Shannon's Reviews > The Warrior Heir

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
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's review
Jun 25, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: youngadult
Read in June, 2011

I'm reading two excellent non-fiction books right now (The Art of Family: Rituals, Imagination, and Everyday Spirituality and I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame) and while I've been alternating between the two, I needed a respite from non-fiction. The Warrior Heir was the perfect choice. This book was a quick but compelling read. After one treadmill session, I was 80 pages into the book. In less than 24 hours, the book was finished.

The Warrior Heir follows Jackson (Jack) Downey Swift, a small town Ohio high school student, as he discovers his own secret identity. Jack is a likable and believable character. He is alternately confused, intrigued, appalled and excited by the changes he undergoes and the secrets that are revealed.

This book forcefully reminded me of The Hunger Games, but in some ways I liked it better. The Hunger Games isn't a book I can share with my 9 and 11 year old daughters, but The Warrior Heir is. There is less violence and very little romance in this book, yet the book's entertainment value is high and there are good lessons in the book. Jack's two best friends are loyal to him throughout this tumultuous time and are even willing to confront Jack when he is letting his circumstances get to him. I like this example of friendship and think it would be a good one to expose my daughters to.

Here's what this book didn't have: explorations of deep themes. Frankly, that was fine with me since I'm reading a book about shame resilience and another about how to see the beauty in everyday family life. But if you're in the mood for a YA read that will point you to deep thoughts, higher truths or heartfelt wisdom, this book might not be the best choice.

On the other hand, if you enjoyed The Hunger Games, want a quick, clean and fun read or simply want a book to keep you company one afternoon at the pool, this book is a great choice. It's easy to read while still being well-written, is populated with likable characters and will keep you entertained for the length of the novel. Sometimes that's all I want in a book.
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