Serious Series Love: The Heir Series by Cinda Williams Chima

I read the first book in the Warrior Heir series more than 10 years ago. I picked it up, sat down and consumed the book. Excitedly, I grabbed the second book and….lost interest. I couldn’t remember why but, after a bit of insomnia, I decided to jump back into the series.

This series was a wonderful and wild ride.


BOOK ONE: THE WARRIOR HEIR

An epic battle between good and evil…

Before he knew about the Roses, 16-year-old Jack lived an unremarkable life in the small Ohio town of Trinity. Only the medicine he has to take daily and the thick scar above his heart set him apart from the other high schoolers. Then one day Jack skips his medicine. Suddenly, he is stronger, fiercer, and more confident than ever before. And it feels great—until he loses control of his own strength and nearly kills another player during soccer team tryouts.

Soon, Jack learns the startling truth about himself: he is Weirlind, part of an underground society of magical people who live among us. At their helm sits the feuding houses of the Red Rose and the White Rose, whose power is determined by playing The Game—a magical tournament in which each house sponsors a warrior to fight to the death. The winning house rules the Weir.

As if his bizarre heritage isn’t enough, Jack finds out that he’s not just another member of Weirlind—he’s one of the last of the warriors—at a time when both houses are scouting for a player. from Goodreads.

BOOK TWO: THE WIZARD HEIR

Sixteen-year-old Seph McCauley has spent the past three years getting kicked out of one exclusive private school after another. And it’s not his attitude that’s the problem: it’s the trail of magical accidents – lately, disasters – that follow in his wake. Seph is a wizard, orphaned and untrained, and his powers are escalating out of control.

After causing a tragic fire at an after-hours party, Seph is sent to the Havens, a secluded boys’ school on the coast of Maine. Gregory Leicester, the headmaster, promises to train Seph in magic and initiate him into his mysterious order of wizards. But Seph’s enthusiasm dampens when he learns that training comes at a steep cost, and that Leicester plans to use his students’ powers to serve his own mysterious agenda. from Goodreads

BOOK THREE: THE DRAGON HEIR

The covenant that was meant to keep the wizard wars at bay has been stolen, and the sanctuary of Trinity must prepare for attack. Seph monitors the Weirwalls, while Jack and Ellen train their army of ghosts to face an onslaught of wizards. Even Anaweir Will and Fitch are setting traps around the town’s perimeter. To Jason Haley, it feels as though everyone but him has a role to play. Then he finds a powerful talisman – a huge opal called the Dragonheart – buried in a cave. When its power washes over him, he knows he’s destined for a greater purpose than anyone ever imagined.

Madison Moss can hears the seductive call of the Dragonheart also, but she has other things on her mind. Maddie’s been leaking dark magic ever since absorbing the blow that was meant to kill her boyfriend, Seph. If anyone finds out, she’ll be banished from the sanctuary – and Seph – forever. Meanwhile, Trinity’s enemies mean to win the war with the help of the Dragonheart, and they know that Madison Moss is the only one who can get it for them.

Moral compasses spin out of control as a final battle storms through a town that was meant to be a refuge. With so much to lose, what will Jason and Maddie be willing to fight for – and what will they sacrifice? It’s everyone for himself in this thrilling conclusion to the Heir trilogy. from Goodreads.

BOOK FOUR: THE ENCHANTER HEIR

They called it the Thorn Hill Massacre—the brutal attack on a once-thriving Weir community. Though Jonah Kinlock lived through it, he did not emerge unscathed: like the other survivors, Jonah possesses unique magical gifts that set him apart from members of the mainline guilds. At seventeen, Jonah has become the deadliest assassin in Nightshade, a global network that hunts the undead. He is being groomed to succeed Gabriel Mandrake, the sorcerer, philanthropist, and ruthless music promoter who established the Thorn Hill Foundation, the public face of Nightshade. More and more, Jonah’s at odds with Gabriel’s tactics and choice of targets. Desperate to help his dying brother Kenzie, Jonah opens doors that Gabriel prefers to keep closed.

