Cinda Williams Chima's series The Heir Chronicles does the fantasy-masquerade trope whereby it insists that a historical event actually had magic behind the scenes. Specifically, the Wars of the Roses were apparently fought between opposing wizard houses. While wizards (and the larger magical community) have gone underground since, the houses of the Red and White Rose are maintained. They figure into the story as the primary non-protagonist factions.

Is there any significance to which wizards are in which houses, or is it largely arbitrary? In other words, does it make more story sense to have the emblems this way around, instead of the other? As a first-time reader I simply accepted that there were two warring factions. It was easy enough to track which wizards were on the same side as Jessamine Longbranch (the first Rose wizard that gets a real scene) and which were on the other, with Geoffrey Wylie (the first Rose wizard to try to kill a protagonist). However, now I wonder whether there was some reason the houses were set up as they are. Do the colors or the historical background connect especially well to the houses as presented in the series?

I would prefer for answers to restrict themselves to the original trilogy (The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, The Dragon Heir) as the other two are sort of their own duology, without the dueling houses looming in the background.


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