Review: The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

warriorheirAbout The Warrior Heir

• Series: The Heir Chronicles (#1)
• Paperback:
 426 pages
• Published: February 2007 by Hyperion
• Source: Purchased

Goodreads DescriptionAn epic battle between good and evil…

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 their helm sits 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 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.

My Thoughts

I’m pretty sure I’ve had a copy of The Warrior Heir sitting on my bookshelf since, oh….2011. Or earlier – that’s just when I added it to Goodreads. I can’t tell you why it’s taken me so long to get to it, other than I have a million books on my list and shelves and it got buried.

To be honest, the last few years I’ve been a lot more interested in Chima’s Seven Realms books, though that’s simply because of the covers. Not that there’s anything wrong with the Heir covers – they’re quite striking too!

Unfortunately, The Warrior Heir didn’t grab me. It’s an easy read, and something I think a true YA audience would get into. But, as an adult, The Warrior Heir left me wanting so much more. In short, while there wasn’t anything inherently *bad* about the book, most of the time I felt Chima just scratched the surface.

I wanted to know more about the Weir, about the history and abilities and fighting. I wanted to know more about the setting. I wanted to know more about the characters, Linda and Leander and Wylie and Jessamine and Nick. I wanted more depth to the dialogue, more tension to the fight scenes, and more descriptive language overall. I just wanted MORE.

I also had some trouble with the pacing – often, it felt nothing was happening. Jimmie asked me at one point what I thought, and my answer was that I was over 100 pages in and all that’d happened was the main character had dug up a sword.

Don’t get me wrong, The Warrior Heir isn’t a bad story at all, and again, I think this will be well-received by readers actually in the YA bracket. I can easily see this being a great story for parents to read with their older children, simply because it doesn’t have the depth and complexity that a lot of fantasy stories have. Kids will probably be able to relate to Jack, and the things that made me feel ambivalent about him will likely not be an issue.

The Warrior Heir is the first in the series, and also Chima’s debut novel. I’ll probably pass on the rest of the Heir books and switch over to Seven Realms instead.

Anyone read any of Chima’s books? How does Seven Realms compare? If you’ve read Heir Chronicles, does the story get more gripping?

3 stars