Book Review: THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL by Kiersten White

Title in white on an orange hued image of a woman on a lake with hair whipping around her
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 3.5 stars
Series: yes - second book of trilogy

Synopsis:

Book cover for THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL: a girl sits in a boat with blue waves and hair flying around her against an orange sky

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?

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

I read this book in what was very much not the ideal way for me – in small nibbles around a host of other books so I didn’t race ahead of my buddy reader. It took over a week, reading in 5 or 10 chapter chunks. It proved that I should not read multiple books at once, and made THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL feel really piecemeal and disjointed.

It makes this a really hard book to review. I think that most of my dissatisfaction and disconnection from the story can be attributed to how I read it, and that, when it comes to re-read it ahead of the final instalment’s release later this year, I will probably enjoy it far more. (Thus this review is short as I am intending to add to it after a re-read!)

The thing I like most about this series is the way it takes and reshapes the legends you know. Tristian and Isolde has a new f/f spin, Morgana’s story is more sympathetic, Lancelot and the Lady of the Lake is different too. I liked how these stories were inserted between chapters, rather than being presented in the main chapter as X telling Guinevere, as it meant there was no reactions from any of the characters, just the story.

The big mysteries about who Guinevere is has not been solved yet. There isn’t much progress in solving them (given there’s one book to come), but there is a lot of theorising about the theory I’d come up with in the first book. It is a good series to buddy read as trying to work out where exactly these new takes are going is best done with someone else.

There is one more book to come, THE EXCALIBUR CURSE, which hopefully will provide the answers to the mysteries snaking through the series.


Read my reviews of other books by Kiersten White:

The Camelot Rising (this series):

Slayer:

Standalones:

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