the front door of the car there was a design in gold leaf. She peered at it. She couldn’t tell what was in the fake-English coat of arms, but she could read the words Oakhurst Academy that were underneath it in Old English letters.

The door opened, the chauffeur—he was even wearing a uniform!—got out and opened the passenger door, then offered her his hand to help her up out of the chair. She blinked at him in disbelief.

“I’m here to take you to the airport, Miss White,� the man said with grave formality and a faint trace of an English accent. “Your luggage is already in the boot.�

Stunned, Spirit let him take her hand and help her up and into the back of the car.

“It will be a long drive, miss, and the refrigerator is fully stocked. Please help yourself to what ever you’d like,� the chauffeur said. “Oakhurst has sent along some orientation literature, if you’re interested in perusing it during the drive.� And with that, he closed the door behind her.

Feeling out of her depth, Spirit settled back and fastened her seat belt as the chauffeur walked around to the driver’s side, got behind the wheel, closed his door, and the limousine pulled smoothly away from the curb.

“Hi, I’m Loch,� said a voice from the shadows on the far side of the limousine. “Lachlan Spears, but, you know, call me Loch. I guess you’re Spirit White.�

She strangled on an “eep!� and stared at the corner. Somehow Lachlan Spears had turned off the interior lights on the other side of the limousine’s back seat, and the tinted windows made it dark in here, even in daylight. When he leaned forward, though, and Spirit got a good look at him, what she saw was a thin, handsome guy about her age, with the sort of flyaway hair only a good haircut got you, and melting blue eyes. He was holding a big folder—like the kind she had for her school stuff, the kind that had pockets on both sides. He held it out and she took it automatically.

“That’s the school stuff,� Loch said diffidently.

Spirit made a sour face—because it wasn’t a school, it was an orphanage—but opened it anyway. It was full of . . . stuff. On one side was a bunch of Chamber of Commerce pamphlets about the area around Oakhurst. She opened one about someplace called Radial, which was apparently “the jewel of McBride County.� Spirit wrinkled her nose. According to the facts and statistics in the little pamphlet, Radial had a population of 700 and was four hours away from Billings, which was the largest city in Montana. She gave up and turned to the school literature. It was a very slick booklet that looked more like something you’d get from a pricey private college than an orphanage. On the front was the expected view of the orphanage-slash-school . . . except it didn’t look like anything Spirit expected. Oakhurst School looked like one of those big manor houses that got used in movies set in En gland.

The school’s coat of arms had been on the front of the folder, and it was on the cover of the booklet, too, only here it was in color. It was pretty fancy. Spirit bit her lip, thinking of the rude things Phoenix would have said about it. Phoenix had adored every dumb movie about King Arthur and Camelot to come along, from The Sword in the Stone to First Knight to A Knight’s Tale.

On top of the shield there was a bear’s head on a plate, which was weird just to start with. On one side of the shield was a gold upside-down cup, and on the other was a broken silver sword. She frowned. The design was decidedly unsettling. On the shield itself, which was mostly red, there was a broad white stripe going from the top right to the bottom left, and on top of that was an oak tree (for Oakhurst, she guessed) in bright green and brown. Only when she looked more closely, there was a gold snake coiled in the branches. Maybe it all made more sense if you were English. She turned the page quickly. More pictures of the manor house. It was huge. And unless they’d Photoshopped the heck out of it, there wasn’t a chip in the stone or a blade of grass out of place.

She paid no attention to the text . . . it was just a bunch of stuff about the guy who’d built the place back in the early 1900s. Instead she stared at the glossy photographs. They looked like a set for one of the Harry Potter movies, not like anything Spirit could imagine being actually real. There was the “Great Hall,� done up in the kind of grand Art Deco scheme she remembered from visiting the Empire State Building in New York City once. There was a “refectory�—which looked pretty much like a dining room, with white linen tablecloths and enormous chandeliers; a library—which could have been pulled right out of another of those fake British Stately Homes; and a couple of pictures of classrooms. It looked as if there were school uniforms. Spirit frowned. She thought she was going to get pretty tired of brown and gold before she was done with this place, though. She turned the page quickly, intending to skip the rest of the boring stuff (if this was an orphanage, who was this supposed to impress?) but something caught her eye.

“Oakhurst residents will be encouraged to explore information technology in our state-of-the-art facility in order to prepare themselves for the challenges of the future.� Spirit knew computers, so she frankly stared at the full-page spread on the computer lab, because the descriptions of what was available for the students’ use was mouth-watering. The whole school had WiFi, and its own servers, and the servers ran on a T1 line to the outside world—a full-duplex circuit transmitting 1.544 megabytes per second concurrently. Uploads, downloads, and netsurfing would take place at the speed of light. And the brochure said that each arriving student was “issued� their own laptop. She turned the page. There were photos of a tennis court and an Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool. And there were riding stables! A gymnasium! An exercise room with more equipment than an athletic club! Each picture just made her stare harder. Finally she looked up at Loch.


