Legacies (Corean Chronicles Series #1) [NOOK Book]


The first book of the Corean Chronicles

One of the towering creators of contemporary fantasy fiction takes us to a new land of wonders. The Corean Chronicles begin with Legacies, a grand new fantasy novel in which L. E. Modesitt, Jr., author of the bestselling Recluce fantasy series and the popular Spellsong Cycle, opens the door into a marvelous new world.

Millennia ...
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Legacies (Corean Chronicles Series #1)

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The first book of the Corean Chronicles

One of the towering creators of contemporary fantasy fiction takes us to a new land of wonders. The Corean Chronicles begin with Legacies, a grand new fantasy novel in which L. E. Modesitt, Jr., author of the bestselling Recluce fantasy series and the popular Spellsong Cycle, opens the door into a marvelous new world.

Millennia ago, a magical disaster caused the fall of a great worldwide civilization, the end of a golden age. New civilizations have fought their way up from the ancient destruction and chaos, knowing little of the lost world that preceded them or the details of its fall. Corus today is a world of contending countries, of humans, but also of strange animals and supernatural creatures. It is a place of magical powers, and of a few people who are talented enough to use them. Alusius, the hero of the story, is one.

Although born into a successful herder family, Alusius never knew his father, who was killed in action while serving in the Militia. So he is raised on a Nightsheep ranch by his mother and grandparents, and schooled at home. As a child, he shows very strong Talent. He is warned gravely that he must never reveal this outside the home lest he spend his life in servitude to some rich and powerful person. But as he grows to young manhood, Alusius must serve in the Militia like his father before him. When his country is invaded by the slave armies of The Matrial, an immortal ruler in a nearby land, Alusius is captured and enslaved.

A time of changes has come upon all of the world of Corus. If the evil surrounding The Matrial is not brought to an end, those changes will not be happy ones. Gradually, Alusius realizes that he and his Talent have a central role to play.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
If the first book of L. E. Modesitt Jr.'s brilliant Corean Chronicles, Legacies, is any indication of what's to come, this series will be more entertaining and fully realized than even his epic Spellsong Cycle and Recluce sagas. The story revolves around Alucius, a young boy with a secret, powerful Talent, being raised by his mother and grandparents on a rural ranch. While he enjoys herding nightsheep, Alucius knows that when he comes of age he must serve in the military and begin life on his own. But when his peaceful country is invaded by slave armies and Alucius is captured, he begins to realize his Talent is directly linked to stopping the bloodshed spreading across Corus.

While I enjoyed Modesitt's Spellsong and Recluce series, this series is like an exhilarating breath of fresh air -- it's so different than anything I've ever read from Modesitt. The main characters are well developed, and the magical realm of Corus, with its strange and supernatural creatures like dustcats and sandwolves, is a place I can't wait to visit again. Paul Goat Allen

