The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White
Book One in the Camelot Rising Series
From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes a new fantasy series reimagining the Arthurian legend, set in the magical world of Camelot. 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?
You guys, I am shocked! The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White was so much more than I could have hoped for. Pretty much all I know from the King Arthur stories I learned from the show Once Upon a Time, and even that is a little hazy for me, because my memory is lacking. But, I am down for any and all retellings, especially those surrounding Kings and Queens from long ago and fae magic! I just saw the new Maleficent: Mistress of Evil movie this weekend, and all I kept thinking about was this book! So, even before reading the rest of my thoughts, if you’re into that kind of thing, too, then add this to your TBR immediately!
I will admit, the beginning was a little slow and hard for me to get into. Guinevere is not the real Guinevere, but a changeling witch sent by Merlin to protect King Arthur from the dark forces that surround Camelot. The problem is, Guinevere doesn’t know who she is protecting the king from, or really anything about her own self. It made things a bit muddled and confusing, but that just added to the story for me, personally. Yeah, it was a tad bothersome, but I could feel the frustration right alongside Guinevere. I love when books can put you in the same head space as the main character.
Another thing that added to my confusion in the beginning was the amount of characters. I think maybe knowing a little bit more about King Arthur and his knights would have made things a little easier on me, but then again I don’t know if that would spoil some of the plot twists that happened in this version of the story.
Once I got to know the many characters, though, I loved each and every one of them, including the villain. The relationships between Guinevere, Arthur, their friends, and knights were a pleasure to watch develop.
All in all, The Guinevere Deception took me on a journey I was not expecting, and the ending left me with so many unanswered questions. I absolutely cannot wait for the next installment in this series. I know it is going to be even more epic!