Author: Kiersten White
Series: Camelot Rising #1
Genre: YA fantasy retelling
Release Date: November 5th, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: E-galley from Netgalley which did not influence my opinion
My rating: 4 stars
From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes a new fantasy series reimagining the Arthurian legend, set in the magical world of Camelot.
There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl.
Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom's borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution--send in Guinevere to be Arthur's wife . . . and his protector from those who want to see the young king's idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere's real name--and her true identity--is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot.
To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old--including Arthur's own family--demand things continue as they have been, and the new--those drawn by the dream of Camelot--fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Arthur's knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.
Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?
I definitely get the lure of the Arthurian legends, and do enjoy a good story set in that world. Overall, this was one that I did really enjoy. I'm not as well-versed in this world as other people are, so there were some things I was definitely learning about the legends and people as I read, and others that I wasn't quite sure of the characters and had to go do some research outside of the book to make sure I realized who each of them were in the stories. The world White has built in this book is once again so deep and vivid and haunting in some parts. The characters are well-fleshed out, and used to keep you either on your toes to decipher story arcs, or else they fill in the story in such a way that it helps you figure things out with plenty of "ah-ha" moments. I loved how Guinevere made one of her best friends with a person that normally you would read in a story as someone who caused problems for her. To have that person really be someone who just needed to be given the chance to be a good person, even with all her shortcomings and gossip/social climbing traits that were expected of women in those times. I'll be intrigued to see how the story will carry on with Merlin in the predicament he ends up in, and the Lady of the Lake as well as the Dark Queen all playing their roles in this game of a plot. It is hard to decide if I can fall in love with Arthur, because of his many absences from his queen, but then there is Mordred, and what happens with him, can we trust him, is he really on a bad path, or maybe he has the right way of thought? So many twists and turns and things to keep you thinking and wondering and waiting for the next book.
While this was good, it did not blow me away the way The Conqueror's Saga and the first book in the Slayer series did. I'm still excited enough to be awaiting the next book though, but I'll be patiently waiting for the year or so that it takes.