Book Reviews

The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising, #2) by Kiersten White

The Camelot BetrayalTitle: The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising, #2)
Author: Kiersten White
Rating: ★★★★

The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White, exploring the nature of self, the inevitable cost of progress, and, of course, magic and romance and betrayal so epic Queen Guinevere remains the most famous queen who never lived.

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?

The Camelot Betrayal is the continuation of the fantasy retelling of King Arthur. In a world where kingdom comes before love and magic is forbidden, readers continue on Guinevere’s journey of magic, friendship, love, fealty to the kingdom, and self-discovery.

In the second installment, White brings readers into the complicated and confusing head of Guinevere. After being betrayed by a love, learning how to wield powers for the good of the kingdom (the same powers that could put her in jeopardy of being found out), and blaming herself for the wickedness that plagues the land, Guinevere has more going on than she can handle. We discover the inner workings of our protagonist in a real way: both her strengths and her weaknesses.

While I enjoyed the character building, I felt that the story lacked a little action. Typical for most trilogies, I wanted to be “wowed” and felt a little disappointed. This felt like an entirely different plot line and, I believe, could’ve been emitted from the story entirely without losing any substance. My only objection is that I enjoyed learning more about the relationship between Guinevere and Mordred.

The Camelot Betrayal is a story of the power of friendship, loyalty, and how our own minds can betray us. White brings readers a story of a protagonist who questions herself: her decisions, her friends, and even those closest to her heart; a protagonist who has flaws but is loved despite them, will do anything for the people she loves, and most importantly, who learns from her mistakes.

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