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.
I’m pretty much obsessed with Cinda Williams Chima’s Seven Realms series, so I knew I had to read this one, too. I really enjoyed it, especially the world building, which was also my favorite part of her other series.
This time we’re working on a smaller scale, since this series is set in our world. Our world, though, hides a secret world of magical guilds and families competing for control of it all by scouting for warriors (which is a very specific distinction here) and sending them to fight to the death to determine which family gets control.
Watching Jack struggle with the idea of being a pawn and what could happen if he were to be caught was interesting, and it was easy to get inside his head. I could also easily understand the motivations of the others around him trying to protect him. Jack’s friends, Will and Fitch, were especially loyal; they could’ve run away from Jack once all of the weirdness started happening, but they didn’t. (Also that could also make them stupid, depending on your point of view, heh.)
There were a couple twists toward the end. One of them I’d called pretty early on (although predicting plot twists is my super power), but there was one that I didn’t see coming AT ALL. And that’s all I’m going to say about those.
Overall, The Warrior Heir was an enjoyable read in the vein of Harry Potter or Percy Jackson – albeit less laugh out loud funny – and I can’t wait to read the other books in the series.
Rating: 4/5 Stars