In LEGACIES, the first book of the Corean Chronicles, L.E. Modesitt, Jr. uses his fabulous world-building skills to introduce a new fantasy world of ancient magic.

Young nightsheep herder Alucius is Talented but keeps his gifts hidden, using them only to forewarn of danger to flock and family. Conscripted into the militia, Alucius uses his Talent for seeing colored auras of living things to help survive as a scout and soldier.

When a falling wall knocks him out, the Matrial's troops capture him and force him into the slave torque. Its properties dim his Talents, but his sharply honed survival skills keep him safe. Unheralded allies show him how to escape, but he must reason why he should escape.

Multifaceted characters, not wholly good or evil, populate Mr. Modesitt's latest. Strange creatures or supernatural beasts are glimpsed but not yet explained. This introductory novel is an intriguing study in contrasts with its elements of Talented vs. normal, female vs. male leadership, prosperity vs. poverty. (Oct., 560 pp., $27.95)

Reviewed by: 
Kelly Rae Cooper