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Review: The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

Wednesday, November 23, 2011
5 Stars: Incredible
Series: The Heir Chronicles #1
Paperback: 426 Pages
Publication: February 27, 2007 by Disney-Hyperion

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.

Jack starts off as a seemingly normal kid with a seemingly normal romantic interest, but then he forgets to take his medicine and finds out that he is a warrior—and that the warrior stone given to him makes him a target for the Roses to fight for them. As he learns about his heritage and goes into training, Jack must avoid detection from the Roses… at least, long enough to find a way to turn the tables against them.

Jack is a hero. He starts as a naïve boy. Sure, he knows his role in a normal high school, but he is entirely out of place as a warrior. He is too kind to fight. However, he has no other choice than to embrace his heritage if he is to survive. Fortunately, he has support from an amazing cast of characters that I would want backing me in his situation: awesome friends, a wickedly brilliant aunt, a mysterious and powerful teacher, and a sweet girl (with a shocking secret).

The story is filled with action and suspense while not being overly done. Somehow, at the same time that he goes into training, Jack manages to continue living a normal life and to try and start a relationship with the girl he likes. There are close encounters with the Roses, and there are many plot twists. I never expected Jack to face whom he did in the arena when forced to fight, nor did I expect him to fight for whom he did in the end.

Chima is an amazing author. I have reread The Warrior Heir many times since it first came out, and I am excited to have had the opportunity to review this book. This is a favorite of mine. I definitely recommend this book for those of you who love magic, fantasy, and adventure.

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1 comment on "Review: The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima"
  1. Magical realism, fighting, high school, romance. This sounds like something I would definitely enjoy. A very interesting-sounding book with an equally-enticing review!

    -- Adrian at adrian_dakota

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