Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Wizard Heir

by Cinda Williams Chima

Seph (as in Joseph) is a 16 year old, powerful wizard that has yet to learn control of his gifts. He's one of those kids that has been kicked out of every school that he's ever been in for "incidents" that the anaweir (or non-magical) can't really link to him, but seem to plague him, so when his guardian finds a school known for reforming delinquent boys, Seph is sent off to middle-of-nowhere Maine. Seph quickly learns that not all is as it seems when the headmaster turns out to be a wizard, who offers to train him. But he will only train him if Seph will agree to some sort of blood sharing, creepy ceremony that Seph is just unwilling to participate in. Thus begins the school year from hades where Seph is dogged by constant nightmares, pressure from the other wizard students (aka alumni), and eventually beaten in an attempt to get him to conform. When he finally escapes, he is forced to lay low in Trinity, OH, which was named a safe-place in the first book. When a conference between all the weir is called, will Seph be able to stop his former headmaster from taking over everything?

I really liked The Warrior Heir, and I was excited to see that my new library had the sequel on the shelves. I think I liked this one just as much or more than the first.

Seph was an interesting character to follow. He grew up knowing that he was a wizard, but the sorceress who raised him had deep seated issues with wizards (as is common) and didn't teach him how to do anything with his powers. When she died, his guardian (an unknown attorney in London) begins shipping him to various schools where he is always kicked out. My favorite incident that got him kicked out of school was the wolves he set on the nuns in Philadelphia. The image just made me smile :) Seph is a particularly powerful wizard and he desperately wants to learn to control his powers. That's what made his headmaster's offer so frightening - it's something he wants, but he is unable to give the full commitment the headmaster requires. Fortunately, Seph also has a good head on his shoulders and was able to avoid getting linked to him.

I thought Madison, Seph's "girlfriend" (in quotes because they only kind of date) in Trinity was also really interesting. She is non-magical, but has some sort of special magic-related ability, which adds a really interesting new dimension to the world Chima has created. I was sad that by the end of the book she was avoiding Seph - she was the one that wanted to use her gift. Hopefully, it is just some female drama that will resolve itself in the next book.

All of the major players from Warrior Heir make an appearance in this book as well. More is learned about Aunt Linda and Leander Hastings' relationship. Most of which I found really interesting. Jack and Ellen are still battling it out, and Will and Finch are around too.

There are parts of this book that I found slightly disturbing. Mainly the blood ceremony that Seph was asked to participate in. Because Seph calls it off, we don't see any of it, but the feeling and tone of that particular chapter kind of creeped me out. Other than that though, this book has lots of adventure, is fast-paced, and I would highly recommend it!

4 out of 5 stars


Laura H said...

Ok I admit when you reviewed Warrior Heir I scrolled on by. I'm not into magic stories (except the great Harry) but now you got me interested. You havent lend me astray yet. So I'm goint to give them a try.

KT said...

I really liked this series because of how different it was than Harry. It seems like there are a bunch of super similar Harry-like stories out there right now, and this one was quite different. I hope you'll like it - let me know!