The Warrior Heir

by Cinda Williams Chima

Cinda Williams Chima's The Warrior Heir

Children's book review by Sarah Dempsey.

Ages 13+

I recommend this book for a child interested in science fiction or medieval fantasies.

Life is More than a Game, Unless You are Born a Warrior

The Game is set and crowds fill the stands, trying to catch a glimpse of the warrior heir as he takes his place on the field.

Play starts, and the clash of swords fill the air, punctured only by the spectators’ excited yells when blood spills.

Once again, it reminds Jack of Roman gladiators when the mob reacts to the swing of his blade.

Suddenly, he loses his footing, tumbling backward over a ravine, and with a sickening crack he knows his game is now over. His opponent approaches, graceful and deadly.

With sword-tip to his neck Jack Swift looks into the face of the warrior he could not bear to kill.

The Warrior Heir, by Cinda Williams Chima doesn’t have a fancy book cover; it’s just a sword pommel, with the title and author’s name, against a black backdrop. Yet when I was looking for a good in-flight read to carry me over the Atlantic, the title, The Warrior Heir, jumped out at me.

The idea of a warrior heir wasn’t enough to stir my imagination, but I was very curious about the warrior’s inheritance.

Most people inherit only the mildly interesting family heirlooms: coin collections, money, Aunt Fanny’s top secret recipe book, but what would a warrior inherit? What about a warrior who didn’t know who or what he was?

Jack Swift inherits power.

Pawns in the Game

Jack’s life is a prize to be won as the two wizarding houses, the Red Rose and the White Rose, try to capture him for the Game. He struggles with the powers trying to manipulate him, hurting those he loves when necessary. As more secrets of “the family” are revealed, it becomes harder to recognize who Jack can trust. The Roses are closing in.

This is a great depiction of a young man’s journey to find himself, and how he becomes clouded by those who wish to control him. Every aspect of Jack’s life will speak to young readers as they relate to the changes he goes through, the fears he faces, and the relationships he builds.

While our hero has uncanny abilities and strength, he is still a sixteen year old with teenage thoughts, feelings, and interactions.

This novel mixes drama and science fiction in such a way that only heightens our warrior’s daily struggles. His story will reach many young readers with its ability to mirror their lives, while maintaining the suspense of an untold adventure. The Warrior Heir is a fantasy adventure loaded with action, magic, and intrigue. Old world meets new in this story of wizards, swordplay, and everyday high school anxieties.

Cinda Williams Chima’s, The Warrior Heir, is the first of The Heir Trilogy.

Read more of Sarah's reviews.

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