October 14, 2008

Cinda Williams Chima: The Dragon Heir

I was incredibly eager to get into the third of Cinda Williams Chima's The Heir series that I wouldn't even read the jacket for fear of any sort of spoilers, worrying that it was the last in the series. It turns out that I was worried with good reason. The series ends here with The Dragon Heir, the last in a Young Adult fantasy trilogy some might describe as Harry Potterish but not really quite at all.

Everyone has their different class in The Heir trilogy from the bottom, warriors, to the top, wizards. Throughout the series those who are from different classes struggle and work together against those feeling they are justly dominate for much wanted and deserved peace and equality. In that aspect it's not fantasy at all. Bringing in the predicted magical battle following the events in The Wizard Heir is, however. The territory once deemed safe of dominance and injury now serves as the major setting and place of the final show down.

Just as the other books in this series this one switches points of view, the most interesting two being from Jason Haley's and Madison Moss's points of view. We learn a little more about each of these two characters between Madison's past and future as well as Jason's secret missions. We also learn more of the history to do with the Weir people (non-Anaweir, or for another word, non-Muggles). I didn't have a favorite point of view in this series unlike some other books I've read but ended a point of view to be just as satisfied to read the other's when the time would come.

I was not dissatisfied at all in my reading but remained eager to discover how it would end. I often wondered why the presence of Linda Downey and Hastings were away for so much as they were but see now that it wasn't their story. This tale would have been much different were they not away. I cried for someone as they reached their end, something that came as a surprise to me. There were a few other surprises as well.

SPOILER WARNING: Please do not read the section below about this book unless you have read J.K. Rowling's complete Harry Potter series. Thank you.

I met one of my friends from LibraryThing over the weekend and when we discussed this series which they had not yet read, they asked me if it was like Harry Potter. There are Anaweir similar to Rowling's Muggles. Like Rowling's created world, there are not just magical folk on the magical side (wizards, sorcerers, etc) but those with merely connections to what is magical (warriors, etc). There is a magical school, however, you can compare it not to Hogwarts but to Durmstrang or something worse like Hogwarts taken over by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. There isn't a set individual as the bad guy but a few magical people hoping to lead the world for the worst. These bad seeds will fight to the death but they are not nearly as horrible as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, an ultimate bad guy. There is not one set main character but many and though this series is merely three books and not seven, you become attached to normally-seen-as side characters. Chima didn't have to work that up over seven books time, or however many you read of the Harry Potter books before the first time you were crushed and sad by the turn of events in the books. I got teary and cried a little, but nothing has ever made me as much as the Harry Potter books, real tear-jerkers, the seventh and final of which had my eyes not simply leaking lightly but bawling for most of the time I read and times when I was couldn't read. The Heir is a very good series and I enjoyed it very much, more than many of the books I've read this year. I don't see it as another Harry Potter series. In my mind nothing can take it's place. It was more intense and further connected to some of our hearts.

50 / 52 books. 96% done!