CHIMA, Cinda Williams. The warrior heir. Hyperion. 426p. c2006. 0-7868-0960-4. $16.99. JS
The War of the Roses is not just a fact in a history book; it is the centuries-old feud between the houses of Weirland, an underground community of wizards, enchanters, and warriors who are born to carry out their destiny as part of a magical society. Sixteen-year-old Jack is an ordinary high school student, hanging with his best friends, trying out for the soccer team, and wondering what in the world girls are all about. His small Ohio town becomes ground zero for the next tournament to determine the ruling clan of the Weir, a fight to the death between warriors chosen by the houses of the Red Rose and White Rose. Although Jack was born to be a wizard, he has been secretly groomed to be a warrior, and once his status is revealed, each house tries to claim him for its own.
Filled with snippets of history, both English and American, the story cleverly entwines ancient magic and contemporary adolescence in a coming-of-age story that works on both levels. Characters are not always what they seem, and Jack's innocence is slowly peeled away until he takes responsibility for his own decisions, and his destiny. Michele Winship, Asst. Prof., Capital Univ., Columbus, OH