Thursday, October 24, 2019

ARC Review: The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Title: The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1)
Author: Kiersten White
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 352
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There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl.

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. Arthur's knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.

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?

As you may know if you have visited my blog in the past, I am obsessed with the And I Darken series by Kiersten White! When I saw she was writing a book based on the King Arthur legends I knew I had to have a copy! I didn't know much about this book going into it and I never could have prepared for what I got.

This story begins as Princess Guinevere is entering Camelot for the first time, only she isn't Guinevere at all. She has been placed in Camelot by Merlin to protect Arthur and his people, but from what she doesn't know. I loved Guinevere so much! If you're in search of a strong, empowered female lead, look no further! Much of the book is spent following her around as she navigates Camelot while having no idea how to be a princess, and trying to keep her magic under wraps while also keeping Arthur safe.

Speaking of Arthur, I really enjoyed him too, but he actually had a much smaller part in The Guinevere Deception than I expected. There was a bit of romance, but it certainly didn't overtake the plot. Lancelot was another character who I absolutely adored despite the fact that they were nothing like I expected! I loved how Kiersten White was able to take such familiar characters from a tale most of us already know and make them unique and exciting, as she did with the rest of this incredible book.

Like I said, a lot of The Guinevere Deception is focused on court life and Guinevere trying to keep her magic hidden, but there is still plenty of magic and mystery. I loved seeing Camelot through a new lens and the surrounding lore was fascinating. The Lady of the Lake was probably one of my favorite parts of the story. The mystery of who or what the threat to Camelot was also kept me guessing until the very last second. This might be the first time I've actually sat up in bed and audibly gasped at a twist.

If you're a fan of Arthurian legends or Kiersten White's other retellings, you'll definitely want to give this one a try. I cannot wait for the next book in this series! I have so many questions that I'm dying to know the answers to!