Legacy of the Claw (Animas, Book 1)
C. R. Grey
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To twelve-year-old Bailey Walker, kin means more than just family. It means being a part of the Animas bond, a harmonious link that connects humans and animals, and guides everything in his world. But Bailey hasn't found his kin yet, and without an Animas, he's destined to be an outsider-or worse, lose his mind entirely. So when he's accepted into the prestigious Fairmount Academy, he's determined to Awaken to his Animas once and for all, even if it's a measly worm.
But once there, Bailey can't resist the pull of the dark mysteries surrounding the kingdom. A bear has been viciously attacked on school grounds, and when he and his friends discover signs of a ferocious predator in the woods surrounding campus, he knows something's out there, something dangerous. And Fairmount isn't the only place where darkness is brewing. In the capital city, a new leader preaches that humans must assert power over their kin, enslave them instead of living as one.
Bailey can't shake the feeling that the root of the unrest, and the key to his Awakening, lies in an old riddle entwined around an even older prophecy-a prophecy that may reveal the truth about the rightful king of Aldermere. And Bailey may be the only one who can unravel them. The capital's dark forces will stop at nothing to prevent the prophecy from coming true. If they succeed, the Animas bond will be in peril. Can Bailey help protect the Animas bond while still trying to awaken to his own? In this first installment of the gripping ANIMAS series, the battle is just beginning.
most children Awaken to their Animas at approximately age nine. The latest I’ve ever met is eleven. This isn’t to discourage you, dear—but to let you know what you’re in for.” Bailey looked up from his hands as she continued. “We will find appropriate courses for you, don’t worry about that, and we will wait and see how you take to school life. But there will be plenty of students—and yes, though I’m sorry to say it, adults—who won’t understand your Absence. Who may try to treat you
older students, a boy and girl, also attended. Mrs. Copse had changed out of her gardening apron into a smart floral dress and cardigan, which she wore above rubber gardening boots. The two tearful students who clung to each other must have been Animae Bear, and Bailey wondered if they had felt the pain of its death as sharply as the bear had itself. The two Animae Bear had gathered long sticks from the surrounding undergrowth, and together they worked silently, weaving the sticks into a low
won’t Awaken until the time is right.” “I thought coming to Fairmount would make it just … happen,” Bailey said. “But it’s been months, and this training isn’t working.” Tremelo shook his head. “A person’s Awakening is something very powerful that can’t be controlled by circumstance or effort. We’re gathering information about your skills, not trying to trigger something that can’t be triggered. And your skills do point to a strong Animas, something with great power, but we can’t be
collapsed to her knees. The snow was spotted with her blood. Gwen kept playing. Bailey watched as the wolves that had attacked him earlier began prowling around the clearing, this time with their sights set on Sucrette. “I ask you again, Joan,” said Tremelo, “stop this. Come with us back to the school, where we’ll decide what to do with you.” Bailey looked at her, Joan Sucrette. Whereas this morning in class, she had been chipper and dressed in bright colors, repeating verb conjugations,
here she was now: broken, madness in her eyes as easy to see as the blood on her face and dress. Her blond hair was streaked with blood and dirt. Bailey felt a stir of pity. Sucrette turned her gaze to him. Shivers ran down Bailey’s spine. She raised her one good arm, and prepared to throw the knife straight at Bailey. A roar, a flash of fur and teeth, and a scream—Joan Sucrette lay in the snow, and the wolves that had once been her captives were on top of her. By the time Tremelo managed to