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Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Review: The Warrior Heir

Author: Cinda Williams Chima

Release date: 1st September 2011 UK
Genre: Fantasy / YA
Target audience: 11+
UK Publisher: Indigo: an Orion imprint


The Warrior Heir is a fantasy story which is set in the contemporary world. It is a hero’s journey tale full of adventure and mystery.

Jack is sixteen and since he had heart surgery as a child, he has been dependent on medicine to keep him alive. Jack has never forgotten to take his medicine but on the day of the soccer team tryouts, he does just that and his ordinary small town life suddenly begins to change. Jack is one of the Weirlind. He was born a wizard but his wizard’s stone was missing – this is what enables the gifted to manifest their powers. The fierce Dr Longbranch replaced his stone but she had her own ambitions in mind. Jack is hidden in the town of Trinity until he inadvertently unleashes his magic. The power surge is detected by those who would harm him and thus he is in mortal danger. But who is after him and why is a mystery he has to discover.

This book was very much a traditional fantasy – the world of the Weirlind was reminiscent of medieval England with the addition of magic and enchantments. There were so many charming details – the clothing for example – which made the story come to life. I particularly liked the mythology and history that the author weaved into the story giving the fantasy an original twist.

However, the plot was very slow to get moving. I don’t think it was helped by an overly long prologue and the style in which the story is told. The use of description sometimes interfered with the rhythm of the dialogue. In the end I found myself skipping sentences; this was not problematic as I could still follow the story perfectly.  

Jack is an everyman sort of character. There isn’t necessarily anything distinctive about him – except perhaps his kindness and self-control. I found it difficult to really care about what happened to him in the beginning. But as the story went on, I began to like him through his relationship with his two best friends. I kept reading because I wanted to know what was special about him.

I think this book will have a real appeal for boys – there are sword-fights aplenty, soccer games and loyal friendships. Come to think of it The Warrior Heir will be popular with girls too. Chima adds a feisty heroine into the mix and the sparks really fly! I think it will appeal to fans of Eragon and the myths of King Arthur. An enjoyable fantasy.

Thank you to Indigo for sending the book to review.

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