The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima. Book Review

THE WARRIOR HEIR by Cinda Williams Chima

Indigo, p/b, £6.99

Reviewed by Karen Stevens

16 year old Jack is just like any other teen in his small town, despite the scar from the life-saving heart operation he had to undergo as a baby, and the medicine he has to take every day. Until the day he forgets to take his medicine and impossibly flings the school bully aside without breaking a sweat. Jack’s actions draw attention to himself, but it’s not until he travels with his aunt Linda that he learns the truth: Jack is a Warrior, one of the Weirlind, a powerful race of wizards, warriors and enchanters living secretly amongst humankind. They’re divided into two houses, the White Rose and the Red (the civil war in Britain was started by their machinations) who have been fighting their own secret war for centuries. Both houses are seeking a new warrior for their gladiatorial combats and if they can’t become Jack’s sponsor then they’ll stop at nothing to see him dead.

The Warrior Heir is the first in a new YA trilogy (although apparently it was first published in 2006) and is an enjoyable coming-of-age story. Jack and his friends are vividly drawn, and come across as realistic, well-rounded characters; in particular Jack’s confusion with regard to what’s happening to him, suddenly finding himself thrust into this strange new world, and discovering that almost everyone is someone different from who he thought they were is very well-realised. The pace and tightly plotted twists and turns kept me gripped throughout, and though the ending may be a little predictable, it didn’t diminish my enjoyment at all. Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended.