Friday, August 1, 2014

Review: The Warrior Heir - Cinda Williams Chima

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
Series: The Heir Chronicles #1
Genre: YA, fantasy
Published on April 1, 2006
Published by Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 426
Read From: 7.19.14 - 7.26.14

Before he knew about the Roses, sixteen-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 strong, fiercer, 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 Rode, 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.


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I do really like the cover art. It's simple, they chose a pretty sword, and it's. . . .well, simple. I like simple. No clutter going on here.

Characters: Quite honestly, I don't know what I thought of the characters. I was mostly, if not totally, indifferent to - well, all of them. It isn't because they are cardboard; they're not. Nor are they bad characters; they just. . . .didn't leave a lasting impression. I think that is partially due to the mood I was in when I read this book. So, despite the fact that I was indifferent to everyone, I did really like all of the character dynamics. Even with so much indifference coursing through my veins, I recognized the good aspects. I loved the loyalty of Jack's two friends; their willingness to stick with Jack through events that they totally didn't understand. The villains were so-so. They were evil, but not especially memorable. And I suppose that that actually sums up all of the characters.

The Romance: There, but not a biggie. I actually really liked Jack's and Ellen's relationship.

Plot: Jack thinks that he has to take his medicine because of a heart problem he's had since he was a kid. But then Jack forgets his medicine, and something entirely unexpected happens: Jack feels better than he ever has in his entire life. He's stronger, faster - and seems to have strange magical powers. It doesn't take long for Jack to learn that everything he thought he knew was a lie. Jack is Weirland, a descendant of a magical society. He was born without a Weirstone, and a sorceress implanted a Warrior Stone in him to keep him from dying. Now the two warring houses of the Weirland - the Red Rose and the White Rose - are out to capture him, and put him in the ancient Games that determines who controls the Weirland. In general, I liked the concept of this book. The Author had terrific backstory and world building going on. And I don't mind fantasy that takes place in the modern world. But there was something about this book that just. . . .didn't quite work for me. From the very beginning of the book, I kept picturing a bad quality 1980's fantasy movie, like Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell (all you MST3K fans, you know what I'm talking about). It didn't do anything good for the world or the story in general. Not only that, but the plot was just slow. There should have been more, but The Warrior Heir mostly consisted of Jack going to school, trying out for soccer, and learning about his new heritage. The latter scenes were a bit more interesting, as it consisted of world building. But still, The Warrior Heir was a snore fest. Once they go to England, it improved a bit more. Everything stopped looking like a bad 80's flick and things began to happen. But this wasn't until a good 300 pages in.

Believability: Not applicable.

Writing Style: Third person, past tense. Nothing special about the writing style or the narration or anything. Nor was it bad.

Content: None.

Conclusion: I wanted to like The Warrior Heir, and I don't want to say that I disliked it. As I said earlier, I liked the concept, the backstory, and the characters weren't necessarily bad. It was just. . . .well, boring. I've heard that the rest of the series is better, so I have no intention of giving up. This probably wasn't the best book to start out with, though.

Recommended Audience: Girl-and-guy read, sixteen-and-up, fans of fantasy with a modern flair.

Others in The Heir Chronicles:
1)The Warrior Heir
2)The Wizard Heir
3)The Dragon Heir
4)The Enchanter Heir
5)The Sorcerer Heir


  1. I hope the next book(s) get better. And good for you, continuing despite a lackluster start! I used to be able to, but I can't force myself to finish series that don't grab me anymore. You can only take so much boring, right? ;)

    1. Everyone I've talked to - trusted sources and otherwise - have said that it does get better; that the first book is the slowest and their least favorite.


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