Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 3196
The Guinevere Deception
(Updated: March 21, 2020)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
THE GUINEVERE DECEPTION by Kiersten White is the first book in a YA retelling of the classic Arthurian legend. Guinevere, a magical being, is sent to Camelot by Merlin, after he himself is banished from there. Her main priority is to protect Arthur from a looming threat, but even she doesn’t know what the danger is or from where it will come. While preparing for all the dark possibilities, Guinevere struggles with more than her otherworldly prowess. She is happy to be Arthur’s protector, but part of her wants to be more than that. However, it’s impossible to spend enough time with the King to explore those feelings, and beyond that, she craves an identity that isn’t wrapped up in his. As Guinevere figures out who she’s going to be in this new world, she realizes one confronting truth. She would die for Arthur.

As a major fan of any story regarding the Knights of the Roundtable, I was not disappointed with this book. White’s spin on Guinevere’s origins is pretty refreshing, as is some of the gender bending she does later on. I also, to my own shock, love Mordred in this version. In fact, he is perhaps the most compelling character in the entire book. He’s both an intellectual and a warrior. He’s a cynic and a lover. He’s good and bad, and I can’t wait to see where White takes him next. There are also some other familiar characters who make appearances too, such as Sir Tristan, Brangien, and of course, Lancelot. However, I would have liked to see them and others a bit more. For example, Sir Gawain, one of my favorite Knights, is barely in the book at all. Though I know this story is primarily about Guinevere’s experience, I’m hoping the Knights will have a bigger role in the sequels.

In terms of pacing, this book starts off very slow. It took multiple attempts for me to get past the first thirty pages, but once I did and understood the basic premise, I was hooked. White could have been more obvious about who Guinevere really was from the first page, which would have brought in more palpable tension from the beginning, perhaps propelling the plot forward. I also found Guinevere’s fear of water to be contrived. I wanted to be scared with her, but instead, I often found myself disconnected.

With that being said, my favorite elements of this retelling are the updated love triangle, the use of knot magic, and the mystery of the Patchwork Knight. I can’t wait to see how White weaves this tale in the coming books and I’m hoping she has a few new twists up her sleeve. Overall, THE GUINEVERE DECEPTION is the best Arthurian legend retelling I’ve seen in quite some time.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Instructions for Dancing
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
THE INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The critically...
Jonathan: Prince of Dreams
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Still recovering from the tragic loss of his mother, typical...
Missing the Beat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The dream job? Check. The best friends? Check....
Meeting the Star
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The spotless reputation? Check. The gorgeous movie star?...
Making the Play
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The school of her dreams? Check. The perfect...
Runaway : Immortals of Indriell
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
They claim her mother died a hero. They...
The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison, #2)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this sequel to The Kinder Poison—which People magazine...
Kneel
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This fearless debut novel explores racism, injustice, and self-expression...
The Tragedy of Dane Riley
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A teen confronts his feelings about his father’s death,...
Heartbreakers and Fakers
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the author of The Best Laid Plans comes...
Fiver Finds Home
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet the world’s first blue dwarf giraffe! With five...
A Season of Sinister Dreams
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Furyborn meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in...
Even and Odd
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Even and Odd are sisters who share magic. Lately, though,...
Bee a Good Human: A Pollinators' Guide to a Better Life
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Combining inspiration, humor, and entomology, Instagram artist Ali Beckman (@SoFlyTaxidermy)...
Goodnight, Little Bunny
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Little Bunny on the day that she ventures out...
Flying Over Water
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
N.H. Senzai and Shannon Hitchcock expertly craft the intersection of...

Latest Member Reviews

The Valley and the Flood
 
4.3
"Rose Colter is adrift. She can't be where she was staying for the holidays but she can't go home yet..."
Who Put This Song On?
 
4.7
"In a small, very white town, Morgan is trapped in the expectations and assumptions of everyone around her. She hasn't..."
The Dark Matter of Mona Starr
 
3.3
"Mona Starr's best friend has moved away, and she can feel her 'matter,' what she calls her depression, swirling all..."
The Library of Lost Things
 
5.0
"I wasn't sure what to expect with The Library of Lost Things, but I know I didn't anticipate a book..."
Up and Down Mom
 
5.0
"UP AND DOWN MOM is a really well done picture book about having a parent with bipolar disorder. The book..."
Gloria's Big Problem
 
3.0
"GLORIA'S BIG PROBLEM is about anxiety in children. Gloria's anxiety manifests as this large green being who follows her around..."
This is My Brain in Love
 
5.0
"THIS IS MY BRAIN IN LOVE is a powerful YA contemporary romance about family, mental illness, and working hard to..."
Smooth
 
5.0
"Kevin is starting tenth grade, and has been battling horrible cystic acne. At his doctor's appointment right before the school..."
The Lucky Ones
 
5.0
"THE LUCKY ONES is quite an emotional ride. The book follows May and Zach in alternating first person points-of-view. May..."
Jane Anonymous: A Novel
 
4.7
"JANE ANONYMOUS follows two timelines: one while Jane was captured for 7 months and one after she is back home...."
Refraction
 
4.3
"Marty is a flawed character in any number of ways, not least of which is his propensity to do what's..."
Six Goodbyes We Never Said
 
3.3
"SIX GOODBYES WE NEVER SAID is quite a heavy YA contemporary. We follow Naima and Dew in alternating sections. Naima..."
Jane Anonymous: A Novel
 
5.0
"Told from the perspective of a girl who was captured and escaped, JANE ANONYMOUS is a thriller of both physical..."
Imperfect: A Story of Body Image
 
3.5
"A memoir in graphic novel form, offering the personal account of a young Muslim girl’s nearly lifelong battle with perception,..."
Refraction
 
4.3
"REFRACTION is a highly readable/devourable book that is certainly a page-turner. In the post-apocalyptic future, a small island appears to..."
Coral
 
3.0
"CORAL is not a fairytale retelling of THE LITTLE MERMAID- while it may have been inspired by some of the..."
The Library of Lost Things
 
5.0
"THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS is a lovely coming-of-age story with love messages to literature. Darcy Wells lives with her..."
Let's Call It a Doomsday
 
4.0
"LET'S CALL IT A DOOMSDAY follows Ellis, a teenager who is Mormon and has an anxiety disorder. Eliis is in..."
Hurricane Season
 
5.0
"HURRICANE SEASON is a powerful middle grade novel that deals with some really important issues. Finola (nicknamed Fig) is in..."
Kat and Meg Conquer the World
 
3.7
"WHAT I LOVED: The course of friendship, like love, doesn’t run smoothly. Epcot at Disney World nearly broke up my..."