“I keep thinking it can’t be real either, but . . . this is the school’s own Rolls.� Loch shrugged. “And I can’t think of any reason they’d want to fool us. I can’t touch a penny of my trust fund until I’m twenty-one, and, uh, it’s not like I’m anyone important. All Father’s stock and everything just got bought back by the partnership and the money was put into the trust. And neither of us has any place else to go anymore.�

She’d thought she was cried out by this time. But that reminder of why she was on her way to this place was enough to crack Spirit open all over again. To her dismay, her eyes brimmed up and spilled over, and when she tried to catch her breath, she heard herself give a long shuddering sob. Loch looked helpless as he handed her the box of tissues set into the armrest next to her.

“I . . .� Loch gulped. “I’m sorry, Spirit . . .�

She struggled to get control of herself, and Loch kept talking, stumbling through a long rambling explanation of how he’d ended up here in the back of this limousine with her because he was obviously mortified at having made her cry.

Excerpted from Shadow Grail 1 by Legacies.
Copyright © 2010 by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill.
Published in 2010 by A Tom Doherty Associates Book.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.


Excerpted from Shadow Grail #1: Legacies by Lackey, Mercedes Copyright © 2010 by Lackey, Mercedes. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Legacies (Shadow Grail Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 132 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The car accident killed her entire family; only teenage Spirit White survived. She has little time to grieve and barely enough to heal as she is informed she will live at Oakhurst Academy where she will attend school. Spirit is shocked to find Oakhurst is a school for orphans with magical skills. They are being trained to fight in a war against an alleged evil. As she makes friends with Burke, Lachlan, Muirin and Adelaide, Spirit begins to question the accident that left her an orphan and the intentions of those running Oakhurst Academy when it comes to the students who have no parental protection. Putting aside the obvious comparison to Potter, the first Shadow Grail teen fantasy is an exciting thriller in which the locale, creepy Oakhurst Academy brings the freshness with its foreboding sort of gothic ambience. Spirit is a terrific lead protagonist while the rest of her inner circle of BFFs comes out of the DC Teen Titan handbook. Still with a bit of romance, a lot of suspense and a young adult investigation into missing students, teenage fans will want to attend the dances at eerie Oakhurst Academy. Harriet Klausner
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Spirit White wakes up from a car accident to discover her body's beat up, her parents and her sister died, and her house burned down. She has no one in the world and no possessions. It's hard to fight back, but eventually time heals her. Then she learns of a school for orphans where her parents set up a trust for her in case anything ever happened to them. It is a huge mansion filled with amenities for sports and academics. It's also a place for people with magical abilities. Spirit believes there's been a mistake. She has no magical powers. It's quite evident during the first day of testing. However, she's a legacy to the school. She must have one; it simply hasn't appeared yet. Despite its grandeur, Oakhurst thrives on rules. As Spirit's finding her place at the school and amidst all the guidelines, a student goes missing. It might not have made a huge difference, until another student disappears, too. Spirit and her friends begin to question these disappearances and come to the conclusion that there's something strange going on at Oakhurst. Can they solve the mystery before the same thing happens to yet more students, possibly one of them? LEGACIES is a fun start to a new series that creates a blend of magic and mystery with a dash of potential romance. Once Spirit and her friends comprehend the danger within the school, they do everything in their power to change the situation. They must unravel layer upon layer of mystery, all while keeping their suspicions to themselves. I loved the double lives they lead and the lengths they go to in order to keep them separate.
payton_sage More than 1 year ago
Spirit White survived an seriously traumatic car crash to only learn that her home was lost in a fire as well.  Left with no family, and no home to return to she is whist away to the Oakhurst Academy.   For some odd reason unknown to her, her parents left in the care of the Oakhurst Academy if anything should happen to them.  Drawn into a life that she isn't used to Spirit also finds out that she is known as a Legacy and has magical powers.  As strange as that may seem, Spirit's magic hasn't made an appearance and she is able to notice things that the other magical kids have accepted as normal. Overall, this is a very fast paced book that should leave the most readers wanted to jump into the second novel.  Spirit is very intelligent  with a good personality.  Her friends are also good characters with larger parts to play as the series unfolds.  The only issue I have at this point is that I wish I realized that this series will be four books long.  That means I'm going to have to wait an entire year to read the last installment!
Goldie Tappan More than 1 year ago
elali More than 1 year ago
*this book is one of my favorites in this area of the genre! one could compare this novel to a mirror fun house, never knowing what will happen when you turn the corner! i just can't wait for the sequel!
