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The Enchanter Heir (Heir Chronicles, The) (The Heir Chronicles) Hardcover – October 1, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—The fourth installment to Chima's "Heir Chronicles" centers around two teens, Jonah Kinlock and Emma Greenwood. Ten years earlier, a massacre killed off all adults, leaving just child survivors known as savants, who are mutants endowed with skills that, once brought under control, can be used in ways to contribute to the survival of the community. Many of the them, however, require heavy medication and rarely live to adulthood. Those that die turn into shades, zombielike creatures that retain the memories of their past life and inhabit dead bodies. Jonah is a talented musician, enchanter, and trained assassin. His skin is poisonous and he can kill from a simple touch; his job is to rid the world of shades. Emma is also a talented musician, but unlike Jonah, she is not aware of her special abilities. The teens are star-crossed lovers with overwhelming obstacles blocking their paths. As Emma's world slowly converges with Jonah's, both of their lives spin into a chaotic downward spiral. Scattered with musical references throughout, the book also tackles serious themes of disability and discrimination. The cliff-hanger ending will leave readers restless for more. For those in need of a quick refresher, the author provides a series guide on her website.—Sabrina Carnesi, Crittenden Middle School, Newport News, VA
Someone is killing wizards and framing Nightshade, the secret organization whose job it is to track down undead souls and dispatch them. Jonah, a 17-year-old assassin for Nightshade, is also on the trail of wizard killers, but for a different reason: he wants to know who was behind the Thorn Hill disaster, where thousands of adult sorcerers and nearly as many children died. Meanwhile, teen musical genius Emma, in search of her sorcerer father, lands directly in Jonah’s path. He is smitten, but can he save her from those who think she knows the secret to Thorn Hill? There is plenty of background information in the interstices of this multifaceted narrative, but readers new to the Heir Chronicles series may occasionally have difficulty connecting all the dots. Intriguing plot and subplot teasers abound, and the book ends in a cliff-hanger that will have readers roaring for the next entry. Chima continues to excel at building tension and populating her well-told tales with new and returning characters we want to know better. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: It’s a big series with a big following. Author tour, book trailer, and more promise to keep the swords a-swinging. Grades 8-11. --Cindy Welch
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Initially I was a bit disappointed that the story didn't focus on previous beloved characters (i.e., "old friends" of a sort) but I soon stopped fretting as the storyline progressed, and I became immersed in the new character development and flavor of the book: establishing new heros (along with one or two of the requisite reluctant ones) as well as introducing a brand new cast of delicious villians, potential villians, and questionable villians - some human ... and some not quite so. Old "faces" did make a few cameos - however if there is a flaw to be had with the story, it is that there were not nearly enough of them (they were quite brief, and the attempts seemed stiff, rudimentary at best) but I was still quite happy to "see" them nonetheless. I will say that this detail is minor enough, and hardly worth docking it over.
The continuation of the Heir story looks like it will turn out pretty promising. I do recognize that it will be tough competition to measure up to the old Heir books, but I'm still excited to see how they fare up. And, I really, really hope that we don't have to wait a couple of years to read the next one! Talk about a cliff hanger!