Publisher's Note:  

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 Gameâ€â€Â┬Ła 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' 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.

The Warrior Heir

by Cinda Williams Chima

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Overall Review:  

Chima in The Warrior Heir delivers a high-octane fighting and action adventure that is spot-on for a high school audience. The protagonist, 16 year-old Jackson Thomas Swift, is instantly easy to relate to because of the normalcy of his activities, friends, problems, and life. A series of events spin his life out of his control, but Jack maintains his humanity and compassion to the very end. Containing magical elements with an original and intriguing back story, the book reads more like an action-thriller than a straight-up fantasy. My sixteen year-old son calls literature for guys "dude-ature"and this is definitely it. However, I couldn't put the book down and there is a cast of strong, supporting characters of varying ages, both male and female. This is the first book in a series, but the book is nicely and satisfactorily wrapped up in the final chapter so that it can be read as a stand-alone.

Content Analysis:  

As might be expected in a book titled The Warrior Heir, the area of grey is in the violence category and depends on personal sensitivity. The three moderately strong instances are as follows: a scene where a child returns to find several family members dead and blood on the walls and floor and witnesses the vaporization of another family member; an attempted abduction in which a character is bound, is held under water, has his face smashed against floor, and is generally roughed up with a following rescue attempt that rips another character in half--literally; a toast in which it is promised that a warrior will "rip out the still-beating heart" of the opponent. The mild instances include, but are not limited to such items as a newspaper report of a death, magical skirmishes with flames and fireballs, simulated battles of swordplay with ghosts (no blood), an attempted poisoning, a vision showing a woman taking her life by knife, a fight with some bullies, a kidnapping, a gladiator-style tournament involving swordplay, axes, etc. (non-gory), and a ghost army killing some wizards. Violence probably approximates a PG-13 level, if this were a movie.

Profanity consists of approximately a dozen mild profanities.  Several times the author chose to simply indicate that a character "swore" or said some "obscenities". One character makes a rude gesture.

Sexual content consists of two mild kisses. One character tells a friend that a girl “lusts after you." Peripheral sexual content is a brief mention of a "breeding" program for warriors.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Mature themes touch upon the ethics of a medical operation on an infant and of using people as pawns for selfish purposes.

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Reviewed By Cindy
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