Publishers Weekly
Although "judicious matriarchy vs. brutish patriarchy" may have been done to death, Modesitt has boldly taken on the task of breathing new life into this venerable feminist clich , and done a more than credible job. Alucius, a young shepherd-turned-soldier from the proud but impoverished Iron Valley, is wounded and captured by the invading Matrite army. He manages to disguise his magical Talent well enough to pass the inspection of the Matrial, the seemingly immortal ruler whose magic reaches to every corner of her kingdom, and is assigned to fight in a company of Matrite cavalry. As he gains valuable knowledge of patience, warfare and honor, Alucius also comes to realize that despite his hatred of the slavery and prejudice that are so integral to the Matrite society, he can't help admiring the order and prosperity that accompany them. Resolving this internal dilemma is only one of his struggles: he must also work to regain his freedom, practice and improve his Talent and figure out why magical creatures appear at odd moments and aid or attack him seemingly at random. The historical background is somewhat sketchy and difficult to follow, and Modesitt still has trouble reconciling science and magic; but the warfare and dialogue are clear and authentic, and he's learned a lot about pacing in the 11 years since the first Recluce books were published. Thoughtful readers will be appreciative, and the author's fans will be impressed. (Nov. 1) FYI: Earlier this year Modesitt published a well-received SF novel, Archform: Beauty (Forecasts, June 10).
Not only a gifted storyteller but also a gifted teacher, Modesitt layers his adventures, always offering the reader a glimpse of the economic and philosophical underpinnings of the worlds he creates. In this first book of the Corean Chronicles, he portrays a post-Catactysm world, slowly developing an economic and social base that will ease the lives of its inhabitants. The young protagonist, Alucius, is a psychically gifted farm boy, growing up in his retired colonel grandfather's house after his father's death in military service. They raise mutant Nightsheep, aggressive black beasts with razor-sharp horns and hooves, whose diet of metallic salt renders their meat inedible but their wool of great value. Alucius wants only to be a herder like his grandfather, but is called up for military service. His grandfather's training and his psychic ability help him survive until the slave soldiers of the Madrien, a neighboring matriarchy, capture him. Enslaved with a lethal collar, Alucius must learn about his captors to survive and escape to his beloved home and fiancée. Modesitt's continuing appeal is partially based on his ability to offer a fast-paced adventure-usually a hero's journey-where the protagonist's growing understanding helps his moral development. Alucius must question why, in the slave-owning matriarchy, the majority of the population is happier, wealthier, and healthier than in his own republic of small farming villages and merchant centers. Each Modesitt adventure is a disguised minicourse in moral philosophy-an attribute that makes them of inestimable value to high school libraries. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YAappeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2002, Tor, 560p,
— Marsha Valance
Library Journal
As the son of a Nightsheep herder, Alucius learns the survival skills necessary to protect his valuable flock from the sand wolves and other strange predators that dwell in the cold northern lands. He also realizes the more subtle ways of his Talent, a magical ability common to those with herder blood. When the armies of Madrien invade his home, Alucius goes off to war, only to be captured and forcibly conscripted into the enemies' slave armies. Careful to hide his Talent, Alucius dreams of escape and revenge. The author of the popular "Recluce" series introduces a new world of subtle magic and ancient legends in this tale of a young man's coming of age in a war-torn land. Modesitt excels at portraying the everyday lives of people caught up in world-shaking events, thus making his characters both believable and sympathetic. This top-notch series opener is highly recommended. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Following his fine Archform: Beauty (p. 625), Modesitt kicks off a new series that, like the Recluce yarns, curiously but plausibly blends fantasy and SF. The Herders of the Iron Valleys in the north of the continent Corus tend their nightsheep on huge, rocky estates. Inedible nightsheep are the source of nightsilk, a miraculous fiber that's light, soft, and tough enough to turn a bullet. Herders like young Alucius also have, secretly, Talent (psychic abilities that help them survive against the deadly local fauna)-secret because, long ago, a great war involving Talent destroyed civilization. Today the Iron Valleys are threatened by neighboring Madrien, a matriarchy whose immortal Matrial enslaves rivals and captives through Talent-powered collars. So, leaving behind his betrothed, Wendra, and grandfather Royalt to tend the estate (his father died in battle), Alucius joins the militia and rides off to fight the Matrites. Despite his Talent and skills acquired from Royalt, Alucius and his fellow troopers are overwhelmed by superior numbers and an ancient weapon that hurls lethal volleys of glass spears. Wounded and captured, a collar clamped about his neck, Alucius must fight for the Matrial as a trooper against the encroaching Lanacronans. Again he survives and gains promotion. But then one of the soarers, seemingly intelligent flyers of feminine aspect, advises Alucius that he must soon find a way to free himself and defeat the Matrial, a threat to all sentient creatures. Solidly engrossing, if too dependent on luck and coincidence, with a robust and consistent backdrop: a satisfyingly self-contained inaugural volume that skillfully sets up the sequels.
From the Publisher
"Modesitt has established himself with his Recluce series as one of the best nineties writers of fantasy. The fantasies are characterized by a highly developed and consistent system of magic . . . strong characters who both suffer and are developed during the narratives, great attention to detail in the depiction of the different worlds, especially their various societies and magic systems, together with plots that carry the reader effortlessly to the last pages. Highly recommended."—Vector

"The consistent excellence of L. E. Modesitt makes him by far the most entertaining of today's fantasy writers."—Romantic Times Magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429913881
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Series: Corean Chronicles Series , #1
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 54,489
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

