Genres: Retelling, Young Adult
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?
*ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
I have always held a special place in my heart for the tales of Arthur and his knights, and I always love a chance to read a retelling of some of my favorite stories. Having read Kiersten White before, I was eager to read The Guinevere Deception as she has a way of capturing retellings and making it fresh and new. Kiersten White’s retelling twists it to a more feminist aspect where Guinevere is actually the one who is trying to keep Arthur safe.
While she might be called Guinevere, we the reader know that the real one is dead and our Guinevere is the daughter of Merlin, and marries to Arthur to protect him from those who might destroy the young King. Arthur was forced to banish Merlin as magic has been forbidden and Guinevere must hide her identity as not everyone is to be trusted.
The beginning of the book feels like the author is trying to establish characters and rebuild Camelot from the inside out so at times it can feel very slow paced. We get lots of introductions to the multitude of characters and some twists that keep the story interesting but still a little too slow for my liking. The story picks up very close to the end and it sets up a lot for subsequent books but it takes a long time to get to that part. You can see the threads of darkness working and weaving its way throughout the book but the fact that it really doesn’t come together until those last 75 pages or so was frustrating, not going to lie. I’m really eager for the next book because of that set up, but it took so long to get there. I still love Kiersten White’s writing style and the twists to make it more feminine, especially in a story that has always been told about Arthur and his very male dominated world. I think, reading my own review, I would still hope people pick this up because I did like the book and I think readers should give it a chance.