***Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for a review.***
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.
Henge is a reimagining of King Arthur and Camelot set in modern times, told from Morgan le Fay's POV. Magic and technology exist side by side, but not necessarily hand in hand. Magic is confined to six schools of discipline- and only four of those make an appearance in this, the first novel of the series.
Magic, once a respected and powerful ability, is now illegal without a license and any who can use it are relegated to second-class citizenry, barely able to earn a living in the entertainment industry doing special effects. But it does make them eligible to serve at Camelot... In fact, those chosen for the royal court are selected via an American Idol-style competition- held after the heir's thirteenth birthday to pick those who'll serve the monarch when he takes the throne. Then they spend what amounts to a year at finishing school where the highest competition is to become the Maven- essentially the king's right hand man. Imagine being selected to become the future king's closest companion and advisor as well as a defender of the realm... and you're barely able to shave, let alone had your first kiss.
Arthur, Guinevere, Uther, Igraine, Tristan, Isolde, Lancelot, Mordred- the gang's all here, just in different forms. Morgan's story is not what you've come to know. Her history is troubling, intriguing and intimately entangled with the current state of affairs at court. Morgan's struggles and agnst are palpable- she's a very sympathetic character. You'll absolutely feel for her struggles and want her to succeed. The story gets muddled and convoluted at times; there's several plots afoot and nearly everyone's got something to hide- Merlin especially so. He clearly knows more than he lets on and you're never sure if he's friend or foe. Morgan definitely isn't.
Henge is an entertaining and engaging read, despite it's flaws. It's a layered, tightly-knit story filled with small moments that have great impact. My only real complaints are that since it's YA the rush to get them through school and into life at Court diminishes the importance of things. Aside from that, Henge deserves a place on your shelf.