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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Review: The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

Publication Date: April 2, 2006
Publisher: Gollancz
Series: The Heir Chronicles #1
Young Adult
Pages: 520
Genre: Fantasy

One March day, Jack Swift, a high school student in a small college town, forgets to take the medicine he’s taken daily since he was an infant. There ensues a cascade of events that puts him in mortal danger.

Jack discovers he carries a secret within him that has made him a target of the ruthless wizards of the Red and White Rose. Jack is a Warrior Heir, the last of a dying breed, sought after by the Roses to fight in the tournaments that are used to allocate power among the Wizard Houses. Unknown to him, Jack has lived all his life surrounded by members of the Magical Guilds: wizards, enchanters, soothsayers, and sorcerers. They are determined to save him from the Roses.

With the aid of his aunt, a beautiful enchanter, Jack desperately tries to acquire the skills that might save his life. Jack and his friends, Will and Fitch, unearth a magical sword from a cemetery and fight off the wizards who would take it from them. Jack begins training with the dark and dangerous Leander Hastings, a wizard with a mysterious past.

Meanwhile, Jack is torn between his attraction to Ellen Stephenson, a new student at Trinity High School, and Leesha Middleton, his former girlfriend, who decides she wants him back.

Discovered and besieged by treachery at home, he flees to the Lake District of England. There he is confronted by the greatest challenge of all.
*This novel was borrowed from my local library*

An engaging fantasy. Smoothly written and heightened with interesting places, enchantment, magical swords, battles, and a boy named Jack who is said to be a Warrior heir. Cinda Williams Chima wrote a fun and exciting tale that fans of Harry Potter would enjoy.

I liked The Warrior Heir more for the world-building than anything else. Different guilds with different powers. The Weir was quite a mystery when I first took to this book. I was happy with the build up and progression of the characters and the background information of the Weir.

Jack Swift was hit or miss with me. I don't really know why. Sometimes I found him very heroic and intuitive. Other times his boyishness took fold between the two girls in his life unappealing. His anaweir (normal) friends felt bland. I found myself asking what their purpose in the novel actually was. Ellen definitely made a huge comeback in my eyes for likeable characters. Leesha was interesting, but the stereotypical brooding bitch of an ex-girlfriend for the most part until she actually becomes an interesting surprise of a character.

I do wish that the Rose Houses were explained a bit more in the novel. It would have been nice to get a bit of a background about the War of the Roses in regards to it's history to The Warrior Heir's fantasy twist Cinda Williams Chima has given it.

The pacing did work fast at grabbing my attention. Secrets and mysteries in The Warrior Heir did take me by surprise. And I actually liked the idea about how wizards can call upon spirits of the dead in order to practice upon and such. The fascination of this middle world clambering with spirits of the deceased was awesome to say the least.

Final Summation: An engaging story for you Harry Potter fans. Though I cannot say that it lives up to HP standards, THE WARRIOR HEIR has its quirks, enjoyable characters, and an interesting new fantasy world. Cinda Williams Chima has a way with making you expect the unexpected, and spin your head around when secrets are revealed.

First Line: The scent of wood smoke and roses always took him back there, to the boy he was and would never be again.
Story: A
Cover: S