Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Series: 1st in Heir Chronicles
Published: April 2007 by Hyperion
Description: Jack thought his life was normal. Until one day his Aunt Linda takes him on a trip to research genealogy. What he discovers is a buried sword behind the headstone of a long forgotten relative. This leads to a startling confession. Jack is a Weirlind, and more specifically a Warrior. The sword is his by birthright. Warriors are a dieing breed and the vying houses of the Roses will do anything to keep him from competing in the Tournament for the opposing team. Jack begins training in secret and discovers his powers are much harder to control than he thought and soon becomes a target. He must compete in the tournament for a new house and win or be constantly hunted. If he wins, a new rule of wizards will be established. But, his opponent is way more than he bargained for.
I Give This ...
I'm not sure what I was expecting for this book, but I still enjoyed the set up immensely. It was a little confusing at times, because I don't think the author does a great job explaining the characters and some of the history. But, in the end it all makes sense. I loved how the story takes place in an our world with characters that are trying to blend in. Occasionally, magic has to be performed so the regular humans don't become suspicious. It sort of reminded me of Harry Potter in a way.
Jack was fun. He has such a heavy burden placed on his shoulders when he learns the truth about himself. And he gets absolutely no say in anything that happens to him. I'm surprised he doesn't revolt against it all. He is a teenager after all. He seems pretty level headed about it all and you can tell he hates keeping secrets from his mom and his friends. It makes him likable. I thought his decision to play in the tournament was admirable. And his actions when he learned who his opponent was made him brave. His friends provide the comic relief. They're like the two side-kicks that don't realize the danger they're putting themselves in.
The ending seemed to neat for me. I don't think the tournament needed to end in death, but expected a little more than I got. It seemed a little anticlimactic after all the buildup and I was a little disappointed. I know the battle isn't over though. I will be reading the next one to see what happens next.