Published: July 2010
Publisher: Tor Teen
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…
Legacies is the first book in a series that I missed when it first came out. It crossed my line of sight at work and since I'm a huge fan of Ms. Lackey and figured I'd better give it a try. The books I normally read by Ms. Lackey tend to be more traditional fantasies (pretty much all of which are suitable for older YA readers) so I was really intrigued to see how she would handle the typical YA boarding school outline. I'm very happy to say that she and Ms. Edgehill succeeded very well.
The school in this series is also an orphanage - was successfully does away with all those pesky parents who might object to any mistreatment of their children. Of course the twist is that these kids find out that they all have some form of magic. It could have been corny, but actually it managed to retain a sense of menace, that ran through the entire book. There are a couple of nods to Harry Potter here - particularly with the Principal - long white hair and beard - but he is no Dumbledore and there seems to be no softness to him at all.
Loch, Burke, Muirin and Addie, along with Spirit realise that something is seriously wrong at the school and try to solve the mystery of why so many kids go missing. It's obvious to the reader, and to the kids, that there is a lot more going on than meets the eye, but the clues are buried deeply, and the kids have their work cut out. I enjoyed the logical progression of their search and that there was very little leaping to convenient conclusions. A little bit of magic, a little bit of mystery and a little bit of menace all meld together into an enjoyable read.
One of the nice things about finding trilogies late is that you don't have to wait for the succeeding volumes to out. I've already put holds on Conspiracies, and Sacrifices and I'm really looking forward to seeing how the kids handle what's coming next.