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The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

The Warrior Heir (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Cinda Williams Chima

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1,665664,317 (4.02)84
Title:The Warrior Heir
Authors:Cinda Williams Chima
Info:Hyperion Book CH (2007), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:YA fiction, series

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The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima (2006)


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The book provides an exciting into another world lurking just outside our view. This book offers a different take on the world of wizards than has been offered in other recent young adult literature. Mr. Parks ( )
  MrParks | May 8, 2013 |
At 16, Jack learns that he is Weirlind, descended from an ancient group of magical people--specifically, Jack is a born Wizard who was given the heart-stone of a Warrior. Warriors are forced to participate in a fight to the death by Wizards as a means of deciding which Wizard family gets to control the rest of the magical population; thus Jack soon finds himself fighting for his life. This was a pretty good book with plenty of interesting mythology, but the pace was often plodding and there was too much build-up to the relatively short fight-to-the-death. I would have liked less explanation and more action. ( )
  TheMadHatters | Apr 25, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't your typical magic, wizards, and flaming swords story. The war of the roses still rages on but with wizards. The wizards are almost the villains as they use warriors to fight to the death in an arena to determine which house, the house of the Red Rose or White Rose, holds the council seat. The legend behind the five guilds, each guild having a special stone planted behind the heart, and wizards using warriors to do their bidding was all very creative, new, and refreshing! I even appreciated that the story was set in Ohio, and Pittsburgh is mentioned. I couldn’t stop reading and I was excited to learn more about Jack Swift, the warrior heir. ( )
  russell.alynn | Apr 16, 2013 |
THE WARRIOR HEIR is like a cross between HARRY POTTER and THE HUNGER GAMES. And if that makes you wonder if this book was manufactured specifically to give book publicists wet dreams, consider this: HARRY POTTER #1 was first published in 1999, THE HUNGER GAMES was first published in 2008, and THE WARRIOR HEIR was published in 2006. It's not derivative at all, but, rather, a perfect bridge between the two books.

Like in HARRY POTTER, our hero Jack is a teenaged boy who finds out all of a sudden that he's a member of a secret, magical world. It's like THE HUNGER GAMES because that magical world is a grim and frightful place, and Jack's magic dooms him to a short, violent life of gladitorial combat.

I have to admit that I didn't like THE WARRIOR HEIR as much as I loved HARRY POTTER or THE HUNGER GAMES, but I did think it was pretty great. Jack is weak and ignorant at first, his powers suppressed. There's no Diagon Alley, no delicious reveal for Jack - instead, he finds himself flailing about in the dark, attacked by foes who far outmatch him. He's often angry, demanding, and resentful - but always likable. That's a feat all on its own.

Most of the novel takes place in a small town in Ohio, at Jack's high school. Everyday events like soccer practice and dating mix with the encroaching threat of the Roses, and the slow reveal of what, exactly, the Roses are and why they're so very mean.

The wizard world turns out to be horrifically dystopian. I found myself thinking there's no way that a system like the one Chima sets up could possibly survive for so long, that there must be enough decent people in the world - even wizards - to curb the violent excesses. My righteous fury kept me turning the pages, but kept me from being completely immersed in the alternate reality.

The place where THE WARRIOR HEIR really fell short, for me, was in its conclusion. I won't say any more, just that the final events felt contrived in a way that didn't work for me at all. The book is set up in a way that you're really expecting Jack to pull a rabbit out of his hat at the end, and, personally, all I saw was sleight of hand. ( )
  MlleEhreen | Apr 3, 2013 |
"Maybe that's how they convince young men to go to war, Jack thought. You're just swept along until you find yourself looking death in the face, and you wonder how it ever happened."

Jack Swift, a sixteen-year-old resident of Trinity, lives a very normal life. The only unusual thing is the medicine that he must take daily and the star-shaped scar on his chest above his heart. Jack's mother is very strict about the drug, because, when Jack was little he almost died of a heart condition. The drug supposedly makes sure that he stays healthy.
But one day Jack accidentally forgets to take his medicine. He immediately feels a lot better, stronger, more militant and more confident than he has ever felt. Jack feels great, until he loses control of his own strength and nearly injures a fellow soccer player.
Shortly after this accident, he discovers the truth about his scar, his medicine and his heritage. Jack is Weir Lind, a group of magically gifted people who live among the general population (or Anaweir). There are several Guilds: Wizards, Soothsayers, Enchanters, Warriors and Sorcerers. The Wizards are supremely powerful and are constantly fighting each other to secure the prime position in the Counsel. The two prominent participants in this power struggle are the White Rose and Red Rose. The way they obtain their position is not by fighting each other however ... The families recruit Warriors who fight against each other to the death during "The Game". The family with the winning Warrior is, until the next battle, head of the Counsel and rules all the other Guilds and the lesser Wizard families.
But the Warriors are almost extinct because of this horrible tradition, and whenever a family gets its hands on a new Warrior, the others do everything in their power to murder him or her.
Jack is one of the last living Warriors and must do everything in his power to stay out of the grasp of the Wizards who want to recruit him for the tournament and those who’d rather see him dead, than in the hands of the other families.

I am a very big fan of the Seven Realms series of Chima and have therefore decided to also read her first series, The Heir Chronicles. The Warrior Heir was the debut of Chima and although the atmosphere and the setting is completely different from Seven Realms, I devoured this book in just one day. In one way or another Chima knows how to hold my attention.
If I have to make a comparison with Seven Realms, then I still might prefer the latter, but that is probably due to my personal preference for a certain "historical" aspect of a story.
Yet this is a very strong start to Chima's career. The characters are clearly drawn, the story has some surprising twists and the secret world that she created this time is perhaps not entirely original, but still has a sort of new brilliance.
Although here and there a technicality does ring an alarm bell, I'm more than happy to ignore it. The story itself is strong and overshadows any shortcomings in sequence or writing style.

I would also like to say a word about the covers. Usually I am drawn to mysterious, beautifully drawn / engineered covers, as you might have noticed in the "Artwork" section of this blog. Yet I have developed a special love for the covers of The Heir Chronicles. I think this is the perfect example of a simple, yet very beautiful cover. The three books also look very nice when you put them next to each other. Good choice!

Visit my Fantasy bookblog http://draumrkpa.blogspot.be/ for more reviews, new releases,... ( )
  Cindy_DraumrKopa | Apr 2, 2013 |
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Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For my mother, Carol Bryan Williams, who told stories
First words
The scent of wood smoke and roses always took him back there, to the boy he was and would never be again.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Book description
Young adult fiction meets the fantasy world in this thought provoking new novel. Sixteen-year-old Jack Swift thinks he has a heart condition that warrants him swallowing a spoonful of blue medicine every morning, until one day he forgets, and his world is turned upside down. Soon Jack finds out from his quirky aunt that he is not really sick at all, but special. He is one of the last remaining Warriors in an ancient underground society known as the Weirlind. Amidst the everyday struggle of high school, girls, soccer practice, and just plain teenage life, Jack must train for the ultimate fight between the ever-feuding houses of the Red and White Roses—a fight to the death. In this novel Cinda Williams Chima brings to life the clash of magic and the ordinary in an intricate web of literary genius that most authors would need an entire series to create.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786839171, Paperback)

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 rules 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:27 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

After learning about his magical ancestry and his own warrior powers, sixteen-year-old Jack embarks on a training program to fight enemy wizards.

(summary from another edition)

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Cinda Williams Chima is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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