jack has a typical teenage morning - scarfing down breakfast in order not to be late to school. only this time, for the first time EVER, he forgets his heart medicine. after nearly obliterating someone accidentally at soccer practice (a rather tool-ish someone really), he decides he feels really great - like a blurry contact lens has been removed from his eyes and he is more in tune with what he hears and sees. the near-obliteration was caused by a burst of magic energy, and draws in all sorts of strange people start coming to the small town.
there are many interesting characters, both weir and anaweir (non magic), in this book. my favorites were jack's non-magical, but very understanding and supportive, best friends - will and fitch. they are the typical loyal friends, but each with their own useful quirks. while i felt emotion about other characters, like jack's mom becka and the principal at the high school, i also felt like they were not very developed. it didn't matter if they were good guys or bad guys, i still felt like they were surface characters lacking depth.
the story itself is fun and creative. chima creates an interesting fantasy world of wizards and guilds, with the added bonus of barbaric traditions and an oppressive guild system which puts the wizards in charge of all the other guilds whether they like it or not (mostly not). jack's journey from complete ignorance to his immersion in the weir-world was a bit confusing and frustrating...for him and for me as the reader. i felt like the weir-world was explained away, rather than being explored and made rich with detail and history. a majority of the explanations were focused on him having a 'warrior stone' though he should be a wizard, which i assume sets up the next book in the series but seemed like a distraction in this one. chima does have a backstory for the ultimate creation of wizards and the other guilds, which i LOVED...so i know that there was potential for something deeper than was presented in the book.
i thought it was a great story, but it lacked a certain...richness i expect from a fantasy book. one example of this is at a very formal and elegant dinner before the Game, and there is one paragraph describing some various wizard party favors - bubbles that burst with different things popping out of them. one paragraph...really? if i'm 350+ pages into a book, i'd like a little more detail about the inner workings and traditions of the wizarding world i've been reading about so far. i'm torn as to whether or not i'd like to continue on with the series...perhaps some further peeking around for other reviews will help me to decide. in the meantime, i think the warrior heir was an interesting and creative story, sans the elements of rich details and characters.
fave quote: "But it wasn't just that. He felt danger closing in, drawing closer with every breath he took. He pulled the thin sheet up to his chin. The motel felt like a frail eggshell, a feeble shield against the dark. And he worried that all his relatives and friends together would not be enough to save him." (81). now that is the detail and feeling that i wish had permeated the whole story!
fix er up: consistency and details. this is a fantasy book after all! let loose and splurge on deets.
title: The Warrior Heir (The Heir Trilogy)
author: Cinda Williams Chima
genre: Fantasy, Adventure