Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Hyperion, 2006.
Pages: 450 p.
Source: Library ebook
The story opens with a prologue that immediately sucks you in and leaves you wanting more. Unfortunately you have to wait quite a while before you get it. We're introduced to a mysterious world where children have to hide from evil wizards. A young boy, Lee, discovers his family has been murdered and watches his warrior sister get stolen. He vows revenge. Fast forward 100 years. A heart surgeon is attempting to steal one of her infant patients when the boy's aunt discovers it and convinces her not to take him as a baby but to wait to claim him when he's older. The main plot begins sixteen years later.
Jack has had to take strange medicine everyday for his entire life because of a heart surgery when he was just a baby. He's always had to be extra careful and his mom has always worried. One day he forgets his medicine and discovers he feels stronger and more capable. Unfortunately his new strength puts him in danger. Jack is part of a magical family--wizards, enchanters, warriors, sorcerers--that each have magical stones designating their power. Wizards have always been in charge and feuding with one another. Rather than continue killing each other in bloody wars, wizards have devised a game in which warriors will fight for them in a tournament. There are fewer and fewer warriors born, mostly because the wizards keep capturing and killing them. Jack is one of the few, or possibly the only, warrior left. Which makes him a very valuable target and in immediate danger.
Most of the story is Jack finding out about his heritage and training and running from bad guys. It's a little slow. But once Jack finally makes it to the tournament the story picks up speed and is difficult to put down. This is an interesting world with lots of potential. I'm looking forward to continuing the series with The Wizard Heir next.
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