Title: The Warrior Heir
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Genre: YA, fantasy
Series: #1 The Heir Chronicles
DOP: 2011 (first published in 2006)
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Born without a wizard’s stone behind his heart, Jack’s life was at danger when he was a baby, but he was saved thanks to Dr. Longbranch, by placing a warrior’s stone and thus making him a Weirlind: a warrior for one of the Roses. Now, at sixteen, Jack feels like any other teenager because his aunt managed to convince Dr. Longbranch to not take him away. When Jack forgets to take his daily medicine for his heart one day, everything starts to change. He feels better and less suppressed. His aunt shows up to take him on a journey to find one of their ancestors and soon, Jack finds himself amidst a war between wizards and traders in search for a warrior.
Although literally thrown into a new world during the prologue, it takes a while before we get some sense of understanding of the world in The Warrior Heir, the first book in The Heir Chronicles by Cinda Williams Chima. For a while, it’s not clear what’s so special about Jack or the reason why wizards and traders are after him but once the story picks up, it is hard to put the book down. There’s something about the world that’s captivating, enticing you to read as quickly as possible to get to the end. With a few twists, some predictable, others coming by surprise, the story is wrapped up in the end, leaving no questions unanswered, despite this being a series.
I loved most of the characters, especially Leander Hastings. He’s complicated, mysterious and his motives aren’t always clear which makes him a very interesting person to read about. He’s got his flaws and I hope when I continue this series that we get to know more about him and his history. Another character I liked, was Ellen. She really has a strong personality and I wished we could have seen more of her.
The reason why I’m rating this book three-point-five stars is because I have one major issue with the world: the entire reason of the tournament. It is hard to explain this without spoilers but let’s just say that wizards are on top of the hierarchy and warriors are at the bottom and they are enslaved and trained to compete in the tournament. The winner of the bout ensures that the family, who sponsors him, seizes the power until they are being challenged again. It’s a bit ridiculous because I wouldn’t wait for someone to challenge me. I’d never put faith in one warrior either. I’d make sure once I got the power, I’d stay in power forever (there’s an evil cackling sound in my head now).
If this hadn’t bothered me, I’d give it four stars. That, and the fact that the ending felt too clean; it was solved too easily for my liking (and perhaps that’s the reason why this is a series because it was too perfect?).
Have you read The Warrior Heir? What did you think of the world and the characters?