This book was full of surprises. I picked it up after a recommendation from my sister but I wasn't too jazzed about reading it. The big sword on the front was a turnoff for me. I know the old saying, “Don't judge a book by it's cover” but I was guilty anyway. After reading the first chapter I was intrigued and after the second I was hooked. The plot is fascinating. It follows the life of sixteen-year-old Jake, a seemingly normal boy whose only difference is he has to take medication daily for his heart, which underwent surgery when he was just a baby. One day he forgot his medication for the first time in his life and weird things happened. He noticed his vision was clearer and he was more powerful than before. Little did he know that this was the start of his new life. He later discovered that he was part of a magical community and was to serve as a warrior in an ancient tournament to determine who would rule that community. Along the way he gets into trouble a lot, trains fiercely, falls in love, and learns the truth about his world. It's a magnificent piece of fiction and a wonderful accomplishment for Chima, a first time writer of juvenile fiction.
Other reviews available: