Review | The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1) by Kiersten White

Title: The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1) by Kiersten White

Published: November 5th, 2019

Read as: US hardcover, owned

Average Goodreads rating: 3.84 (as of this date)

My rating: 3.5 (rounded to 4 on Goodreads)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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? (from Goodreads)

It has been quite some time since I have written a book review and I admit, the task currently feels a little daunting. However, something I am going to try to do this year I always write a review for the book I’ve finished before starting to read a new one. So, here we go…

My luck in enjoying Kiersten White books has been hit or miss over the last few years. Sometimes I DNF her books, other times I love them. The Guinevere Deception, I feel, is somewhere in between. Those reviews are the hardest to write, I think. When you don’t have strong opinions one way or another, formulating what to say and how to say it can be taxing.

What I will say is that the characters in this book were carefully defined. I’ve found more and more in YA that characters have a tendency to blur together as their personalities are very similar. The lead characters in The Guinevere Deception did not have that problem. Arthur, Guinevere, and Mordred were all their own entities with their own purposes, thoughts, and plans.

The plot as a whole, despite the interesting characters, was rather dull. I found myself skimming on more than one occasion. I don’t mind DNFing but I get annoyed with myself with I skim. I suppose that is a personal preference. However, I caught myself doing it multiple times during the reading of this book. The plot crept along more often than not and keeping my brain in the game was taxing.

I’m sorry to say that Guinevere herself got on my nerves. The further I got into the book the more I felt that she was being defined wholly by her association with Arthur. She had her own personality and traits, yes, but it was as if her star was merely orbiting his. Every move she made, decision she made revolved around him and in context it made sense but it still aggravated me.

Overall, I enjoyed the book…for the most part. The characters were interesting and some of the background players and plots kept me motivated. I hope in the next book we get more from Mordred and Lancelot as both of them had the most to lose or gain and dynamic personalities. I will be picking up the next book of this series.

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