Henge by Maggie Hall
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Book Tour
Publication Date: November 11th 2014
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy. Magic, Friendship, Revenge, Family
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
Henge was a very surprising read!
Fact: I know shamefully extremely little on Camelot and everything related to King Arthur so, when I picked this book up, I expected it to enlighten me on the subject, even if only a little…And she did. Of course, this is a retelling, and a modern one let’s not forget so, surely, some things were modified or adapted but, overall, I got a good idea of King (Prince – because this is set before he became a king) Arthur’s destiny, of the Camelot court and the magic related to the world.
I thought about it, and I will not summarize the plot as I normally do in this review, for the author (or whoever wrote the original) did so exceptionally well. No misinterpretation. But, basically, the main character, Morgan, enters a competition to become Prince Arthur’s Marvel and so serve him and protect him with her fire power…But the competition turns out more lethal than she thought it would be.
When I say that this was a surprising read, I mean it with all my heart. At the beginning, I wasn’t impressed because it honestly was too rushed and perfect, as in the main character makes everyone gawp with her special fire power. That was predictable since, after all, she is the main character. But, when she entered the school, the plot got kickass and mysterious and far better than it started. Throughout the story, the author planted twists, turns, betrayals and secrets at every corner. The story was overall fantastic, and I especially liked how I thought that I was unfolding Henge pretty well but then realized that I was completely wrong about everything or so.
I knew that this was going to be urban fantasy (set in the contemporary world) and we never get to forget it, since the characters use technology often enough, but I think this would have been better off all of those tablets and cell phones…Because it broke the intensity of ‘‘Camelot’’ whenever a texting was mentioned, etc. I tried to play along but I still think that an historical context or the equivalent would have worked better and especially bring out the world-building much more in importance!
Other things that worked so-so for me were the simplistic dialogs. I mean, there was no complexity there. The complexity in detail and prettiness went to the descriptions but, somehow, didn’t reach the dialogs. Sometimes the characters even sounded childish because of that. The familiar style might have been at fault. Again…if only there was at least the illusion of an historical setting.
I hope many will give this a chance, because there was so much to be enjoyed inside it.
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 realmlovejoy.com