Release Date: 01/09/11
Before he knew about the Roses, 16-year-old Jack lived an unremarkable life in the small Ohio town of Trinity. Only the medicine he has to take daily and the thick scar above his heart set him apart from the other high-schoolers. At least, until one day Jack forgets his 'medicine'. Suddenly, he is stronger, fiercer, and more confident than ever before. And it feels great - right up to the moment when he loses control of his own strength and almost kills another player during the soccer team tryouts. An incident which proves to be just the beginning. Jack is about to learn the startling truth about himself: he is Weirlind; part of an underground society of magical people who live among us. At the head of this magical society sit the feuding houses of the Red and the White Rose, whose power is determined by playing The Game - a magical tournament in which each house sponsors a warrior to fight to the death. The winning house rules the Weir. As if his bizarre magical heritage isn't enough, Jack discovers that he's not just another member of Weirlind: he's one of the last of the warriors, and his power has manifested at a time when both houses are scouting for a player. Jack's performance on the soccer field has alerted the entire magical community to the fact that he's in Trinity. And until one of the houses is declared Jack's official sponsor, they'll stop at nothing to get Jack to fight for them ...
Having enjoyed Cinda’s other fantasy series, I was interested to see what she’d do with an Urban Fantasy and loved the way that she brought magic to the modern world with some similar touches to David Gemmell in this warrior based title. Add to this some decent characters that the reader can associate with as well as some dark touches that placed the reader in territory that was not only unfamiliar but had the fright factor added.
It’s cleverly written and its definitely a book that has all the right elements to include great pace, some wonderful lulls and peaks as well as cracking prose. It’ll be interesting to see what the other two titles in the series contain.
Release Date: 06/10/11
Seph McCauley has spent the past 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. Worse, as the magical accidents that plague him grow in intensity, Seph makes a discovery: the stories he's been told about his parents' life and death are fabrications. The people he most trusted have been lying to him. After causing a tragic fire at an after-hours party Seph is sent to the Havens, a secluded boy's 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. Maybe here he will find a community he can trust? But Seph's enthusiasm dampens when he learns that the training comes at a steep cost. Who can he trust, when everyone around him is keeping secrets? And where can he turn, when he finds himself at the centre of a war he may well not survive?
The second title in the Heir Chronicles and one that continues to build upon the success of the first by delving into another of the powerful dragon sects has its own share of problems, especially with the new rule changes from Cumbria taking the various peoples in a whole new direction with some angered at the diminishing of their own power within the races.
It’s clever, the characters have realistic hooks to bind them to the reader and when you add to this Cinda’s cracking pace, wonderful walkthrough plotline and a great overall arc with darker agenda’s beneath the surface of the whole its one that really has been a joy to explore and enjoy.