L. E. Modesitt, Jr. lives in Cedar City, Utah.
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Read an Excerpt


In the quiet of the early twilight of a late summer day, a woman sat in a rocking chair under the eaves of the porch, facing east, rocking gently. Except for the infant she nursed, she was alone, enjoying the clean evening air, air swept of sand grit and dust by the unseasonal afternoon rain. So clear was the silver-green sky that the still-sunlit Aerlal Plateau stood out above the nearer treeless rise that was Westridge, stood out so forcefully that it appeared yards away rather than tens of vingts to the north and east.
She rocked slowly, looking down at her nursing son, a child already with dark hair, more like deep gray than black. Through the open windows set in the heavy stone walls, she could hear the occasional clatter of platters being replaced in the cupboards, and the squeak of the hand pump.
The glittering and scattered light reflected from the quartz outcroppings on the top edge of the distant and towering plateau died away as the sun dropped farther. Before long, pinlights that were stars appeared, as did the small greenish crescent that was the moon Asterta. The larger moon, Selena, had already set in the west.
She brought the infant to her shoulder and burped him. "There…there, that's a good boy, Alucius." Then she resettled herself and offered the other breast.
As she began to rock once more, a point of light appeared off the north end of the porch, expanding into a winged feminine figure with iridescent green-tinged silver wings. The nursing mother blinked, then turned her head slowly. For several moments, she looked at the soarer, a graceful feminine figure somewhere in size between an eight-year-old girl and a small young woman--except for the spread wings of coruscating and shimmering light, which fanned yards out from the soarer's body until it bathed both mother and infant.
The woman chanted softly,
* * *
"Soarer fair, soarer bright,
only soarer in the night
wish I may, wish I might
have this wish I wish tonight…"
* * *
For a long moment after she had completed her wish, the woman watched. The soarer's wings sparkled, their movement seemingly effortless, as she hung in midair, in turn watching mother and child, less than twenty yards from the pair on the porch. As suddenly as she had appeared, the soarer was gone, as was the green radiance that had emanated from her.
Slowly, the woman murmured the old child's rhyme to herself.
* * *
"Londi's child is fair of face.
Duadi's child knows his place.
Tridi's child is wise in years,
but Quattri's must conquer fears.
Quinti's daughter will prove strong,
while Sexdi's knows right from wrong.
Septi's child is free and giving,
but Octdi's will work hard in living.
Novdi's child must watch for woe,
while Decdi's child has far to go.

But the soarer's child praise the most,
for he will rout the sanders' host,
and raise the lost banners high
under the green and silver sky."
* * *
She looked beyond the north end of the porch once more, but there was no sign that the soarer had ever been there.
Within moments, the door to the house opened, and a lean man stepped outside, moving near-silently toward the woman in the rocking chair. "I thought I saw a light-torch out here. Did someone ride up?"
"No…" She shifted the infant and added, "There was a soarer here, Ellus."
"A soarer?"
"She was out there, just beyond where you put the snow fence last winter. She hovered there and looked at us, and then she left."
"Are you sure, Lucenda?" Ellus's voice was gentle, but not quite believing.
"I'm quite sure. I don't imagine what's not there."
Ellus laughed, warmly. "I've learned that." After a moment, he added, "They're supposed to be good luck for an infant."
"I know. I made a wish."
"What did you wish for."
"I can't say. It won't come true, and I want it to come true for Alucius."
"That's just a superstition."
Lucenda smiled. "Probably it is, but let me have it."
He bent over and kissed her forehead. "For him, as well as for you."
Then he pulled over the bench and sat down beside her as the evening darkened into night.

Copyright © 2002 by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 24 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 26, 2010

    I should've read it sooner...

    I have skipped over Modesitt's books many times due to the mixture of magic and guns...not my typical genre. However, lately I have become more and more desperate for reading material, and decided out of desperation to give it a try.

    I have enjoyed his books very much so far, and wish I had tried them previously. Even on the standard slow-spots where authors need to give you that important but sometimes boring filler, he does a good job of keeping you reading along.

