The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White, exploring the nature of self, the inevitable cost of progress, and, of course, magic and romance and betrayal so epic Queen Guinevere remains the most famous queen who never lived. EVERYTHING IS AS IT SHOULD BE IN CAMELOT: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom's influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her. Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to the people around her--Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde; Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen's knight; and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere--the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn't belong. She never will. When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere's younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving--Camelot, or herself?
The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising, #2)Featured
But everyone loves Guinevach and Guinevere can't help but feel jealous. Guinevere may be queen, but she doesn't feel like she truly belongs in Camelot, an outsider in her own home. As Guinevere faces new trials and challenges, she realizes that even her magic can be destructive and dark. Trying to find a place in the world, Guinevere realizes one thing is certain: she will do anything to protect Camelot and Arthur. No matter the cost.
THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL is the second installment of the Camelot Rising Series and is full of magic, betrayal, friendship, and adventure. I love Guinevere and the struggles she has in this book. Being Guinevere but not Guinevere leaves an emptiness in her that nobody can fill. The relationship between Arthur and Guinevere is strained in this one because she wants more but he's still afraid to take things to the next level. Then there's Mordred who is still one of my favorite characters even after everything he's done. Kiersten White gifts us this amazing world with characters you can't help but love. I can't wait for the third.
Final Verdict: I would recommend this to fans of myths, legends, the world of King Arthur, fantasy, romance, and characters who are well developed and have their own personality.
I love this book even more than the first one. It’s a much slower read and one that I consumed in small bites over a couple of months. Normally, I can get bored or be impatient with stories that have such a slow burn, but this held my interest the entire time and allowed me to stay in its world longer than I would have if the story was one that could be read in a single day.
My favorite part of this entire novel is the love triangle between Guinevere, Mordred, and Arthur. It works so well here because both options are valid and couldn’t be more opposite. In the third book, if Guinevere discovers her true origins, she’ll have a better understanding of who she wants to be, and which man she wants to be with. That being said, the moments when Mordred pops up in this book, or Guinevere and Arthur have sudden alone time are really what propel the story forward. Nothing about these encounters are predictable, and they always keep me waiting for the next one. I’m curious to see how this will all culminate into a satisfying conclusion.
White also does a great job at introducing tension and difficulty into Guinevere’s relationship with Lancelot, and leaves them on a huge cliffhanger. While the story is told from Guinevere’s perspective, I’m hoping that in the third book, we will get more insight into what Lancelot is feeling and thinking. As of now, she’s so stoic that it’s hard to interpret what it is she truly wants. As of yet, I can’t tell if she’ll also become a romantic interest, or if she’s the only person in Guinevere’s life who lets Guinevere be herself.
Overall, THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL takes readers on a journey, weaving the pieces for an emotional and powerful finale. I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy retellings.
To make matters more complicated, Guinevere's sister, Guinevach, has arrived in Camelot and seems to recognize her. Guinevere knows that she is not the actual Guinevere, so she is sure a sinister plot is afoot with Guinevach at the center. However, proving it and keeping Camelot safe seems harder than she could have anticipated. As lines blur, Guinevere needs to find not only the truth but also herself, defining her morality and deciding who she wants to be in this mystical world.
What I loved: Guinevere's internal conflicts are really the main themes here, and they spoke to me so well. She is not sure who she wants to be and how to fit into the life she has. Guinevere feels that she is missing so much without her memories and cannot decide how much she can let herself care for the people around her, especially when her magic and decisions seem to lead to consequences she did not want. There are some interesting discussions around intent and morality, as well as the ethical gray around decisions that may have negative consequences - especially when the intent was the opposite. There is also some ambiguity in how others have applied similar things, and I appreciated how Guinevere weighs and her ideas on these evolve in the book. For these reasons, this book would be an excellent choice for a book club.
I also really appreciated that this book recaps everything from the previous book well, so you can pick it up even if it has been a while since you read the first. The characters that I loved so much continue to shine through this book. While they have their flaws, they are easily endeared to the reader. I also appreciate that we get to see the side of some of the seeming "villains," and the ambiguity in their deeds left to interpretation. Guinevere really grows as a person in this book, and I appreciated watching her journey - this book ends up being quite introspective about herself, her relationships, and the key people around her.
As a warning, this book ends with another cliffhanger, and I am super eager to see where this one goes. I don't want to give anything away, but I am so excited and intrigued by what will happen next.
Final verdict: THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL is an intriguing sequel to THE GUINEVERE DECEPTION with thought-provoking themes, well-crafted characters, and an introspective tone. I highly recommend picking up this clever YA fantasy/retelling series.