Cover image for Legacies
Modesitt, L. E., Jr., 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Tom Doherty Associates, [2002]

Physical Description:
558 pages ; 25 cm.
General Note:
Map on liner pages.

"First book of the Corean Chronicles"--T.p.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.9 29.0 74965.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy
X Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy

On Order



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 heroof 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 beforehim. 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.

Author Notes

Leland Exton Modesitt, Jr., was born on October 19, 1943 in Denver to Leland Exton and Nancy Lila Modesitt. He was educated at Williams College and earned a graduate degree from the University of Denver. Modesitt's career has included stints as a navy lieutenant, a market research analyst, and a real estate sales associate. He has also held various positions within the U.S. government as a legislative assistant and as director of several agencies. In the early 1980s, he was a lecturer in science fiction writing at Georgetown University.

After graduation, Modesitt began to write, but he did not have a novel published until he was 39 years old. He believes that a writer must "simultaneously entertain, educate and inspire... [failing any one of these goals], the book will fall flat." A part-time writer, he produces an average of one book per year, but he would eventually like to write full-time. The underlying themes of many of his science fiction novels are drawn from his work in government work and involve the various aspects of power and how it changes the people and the structure of government. Usually, his protagonist is an average individual with hero potential. Much of his "Forever Hero Trilogy"--Dawn for a Distant Earth, The Silent Warrior, and In Endless Twilight--is based on his experiences working with the Environmental Protection Agency. He made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2012 with his title Princeps.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In the first book in a new series, Modesitt introduces a world in which, centuries after a great catastrophe, strange animals (mutations?), some outright monsters, and human beings possessed of powers called Talents all exist. Alucius, raised by his mother and grandparents on the family ranch, is a member of a prosperous Nightsheep family, and he is Talented. He must keep that secret, however, lest he be abducted and enslaved. As he grows up, the political situation deteriorates, and as a young man in the militia, he is captured by a hostile army and enslaved. With his concealed Talent and his inside knowledge of the enemy's situation, he strikes a blow that changes the terms of war for all sides. Slow-moving because much of it portrays Alucius' coming of age and with less than Modesitt's best characterization in evidence, Legacies compensates with world building as detailed and intelligent as any from Modesitt. And, of course, further volumes resolving further and more complex problems are on the way. --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

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). (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

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. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



1 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 (c) 2002 by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. Excerpted from Legacies by L. E. Modesitt All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.