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Spirit White's whole family is killed in a freak car accident, she's in no shape to care about who's paying for her hospital stay and therapy sessions. But when the fancy car arrives to take her to the Oakhurst Academy, her new "school" somewhere in the wilds of Montana, reality starts to get a bit weird. Especially when she learns that all the students at Oakhurst have a magic talent - and that nobody seems to care when they disappear. For Spirit and her new friends, surviving means not only hiding their friendship, but figuring out just what is behind the disappearances, before they're next to be taken.Okay, so jumping on the Harry Potter bandwagon is a bit trite, the plots more than a little predictable, and the names assigned most of the students are beyond corny. But it didn't read badly for all of that, and it will be interesting to see where two masters (mistresses?) of the fantasy genre take the plot now that the stage is set for bigger things.
lprybylo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Grades 7-10 Spirit White is suddenly ophaned after a car accident killing her parents and younger sister. She becomes a legacy at a very elite school called Oakhurst where she learns she may have magic powers. I like Mercedes Lackey's book but this one seemed like the set up of the characters and location didn't progress fast enough, Kinda of draggie in spots.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun read. It took me a little while to get into it - the first couple of chapters I was slogging a bit - but by the time Spirit and Lach met Mr. Ambrosius I was hooked. It's very definitely the start of a series - there are a _lot_ of unanswered, and even more unasked, questions. I wonder if Muirinn and Addie could even see the scratch? Spirit should ask about that - things like that. And I wonder just what Mr. Ambrosius is. Spirit's name might be a clue to her power, and the throwaway line (at least, they don't come back to the question) about whether Oakhurst is teaching them everything might be a major part of many answers... There are several nice bits. The 'team' doesn't instantly assemble - it's kind of by accident and with some adjustments to make, much more reasonable than most school stories. Spirit's grumbles about the way the school is run. The wildly different back-stories of the kids...and nobody seems to have noticed that the parents aren't around to answer questions about their having been at Oakhurst too (a couple more questions that haven't been asked yet). I have a nasty suspicious mind, at least when it comes to stories, and this book (this series) seems to feed into that very nicely - there really is a conspiracy. Or two, or three... One thing that bothers me, though - was Oakhurst fighting the tithing at all? If so, Spirit and her team are way-out-of-place powerful...and if not, it feeds into the conspiracy question. So I hope the latter. Definitely reading the next book.
puckrobin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not bad, but not what I had hoped for from these two, whose previous collaborations on the Bedlam's Bard series are some of my favourite brain candy. As usual, Lackey and Edghill create likable characters, but they seem more two dimensionsal than usual (I knew more about Greystone's character in the first 5 pages of his appearance in Bedlam's Bard than I did about the main characters at Oakhurst after the entire book). This series has potential, particularly for younger readers, and works as a crossover between mainstream YA fiction that is currently supersaturated with otherworldly and the work of authors mostly known for being found only on the SciFi/Fanasty shelves of your favourite bookseller. For long time Lackey or Edghill fans however, you may need to lower your expectations and have some patience... perhaps the pace and connection with the characters will pick up as the series progresses. If not, we can always hope for a return visit from Eric and the rest of the Bedlam's Bard crew.
zabet17 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an interesting read but the portrayal of teenagers is more than a little off. These students, many of whom have lost their entire family, never seem to rage or cry or otherise react to the tragedy in their life. The reactions of the adults running the school are also more than a little unbelievable. I am hoping that this is merely a reflection of this being the first book in the series and the authors not wanting to give away anyone's motives. I will give the second book a shot when it is released next year.
readinggeek451 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After a car accident that kills her entire family, Spirit White is sent to Oakhurst Academy, in a remote part of Montana. Not a typical orphanage, although all the students are orphans, and not a typical boarding school, Oakhurst is instead a school for magic users. But unlike her classmates, Spirit shows no sign of having any powers.Despite her grief, a heavy workload, and an atmosphere of competition, not cooperation, Spirit makes friends and begins to settle in. But something is very wrong at Oakhurst.An good series beginning.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In common with several other reviewers I'm not sure that the characters of the teenager are right. I also found that it occasionally lagged. Spirit White has survived a catastrophic accident that killed the rest of her family and now she is going to a school called Oakhurst Academy where everyone there is also an orphan. Everyone there has magic, and they assure her that she has some too but she doesn't know what or who to believe. Everything is strange and things get stranger when one of her classmates disappears, when a second does too she starts to ask questions and gathers a few friends to help investigate. I had some inklings about what was happening but the unfolding did entertain. I hope the pair of authors hit their stride in the sequel.
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Wow great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was awesome, it was well written though sometimes the paragraphs seemed to drag on. I Looooovvveeeddd it anyway though. Peace Spirit out~ Ps. Yes Spirit can be a name~
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How do i say this? This book was the best book ever!!! As soon as i was done at 3 in the morning i bought the second no lie! This is what i call a MUST read!!!
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I cant wait to read the next book!