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THE WARRIOR HEIR by Cinda Williams Chima


From the Heir Chronicles series, volume 1

by Cinda Williams Chima

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7868-3916-3
Publisher: Hyperion

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Ordinary youth unearths a mysterious artifact, discovers his secret heritage and becomes the pivotal figure in an epic battle between Good and Evil. The hero this time is Jack Swift, average Ohio teenager, until one day he skips his dose of “heart medication” and nearly kills a classmate. Suddenly sinister dark strangers are in pursuit, and Jack frantically attempts to master a magical sword and his warrior powers, in a centuries-long wizards’ game in which Jack is both pawn and prize. Chima’s writing is graceful, if clichéd, with an acute ear for the rhythms of Midwestern small towns. Jack is a likable fellow, but his confusing muddle of friends, family, allies and enemies are mostly shallow stereotypes issued directly from central casting, each with the requisite Deep Dark Secret awaiting dramatic revelation. While the plot draws heavily on standard fantasy tropes, they are skillfully rendered, building to a predictable but well-scripted showdown and a genuinely unexpected climactic twist. A competent, unexceptionable addition to teen fantasy shelves; the sort of thing you’ll like if you really like that sort of thing. (Fantasy. YA)