Publication Date: February 27th, 2007
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Epic Fantasy/Adventure/Supernatural
Before he knew about the Roses, 16-year-old Jack lived an unremarkable life in the small Ohio town of Trinity. Only the medicine he has to take daily and the thick scar above his heart set him apart from the other high-schoolers. Then one day Jack skips his medicine. Suddenly, he is stronger, fiercer, and more confident than ever before. And it feels great until he loses control of his own strength and nearly kills another player during soccer team tryouts. Soon, Jack learns the startling truth about himself: He is Weirlind; part of an underground society of magical people who live among us. At the head of this magical society sit the feuding houses of the Red Rose and the White Rose, whose power is determined by playing The Game. A magical tournament in which each house sponsors a warrior to fight to the death, The winning house ruling the Weir. As if his bizarre magical heritage isn't enough, Jack finds out that he s not just another member of Weirlind, he's one of the last of the warriors at a time when both houses are scouting for a player. Jack's performance on the soccer field has alerted the entire magical community to the fact that he's in Trinity. And until one of the houses is declared Jack's official sponsor, they'll stop at nothing to get Jack to fight for them.
From the best-selling author of The Seven Kingdoms, The Warrior Heir is one of Cinda William Chima's earlier stories for Young Adults. Book one in a young adult fantasy series, Warrior Heir is a modern day story of knights, wizards and other worldly characters.
What I Liked: Since I really enjoyed reading Chima's Seven Kingdom books last year I've been looking forward to trying her Heir Chronicles. I was disconcerted to find myself in the modern day (note to self: start reading blurbs) but I caught on fairly quickly. I appreciated Chima avoiding too many mentions of modern technology - I hate how mentioning a discman or a blackberry can ground the novel into a particular period, it makes it hard for future readers to appreciate the modern setting.
The characters were interesting, if not so quick to draw you in as her Seven Kingdom characters. Linda in particular is a fun and mysterious character; her enchanter powers are very cool and I think she will definitely have a bigger role in future books. At least, I hope she will.
What I Didn't Like: There were some strangely placed puzzle pieces. It seemed like Chima made everything over complicated and dramatic when it was unnecessary. Jack needed to tell a few people to get stuffed and someone needs to explain the family business to 'quirky, clever' lawyer Mum Becka who seems very easy to manipulate for all her savviness.
The story had me interest (enough to read past midnight with work in the morning) but it lacked a depth that I've come to appreciate from fantasy fiction. She succeeded in The Seven Kingdoms but there was something missing from The Warrior Heir. Nonetheless, I will be diving into the next two books, The Wizard Heir and The Dragon Heir as soon as I get a chance.
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