A review by libraryinthecountry
The Guinevere Deception, by Kiersten White

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!