Emma Claire Greenwood grew up worlds away, raised by a grandfather who taught her music rather than magic. An unschooled wild child, she runs the streets until the night she finds her grandfather dying, gripping a note warning Emma that she might be in danger. The clue he leaves behind leads Emma into Jonah’s life—and a shared legacy of secrets and lingering questions.

Was Thorn Hill really a peaceful commune? Or was it, as the Wizard Guild claims, a hotbed of underguild terrorists? The Wizards’ suspicions grow when members of the mainline guilds start turning up dead. They blame Madison Moss and the Interguild Council, threatening the fragile peace brokered at Trinity.

Racing against time, Jonah and Emma work to uncover the truth about Thorn Hill, amid growing suspicion that whoever planned the Thorn Hill Massacre might strike again. from Goodreads.

BOOK FIVE: THE SORCERERS HEIR

SYNOPSIS

The delicate peace between Wizards and the underguilds (Warriors, Seers, Enchanters, and Sorcerers) still holds by the thinnest of threads, but powerful forces inside and outside the guilds threaten to sever it completely.

Emma and Jonah are at the center of it all. Brought together by their shared history, mutual attraction, and a belief in the magic of music, they now stand to be torn apart by new wounds and old betrayals. As they struggle to rebuild their trust in each other, Emma and Jonah must also find away to clear their names as the prime suspects in a series of vicious murders. It seems more and more likely that the answers they need lie buried in the tragedies of the past. The question is whether they can survive long enough to unearth them. 

Old friends and foes return as new threats arise in this stunning and revelatory conclusion to the beloved and bestselling Heir Chronicles series. from Goodreads.


MY THOUGHTS

Starting with the first book, I think the biggest disclosure I can make is that I thought this series was middle grade. Through that lens, the more simplistic themes of The Warrior Heir made sense to me but many have complained that this book is the series outlier. I just loved Jack. He is so good. I loved that he had his friends support through what must have been the weirdest experience. At every turn, Jack demonstrates that being kind is better than anything else.

Jack, the main character, is so good. His friends, his town, his whole high school experience just seemed so lovely and pure. I mean, until the whole magical-guilds-using-him-as-a-pawn thing. This book was the perfect mixture of action and feelings and I loved being with the people in this magical world.

Since I thought that the Warrior Heir was middle grade, imagine my surprise when the series went off the rails from the very beginning of The Wizard Heir. Not only is Jack not the main character but he is no where to be seen for far too long.

And Seph took some getting used to. Especially after enjoying the adventures of Jack and his pure goodness. The second book had a lot of action but most of it was created by tension and I loved it. I was relieved when familiar characters started to pop up. The synopsis for this book also covers approximately the first 1/3 so…buckle up!

By the third book I had already picked up on the theme of highlighting a different magical heir. In hindsight…..duh. But the series was far from formulaic. The Dragon Heir is finally focused on a female heir and Madison had my support. The synopsis clearly states that the series was supposed to be a trilogy and this book definitely wrapped up many of the larger themes presented in The Warrior Heir.

The Enchanter Heir and the Sorcerer’s Heir are weird. There. I said it. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy them! But it makes sense that The Dragon Heir was written as the end of the trilogy because the next two books take a whole different approach to Trinity and wade into what is supposed to be a historic tragedy in the world of the Weir. A tragedy that was never mentioned in the first three books but I am a forgiving reader and I went with it. These two books do feel more like a spin off than additions to the series to me. I still loved them! Just be prepared for the weird.

I’m not sure why I chose to hold onto this series for so long but I am glad I finally returned to Trinity to see how everything worked out. The series really surprised me and I was genuinely drawn to so many characters and story lines. I can honestly say that each book was unique and, while I had suspicions about the way the story would go, the author kept surprising me.

One thing is for certain, this is the last time I try to do a whole series review. This is just scratching the surface of the wonder and fun these books have to offer. Also, I never know what to do about spoilers! How can you truly talk about subsequent books in a series without spoiling the ending of the other books? From now on, I am going to take them one book at a time. Whew.


Tell me, please! How do you talk about series books?


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