Top positive review
Fun New Twist on King Arthur
Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2019
**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**
Title The Guinevere Deception
Author Kiersten White
Release Date November 5, 2019
Description from Amazon
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.
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?
I love King Arthur retellings. And, I actually recently had a long discussion with author Jordan Ifueko (of the upcoming, Raybearer) about how so many of the best Arthurian retellings are fundamentally flawed. Some of them are extremely sexist or others stray too much from the original story. I have read some really good retellings that change the story quite a bit (and loved them), but I really wanted this book to be close to the myth.
Some Things I Liked
Mordred. I loved his role in this book. Mordred is usually somewhat of a background character so I liked that we got to see him play a bigger part (but not too big).
Lancelot. No spoilers, but I really liked the Lancelot character in this book. I got all kinds of vibes from a certain Game of Thrones character (who will remain nameless because of spoilers).
Tristan and Isolde retelling. I love that this was baked into the plot and I hope we get to see more of that.
Some Things I Didn’t Like
Slow burn. There was a maybe kinda love triangle and then a super slow burning romance thing going on that I just wasn’t a fan of. I know this is a trilogy, but let’s pick up the pace people!
Merlin – the anti-hero? You want to root for Merlin but pretty much every chance she got, Kiersten White made me want to dislike him.
I would continue with this series. Several interesting storylines are started in this book and I would be interested in seeing where they go. There are some things that I don’t care for the direction they appear to be taking, but I just hope I’m wrong about those things.
This book was an excellent retelling of the Legend of King Arthur. It had the full cast of characters in their typical roles. I enjoyed the changes made from the original as well as the elements that were kept the same.
Recommendations for Further Reading
Kingdom Cold by Brittni Chenelle – if you like King Arthur retellings – give this series a read. It’s the perfect blend of the characters you love and a fresh storyline.
Darkness Sleeping by Jen Pretty – again, if you’re looking for a fresh take on King Arthur, give this series by Jen Pretty a try.
Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta – if you like the Arthurian element but are looking for a more futuristic / sci-fi setting, give this book a try.