The Enchanter Heir
by Cinda Williams Chima
Disney-Hyperion, ISBN-10 1423144341, $18.99 hardcover, October 2013
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.
Remember The Heir Chronicles? Remember the huge crush you had on Jack Swift? Well, guess what? The series we love has returned!
I went into this story with extreme reservations. I loved the first three books, but then Chima wrapped the series up and went off to write other books. Suddenly, years later, she returns to the Heirs? What if she’d lost touch with the feel of the series? You know how you can read a wonderful book but then the sequels aren’t good and it casts a pall over the first book forever? I could never bear for that to happen with this series. What Jack Swift and I had was too special. *sniff*
I worried for nothing. If anything, book 4 may be better than the first three, and we all know that’s saying something. The plot is more complex, Chima creates a new scenario but stays true to her world, and she doesn’t fall into the trap of trying to freshen up the series with current fads. No dystopia here, folks.
What I’ve always appreciated about Chima is her character building. Emma and Jonah are no exceptions. They’re complex, flawed, developed people. Of course, former lead characters show up here, since they’re all in very powerful positions in the magical world. Chima hasn’t lost touch with those characters, either, and I’m sure we’ll all be relieved to learn that Jack and Ellen are still madly in love and still beating the crap out of each other.
The one thing that may irritate readers of the first three books? Say hello, cliffhanger! While the other three books were companions rather than sequels, this new segment falls into the recent vogue of leaving the reader in the lurch. I think we’re all used to that by now, though.
Recommend to: Fantasy fans, fans of the first three books, action fans
To buy or not to buy: Buy! Buy, buy, buy.