My boyfriend pointed this book out a while ago as one he really loved as kid, so when Amanda offered it in exchange for a review, I jumped at the chance.
The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: January 1st, 2006
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
An 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. Goodreads.
This cover is gorgeous. It's one of those that won't look dated in a couple of decades like all the girls in dresses will. It's clean, eye-catching, and perfect.
My Bookish Likes:
Normally, I don't like reading action. I skim over it and move on. But in this book, I was glued to each word! I loved it. The magical realism was so well done, and the fantasy never felt forced like it does in so much YA. The characters are distinct, strong, well-written. There was deep world building throughout the novel that really added to the overall experience. This is just such a good book!
My Bookish Mehs:
I don't really have much for this section. At one point it wandered a bit into 'withholding information for the sake of suspense,' but that was wrapped up and fixed pretty quickly. There were a couple of times that the author was clearly setting up a series, and that awakened the series burnout in my heart. But evidently each book can stand alone and tells different stories, so I'm unsure how I'd feel about reading more.
I would definitely look into the rest of the series.
This book is for anyone who likes magical realism, contemporary fantasy, and strong action.
I gave this book 4 stars.