by Realm Lovejoy(Le Fay #1)
Publication date: November 11th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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.
“Camelot meets Hogwarts meets Panem in this intriguing, well-written beginning to a planned YA series.”–Kirkus Reviews
My Rating: 4.5 stars
I am stunned at how amazing Henge was. It was refreshing, exciting, and I love Morgan. Really, I love everything about this story, but especially Morgan.
I have read the Arthurian legends before, but I was much younger and they were the simplified versions and they weren't retold very well so I don't remember much about them. I recognized a couple characters, but that was about it in this story. I think that helped me; reading this book not knowing about the characters in the original legends let me get to know them better, and I couldn't make any guesses about what would happen to them based on how their stories went in the actual stories.
And my, how I loved the characters. Morgan was refreshing to read about. She's a strong, independent, kick butt heroine, but not stereotypically so. The author made sure to give her a unique and well thought out personality. She has a goal to become Maven, and I loved how determined she was to achieve that. Morgan also is still dealing with the brutal death of her mother, and that comes into play and shows her more vulnerable side. Her friendship with Guinevere was also something I liked about her, which is really unexpected for me. Usually, I'm indifferent to 'friend' characters, but this time around I was not. And the tension between Morgan and Merlin...I ate it up.
Merlin is one of those characters where you're never sure what to think of them. I liked him, but then he would do something that made me suspicious. His relationship with Morgan was complicated to say the least. This is the kind of 'romance' I like to read about; where it's really uncertain if the characters actually will end up together, and the sappiness is kept down to a minimum. Honestly, calling it romance is a stretch, but whatever it technically was, I loved it.
A story that revolves around a school of magic can be hard to pull off without me immediately comparing it to Hogwarts, but I thought Henge definitely put its own spin on that. It focuses a lot more on the action then the regular school classes. And when I say action, I mean the heart-pounding kind that makes you not want to stop reading until the last sentence has been finished. And the plot twists at every turn...I was never, ever bored reading this book. My, it was fun.
The worldbuilding wasn't overdone nor underdone. It didn't feel artificial or info-dumpy; I was just kind of immersed in it. It's really hard to pull this off, and I was impressed with the way Henge did it seemingly effortlessly.
The writing was great too. It was told in first person, and since I loved Morgan as a character that probably helped. The way the story was told added to the tension of the already action packed scenes. It was so addicting.
I'll definitely be reading the next books in this series, and recommending this one to my friends. I can't wait to see what happens next! Definitely a must-read.
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