Title: The Wizard Heir
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Series? Yes, #2 in The Heir Chronicles
Publisher: Hyperion Paperbacks (2008)
Rating: 4/6 – I really liked it!
Synopsis from cover: Sixteen-year-old Seph McCauley has spent the last 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 wicked agenda.
My Initial Thoughts/Rambling: It took me a while to finish this one, since life right now is apparently insisting on a lack of reading time, but once I finally sat down to it I finished half the book in about two hours! This book is second in the series, and infinitely better than the first book, The Warrior Heir (which you can read my review for here). Possible Spoilers Ahead.
What did I think about the characters? I think the main reason I liked The Wizard Heir (I just realized that Warrior Heir and Wizard Heir make the same acronym… so much for my attempt at abbreviation!) was because of the main character. Seph was far more engaging than Jack from Warrior Heir. Maybe it’s because he’s a wizard? I do like casters. In all my World of Warcraft years I’ve never been a melee sort of girl… Shadow Priest over here! And when I wasn’t a priest I played a hunter (long range damage with flaming arrows). Yeah, this is 100% a deep rooted attraction and I’m totally okay with that. Wizards for the win! Plus, Seph was a bit more faceted that Jack, and had a lot of character growth too. He was confident (even a bit arrogant), powerful, and witty, but also sensitive, realistically affected by his circumstances, and intelligent. Brain over brawn, which is another reason I prefer the wizard (Seph) over the warrior (Jack).
As for the other characters, there were a few new introductions, but a lot of old characters that we met in Warrior Heir that made their return. It took me a while to remember who was who, but once I figured it all out I settled right back into their personalities and roles. It was nice seeing Linda, Hastings, Fitch, Will, Ellen, and Jack again, and I thought Chima brought them back into the story very organically: their presence was never forced. Oh, and my ship has sailed. The OTP is canon. I repeat: OTP is canon.
And the concept and plot? Concept: A+ for this, as before. The source of the Weirs power lies in their Weirstones, set behind their heart and different for each class of the Weir. Wizards, Seers, Warriors, Enchanters, and Sorcerers all make their return, and then we meet a new type of magical being (not sure if she’s Weir or not?? Time to read The Dragon Heir!) called an Elicitor. Oh the lore in this series is making me drool! Honestly, give Chima all the awards for originality.
Plot: This book seemed to flow a lot steadier than Warrior Heir, and I think it’s partially due to the fact that all of her mythology has already been established, and Seph knows he’s a wizard from the get-go. There no bumbling about as he tries to figure out who he is (well there’s a bit of that, just in another way) and what his abilities are for the first half of the book. The entire book is dedicated to the continuation of the plot with Leicester and the different Guilds.
What about the writing style? Not much to say here, other than Chima needs to keep writing. She’s engaging and descriptive, but not prone to run-on sentences or milling about. Plus, it’s refreshing to read a book from a believable male POV – a rare occurrence in teen books these days!
Anything else you’d like to add? I can’t wait to read The Dragon Heir now! A secondary character from Wizard Heir is the main character in Dragon Heir, and he was one I had a bit of a soft spot for. We’ll see how he fares!
Find the book at:
Barnes and Noble (paperback): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wizard-heir-cinda-williams-chima/1100328235?ean=9781423104889
Book Depository (paperback): http://www.bookdepository.com/Wizard-Heir-Cinda-Williams-Chima/9781423104889