The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

Jake was about as extraordinary as a toothbrush, so far as he could tell. The things he was most concerned about in life were making the soccer team, getting Ellen to like him, and not getting beaten up by Lobeck. The only ways he was different from his fellow classmates was that he 1) had to take medication every day because he’d had heart problems as a baby and 2) had an aunt who came and go as she pleased, couldn’t be denied, and had a job that he couldn’t quite figure out. That is, until he’s sixteen and learns that not everyone is as they seem in his life.

It turns out, his doctor is a wizard, his aunt is an enchanter, his neighbors are all part of the magical world, and he is something of a mix between a wizard and a warrior. He was born meant to be a wizard, but was inexplicably born without the stone needed for his magic and needed to stay alive. Desperate, his aunt called the only person she knew of who could save him, Dr. Longbranch. And save him, she did, only not in the way Linda expected. Rather than provide him with a wizard stone, she gave him a warrior stone, with the intent of forcing him into a tournament for her when he was old enough. What Jake learns is that the wizards have oppressed the other magical people and their hopes rest on him.

The writing in this book doesn’t quite flow the way I like. It’s one of those things where I can’t quite identify what bothers me, but I know there’s something. I think it’s just that the writing is slightly stiff, the descriptions not quite vivid enough. The characters themselves aren’t the most complex or interesting either and I don’t feel as connected to them as I’d like.

Even with these issues, I still enjoyed the book. It certainly won’t be going into my top ten favorite series list (maybe I should actually make that list) but it is fun. And it has some great moments. Particularly in the finally battle between Jake and the other Warrior (whose name I will not reveal so as not to ruin anything), as well as in the warriors of the past.

The final lesson to take out of this: Trust no one. (At least not completely.)


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