The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
4Q 4P M/J/S
(Why is there a shortcut/toolbar icon for bolding and italics, but not underlining? I can make it do an underline for the title, but only if I code it myself. Is underlining a thing of the past or something? How annoying!)
What if you found out at the age of sixteen that you weren't who you always thought you were? What if you found out that the medication you've been taking every day all your life isn't really to keep your heart healthy, but is actually a magic potion that keeps you hidden from people who want to kill you or kidnap you? What if you forgot to take that medicine one morning, and accidentally released a burst of power as a result? What if you found out that that one little mistake put you right in the middle of a deadly game of Wizards and Warriors?
That's exactly what happens to Jack when he forgets to take the medicine he's taken ever since he was a baby. It's weird, really. As far as he can tell, there's absolutely nothing wrong with his heart and never has been. But he's been told that he had an operation on his heart as a baby, and sure enough, there really is a scar on his chest. But there's never been a problem. He's even made the varsity soccer squad. So he doesn't worry much the day he forgets to take the medicine, except for dreading what his mother will say. In fact, he actually feels better, a little...stronger? A little more...aware? Something, anyhow. He goes to soccer practice feeling pretty good, until Garrett Lobeck starts giving him grief. But what happens to Garrett isn't something Jack tries to do. It just...happens. Jack sticks his arms out to fend off Garrett, a burst of power leaps from his fingers, and Garrett goes flying into the goal. Jack didn't even touch him!
Now the secret is out. Jack's no ordinary boy. He is, in fact, a warrior. In the next few weeks, Jack tracks down the magical sword destined for him, is nearly killed several times, begins his warrior training, and maybe, just maybe, falls a little bit in love. He discovers he has many loyal friends and protectors. And he also discovers that there's even more to learn about his birth and his birthright. He'd better learn it all fast, because wizards from all over the world felt his blast of power, and now they know where to look for the boy who is possibly the very last undiscovered warrior left. The wizards long ago divided into two camps, and both camps are desperate to get their hands on him. Jack is a pawn in a very deadly game, because he holds the key to their power. He is to be the warrior champion of whichever house gets to him first. Think gladiators and the Coliseum. Think savage medieval jousts. Think mortal combat, fighting to the death for a cause that is not your own.
This book is a fast-paced adventure, with sword fights, martial arts, battles to the death, narrow escapes, unexpected twists, and an ending that hints at more to come.