Owlcrate December Box. Theme: Tales of Trickery
The Guinevere Deception was an intriguing retelling of Arthurian legend with our titular heroine at the center. Guinevere has been sent to protect Arthur from magical enemies, and in doing so must marry him to be able to keep him in close proximity using her own magical abilities.
After a beautiful wedding in which we become endeared to our forfront characters- Guinevere, Arthur, and his nephew Mordred- Guinevere is immediately and regularly left behind for her safety while Arthur rides off on campaigns with his Knights to ensure peace in his kingdom and neighboring realms.
Me: um, wut?
Somehow, as his wife, she has far less access to Arthur than she might otherwise have. Unfortunately that bothered me to a point where I felt restless. What was the point? What was our heroine trying to accomplish when every day she was left at home and forced to sneak out at night to try to get anything done?
I spent the majority of the book with that feeling you get when you have something you really need to get done, but haven’t been able to get to yet. You know, that one that makes your belly feel tight with unease and apprehension? That feeling.
I hate that feeling.
In the meantime, Guinevere gets to know Mordred who is left behind to accompany her and run the kingdom in Arthur’s stead, embarks on investigating the mysterious Patchwork Knight, befriends her lady’s maid and the sister of one of Arthur’s knights because she finds her insults amusing, and places minor enchantments at every entrance to the castle. You know, Queenly things.
Finally, in the last quarter of the book some things finally happen! Mysterious characters are revealed (both good and bad), the plot kicks into action, and Guinevere stops being in denial (another thing that was driving me mad).
For the last quarter of the book alone, I am sold. I will absolutely read the next book and, in fact, I enjoyed this book far more after I finished it and was left to process all that happened than I had enjoyed it the whole time I spent reading it.
I don’t know how I feel about that. I was (almost) bored while reading it, but it really stuck with me upon finishing it. So, for all that, I give The Guinevere Deception three stars.
It could have been 4 for how amazingly well it kept popping into my mind after I completed it. The writing is superb, the scenery beautiful, and the characters alluring.
It also could have been 2 for how amazingly annoyed I was while reading it. So 3 stars, and I will definitely be reading the next one!
In an effort to include another perspective, I want to share that my Book Bestie absolutely loved this book! To her, the atmosphere was less “WTF” and far more mysterious and enticing, and I completely understand where she’s coming from. I think it simply comes down to that wonderfully executed tension the book provides, and how you as the reader respond to it.
And can we just stop for a minute to appreciate Mordred? If you know anything about Arthurian legend, and honestly even if you didn’t, the moment you are introduced to him you know he’s going to be trouble. And for Guinevere, only the best kind of trouble.
I won’t share too much, but let me just say this: did you love the emo villain Kylo Ren as well as the puppy dog eyes of Ben Solo? Then you should read this book.
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