Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review of The Guinevere Deception, book one in the Camelot Rising Trilogy. It’s a retelling of the King Arthur myth in a magical, feminist way.
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?
This book completely took me under its spell. It really was a magical read. I fell completely in love with with many of the characters we met, especially Guinevere, Lancelot, and Arthur, all of whom had such wonderfully written personalities.
Guinevere is our protagonist but we get little snippets from some dark source of magic that is working against her ocassionally, keeping the blood pumping, and all the while Guinevere is working magic – in a country that has now outlawed it. She is on a mission to protect Arthur, worried about the danger they both have been warned is coming, but Merlin has given her no idea of where to look for the danger itself – or safety in the midst of it.
We follow Guinevere as she searches for clues as to what could be putting her new husband and king at risk, using the special branch of magic she knows and trusts, yet finds restrictive for the answers she needs. All the while, being queen is also proving to be restrictive, and is preventing her from searching or fighting threats as sufficiently as she would want. But she has come to care for Arthur, and care for Camelot, even if she knows she will never be the absolute center of his world that she might want to be. I think, however, Guinevere is one of the most lonely characters I’ve read about, and wants to be loved by someone.
There are two more books to go in this series, and I will absolutely be following it to its conclusion.
This was one of my favourite reads in September, and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you about book two very soon!