    While I don't think it's the best book I've ever read, I can say that it is definitely not just an "in-between" book. After finishing this series (Corean Chronicles), I am interested now in seeing what else I have missed in his works. I guess it's ok to step outside of the typical from time to time.

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  • Posted August 15, 2009

    Driven Story Telling

    Modesitt does an excellent job selling you on his main character. He again does a masterful job of withholding information until the right moment to add suspense to the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2007

    the great legacies of corus

    Legacies is about a boy with forbidden powers who is trying to save the world. I would highly recommend Legacies to any fantasy writing fan. Its base structure is very nearly perfect. In the beginning you get the main characters background and a mystery to be unfolded. A slowly deepening and informative storyline is spliced with a bit of action to keep you excited. Those are only technical details. Legacies is also creative, original, and inspiring. L.E. Modesitt, Jr. has designed a world from the ground up. I have never read a book that includes the theory that humans could have been grown like cattle for a higher species. Legacies shows us that just because you were designed for a specific purpose does not mean that you are limited to that purpose alone. Because of these facts I would highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2003

    Good Start

    I read this novel and was impressed enough to read two other titles by this author having to do with the Recluce saga. I enjoyed this novel better for the quicker pace in story and more character development. In a nutshell, a story about a reluctant hero how manages to learn about his magic through his misadventures.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2003

    Not bad, but not great either

    This book appears to be a sort of condensed, less-interesting version of a number of Modesitt's other books (those with Lorn and Ceryl as main characters come to mind in particular). It's not a bad book, exactly. However, Alucius is a less-interesting character than either Lorn or Ceryl, the magic is more undefined, but in an annoying rather than mysterious way, the characters and events in general are less compelling... Also, the action at times is rather forced and seems as though long sections were left out that really should have been there, the end of the book especially but by no means exclusively. The romance subplot is pushed at an absurd rate, and while I'm not much of a fan of reading long romance sequences, this seems to go straight from a sort of 'Hi, what's your name?' sequence to a 'I love you madly' sequence, with nothing in between, which is annoying. In any case... As I said, it's not actually a bad book, as such. It's decently written, though not as well as many of Modesitt's Recluse novels, the plot could certainly be worse, although it's not up to that of many of the Recluse novels, the characters aren't *that* bad, although again not at the level of those in many of the Recluse books... Essentially, if you're expecting something on par wit, say, The White Order or Magi'i of Cyador, you're out of luck, because this doesn't reach those standards. Otherwise, however, it's essentially just a decent but not great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2002

    Similar, but Better

    While this book echoes all of Modesitt's eariliar books in the Recluse series, he manages to recreate the best aspects of that series in a similar world. The only criticism I might have is that this book is predictable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2002

    Worth reading twice!

    While I confess to being a long-time Modesitt fan, some of his books capture my imagination more forcefully than others. This one is definitely in that category! I'm on my second reading, carefully cross-checking and searching for clues to the next installment.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    great epic fantasy

    On a remote sheep farm in Corus, herder Alucius grows up in relative isolation as his mother and grandparents do not want the ruling bodies to use the lad¿s Talent. Instead he learns to hide his skills, using them only to augur any danger to his family or the sheep. Alucius¿ pastoral life ends when the Militia drafts him. Not wanting to repeat what happened to his father who died fighting for the Militia, Alucius serendipitously uses his Talent to study auras in order to stay alive. However, in spite of his skill, the enemy invaders from Madrien capture him and place him bondage. Though somewhat muted in his environs, Alucius applies the Talent to survive. The introductory novel to the latest epic fantasy from L.E. Modesitt, Jr. is a great start to what looks like will be a tremendous series. This book is not a throw away though the inviting story line provides a strong look at the cast, especially Alucius while containing weird creatures and a world that seems very mystical yet genuine. It is the global environment that makes LEGACIES a triumphant opening gamut that will send fans of the author and new readers into a frenzy for the next novel. With the Talent of Mr. Modesitt, Jr. fans will anticipate even greater insight yet filled with non-stop action and excitement as the audience explores the intricacies of the Corean Chronicles. Harriet Klausner

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    Posted April 8, 2010

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