Written By: Haiko Hórnig
Illustrated By: Marius Pawlitza
Age Range: 12-18 years
Genre: Fiction, Science-Fiction, Fantasy
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Published By: Lerner Publishing Group
Henrietta is a 15 year old orphan, who has just been whisked away from her orphanage by an unknown stranger and is on her way to her new home in a town called Malrenard. Once she arrives in the mysterious looking town, she is bombarded with requests/orders from the Mayor, regarding both her deceased Uncle, whom she had no prior knowledge of nor had she ever met him. Now she has inherited the house of the great War hero – Ornun Zol! Problem is this immense house is like a maze. Not only are there mysteries behind every corner, but also some bandits and Kingsmen creating their own warzone inside her front door.
This story is full of adventure and is perfect for those that enjoy role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, as the creators do. They have taken their lifelong friendship, hobbies and talents together to create this wondrous story. We follow the story of Henrietta, who after losing both of her parents during the Great War, has spent the last 9 years in an orphanage. Tracked down and whisked away to a mysterious town after the death of a relative, whom she had never known. An Uncle, known as a Wizard and the one to have magically ended the Great War – Ornun Zol. Now Henrietta has been left with the responsibility over looking after and resolving the damage that this house has caused. From uncontrolled curses flying out of windows, monsters escaping into the neighbouring woods and giant rats causing chaos in the town. Add to that, numerous bandits and Kingsmen now fighting amongst themselves in her new home, with no intention of leaving anytime soon! Henrietta has just been dumped in the middle of a warzone yet again.
A quiet child, who has suffered so much in her young life, from being in the middle of a warzone, the death of her parents, suffering trauma after trauma. Now she is escorted to a town in the middle of nowhere, where the townspeople expect her to take the responsibility for all the damage that has been done to them, by her Uncle’s house. A building of immeasurable height, with many different weather patterns and environments inside, frightening creatures, magical statues and dangerous, yet convenient transport systems that can take you around the house in a horrifying instant. Henrietta is not alone in this house however, as she walks into a warzone between two groups of people that have trespassed into her new home, in search of the weapon which ended the Great War. Through-out this issue we begin to see the true Henrietta, from when we first met her as a terrified child, to a quiet adolescent and then to a young woman who stands against all the madness! I can not wait to see how her character develops in the next book!
Soon after the ‘mysterious’ death of her Uncle Ornun, his home was invaded by a band of thieves looking to find the ‘Vault’ which holds the all powerful and unseen weapon, which ended the Great War. These thieves and their plan were known by the King, so he sent some of his men to capture them. Thus this struggle for the weapon began, as for how long both parties have been engaged in battle in this house, I don’t know but I would be interested to find out. However the big question at the moment resides with, why has this cat been following Henrietta around? And why are there massive claw marks appearing on items near Henrietta lately? There is far more going on in this series, than just this crazy ass house. Between the house, the War, the Vault, Cat and late Uncle – just what part will Henrietta have to play in this story?
As I said before, both creators are fans of role playing games and have incorporated it into this story. With every room being an adventure of its own. You can even spot a pair of D20 dice in amongst Ornuns’ belongings. One bottle in the bathroom is also labelled ‘Tears of the Kraken’, which you could connect to a monster that is found in the D&D Tabletop RPG.
The artwork and story go hand in hand, each complimenting the other. This could well have been a difficult story to adapt, as there are so many elements involved, with new stories that could be expanded upon in every corner. In fact the author Haiko Hörnig spent his childhood in his parents’ comic book store, ‘Comicothek’ in Germany, where he developed a love for sequential art at an early age. In Middle School he met his best friend Marius Pawlitza, the artist for this series and fellow RPG enthusiast. Over the years they not only developed a love for Tabletop games, but also worked together to create their own comics.
The artwork in this series has enhanced the role playing experience the duo wished to get across to the readers, without a doubt! Having designed each room to be unlike any other which you think you would find in the house. This story is far from ordinary and boring, the artwork certainly makes sure of that. It was a joy to read and is one that I think is worth re-reading numerous times again in the future. It may even give you some ideas for some D&D campaigns to develop.
This is only the beginning of what is to be a four part adventure for Henrietta in “A House Divided: The Accursed Inheritance of Henrietta Achilles”. You can buy it now in either hardback paperback or digital from Amazon, BookDepository or any good bookshop that will order it for you!
Also there is an interesting Quiche recipe at the end of the book!