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Title: Legacy of the Claw
Author: C.R. Grey
Pub. Date: October 28, 2014
Genre: Middle Grade
Rec. Age Level: 8-12
More by this author: N/A
To twelve-year-old Bailey Walker, kin means more than just family. It means being a part of the Animas bond, a harmonious link that connects humans and animals, and guides everything in his world. But Bailey hasn't found his kin yet, and without an Animas, he's destined to be an outsider-or worse, lose his mind entirely. So when he's accepted into the prestigious Fairmount Academy, he's determined to Awaken to his Animas once and for all, even if it's a measly worm.
But once there, Bailey can't resist the pull of the dark mysteries surrounding the kingdom. A bear has been viciously attacked on school grounds, and when he and his friends discover signs of a ferocious predator in the woods surrounding campus, he knows something's out there, something dangerous. And Fairmount isn't the only place where darkness is brewing. In the capital city, a new leader preaches that humans must assert power over their kin, enslave them instead of living as one.
Bailey can't shake the feeling that the root of the unrest, and the key to his Awakening, lies in an old riddle entwined around an even older prophecy - a prophecy that may reveal the truth about the rightful king of Aldermere. And Bailey may be the only one who can unravel them. The capital's dark forces will stop at nothing to prevent the prophecy from coming true. If they succeed, the Animas bond will be in peril. Can Bailey help protect the Animas bond while still trying to awaken to his own? In this first installment of the gripping ANIMAS series, the battle is just beginning.
Looking for a great new MG fantasy with the promise of a series? Then you'll want to pick up a copy of Legacy of the Claw. It's Harry Potter meets The Golden Compass - yes, elements are going to feel very familiar - but for me, it was like shrugging on a comfortable sweater for an all new adventure.
So, yes, the characters in this book attend a boarding school to hone their magical bonds with their animal familiars. And they play a game that will likely remind you of Quidditch, minus flying, plus animal guidance. And there's a villainous woman who's trying to take power and sever the bond between humans and animals. Like I said, there are things happening here that have been done before, but nothing was without a new twist. Instead of feeling like it was something I had read before, I simply settled in quickly and was able to focus on the unique elements of the world and the characters.
And I liked what I found. The pacing is fast, the villain is complicated and dramatic, and, when I finished the final pages, I immediately wanted the next book.
Readers who love a bit of steampunk in their fantasy and are looking for something new after burning through the Warriors/Seekers books will likely love this start to the Animas series.