Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill
Tor, Jul 6 2010, $18.99
The car accident killed her entire family; only teenage Spirit White survived. She has little time to grieve and barely enough to heal as she is informed she will live at Oakhurst Academy where she will attend school.
Spirit is shocked to find Oakhurst is a school for orphans with magical skills. They are being trained to fight in a war against an alleged evil. As she makes friends with Burke, Lachlan, Muirin and Adelaide, Spirit begins to question the accident that left her an orphan and the intentions of those running Oakhurst Academy when it comes to the students who have no parental protection.
Putting aside the obvious comparison to Potter, the first Shadow Grail teen fantasy is an exciting thriller in which the locale, creepy Oakhurst Academy brings the freshness with its foreboding sort of gothic ambience. Spirit is a terrific lead protagonist while the rest of her inner circle of BFFs comes out of the DC Teen Titan handbook. Still with a bit of romance, a lot of suspense and a young adult investigation into missing students, teenage fans will want to attend the dances at eerie Oakhurst Academy.