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Shadow Grail #2: Conspiracies Hardcover – Jul 5 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Teen (July 5 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765328232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765328236
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #558,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Lackey and Edghill know how to spin a yarn, immediately pulling the reader into Spirit's mourning psyche as well as the fast-paced action of the mystery, mixing marvelous elements of fairy tales and mythology into both the plot and references in the students'Magical History class.…There's also a touch of romance, and readers who appreciate everything from X -Men to Harry Potter will be begging for the sequel. (Booklist on Shadow Grail #1: Legacies)

The authors expertly balance a heady mixture of mystery and teenage romance in this well-paced first of the Shadow Grail series. (RT Book Reviews on Shadow Grail #1: Legacies)

About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is the author of the bestselling Valdemar series, the Obsidian Trilogy (The Outstretched Shadow, To Light a Candle, and When Darkness Falls), the Enduring Flame trilogy (The Phoenix Unchained, The Phoenix Endangered, and The Phoenix Transformed), and the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms. She has written many other books, including Trio of Sorcery, Phoenyx and Ashes, Sacred Ground, The Firebird, The Fairy Godmother, and Alta. Lackey is the co-author, with Andre Norton, of the Halfblood Chronicles, including Elvenborn. Mercedes Lackey was born in Chicago and graduated from Purdue University. She has worked as an artist's model, a computer programmer, and for American Airlines, and has written lyrics and recorded more than fifty songs. She lives in Oklahoma.

Rosemary Edghill is a prolific writer in several genres, under her own name and various pseudonyms. She lives in upstate New York with several cats and several Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, which she shows in obedience competitions.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9e9bb108) out of 5 stars 52 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e9d1210) out of 5 stars Shadow Grail #2 Aug. 8 2011
By SciFiChick - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Only days after defeating the Wild Hunt that had been attacking Oakhurst Academy students, Spirit and her friends think everything has quieted down. But suddenly magical attacks begin happening in the school among the entire student body, causing widespread, overwhelming fear. And when former alumnus Mark Rider arrives with an army of friends to help protect the school and train the students for war, Spirit seems to be the only one who distrusts them. Something is wrong with Doctor Ambrosius. And Spirit's friend Muirin begins to get too close to the newcomers. Her friends begin to think Spirit's concerns are just wild conspiracy theories. But the group must work together to stop the attacks and unravel the deeper mystery within Oakhurst Academy.

This is the second installment in the Shadow Grail series. Relationships within Spirit's circle of friends develop and change. And a new student is introduced - the only one who may be more frightened than Spirit about their situation. With good reason. As Spirit and her friends begin learning more about the school and its hidden history, even more questions arise.

Conspiracies is a well-paced adventure with plenty of drama, angst, and suspense. The Shadow Grail series is a developing, complex, over-arching story that seems to be slowly unraveling in each installment. As the intensity builds to an exciting conclusion, it's apparent that many questions still linger. And there are more than a few twists and surprises along the way. This is a spellbinding series for fantasy fans that enjoy intrigue, mystery, and a bit of romance.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e9d10c0) out of 5 stars Can't beat the boarding school novel July 24 2011
By Flora Fairfield - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am admittedly a huge sucker for the boarding school novel: a genre that this book fits into well. I'm not sure what makes this book an urban fantasy, when it takes place in a decidedly rural setting that can only be reached by long train drive. Perhaps the contemporary setting? I wouldn't apply the urban label here. Moreover, Mercedes Lackey is one of my favorite authors of all time, so I have some author loyalty influencing my opinions. With that said, this book is tremendous. I love the fast paced plot, part of what draws me to young adult fiction over regular adult fiction. The dark and ominous quality that covers the action makes the book more suspenseful and addicting. There's a definite dystopian regime quality that adds to the darkness of the book, a watered down Orwellian vibe which works well. The kind of off kilter interactions between the main character Spirit and her rag tag group of friends struck me as rather realistic and was certainly enjoyable to read.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who a) likes boarding school novels b) likes young adult fantasy c) likes young adult dystopias d)those who enjoy Mercedes Lackey's more science fiction and less fantasy style books, I'm not sure the Valdemar lover will find what they're looking for here.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e9b3168) out of 5 stars Too inconsistent Nov. 22 2012
By Jennifer Kyrnin - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I reread book 1 immediately before reading this book. And in many small ways it was like they completely forgot bits of the plot. Minor things like what soda Spirit likes (Diet Pepsi), who mentioned the secret group (Kylee, not Muirin). But there were enough that it got annoying.

