Thursday, April 15, 2010

Review: The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

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 ruling 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. Jack's performance on the soccer field has alerted the entire magical community to the fact that he's in Trinity. And until one of the houses is declared Jack's official sponsor, they'll stop at nothing to get Jack to fight for them.

This was a story that left with me many questions, and not the normal…what’s going to happen next? type of questions. This was a hard read for me to get in to, which is usually not the case with young adult material, let alone fantasy…I usually love everything about being taken into a different world, far away from reality, and normally I enjoy the vacation from reality so much I never want it to end. This was not the case for me with The Warrior Heir.

So I found myself wondering if I was just in a reading rut...I've found myself in those every once in a while and because I wasn't flying through the pages I may have just been expecting too much from a book that no matter what...because of my rut, just wasn't going to sustain my appetite for the unattainable, I'm not sure. Cinda Williams Chima is a talented story teller, this I can say with absolute certainty. Her characters were fun and likable when she wanted them to be, and awful and frustrating when she was going for that angle. She controlled the story, and the reader was only along for the ride...and it was a good ride, just not the best in my opinion. The main character, Jack, was a good character but hard for me to relate to. I'm not sure if it's just that as a female reader I find that I enjoy a strong female lead more than a male lead or what, but this is just one of the many questions I was left pondering.

One of the supporting characters, Leander Hastings who becomes close to Jack as his teacher/mentor reached the top of my favorites list for characters in this novel. He was mysterious and I was never sure if Jack should be putting his trust in him so completely. But I think it was Leander’s questionable nature that made him so interesting to me.

Jack’s aunt Linda was another character I found myself liking. She was strong and formidable…a real source to be reckoned with, but she also left me frustrated at times when she was unable to reach the goals she was hoping to obtain. No one is perfect and I often found myself being unnecessarily harsh with my criticism of her lack of “perfection” while I was reading. I'm not sure why I expected so much from her, but I did nonetheless.

Despite this not making my top 10 favorites of all time, I must say that although the book was difficult for me to make my way through, the prologue of this story was excellent! The way Chima set up the story and tied up the prologue...I was shocked at how much I wanted to uncover the secrets and mysteries she laid out in only the first few pages of the novel. My dad always said, before you buy a book you're unsure about, sit down and read the first chapter or at least the first few pages to see if you find yourself interested. Now I know this is unfair for all books, some need more than a chapter to pull a reader in and this does not make them any less wonderful all the time, but if I tested my dad's theory on The Warrior Heir, I would have snatched the book from the shelf and run for the register to buy it. The prologue, like I said would pull any reader in right away, it was that good. So while this book was not a favorite of mine, I was glad I read it and I did enjoy it for the most part.

This was the first book in a trilogy and I did add the next two installments to my TBR list because I'd like to see if they are more appealing to me and also out of curiosity as to what happens to the characters I was introduced to. Maybe I'll fall in love with them and it'll be proof positive that the difficulty I had with this read could be chalked up to a reading rut like I thought. If that's the case I'm glad, and I"ll know that I just happened to pick up The Warrior Heir at the wrong time.

I gave The Warrior Heir (The Heir Chronicles, #1) 2 shamrocks!!

1 comment:

  1. I love an honest review! Thanks for saving me a book (because quite frankly my TBR list is almost full for next year too LOL)



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