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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.

Real rating 2.5

First, let me talk about what I liked.

I liked the governing system. It was neat to see groups/ factions divided into a believable system.
I liked the modernization of Arthurian legend. Even if it isn’t 100% on track with the old stuff it is a nice take and twist on the legends, and well, you have to make casting changes to make things work for a new story. I liked the magic. A little overused system of elements, but hey I love elemental magic, with added flavors of other kinds of magic.
I liked the story. The structure and rhythm as a whole were very nice. Also, I really liked Guinevere, Gorlois, Lancelot, and Morgan (some of the time).

Though all was alas, not golden in fair Camelot for this reader.

Morgan and Merlin both felt rather flat and predictable for the story’s duration, the type of characters I’ve read so many times before. Nothing new was added to their stock, which is fine, but left me unimpressed.

The few grammatical errors weren’t enough to detract from the story; however, the repetitive and adverb heavy writing was. I understand first person/ present tense can limit writing and it definitely forces you to adapt the MC’s eyes. But I just felt bored with Morgan’s narration and unchanging sentence structure. It was a real struggle to maintain interest in the narrative because of that.

Overall, I feel that the contents were quite nice, but the writing came across weak and made the whole experience flounder and flail a bit much. That being said, I still did truly enjoy it for its originality in story. Though the Hunger Games and Harry Potter connections are weak at best, Henge stands up on tottering legs and I would love to see it polished further. Another draft or two and proper editing would have made this glitter.

S.W. Wildwood’s Goodreads

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