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Victories: Shadow Grail #4    by Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill order for
by Mercedes Lackey
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2014 (2014)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Victories follows Sacrifices as the fourth (and final) episode in the remarkable Shadow Grail series by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill. The authors do an excellent job of making the back story clear at the beginning of this episode, so that it can be enjoyed even without having read the earlier books (though that of course is preferable).

In Legacies, Spirit White was sent to a boarding school for orphaned young magicians after a car accident killed her parents and sister. All her fellow students had magical abilities but Spirit's was slow to manifest. She befriended Loch (gifted in Shadewalking, Kenning and Pathfinding) illusionist Muirin; Addie, a water magician; and combat magician Burke. Together, they defeated the Wild Hunt.

In Conspiracies, Spirit learned that she and her friends were part of a long struggle between Grail and Shadow Knights, and that many of them were Reincarnates, doomed to be reborn again and again to carry on the fight. Students were attacked, the school was taken over by Mark and Theodore Rider, CEOs of Breakthrough Adventure Systems, and Spirit was contacted through the Internet by Quercus.

In Sacrifices, Muirin was courted by the Riders, but ultimately stood by her friends. Spirit found her magical talent, learned that their school's director was really Mordred and planned to turn the world into a nuclear wasteland, in order to create a world ruled by Magic, not Science. She and (all but one of) her friends fled for their lives. This is where Victories opens.

There are minor battles before the last one. Spirit and her friends all find out who they were in their days in Camelot and struggle with the merging of personalities. They are mentored by Merlin, are tested, and find the Four Hallows of Britain in a box of junk. And of course, they do save the world, but their adventures are, as always, enlivened by humor, friendship and touches of romance. Don't miss Victories!

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