November 5, 2020 , Thu
Review: The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten WhiteThe Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising, #2) by Kiersten White
Published by Delacorte Press
on November 10, 2020
Pages: 384
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5 Stars

The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White, exploring the nature of self, the inevitable cost of progress, and, of course, magic and romance and betrayal so epic Queen Guinevere remains the most famous queen who never lived.
EVERYTHING IS AS IT SHOULD BE IN CAMELOT: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.
Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight, and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere–the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn’t belong. She never will.
When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?

Arthurian legends are one of my favorite things. I’ve always been a bit obsessed with them (and went as far to take courses in college that dealt with them). I’ve read almost every adaptation and watched every version (BBC Merlin, why you do me so wrong). This is one of the best ones I’ve read in my life.

If you remember, I actually talked about being excited for The Guinevere Deception way back on 2019 as a Waiting on Wednesday post. And when I finally got around to reading it, I LOVED it. So when I was offered the opportunity to snag an ARC of The Camelot Betrayal for review for TBR & Beyond, I literally jumped. For joy. For like a solid twenty minutes.

characters

🧵 I love Guinevere. I love her. I love Lancelot and Arthur and Mordred and Dindrane and Brangien. I love them all. If you loved these characters in the first book, your love for them will continue to grow. I particularly enjoy the way female friendships are portrayed and built and respected, which is even more prevalent in the second installment. Honestly, these characters leap from the pages into your hearts and they are so vibrant and real and I LOVE THEM ALL.

🧵 It’s a pretty big cast, but you know what? It feels like everyone matters. Everyone is important. And they all have battles they’re fighting in addition to the overall bigger fight of the series. Each of these characters comes with their own backstory and motivations tied to what’s going on in the plot and none of it feels extra or unnecessary. It feels like White is taking her time to make sure to illustrate that everyone has a part to play, everyone has a reason to be here, even if we don’t understand or know it yet.

plot

🧵 The plot has it all. Action, court intrigue, romance, mystery– everything. It’s a non-stop thrill ride with the highest of stakes and you will be sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to see how it all plays out. I appreciate the sheer nimbleness of White’s crafting here. Every story fits into the plot, every thread goes somewhere, everything is related and so many elements are woven into the overall narrative that it’s just bloody impressive. I’ve rarely read a book that can combine so many elements successfully and have a little something for everyone where literally nothing falls flat.

🧵 Honestly, I can’t say enough about the interlocking elements. White is exceptionally gifted at planting seeds for the reader to come back to. I really went through it while reading this book. She hit every emotional note in my arsenal and I still don’t know how it’s all going to play out. And the romance(s). SO SO SO GOOD. A little something for everyone, really.

writing

🧵 The writing works to match the flow of the story. When my brain was telling me to go faster, faster, faster so I could find out what happened next, the writing helped me a long. And in moments of soft character introspection, we got some lovely prose and lines that landed with grace and precision.

🧵 There was a strong undercurrent throughout the novel, always tension, with small pockets we got to breathe when we sat with the characters. I feel like it was expertly paced. When I felt overwhelmed and like it was all a little too much for my poor heart, White planted a sweet drop of relief into an interaction. Just, *chef’s kiss* all around.

 

this is the book you’re looking for if:

  1. You like Arthurian legends.
  2. You want a badass genderbent Lancelot.
  3. You like slow burn kind of enemies to lovers ships.

this is not the book you’re looking for if:

  1. You don’t like love triangles.
  2. You’re not into imaginative retellings.
  3. You hate cliffhangers and high tension storytelling.

now you!

🧵 What niche interests do you like to see in fiction?
🧵 Dream genderbent retelling?
🧵 Favorite recent ship?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kiersten White is the New York Times bestselling and Bram Stoker award-winning author of the And I Darken trilogy, the Paranormalcy trilogy, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Slayer, The Guinevere Deception, and many other novels. Kiersten lives with her family in sunny San Diego, California, where she perpetually lurks in the shadows.

 

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And don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on the tour!

favorite quotes:

That was the other lie of stories. Even if the story was told true, it never talked about what happened after the quest. About all the wounds–visible and otherwise– that lingered long after the neat close of the tale.

How unfortunate that nature was both the most peaceful and the most dangerous place possible. But that was its duality. It gave life and it took it, provided and withheld, offered beauty and danger in equal measure.

“Ah, yes. That is the price of being clever. We win, and we hurt other people, and we always, always hurt ourselves. Better to be dull and good, barreling through the world like Arthur. It makes things easier.”

check out the playlist i made for the book!

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About Diana

Diana is your sleep-deprived, fandom loving, payload escorting, book obssessing tour guide. She has her Bachelor's degree in English Literature and her Master's degree in Creative Writing. She currently works for a community college in the IT department and is an adjunct professor teaching English.

2 Responses to Review: The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White

  1. Heather says:

    Thank you for being part of the tour! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book so much. You’ve made a great playlist!

    • Diana says:

      Thank you so much! I love making playlists. Also thanks for having me on the tour! It’s my second or third review for TBR & Beyond and it’s been fantastic being a part of the book love. <3

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