Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, I received an eArc of this book in exchange for a honest review.
I love Kiersten White’s Conqueror Series, it was brilliantly written, and so I was so excited to be able to read The Guinevere Deception, because I have always loved King Arthur legends. And on top of that, White’s last retelling was fabulous! So I was extremely excited for this one. What made it even more exciting is that White turned the tale on its head and changed some parts – and I will go over that briefly in this review.
I want to start with White’s writing. This book was still top-notch writing. There is something so evocative in White’s language, she is such a great storyteller, and the Arthurian Legends are really something that needs to be told well, and she does it! She uses such description and such feeling for her characters you can’t help but believe that this world she is describing was real at one point. I kept getting lost in the pages, and I was very much unwilling to put the book down. She lures you in and keeps you with this writing!
Now, this is a heads up. You may think this book is going to be action packed with battles and adventures galore: it is not. This book is about more than the action and adventures. It is from Guinevere’s point of view, and so she misses a lot of the action with Arthur. This doesn’t mean she doesn’t have adventures – she does. There are a few in this book. But don’t think of this like an epic saga, because it isn’t. This is more like her slow build Conqueror Series with politics going on. If that isn’t your thing, you’ll need to be prepared, because this book is very focused on characters and the choices they make. I happen to like that kind of thing, so this book was perfect to me.
Speaking of characters, I liked Guinevere. She wasn’t your typical Guinevere from the legends. She was given agency, and overall she was a strong character, but did have flaws. I enjoyed how she was changed from the original Guinevere of legend – she was a sorceress in this one. I’m not going to say anything else on that as I want people who read this to be surprised by Guinevere just like I was! It was so much fun to read this Guinevere. In some ways she reminded me of Guinevere from “Merlin” and while this wasn’t exactly like that, it did mix up the characters quite a bit as well.
I also loved the Patchwork Knight. LOVED. LOVED. I’m not saying anything else (but I guessed it at the beginning!) but this book was also totally worth it because of that. Seriously amazing.
But so were the other characters, Mordred, Tristan, Brangien and Arthur. They were all great characters, and were somewhat different than their legend counterparts! It was all very enjoyable!
The plot itself is a little difficult to explain without giving away too much, but essentially it dumps the legends on its head, takes what it wants, reworks it and makes it awesome. Guinevere must essentially navigate Arthur’s court, and pretend she doesn’t have magic or risk being banished. As Queen she begins to learn that not everything in Arthur’s court is perfect. And she must protect him and Camelot from destruction. Or so she thinks.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I think it is going to be an interesting series, and I am excited to see what comes next!