Reviews

The Guinevere Deception, by Kiersten White

frackletum's review against another edition

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3.0

I lowkey love the magic in this book. Knots? Murderous trees? Yes please

readorrot's review against another edition

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4.0

So, I am pretty much total trash for any Arthurian retelling, and this is no exception.

I must say that I don’t think the writing was very strong compared to some of White’s other work (still pretty strong compared to other writing not her own). But, the audiobook narration was just so good that I was easily able to look past all that. The narrator was so comforting, and I sunk fully into the story like a cushy couch. It took me almost 4 month to finish because I didn’t want it to end.

I enjoyed all of the characters and the way White chose to adapt them. It made the story fresh but still familiar. I really like the way she chose to adapt Guinevere. Sometimes it felt like I didn’t really know who she was, but that fit with her story and her character perfectly. I’m eager to see where all the character relationships wind up going forward, and where Guinevere winds up as a character.

I really loved being in the setting of this world. It was a lush, fanciful place, with towering castles and knights and secret passages. The plot is very very slow, and at times it can feel like nothing has happened for pages. But, because I enjoyed being there so much I didn’t mind at all. I think I’d give the plot a 2 or 3 honestly, but I truly did enjoy the book anyway.

I am looking so forward to the rest of the series.

360loverpenguin's review against another edition

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mysterious reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

piratefan2a's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

libraryinthecountry's review against another edition

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4.0

I really enjoyed the twist this puts on the Arthurian legend! Despite knowing the legend fairly well, this retelling is packed full of new developments and several surprising twists on the original story!

First and foremost, I quite love the dynamic between Guinevere and Arthur in this and Guinevere’s purpose for marrying him. It removes her from the ‘frivolous damsel’ or ‘opportunistic viper’ narrative and places her squarely into a character with agency past her use as a wife.

If you’re familiar with the numerous tragedies that befall the characters of the Arthurian legend, you find shades of them in this story, but I truly can’t think of one that plays out the same way it does in the original tale – past Arthur taking Guinevere as his bride.

My biggest caveat is that there was a certain level of confusion, especially in the beginning as to exactly why Guinevere is marrying Arthur and who she is. At times I felt as though it was something I was simply supposed to be aware of already, but that only lead to more confusion at times. I think it would have been helpful to see Arthur and Guinevere interact more and put more discussion into what is going on.

That said, White does a fantastic job of giving these characters new life and it’s clear she had her sights on gender equality, as well as LGBTQIA+ representation.

This book is a steady climb to the climax, with little hints and bits of information strewn about for the reader to follow and stay engaged with. This is a delightful retelling and breathes new life into the story, I am greatly looking forward to the next book!

duda_ferreira's review against another edition

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adventurous funny inspiring mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75


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followeroftheredthread's review

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adventurous dark emotional hopeful mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

bonniegracebing's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious medium-paced

4.25

bridgette's review against another edition

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2.0

2.5 stars

The nature horror at the beginning and end are five stars, but everything else is meh.

I loved the And I Darken trilogy, so I was super excited for this retelling. But it fell flat. The pacing was super slow and a lot of novel is just Guinevere going around Camelot doing a lot of nothing, trying to protect Arthur from this vague threat that is never specified. It was too vague to hold any weight or create any real tension.

Magic is outlawed in Camelot, but Guinevere has the magic (the entire point of her is having magic to protect Arthur from a magical threat now that Merlin is banished), but there's very little magic in this.

The side characters were far more interesting than Guinevere and a gender-swapped character has a lot of potential for later books, but I don't know that I will bother with the rest of the series.

claires's review against another edition

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adventurous slow-paced

4.25