Review: The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

the guinevere deception cover

The Guinevere Deception
By Kiersten White
Publication Date: November 5, 2019

Find The Guinevere Deception here on Amazon.

From Goodreads:

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?

*THE FIRST BOOK IN THE CAMELOT RISING TRILOGY*

My Thoughts:

NetGalley provided me with this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review (and then I received a copy in my OwlCrate in December, which was BEAUTIFUL). This story was so incredibly unique!

I know everyone has been hyping this book for months, and I know so many people adored this new take on the Arthurian legend. While I can’t say that I believe it lived up to all of the hype, I did enjoy reading it.

It was so different to read a King Arthur story that…isn’t really about King Arthur. Guinevere was the focus here (obviously. Her name is in the title, so…duh), and was nothing like any Guinevere you’ve seen before.

I won’t lie, my favorite version of Guinevere will probably always be the one from Merlin. This Guinevere just fell flat, I guess? For me, anyway. I ended the book with way more questions than I started it with. There are so many things that didn’t get answered!

For the sake of not being spoiler-y, I won’t go into that here, but if I do read the second book, that will probably be the only reason why.

I will say that I love pretty much any story set in an Arthurian world, so that definitely helped my enjoyment of the book as a whole. Brangien and Tristan were a fun addition from a different story as well!

All that being said, I did enjoy this book out of its pure uniqueness from a traditional story. Kiersten White has a tendency to do that. The feminist aspect of how she changes the perspective of older tales is so interesting! I really am looking forward to reading more of her stuff.

I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good story about King Arthur, but with a fair warning that his presence doesn’t really play much of a role in this, in my opinion. He acted as more of an absentee husband than anything else. Meanwhile, Guinevere puttered around making new friends and pretending to be someone she isn’t.

I gave The Guinevere Deception a solid three drops, maybeeee 3.5? It was a good read, but it didn’t click with me the way it did with a lot of other readers!

Want to see more of my reviews? Check them out here.

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This is my Review of the Month for the book review link-up on LovelyAudiobooks.info.

One thought on “Review: The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

  1. Hallo, Hallo, Cate!!

    This is currently on my OverDrive audiobook queue @ the library! 🙂 I’ve been finding stories threading through the world of Camelot for quite a long while now – if you consider when I first discovered the collective works of Nicole Evelina who took me through the first Feminist vision for Guinevere and the whole world therein. Then, I discovered last year there is a portal of entry through King Arthur through a series I started with reading “Sign of the White Foal” whilst I also discovered last year (and am reading this Winter) a novel called “Bel Nemeton” which brings us full circle through Merlin’s POV. I never thought I’d get such a broad stroke of stories, series and continuations of this particular sub-niche of Historical Fantasy and Historical Fiction!

    This particular novel I came across rather uniquely – it was featured on a fellow book blogger’s blog and then, I started to hear the sample through my library and decided to listen to the book rather than fetch the print copy.

    — When reading after canons of any of our beloved characters (ie. Guinvere, Sherlock Holmes, Jane Austen stories, etc) you have to seek out the authors who have a similar vision of your own memories for those characters otherwise the re-telling / variant will not resonate well. I have come across more variants of the stories / characters / series I love than I can honestly say I’ve chased after… there are only two Holmes variants I still desire to read which are the Mary Russell series by Laurie R. King and the Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer. Others might disagree with me. Again, its up to personal tastes and preferences.

    I’m actually used to having Guinevere more distanced from Arthur, as even in the film “First Knight” despite the fact they were trying to be together, Guinevere was her own woman and had her own mind.

    Hmmm… I’ll have to see how this Guinevere holds up against the Guinevere I was emotionally attached to in the Guinevere Tales Trilogy. You might enjoy those more? Feminist POV, strongly centred on Guinevere and the romance of her and Arthur whilst the whole background is the political upheavals and the churning tides of how their enemeies were trying to out pace their patience for both peace and each other. Its a very dramatic series and your heart aches for them after awhile though of course, for me the heroine is of course, Guinevere and it is Arthur that time round who is different perceived than he is in other stories / variants.

    With “Sign of the Whilte Foal” you get to focus nearly exclusively on Arthur which was a refreshing switch-up I felt… you can find reviews for all of these save “Bel Nemeton” because I’m still in the process of reading it on my blog if you wanted to visit, read my thoughts and than see if one or the other would be a better fit for you?

    I do agree with you in one regard – how writers can re-tell a commonly known story through the lens of a Feminist focus is truly incredible!

    Thanks for your honest thoughts and candor! You did this book justice openly discussing what you liked and hinting towards the things you didnt… don’t ever think you can be more honest about what ‘took you out’ of the stories you’re reading.

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