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Book review: 'The Enchanter Heir' offers a unique twist on zombies, assassins, magic

Published: Saturday, Sept. 28 2013 12:30 p.m. MDT

"The Enchanter Heir" is by Cinda Williams Chima. She will be in Provo and Salt Lake City for book signings this week. (Disney Hyperion)

“THE ENCHANTER HEIR,” by Cinda Williams Chima, Hyperion Books, $18.99, 455 pages (f) (14 and up)

“The Enchanter Heir” by Cinda Williams Chima, whose Seven Realms series and several books in the Heir Chronicles series have been New York Times best-seller lists, takes a unique approach to zombies, assassins and magic.

The novel tells the story of 17-year-old Jonah Kinlock. Kinlock and his fellow academy students are the lone survivors of a massacre of their community that occurred when they were children. Although Kinlock and his comrades lived through the massacre, they were not left unscathed.

Like the other survivors, Kinlock was blessed and cursed with unique magical gifts, making him the perfect assassin of the undead survivors of his community that are terrorizing the world.

Cinda Williams Chima is the author of Cinda Williams Chima is the author of "The Enchanter Heir." She will be in Provo and Salt Lake City for book signings this week. (Augusten Burroughs)

Kinlock’s story unravels as he is confronted with the moral dilemma of protecting the people around him and rescuing the spirits of his dead kin.

As the latest of the Heir Chronicles, a series that includes three other stand-alone, but related novels, "The Enchanter Heir” is set in the same contemporary world. Although it includes cameos of characters from the other novels, it is not necessary to read them to enjoy and understand “The Enchanter Heir.”

The story is unique and compelling, but at times choppy. A blues music theme runs throughout the pages, making the story perfect for blues music lovers.

The book contains mild swearing and an occasional sexual innuendo. It also contains a significant amount of descriptive violence relating to killing zombies. The book is appropriate for a mature audience.

While the story is intriguing, it has a tendency to leave out seemingly significant details. In addition, the storyline doesn’t move far over the pages and it ends on a large cliffhanger.

The character development is done well, but details relating to the past are obscured. The story follows Kinlock’s discovery of the events surrounding the massacre of his community. Unfortunately, he doesn’t learn much by the end of the book, so neither does the reader.

If you go ...

What: Cinda Williams Chima book signing

When: Tuesday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com, www.cindachima.com

Note: Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of "The Enchanter Heir" from The King's English.

Also ...

When: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 7 p.m.

Where: Provo City Library ballroom, 550 N. University Ave., Provo

Web: www.provolibrary.com, www.cindachima.com, kingsenglish.com

Email: ajones@desnews.com

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