Henge by Realm Lovejoy is a YA Fantasy that is a modern spin-off of the Arthurian legends featuring Morgan Le Fay as the protagonist. This tour will consist of reviews, interviews & guest posts. Check out the full schedule for more information.
Author: Caroline Healy
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (Sparks)
Release Date: August 2014
Length: 250 pages
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
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.
***** Guest Post *****
I am lucky to be able to design my own covers since I work as an artist for my day job in the video game industry. I have experience in setting and character design as well as branding and mocking up box art concepts. When I first come up with a story, I usually already have the cover idea in my mind since I am very visual and I like to encompass the story into a cocoon of symbols and colors.
Process-wise, I distill the concept of the book into one symbol, key color, and general mood and style. For example, the cover of Clan, my first book, is very sci-fi and modern looking. It’s minimalist to reflect the world the characters live in and the blue color conveys coldness. The broken stick figure pops out–it’s about being different in a culture that’s supposed to be unified. It all sounds simple when I describe it like that, but I did try all different ideas to see what’d come of it. In the end, my first and most simple ideas tend to work best.
For Henge, it was a bit of a different process since it’s a series with many symbols. The core concept is Morgan le Fay herself. The focus is what’s in her mind and her own battle within herself. She is flawed and complex but also a hero. I wanted to feature her as an iconic woman and show a hero shot for the series book covers. I hope readers look into her eyes and want to know her story. For the first book, the mood is mysterious and suspenseful so I set the cover up that way and put the Henge scene in the background. I admit that I already know what’s going to be on the cover of all the books in the series and can’t wait to share them with everybody.
***** REVIEW *****
This is indeed a Camelot meets Hogwarts meets Panem type of story. Morgan le Fay has (nearly) mastered her talent of fire. She takes hold of a chance of a lifetime and enters into a competition in hopes of being selected as the next Maven, the right-hand of the next king. Morgan had a premonition in which she becomes Maven, and sees so much more in her vision of what is to come.
There’s one thing, though: her mother was executed for use of her fire magic. No one besides the father knows that she bore a child. Morgan can’t let loose any of this information in Camelot. Nearly burning down Mordred, the man who executed her mother, lands Morgan in some very hot water.
As Morgan makes her way around Camelot and through the Rounds and the magic testing, she soon realizes there are many connections in Camelot. All of the major characters from Arthurian legend appear throughout, in the same context as they appear in Arthurian legend, but their positions are slightly different. It’s as if Henge is a retelling with a different beginning but with the ending we know.
I liked Morgan’s character. She is a very determined girl, with a sensible head on her shoulders. She loves her father deeply and has the capacity for a great amount of guilt, but it is equally weighed and measured with her ambition to go forward with her dreams.
She meets Merlin in the Rounds, and he is an exceptional water user. He is an oddity of a character. I couldn’t quite get a grasp on Merlin for a while, but he comes to Morgan’s aid and I was quite impressed!
***** 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 http://www.realmlovejoy.com