For what seems like the entirety of my forty-two years on this planet I have been waiting for what I’ve dubbed the fab five.
- Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
- Kingdom for a Stage by Heidi Heilig
- The Guinevere Deception
- Toll by Neal Shusterman
- Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
After banging down doors, offering up vital organs and one of my cats, (which normally I wouldn’t do over my dead body- and in the case of some of my organs that would be literal) I had given up on Advanced Readers Copies for all of them. Apparently, I gave up to quickly. When the widget for Kiersten White’s The Guinevere Deception showed up in my email one fine morning, my knees buckled and I had to sit down.
Thank you to Delacorte for an ARC in exchange for an honest review
As of today, two of the fab five have been released. They have both exceeded expectations. As for the first book in White’s latest series, Camelot Rising? It has fallen right in line, kicking off her spin on King Arthur in epic style.
It is no secret that I have been a fan of Kiersten White since I read the And I Darken series, which was before my site ever existed. It has continued through The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, her take on Buffy with the Slayer Series (Chosen, the next installment comes out in January).
The Guinevere Deception twist Arthurian lore on its head when Merlin is banished from Camelot at the worst possible time. Magic is banging at the edges of Camelot and no one is there to protect King Arthur or the court. Tradition is playing tug of war with those would see new ways come to fruition and forge a better way forward.
But Merlin has sent in a rider in disguise, a changeling posing as Guinevere who is to marry King Arthur and protect him, the Court, and Camelot from the magic at its borders, threatening its very existence
With mesmerizing prose White captured and sucked me right into an evil and enchanted forest that swayed with whispered evil. Camelot brimmed with action and excitement, political chess matches, and plot twists that jarred everything I thought I knew might come next.
And Guinevere was a fantastical surprise. An unreliable narrator who was an unknown mystery not just to all those around her, but to herself as well. Missing whole gaps in her memory, Guinevere endeavors to trust herself while those around offered their trust without a thought because, why wouldn’t they? She is Guinevere, after all. Or so they thought.
Having the center protagonist standout as a mystery unto herself adds a whole other dynamic to this story. I can’t imagine how it will play out or what the finality of its impact will be. There are many things yet still to be uncovered. How those points will intersect with the entirety of the mystery of Guinevere, herself, is seems an unstoppable cataclysmic event.
Front row seats! Please!