The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)

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4.7 (3)
 
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The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
November 05, 2019
ISBN
978-0525581680
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Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom's borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution--send in Guinevere to be Arthur's wife . . . and his protector from those who want to see the young king's idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere's real name--and her true identity--is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot. To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old--including Arthur's own family--demand things continue as they have been, and the new--those drawn by the dream of Camelot--fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?

Editor reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.7  (3)
Characters 
 
4.7  (3)
Writing Style 
 
4.7  (3)
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.
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Dark Fantasy Twist to Arthurian Legend
(Updated: November 26, 2019)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Guinevere has one role to play when she arrives in Camelot. She has to protect King Arthur with her life. In Camelot, magic is banned and those being suppressed from using it might try to rise against Arthur. Guinevere is a changeling and has the capability to do magic, especially since she was trained by Merlin, but she has to be careful. If someone sees her doing magic, she could be executed and King Arthur would be exposed.

Guinevere poses as Arthur's future bride, but doesn't let the "queenly" duties distract her from her main mission: protect the king. However, things aren't always as they seem and it's a lesson Guinevere will never forget. Everyone has there secrets but who will be the one to pay when they finally come to light?

I absolutely love anything from the Arthurian time period and this book didn't disappoint. We see the characters we all love, but in different lights. Kiersten White brings a dark fantasy twist to the classic stories and characters that will always be close to my heart.


Final Verdict: I would recommend this to fans of fantasy, Arthurian legend, magic, betrayal, and secrets.
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captivating new YA fantasy
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
THE GUINEVERE DECEPTION is an incredible new YA fantasy that combines a dark mystery, magic, and romance/love into a gorgeous, page-turning package. I was completely swept away by the story, which completely brings the legend of King Arthur to life through the eyes of Guinevere. Here, Guinevere has been sent to marry Arthur, and we learn rather early that she is hiding a dark secret- she is not Guinevere.

Camelot has been founded on Christianity, and magic has been outlawed. This is not to say that magic has disappeared- rather, magical creatures have been banished and those humans practicing magic killed or exiled. Guinevere has been sent with a mission to marry Arthur in order to stay close and protect him against an unknown magical force. Merlin was sent away as a magical creature, but he still knows something is coming for Camelot, and so, he sent Guinevere to help.

There are many twists and turns in the plot that kept me completely hooked all the way through. I also have to give huge props for all the characters who are so well-built and completely unique. For instance, Mordred, Brangien (her lady's maid), and Lancelot were all so three-dimensional that I was as wrapped up in them as Guinevere. Arthur is also not a simple character, and I am still not sure if I really liked him, but I am curious to see how he will evolve in future books. I actually really enjoyed that he was complex enough not to just simply love, and it is easy to understand how Guinevere felt.

This book. I feel a little lost in describing it, because it was completely engrossing and completely delicious and now I have a massive book hangover. If you enjoy fantasy, retellings, and/or complex characters, pick up this book- it does not disappoint. I will definitely be on the lookout for the next book in the trilogy.
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