Then there were the characters. The bad guys were practically dressed in black twirling their moustaches while chortling in evil glee. There was the new student brought in SOLELY to explain the premise, then she was killed or removed. She even got back story. There was the Russian man who is both a blonde jock and Mafia. The computer people are nerds and even Spirit is changed into a hippie child, when before she was less hippie and more average kid.

The plot is weakened by all this too. I got to the end battle, and while it was mildly exciting I didn't get a sense that this was the climax. Then it was over, and the wrap up was confusing. Burke asks Spirit a question, which she doesn't answer and suddenly all the kids (even her) are acting as if she did. Then the story ends. Huh?

I am usually inclined to not just like Lackey books, but to love them, but this book is very disappointing. The end felt cut off as if to force you to get book 3 just to learn what happened. If I do, it will be from the library, as these really aren't worth full price, even full Kindle price.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By SashLee - Published on
Format: Paperback
I really liked the first book in the series, but was a little disappointed in this one. Too many times in the story, everyone just forgets everything that has happened. One character was introduced and I thought she was going to be a larger part of the story, but then she just disappears and no one seems too concerned about it. It felt like she was just added to tell a story and then disappears with no one bothering to even look for her. It also seemd like there was a lot of repetition. (Maybe a little spoiler) The villians at first seemed to be able to do anything they wanted and then it seemed like they were very easy to drive off. I am not sure if I will read the next book or not. I will probably wait for some reviews. There is so much potential in the world they created, I just hope they make better use of it in the next book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e9ae4e0) out of 5 stars High achievement boarding school meets urban fantasy Aug. 3 2011
By M. A. Grimmett - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The second book in this trilogy does a good job of advancing the storylines. Spirit and her friends learn more about the ambiguities of their school, Oakhurst. The legend of Arthur is brought into the mix, with a conflict through the ages between good and evil that appears to be centering on Oakhurst. Some mysteries from the first book remain in play, such as who has let the evil onto the campus. Other questions, such as the possibility of a shadow Oakhurst, appear to have been resolved. It is hinted that the headmaster, Doctor Ambrosius, may be under the influence of a spell, since his behavior continues to mystify. Spirit's own magic ability is coming into clarity, as toward the end her ability seems to be the same as the principle character in one of Lackey's Valdemar trilogies. I wonder if there's some sort of a spell on the student body, as Spirit seems to be the only one who can keep focused on the threats at hand. The question of whom to trust continues to be a major issue. The school psychologist seems to be very helpful and trustworthy, but Spirit and her friends (and the reader!) are leery about trusting him too much. He does say that he is a magician and not an Oakhurst alumnus, which raises other interesting questions about the magical world.

Even if Spirit were not still mourning the deaths of her family, Oakhurst would remain a pretty grim place, with luxury all around but no real moments of lightness or fun. The full-on competitiveness of the place continues, but now fear brought on by a series of magical attacks on the student body as a whole has turned the studies more toward combat and self-defense than producing aggressively well-rounded students. The arrival of powerful alumni, ostensibly to protect the school, is another source of danger. Destruction of student friendships seems to be a high priority, and indeed Spirit is separated from her friends for a few days, but it seems odd that a group of five students who eat together virtually every meal, attend events together, and play Monopoly so frequently wouldn't be more conspicuous targets for this policy. A new student, Elizabeth, is given a detailed backstory and seems to be a great source of information for Spirit, but she disappears right after telling all to Spirit--a rather disappointing payoff for all the buildup.

The authors have positioned themselves well for the next book. The foreshadowing ensures that it will be anticipated by the readers, although a publication date cannot be found. Hopefully the authors will address small questions such as other magic schools as well as following the main plots.