Review Henge by Realm Lovejoy

3:00 AM

Okay Addicts, I'm finally up for my turn on the review tour!! I've been posting and boosting this book a lot over the last few months and now is the final part: MY REVIEW! Where did HENGE by Realm Lovejoy rate on my addiction scale? Read on to find out :)

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 REVIEW:
King Arthur stories are one of my major addictions, and HENGE by Realm Lovejoy feeds that addiction perfectly! Overall I liked it...A LOT! It wasn't 100% fantamazing but it came VERY close.
HENGE is the first in a YA series that, obliviously is a retelling of King Arthur and his rise to power. but told through the eyes of Morgan. It's set in a "modern magic filled world" meaning all the technology and conveniences of the 21st century is there, just with monarchs and magic added to the fray. 
Because I did so much promo leading up to this review, and as a result got so many glimpses into this story, I admit I had built up this book in my mind, how I thought is would go. I had expected a re-imagining of the story-not following the most famous story lines and only changing the story by doing it from a girls POV and in a modernish setting. (Plus I feel like Realm did an oude to all her favorite stories and tv shows with HENGE-- Wicked, Harry Potter, Avatar the Last Air Bender, Panam...ect)
I realized this was just the same legend I am so familiar with about half way through, after I was already hooked, that made it way to easy to know how the rest of the story was going to unfold. But before I get ahead of myself, let's talk characters.
Morgan le Fay. Our heroine- a fire user BTW, very emotional too; but for the first half of the book, keeps her emotions in check and makes pretty smart decisions-and one tough a$$ chick for growing up so sheltered. She wants nothing more that to be apart of Arthur's Round and to earn the place of "Maven" aka magical adviser and a person who hold as much if not more power than the royals. The current Maven is Mordred- but I'll get to him in a second. Anyways, Morgan is already really smart about magic and the history of magic and all the other goodies she needs to know to prove worthy of the title Maven. She learned it all from her mother who was executed by Mordred--when she was just a small child--for using fire magic to kill her husband--> in self defense! Majorly screwed up, IMHO. That's one of the many reasons Morgan wants to be maven, so she can change the harsh punishments and restrictions on magic users so that they are treated fairly and justly. A VERY worthy cause, that whole equality thing ;) Too bad a lot of others don't see it that way.
Merlin is one of those such cases---or at least I think he is. As you read more about the male lead you get hints of a major and twisted back story for the young water user. He starts out really great to Morgan-even saves her life a few times. Then, like most stories, the plots thicken as they un-weave and Merlin gets shown in a different light. I like him, most times, and I truly believe he is trying to help Morgan, but she can't see it, and these mysterious secrets he can't talk about, and his secret past, complicate things even more. He and Morgana both make some very bad decisions near the end and that is where it felt very much like WICKED for me. The whole "the path to hell is paved with good intentions" scenario. It's also a part of what made me realize just how true to the original plot lines Realm was following with HENGE.
No King Arthur story is complete without Guinevere, and this Guinevere reminds me of a cross between Hermione and Anna Beth. A very well done mix, mind you. I love Guinevere, as much as Morgan. Even better she's tough while still being very gentle. A hard blend to get right most times.
With Guinevere comes Lancelot. He is not the noble knight he's normally portrayed as in the old stories. In this one he's a jerk with a superiority-womanizer-complex. Honestly I didn't really like him at all, especially when he took Morgan to his room.....oh wait, spoiler alert! Hehe. I think Realm wanted us to feel this way though, or at least I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt anyways, I really hope his character develops nicely and quickly in the next book.
On the reverse side of things, we arrive at Mordred. He is a creepy old man who had punished his own kind-magic users- to further his own gains. When I was reading this I couldn't help imagining him looking like the actor who played Snape in HP, only without the slightly redeeming back story. This guy was one mean ass bad guy and very scary. I couldn't get why Morgan wasn't terrified of him, especially since he made no issue of letting it be known he was out to get her.
**reader raises hand and asks: "Where's King Arthur?"***
Good question. Well, here's the thing; there are all of maybe five or six scenes with the young, 13 year-old prince. I was kinda disappointed with that because the kids who are going through this training are going to be his round members for the rest of his life. I would want to know these people! Right now, the way I see Arthur, this soon to be noble king, is as a weak, spoiled, shrimp of a boy who acts like a stereotypical royal. I wasn't a fan of that. But I have real hope for him in the coming books! 
That covers all the pertinent characters, let's talk plot real quick. 
Like I said earlier, Realm has stuck to the majority of the famous Arthurian stories, so when familiar scenarios started popping up I was like okay this is going to happen next, then this. That let me down the most. Don't get me wrong, Realm has done a great job with this story and I am seriously addicted here, but I am also honest. Now, I could be jumping the gun here, this is only the first book after all! Maybe Realm has some major plot twists coming down the pike (I sure hope so!) but right now, from the foreshadowing that runs rampant in HENGE, I don't think so. We may be in for the traditional tragic ending of King Arthur, but who knows.
The action was some of the best I've read of late; and the way Realm built the world of HENGE was meticulous enough I could see every detail and character clearly from the beginning. I'm hoping that greatness carries over to the rest of the series. The magic of this series was a little to "Avatar the Last Air Bender" for me--the way it was set up--but I still enjoyed is. It was beautiful and powerful and visual! 
Overall I loved HENGE pretty good. I didn't love it as much as I had hoped, but I have a feeling the next book is going to knock my socks off! I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of book 2 and 3 and hoping to get the chance to review those as well :)
Nice job Ms. Lovejoy, nice job!

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


That's if for this review Addicts! Come back for more soon.
~Dynomoon








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3 comments

  1. Ooh now I'll picture the actor for Snape, too, if I read this one! He's awesome and such a great actor for a villain, too! Great review! This sounds like a really fun read :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great review. This book sounds really cool and I like the setting. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much for reading Henge and for writing a detailed review! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the book, especially since you love the Arthurian legends! I hope you'll like the next book, too! It will be out later this year.

    ReplyDelete

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