Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Review: Sword by Realm Lovejoy


By Realm Lovejoy

Evil lurks. Camelot sits, vulnerable. The fate of a future king hangs in the balance.

After surviving a string of brutal trials, sixteen-year-old Morgan le Fay is an official member of Camelot. But beneath its shining fa├žade, Camelot is a crumbling government where loyalties are divided.

Nobody believes Morgan’s suspicions that enemies are closing in. Prince Arthur, a boy more interested in playing video games than ruling, will not listen to her, and neither will Lancelot, Camelot’s head of security. Even Morgan's friend Merlin refuses to take action.

When Morgan discovers that someone is plotting to assassinate the future king, she must take her destiny—and his—into her own hands. With the sword Excalibur beckoning in the distance, Morgan embarks on a seemingly impossible mission. And before her journey ends, everyone will know what she is truly capable of . . .

In this second book in the LE FAY series, author Realm Lovejoy takes readers deep into the heart of a splintering Camelot. 

Genres: Young Adult, Retellings, Fantasy

Publication Date: November 10, 2015

Series: Le Fay (book 2)

My Rating: 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I loved the first book in the Le Fay series. Dearly. It's still one of my favorite indie books of all time--BUT I think Sword was even better. Yes, you read that right, better. No second book slump whatsoever, which is pretty rare. The characters, plot, the various emotions...everything was just beautiful.

I enjoyed reading about Morgan in the first book mostly because she was such an intriguing character. That intrigue continues in Storm, but more so. The book really delves into her mental state; there's a lot of focus on her emotions, which I loved but at times I could not stand because I just wanted her to be okay is that too much to ask. (That goes to show how emotionally invested in this series I am, so not necessarily a bad thing.) There are some shocking reveals about her past in this book, which I did not see coming at all. These reveals really added to her relationship with Prince Arthur.

Prince Arthur was a character I had no real feelings for in Henge, mostly because he was not shown very often. That changes in Storm, and I ended up really loving him. He's a very complicated character; not spoiled like he originally seems to be, but instead a very damaged kid. He and Morgan have a complicated, yet endearing, relationship. The way this plays into his personality is very interesting to see, and it adds a bit of ambiguity to how his character will turn out in the next book.

Merlin...I cannot describe how I feel about Merlin. He summons up a well of mixed emotions in me. I can't really say I want Morgan and him to end up together--I think their relationship has become a bit too complicated and borderline-toxic for that to happen, so sorry to anyone who ships them but I am rooting against that. However, despite my reservations on that end, I really do like reading about him, because he's not a black-or-white character. Sometimes I will hate him and sometimes I will feel extremely sorry for him. My feelings for him have not really changed since the last book.

BUT...LANCELOT. LANCELOT IS NOW ONE OF MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS AND I SHIP HIM AND MORGAN I SHIP IT SO HARD. I thought he was a bit boring in Henge, but seeing him care for Morgan and be so tender to her really awakened my feelings for him. He is a precious person, and I want him and Morgan to be happy forever together.

The plot was fantastically executed. There were some very tense moments; up until the very end, I was not sure how the book would end. (Spoiler, highlight to see) Even though I knew there was another book after this one, I was 90% convinced at one point that Morgan was going to die. That seems stupid to write in hindsight, but the author was very good at keeping me guessing. (end spoiler) In most second-books-in-a-series, the plot kind of drags--it's more of a bridge from the first book to the second book than its own entity. In Sword, the book wastes no time; there is action right from the start, and even when the book slows down a bit, there are revelations and emotionally-packed scenes that kept me interested.

I cannot wait to finish the rest of the Le Fay series. If the next book is as good as this one, I know I will love it. Even if you have never read the Arthurian legends--or, like me, you read them when you were eight, thought they were dumb, and subsequently forgot most of the story--I guarantee you will still be able to love these wonderful, wonderful books.