The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

Click the link to purchase your copy of The Warrior Heir

Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Hyperion
Copyright Date: 2006
Foundational Characters: Jack Swift, Ellen Stephenson, Leander Hastings, Linda Downey, Becca Swift, Jessamine Longbranch, Will Childers, Harmon Fitch, and others
Standard Rating: YA
Reviewer Rating: 5 Stars
Available Formats: Paperback, Hardcover, Library Binding, Audiobook, Kindle, Audible
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0786839163
ISBN-13: 978-0786839162
Book Dimensions:
Page Count: 432
Genre: Fiction
Sub-Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Occult
Tags: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Occult, Wizards, Warriors, Sorcerers, Enchanters, Weir, Anaweir, Weirflesh, Weirstone, The Heir Trilogy, The Heir Series


One March day, Jack Swift, a high school student in a small college town, forgets to take the medicine he’s taken daily since he was an infant. There ensues a cascade of events that puts him in mortal danger.

Jack discovers he carries a secret within him that has made him a target of the ruthless wizards of the Red and White Rose. Jack is a Warrior Heir, the last of a dying breed, sought after by the Roses to fight in the tournaments that are used to allocate power among the Wizard Houses. Unknown to him, Jack has lived all his life surrounded by members of the Magical Guilds: wizards, enchanters, soothsayers, and sorcerers. They are determined to save him from the Roses.

With the aid of his aunt, a beautiful enchanter, Jack desperately tries to acquire the skills that might save his life. Jack and his friends, Will and Fitch, unearth a magical sword from a cemetery and fight off the wizards who would take it from them. Jack begins training with the dark and dangerous Leander Hastings, a wizard with a mysterious past.

Meanwhile, Jack is torn between his attraction to Ellen Stephenson, a new student at Trinity High School, and Leesha Middleton, his former girlfriend, who decides she wants him back.

Discovered and besieged by treachery at home, he flees to the Lake District of England. There he is confronted by the greatest challenge of all. (From the author’s website)


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 rules 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. (From the publisher’s website)

The Revelation

All Jack Swift knows is that he was born with a heart condition that nearly killed him as an infant. That was sixteen years ago. He was also told that Dr. Jessamine Longbranch performed a kind of heart surgery that saved his life, but almost no one knows the exact details of Jack’s “condition.” In order to control his condition and keep it in check, Jack has to take a very special medicine every day for the rest of his life, made exclusively by Dr. Longbranch, so the condition will not return as he gets older. One day, Jack didn’t have time to take his medicine and had an eye-opening experience at soccer try-outs that afternoon. He found that he felt surprisingly good without taking his medicine-actually better than he did after taking it. His mind felt clear, focused, and alert, like he had come out of a foggy valley.

As his eyes become more and more opened to the changes he experiences, to the real purpose of the “medicine” he had taken all of his life, until that one day, and to whom he and many family members before him really are, he realizes that he is a warrior, an heir to great strength and ability, gifts that are literally dying out and becoming extremely rare. And valuable. But that strength and ability comes at a very high price. As a warrior heir, he is compelled by ancient laws to compete in a contest called The Game-a contest of life and death between two well-trained killers. As the fanfare before the Game begins, Jack, to his utter shock and horror, discovers who his opponent is, and the Game will never be the same after their contest.

This was a good book. The back story created a solid foundation for the “current-day” events and served to make the whole plot more interesting. I found myself turning page after page, especially towards the end of the novel, because the plot was so compelling and interesting that I wanted to find out what was going to happen next.

I’m very surprised that it took so long for me to hear about this author and this series. It was very well-done—comparable to The Hunger Games in imagination, but it wasn’t as dark and hopeless. This novel was written for the teenage/young adult audience, but it would do well with an adult audience as well. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading Suzanne Collins, J. K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, and other authors like them. If you haven’t yet, add Chima’s novels to your must-read list. You will not be disappointed.


Some mild violence and bloodshed. Some mild swearing.

Click the link to purchase your copy of The Warrior Heir

This entry was posted in Action, Adventure, Book Review, Cinda Williams Chima, Fantasy, Fiction, Occult, Uncategorized, Young Adult, Youth Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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