Although published all the way back in 2006, this book remains one of my favorites. The first of four books in the series, with a fifth coming out this fall, The Warrior Heir was written by Cinda Williams Chima, and follows the story of Jackson Swift, who is believed to be the only warrior heir alive.
The story is about five powerful guilds: the Wizard guild, the Enchanter guild, the Warrior guild, the Sorcerer guild, and the Seer guild. Each guild has special powers that they are known for: warriors are the best physical fighters and battle strategists; seers can scry the past, present, or future; sorcerers mix potion, poisons, and make magical artifacts; enchanters are the most attractive, can entrance other people and are experts in persuasion; and the wizards are the masters of spells and charms, making them the most powerful of the guilds. Because of their power, wizards rule the other guilds, at the other guilds’ expense.
How do you know which guild you are in? At birth, some people have a stone underneath their hearts, called a weirstone, which determines your guild. If you don’t have a stone, you are anaweir (pronounced “unaware”) and usually don’t notice anything about the guilds. Not all stones are created equal though; some people have a more powerful stone, and thus are more proficient in their given area.
This book follows Jack as he tries to make sense of this new world and how he fits in. Some highly detailed battle moments, a few touching romantic scenes, as well as plenty of drama are prominent in this book and the other books in the series as the action heats up. Although only the first book, it sets a very high standard for the rest of the series, as well as any modern-day fantasy novel.