Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Warrior Heir

The Warrior Heir

Cinda Williams Chima
For ages 12 and up
Hyperion, 2007   ISBN: 978-0786839179

In almost every way, Jack is a normal sixteen-year-old boy. He plays soccer, he is interested in girls, and he wonders about his future. The only things that really sets him apart from his classmates is that he has to take medicine for his heart everyday, and he has a scar on his chest where his chest was cut open when he was a baby. His life is unfolding in a very normal way when everything suddenly changes.

It begins when Jack forgets to take his medicine one morning. At the soccer tryouts that afternoon Jack plays really well, and he quite literally blasts his enemy, Garrett Lobeck, into the goal. Jack doesn't really understand how he does this extraordinary thing but it feels great.

Then Jack's aunt Linda arrives. She asks Jack to accompany her on a short trip to West Virginia. She is hoping to find something that belonged to a member of their family. The expedition quickly turns into a bizarre and danger-filled adventure. A strange man tries to shoot Jack, Jack digs up an ancient sword that appears to have magical powers, and his aunt Linda tells him the most extraordinary story.

Apparently, Jack belongs to a secret group of magical people called the Weirlind who are divided into classes: wizards, warriors, and enchanters. He was born a wizard but a doctor turned him into a warrior. There are two wizard families who use warriors to settle their disputes, fighting them to the death at a contest that is called the Game. One of the leaders in the White Rose wizard family intends to fight Jack in the Game, whether he wants to or not.

In this thrilling first novel by Cinda Williams Chima, readers get to explore a fascinating world where magical and non-magical beings live side by side. One never knows what is going to happen next, and it is fascinating to see how Jack changes are he battles for his life and for his right to decide his own destiny.