The Camelot Betrayal – Kiersten White – ARC Review

Title: The Camelot Betrayal
Series: Camelot Rising #2
Author: Kiersten White
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retellings
Published
: November 10th, 2020 (Delacorte Press)
Goodreads


Synopsis: 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?

Review:
Thank you to the publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Guinevere has accepted her role as Arthur’s queen and to protect Camelot, but she is still restless. The Dark Queen has risen and is no doubt biding her time to strike. Guinevere still struggles to belong, even as she continues to wonder about her past, but danger may have already arrived in Camelot, as magic is not the only threat. Not only is Mordred still at large, the real Guinevere’s younger sister arrives unexpectedly for a visit. Can Guinevere maintain the deception or will she be exposed as an imposter?

I’m quite conflicted about this book. On one hand, it was undoubtedly entertaining, but on the other, it hardly felt like Guinevere’s story at all, there was so little focus on the main conflict. I hope all these side stories I had to muddle through in this book are actually going to come back and be relevant in the finale or I will be very disappointed. There is definitely a little middle book syndrome here, and I skimmed quite a few chapters because I was very bored at some places.

We get some nice backstories, including an interesting variant of Tristan and Isolde, and the interludes certainly helped liven things up. Guinevere has quite an interesting arc as she begins to grow into her role. I also really liked her strong friendship with Brangien and Lancelot. While I like this version of Lancelot, I’m still confused on what to think regarding how this will end up in comparison to the myth. There isn’t nearly enough laid out to make it happen realistically, but I’m curious to see where this goes. Mordred is turning into quite the interesting character and I don’t even know if I would call him a villain anymore – assuming there isn’t another twist hidden up ahead.

The plotline with Guinevach, Guinevere’s sister, was just building up to be something really good – and then it falls flat. If it had to be that way, why did Guinevere need to spend nearly 2/3 of the book fretting over her intentions, jumping to conclusions and generally acting in a very suspicious manner towards her? It just made her sound really whiny when this could have all been resolved so much earlier to make way for some more solid plot. Also, where I enjoyed Arthur and Guinevere’s romance in the first book, this time around, it falls flat, Arthur in particular who has basically no character development in this one. Honestly, having Guinevere run off with Mordred is more believable at this point – atleast they have some chemistry! All in all, I would consider this the book of side quests and false leads, and of course, the one where Guinevere makes some reckless and questionable life choices.

The ending was certainly a surprise, and one you will not see coming. Combined with the revelations about Guinevere that may or may not be true, it sets the stage for a very interesting path ahead. Overall, this wasn’t up to the standard of The Guinevere Deception, but an entertaining sequel. Knowing Kiersten White though, the finale is likely to be a showstopper, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this retelling is going to end and how close to the original story it will stay. I would definitely recommend this not only for fans of retellings and the legend of King Arthur, but also fantasy fans, who are sure to enjoy the unique magic system and the world of Camelot.

The Camelot Betrayal releases on November 10th, 2020.


Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series:


12 thoughts on “The Camelot Betrayal – Kiersten White – ARC Review

  1. Lindsey October 27, 2020 / 3:41 am

    I love anything to do with Camelot, so this series still sounds amazing even if this book didn’t live up to your hopes for it. Fingers crossed that it picks back up again for the next. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) November 1, 2020 / 7:08 pm

      Thanks! I’ve read quite a few King Arthur retellings over the last year or so, and this is the one I like the most because it has the same setting and is staying reasonably close to the original too, so I still have rather high hopes for the next book!

      Like

  2. Marta the Monogamist Reader October 27, 2020 / 4:20 am

    I am so jealous!! Lol 😂 this is one of my most awaited release of 2020, but it won’t be out until end of November here. Sigh. Great review!! I can’t wait to read it now!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alynn98 October 28, 2020 / 10:54 am

    I’ve waiting for this book for a year, and I’m a little worried what I’ll think of it! 😬😂 I’m glad to hear that you mostly enjoyed it, and I hope that everything comes together into a stunning conclusion!🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) November 1, 2020 / 7:11 pm

      The middle book is always the tricky one 😄 It has its weak points, but I thought it did a decent job overall advancing the main plot even if there were quite a few distractions along the way. Hope you enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sue Berk Koch October 28, 2020 / 4:00 pm

    I like fantasy and the arthurian legend but I admit that I recently grew tired of Merlin, an old netflix series in the pov of Merlin, (obviously). I may give myself until after the holidays and try the book. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) November 1, 2020 / 7:12 pm

      I haven’t watched Merlin, but I liked the new series Cursed (also based on a book) which is a pretty interesting twist on the legend. Hope you enjoy this book if you decide to read it!

      Like

  5. Stephanie October 28, 2020 / 4:24 pm

    The review for this sequel actually makes me want to go back and read the first book. It sounds like a really interesting plot. I hope that I can get to it sometime soon. I haven’t read any books about this particular time period.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) November 1, 2020 / 7:15 pm

      King Arthur retellings never seem to get old – I think this is atleast the 6th one I’ve read in the past year, and each one is so varied! Funnily enough, I like this one best so far because it has the least deviations from the original. Thanks for reading!

      Like

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