The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White
“There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl”– Kiersten White
Book: The Guinevere Deception
Author: Kiersten White
Published: 5th Nov’19
Genre: Fable, Legend, Fantasy fiction, Historical fantasy
Series: Book #1 of Camelot Rising Trilogy
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House)
Cover Design: Regina Flath
My rating: 4/5
‘PRINCESS GUINEVERE HAS COME TO CAMELOT’
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 that 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, knotted black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods towards Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?
“There was good, and there was evil, but there was so much space between the two.”– Kiersten White
I am familiar with the Arthurian Legend to an extent where I recognize the characters and the story to an acceptable level. This book revamped my knowledge and also managed to give it some really good modifications. I felt like this is an upgraded and much stronger version of the legend.
While sticking to the baseline story, the author revolutionized the characters and added breathtaking touches to the plot. I don’t know how, but I felt like the OG story was not shattered but also it wasn’t copied. The story telling is very smooth and it was a very easy read. I chugged it all up in two days while managing to finish the wedding shopping for my brother’s upcoming nuptials. (TMI!!! I KNOW! I am just so excited) (p.s cancelled due to the pandemic)
The author shifts to the struggle of the Dark Queen to break threshold and reach King Arthur in between the regular story. It was really interesting and I waited to skip and read those parts with desperation.
I would also like to announce that you do not have to be familiar with the Arthurian legend to understand this story because it is good regardless.
It ends on a cliffhanger and does not really give us much of a story in this part. It is more like a build up to something amazing that is to come in the next two books.
Here’s the catch and the reason why I could not give it 5 stars, I would have preferred this as a standalone rather than the series.
The cliffhanger is having me crave for the next book asap (called The Camelot Betrayal which releases on 10th Nov’2020) but I don’t need it to survive. In simple words, when the book is out I will be devouring it with all my energy but I would totally be fine if I am somehow unable to get my hands on the book.
Taking into consideration that I felt great while reading the book, I rate it 4/5 stars.
The author added some wonderful changes to the story while highlighting the already known traits of the characters and plots of the OG.
P.S (read as pre-script or should I just say disclaimer?): I’m writing this months after reading the book and it’s a surprise I remember so much. Goes to say how impactful the book was. I think knowing the actual story helps.
Guinevere: I liked how the OG Guinevere was transformed into someone who came in to protect the kind and is the daughter of Merlin. I was waiting for her to cheat but she was pretty loyal except for a few slip ups. We know that she isn’t the actual princess and she is so committed to her cause that she gave up her name to the fire.I also like that she was brave. I’d like to see how she grows in the series.
Arthur: The moment Arthur revealed that he knew Guinevere wasn’t the real Guinevere, I started liking the character. I also liked him better once I found out that this arrangement was to protect Merlin’s daughter and not the other way round. I really want their love to blossom or end. I hate things when they are on a stand-still.
Mordred: The cunning uncle, if I can call him that. I really thought he wanted the best for Guinevere but I also had a feeling he might be working against Arthur. Well, turns out that teensy feeling was right and what a way to prove it. He’s the grand son of the dark queen? Wow!
Brangien: I absolutely love her. The fact that she does a little bit of magic of her own mostly to see that Guinevere is sleeping well speaks highly of her character. I hope her love triumphs.
Lancelot/ The Patchwork Knight: BEST SPOILER ALERT: It is a female. Yeah! That’s right! Talk about adding perfections to the retelling. This is a selling point to me for the book as it comes as such a risky but amazing thing to do. I think I’m writing fan-fic about Lancelot and Guinevere though. That would be an even better thing to happen.
Merlin: Such a grave and mysterious character he is. I also have a feeling that he courted the lady of the lake. May be our Guinevere is the daughter of Merlin and the lake lady and she’s mad that he left her. It’s just a theory but it definitely can be a good addition to this retelling.
The Dark Queen: I am in awe of her power. She commands nature. She thinks she’s right but I think otherwise. I wanna know what Mordred and The queen do eventually. I really need to know what Guinevere does. Will she side with them? Will she destroy them?
“Women are strongest when bearing one another’s pain. We each take a little on ourselves. No one dies, and we all heal together.”– Kiersten White
REASONS TO READ THE BOOK:
- A fabulous retelling of the Arthurian legend.
- Good story telling and narrative
- LGBTQ +
- Strong female characters including a knight who beats all the male knights in combat
- Easy read
- Subtle but good twists and surprises that will keep you hooked
- It is a trilogy, which means it ends on a cliffhanger which cannot always be good
- I would rather have this as a standalone given that it is a retelling
“Sometimes we have to hide from what others see in order to be what we know we are.”– Kiersten White