November 18, 2014 by mmileti
Welcome to the Book Tour for Henge by Realm Lovejoy. Don’t forget to check out the GIVEAWAY at the end of the post! Henge is a YA Fantasy that is a modern spin-off of the Arthurian legends featuring Morgan Le Fay as the protagonist. Here is the link to check out the rest of the tour, which consists of reviews, interviews & guest posts: schedule
About the book:
Modern-day Camelot. Where knights no longer carry swords. Magic is dangerous. And those who seek control are not to be trusted.
Sixteen-year-old Morgan le Fay is a fire user. An ordinary girl with an extraordinary skill, she has the ability to create and command fire at will. Her dream is to become the Maven—the right hand of the future King Arthur. In the chance of a lifetime, Morgan is selected to join Arthur’s Round, an elite group of young magic users from which the new Maven will be chosen.
Along with the other fire, water, and wind users in Arthur’s Round, Morgan is rigorously trained and tested. The handsome Merlin, a brilliant water user, takes a particular interest in her. Is his friendship to be trusted, or is Merlin simply trying to win the position of Maven for himself? Among the many rivals Morgan faces is the current Maven, Mordred, who seems determined to see her fail.
But Morgan has a secret—years ago, her mother was executed for using fire magic, and Morgan’s desire for justice makes her more than ready to take on the challenge before her. Can she prevail in Camelot’s tests of survival and magic? Only time—and Morgan’s powerful fire—will tell.
Realm Lovejoy’s modern Arthurian series features one of literature’s most complicated and powerful female figures. Henge is the first book in the LE FAY series, and—like Morgan le Fay’s magic—it is sure to dazzle and amaze.
We pull into the train station and step out of the car. Father takes my luggage. We walk to platform two. The cold bites down into the space between the collar of my coat and my neck, and I pull it around me tighter. Underneath my coat the weight of the Arthur’s Round badge over my chest reminds me where I’m going. A few days ago, a package from Camelot arrived. Along with a giant stack of contracts to sign, it contained several sets of the wardrobe I must wear every day: charcoal blazer, skirt, a dark red tie—the official Pendragon color—and a circular, golden brooch. The sun bounced off the edges of the brooch. The letter A in the center shone, and around the A were little designs of ivy and flowers. Last night, I held it in my hand until I went to bed and couldn’t stop staring at it. Every time I got my fingerprint on the surface, I would take it to the sink to wash it and make the badge sparkle like new again.
I’m really, really going to Camelot.
I take a breath and shiver. “I still can’t believe they picked me.”
Father, who is turned away from me, looks down the track, waiting for the train to come. “Maybe they can’t deny talent. At the end of the day, Camelot wants powerful people to join their forces. In their minds, it’s better you work for them than…” He trails off.
All that matters to me is that Camelot saw my potential. I smile as fire energy rushes through my veins. I take my hands out of my pockets and cup them both together. A glow appears between the spaces of my fingers—a small fire. Warmth spreads through my cold skin, slowly making its way into my freezing bones.
Next to me, a kid is holding on to his mother’s hand. He points at me and whispers to his mother, “Look, Mother. That girl is a fire user.” The mom ignores him.
I have been a huge fan of Arthurian legend for as long as I can remember. I started out with T.A. Barron’s novels on Merlin and then in middle school graduated to Mary Stewart’s novels on Camelot. In high school I first read Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon, an Arthurian legend told from the perspective of all female characters, and since then I have taken a class in college that had a unit on the subject, and have read and re-read any Arthurian novel that I could possibly get my hands on. You can probably understand why I was both excited and apprehensive when I found out about Henge, which is a re-telling of the legend in a modern day setting. Would the story transfer well to a modern setting, or would the book end up as a weak attempt to duplicate Harry Potter with mythical characters? Thankfully I really enjoyed Lovejoy’s unique take on my favorite tale, and I was impressed with her storytelling ability, world building, and her capacity to make my favorite legend come alive and capture my imagination all over again. Henge is a novel that will be perfect both for readers that are familiar with Arthurian legend and those that are new to the subject, and will delight anyone that is looking for a new series to become invested in.
This novel has all the components that make a novel thrilling as well as engrossing. The plot is fast paced and full of twists and turns, and there are mysterious magical “accidents” that seem to follow Morgan le Fey and that manage to imbue the story with plenty of mystery. In addition, the competition between the candidates in Arthur’s Round makes the relationships between the characters complex and compelling. Throughout much of the novel Morgan seems to have all of Camelot against her, and every day becomes a challenge to survive the politics and rivalry that permeates every aspect of life in Camelot. Lovejoy did a wonderful job of reviving the story of Arthur Pendragon and company with new life, and I love that she augmented the story by including characters found in legends from the same Medieval time period, like that of Tristan and Isolde. It could not have been easy to adapt this ancient story to fit so well in a modern setting, but Lovejoy makes this transition seem effortless.
The magic in Henge is based off simple concepts (that of the elements- water, wind, fire, ext.), but the execution of the magic is intricate and unique. I was also impressed with Lovejoy’s focus on how magic affects the society and politics of Morgan’s world. These types of world building details are what really makes a story come alive for the reader. Also, the interactions between Morgan and the secondary characters are seem natural and are full of plenty of nuance. One of my literary pet-peeves is when conversations and relationships between characters feel forced or unnatural, and I am glad the characters in this novel avoid this pitfall, and instead feel like real people with complicated morals and desires.
There is one aspect of this novel that troubled me, but it resolved itself slowly throughout the story. My issue was with the pacing, and by this I do not mean the profusion of exciting and engaging scenes, which this novel happens to have in abundance. Instead, I felt that some scenes in the beginning of the novel were unnecessarily short, and Morgan seemed to dance from setting to setting before I could fully absorb what had happened. This issue is definitely one of taste, as I tend to like my novels to go in-depth with descriptions and details, but either way, I became more engrossed in each setting as the story went on, and it did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel overall. This is a novel that I would recommend to both YA and adult readers that love fantasy and re-tellings of myths. The Le Fay series is sure to delight readers who are searching for a new series to capture the imagination, and a story that is good enough to loose yourself in.
My Rating: 7.5/10
I received a copy of this novel for review from CBB Book Promotions and the author in return for an honest review, and I want to thank them for the opportunity to read such a fun and engaging story!
About the Author:
Realm Lovejoy is an American writer and an artist. She grew up in both Washington State and the Japanese Alps of Nagano, Japan. Currently, she lives in Seattle and works as an artist in the video game industry. CLAN is her first book. You can find out more about her and her book at www.realmlovejoy.com
Find the Author:
signed paperback of Henge + swag (US)
4 paperbacks of Henge (US)
6 ebooks (INT)
1 ebook + $20 Gift Card (INT)
You can enter the giveaway here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway