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The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1)
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?
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads
Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.
(4 / 5) This has been on my TBR for ages! When I was approved for the ARC of book 2, I knew I would finally be able to read it. It’s such a beautiful cover!
I adore the story of King Arthur. Guinevere is a curious character and I was excited to see White’s interpretation of her. This Guinevere is actually a fake- a girl sent in to take Guinevere’s place and protect Arthur using her magic.
We get just enough of the basic King Arthur story, with twists and turns along the way to keep us guessing.
I did not feel connected to Guinevere but I did with other characters. I feel her lack of background is essential for the story but didn’t endear me to her. I also had a problem with the explanation of the real Guinevere. It made me look for more information where I found none. She also felt significantly older than 16 (same with Arthur) but content stayed within YA range. I initially had issue with a small twist in the story but ended up really liking it. Mad props to White for that!
It took me about 100 pages to get into the story and get used to the writing. After that, I soaked it up and enjoyed the ride. I’m excited I have book 2 ready to go!
Detailed Content Review
Derogatory terms etc-
Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking
Wine is served to a crowd at a celebration.
A man smells of ale.
Two men get very drunk.
A young woman sips spiced wine.
A young man drinks ale.
Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty
*Minor LGBTQ+ aspects included*
There is talk of the wedding night and men cheering. No real details but it is brought up quite a few times, the expectations and such.
“(Her) breasts are rather small…. he can always find big breasts elsewhere.”
There is gossip that the kings new bride needs two days of rest after one night with him.
A woman lay in a man’s bed, naked, but he turned her down.
A queen and king are rumored to be virgins before marriage.
A young woman explains menstruation to a young woman, telling her it will happen until “…seed takes root in your womb.” The young woman asks to be told about the seeds and how it works.
It is rumored that a wizard forced a woman to sleep with a man, producing a child.
A woman is pregnant and was meant to marry the father but she died in childbirth.
A wife worries about her husband and their non physical relationship. She tells him he can have other women.
Two women are in a relationship. They are apart but one uses magic to visit her in dreams.
A man “took two of their daughters. And when he was finished, he discarded them.”
A man lightly kisses a young woman then kisses her as she runs her hands in his hair.
A man kisses a young woman.
Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood
A man is shot in the hand with an arrow. More arrows hit his thigh and chest, killing him. Even more arrows are shot at accompanying men as they retreat.
Wolves attack a group. A young woman is knocked off her horse and a wolf lunges. A man tackles the wolf and it bites him, it poisons his blood and he soon dies.
A man and dragon fight. The dragon has a wing cut and is unable to fly.
A large boar chases two women. It targets one until someone shoots it with a spear. The boar continues with the spear in its chest. The person plunges a sword in its neck, it screams and throws them with his tusks. It targets the young woman again then its head is cut off. The person is bleeding.
Thieves purposely blind horses so they cannot find their way home.
A young woman is knocked out and taken captive. A man slaps her, her head snaps to the side. He slaps her again, knocking her over. He talks of selling her or killing her. He grabs her roughly and dangles her over a river.
A knight throws two men into a river, one is hit in the head with a rock, his eyes roll back.
A young woman cuts her hand to use her blood for magic.
Magic makes a tree grab a young woman. It uses its roots to crush two horses. Soldiers fight, 4 are killed. A tree takes a man and while he screams, hides him in its branches. Then his screaming stops. Another man is encased in vines until he dies also. A hand reaches from the dirt but is cut off. It scurries away then another grows again. A man kicks a woman, and they fight with swords. A man holds a knife to a woman’s throat.
A woman uses magic to burn a man then she shoves him off his horse.
Potentially Intense Themes
A young woman has a “soul-deep terror” of water and drowning. She becomes completely immobile while trying to cross a river.
A woman dies in childbirth and her child lives only a few hours.
Wolves surround a group and attack.
A young woman is bit by a magical poisonous spider and passes out.
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