The Camelot Betrayal
- Author: Kiersten White
- Genre: YA Fantasy
- Publication Date: November 10, 2020
- Publisher: Delacorte Press
- Series: Camelot Rising #2
TRIGGER WARNING: reference to domestic violence, kidnapping
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book.
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?
I really liked the first book in the series (see my review here), and I absolutely love King Arthur and Camelot stories. I absolutely loved how this is the very first book I’ve read that is told from Guinevere’s POV and it doesn’t paint her as arm candy or a total ninny. And Lancelot is a female knight! There’s some really strong girl-power vibes in this series, and I was all about it.
Like the first book, this one is seriously slow for so much of the book. It took me so long to get into it, because I kept reading and reading and waiting for something to happen. Instead, there were a lot of things going on and it felt like the groundwork was being laid for a bunch of subplots that I knew would somehow get all rolled up together, but it just took forever to happen. But then I hit the last quarter of the book and things started moving really quickly. I still didn’t see how everything worked out until close to the end, so it wasn’t very predictable, which is a good thing.
I like Guinevere’s character, and I think her character flaws make her more relatable. At times, I found her irritating, but then I had to remind myself that she’s only 17 and deals with some really heavy burdens, which made it easier to like her. So much of the book focused on her internal struggle to figure out who she is, who she wants to become, and how to reconcile the things she has done. On top of that, she had an incredibly frustrating tendency to run away from situations rather than just address them directly, but I think that’s going to become a big part of her growth process as both a person and a queen. But I still got the feeling that she’s a good person, who is tough and loyal, and genuinely wants to help. I think that she and Arthur are good for each other.
I love Brangien and Lancelot’s characters. I think they make the story, especially since they’re the characters that we really get to know the best. Arthur is less of a well-developed character than the women are, and I kind of feel like it’s payback for the boatload of male-centered Camelot stories that are out there.
As usual, this one left off on a major cliffhanger, and I immediately want to read the next one, even before this book has actually been released. Hopefully the final book in the trilogy will be a little faster-paced, but I’m definitely going to be tuning in for the conclusion.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 13
Categories: Book Review