The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White (352 pages)
The Guinevere Deception is a Story With Magic Banished from Camelot, Guinevere Has a Lot to Hide
As is typical of Kiersten White’s retellings, this Guinevere is not the princess you think you know. In The Guinevere Deception, opening during her journey to Camelot, Guinevere is preparing to marry King Arthur, a gallant and handsome young man revered by his kingdom for his selflessness and bravery. The catch? Guinevere isn’t actually who she says she is. Having stolen the identity of the legendary princess, this Guinevere has a more important role: protect King Arthur from a growing magical threat.
Raised by the infamous Merlin himself, Guinevere has spent her life training for this mission. Although magic has been banished from Camelot, forces are working in the dark to try to dispose of King Arthur. Guinevere must therefore play two dangerous games: a magical cat-and-mouse with invisible foes and the game of courtly politics. As threats from all sides grow, so does Guinevere’s power and confidence.
A New Take on an Old Tale
White is definitely not new to the genre of retellings. With The Conqueror’s Saga and The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, White is interested in retelling stories of powerful men either from a woman’s point of view or by gender-swapping the protagonists. This novel, however, does something a bit more interesting. This Arthurian story is told from Guinevere’s point of view, but she maintains much of her original personality from the legends. While she is powerful, she is still vulnerable and growing into herself. This novel is refreshing in that its female protagonist doesn’t have to choose between being the hero and the damsel in distress; she can realistically be a bit of both.
The Bottom Line: 4/5 Brookie Stars
As with most of White’s other novels that I’ve had the pleasure to read, this one was wildly entertaining. Having a bit of knowledge about Arthurian legend helped me dive in but coming in without that knowledge definitely won’t be a hindrance. White still manages to create an original story with interesting twists and exciting reveals. While the pace is a bit slow in the first half, I was still totally engrossed.
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Rachel Gomes is a 30-something high school English teacher who lives with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband and their son. Rachel is a voracious reader who loves to learn and has her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. She’s happiest listening to podcasts and talking to friends about the latest news in nerd culture.
Favourite book: Don’t make me choose between A Song of Ice and Fire and Harry Potter
Favourite brunch spot: The Farmer’s Table