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The Guinevere Deception

Camelot Rising, Book 1
Written by: Kiersten White
Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden
Series: Camelot Rising Trilogy, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Fascinating.... Kiersten White has taken the best parts of the Arthurian legend and made them all her own." (Renée Ahdieh, number one New York Times best-selling author of The Wrath and the Dawn series)

A new fantasy series set in the world of Camelot that best-selling author Christina Lauren calls "brilliant", reimagining the Arthurian legend...where nothing is 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. 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? 

*THE FIRST BOOK IN THE CAMELOT RISING TRILOGY* 

"A rare and enviable mix of impeccable writing, heart-stopping action, lush scenery, and complex, relatable characters...brilliant!" (New York Times best-selling author Christina Lauren) 

"Stunning...will leave every reader hungry for more." (Somaiya Daud, author of the Mirage series)

©2019 Kiersten White (P)2019 Listening Library

What the critics say

“With immersive prose, White captures the spirit of Arthurian legend while adding diversity and a bit of powerful feminist flair in this appealing series opener.... Leaves much to be explored in future installments.” (Publishers Weekly)

“An acclaimed master of the female-centric retelling turns her hand to Arthuriana.... More diverse than many Camelot representations, this is a retelling designed for a modern audience more interested in people than battles and more intrigued by identity and affection than honor and questing. A promising series opener.” (Kirkus Reviews)

"First in a series, this fantasy novel will appeal to fans familiar with stories of Arthur, and provides an introduction to those unfamiliar.... Full of battling knights and romance, this is a must.” (School Library Journal)

What listeners say about The Guinevere Deception

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A Wonderful Listen

I have loved the Arthurian legends since I began reading for pleasure in childhood. While I have always found Arthur himself a bit boring, and one dimensional, the world around him, and the supporting cast, especially the women, have always been of the most interest to me. I have always wanted to have more of an LGBTQ reinterpretation of the stories as well, and The Guinevere Deception delivers in both of those points. Kiersten White delivers a beautiful prose, and creates a story and world so intriguing and unique. The world building and magic system are excellent. The character breathe themselves into life, and the author gives them time to develop and reveal themselves. While only a 10 hour read, the story never feel rushed, or short sighted. Elizabeth Knowelden’s narration is sublime, and at time she evokes Eva Green’s husky cadence. I can not recommend this book more, and am anxious for the next instalment.

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  • Amy
  • 2019-12-11

The Guinevere Deception

After Arthur’s defeat of The Dark Queen, magic in all forms was banished from Camelot. Meaning, Merlin was banished from Camelot. However, this does not solve all problems as the wizard has foreseen the rise of evil once again. So, Merlin sends in Guinevere who, in his stead, will wed Arthur and become his Queen, in order to remain close to protect him and root out the evil brewing beneath Camelot’s surface. But who really is this girl that Merlin has sent as savior? As Guinevere searches for the threats to Camelot, she’ll uncover more secrets hidden within, secrets that, if discovered, could mean the end to everything Arthur has built. This is the second Arthurian legend retelling I’ve read this year. Although the two are wildly different in scope, I love the fact that Arthurian legend is so easily manipulated and molded. It’s a veritable treasure trove of varying accounts of this knight or that knight or this love or that love. In the hands of someone like Kiersten White who is no stranger to retellings, it becomes a magical story about a girl finding her power, finding her voice. I loved the idea of deception. Of who is being deceived and who is committing the deception. At first seemingly believing the deception lies with Guinevere who is magic in a magicless world. It’s easy to see and identify this deception, but as Kiersten White’s story unassumingly and slowly unfolds seeing the twists of other deceptions that Guinevere couldn’t even comprehend was a treat and just signals how tangled Arthurian Legend really is. Probably the one thing that was difficult for me to reconcile with was the idea of how young everyone is. Guinevere is sixteen, Arthur eighteen yet there’s so much talk about his quests, battles and victories that have themselves already been turned into the things of legends. It’s hard to see an eighteen year old boy (young man) taking on this mantle, but I think it’s also a great way of showing how much pressure Arthur is under, the kingdom he’s built and responsible for, the tough decisions he will always have to make. Struggles with identity is a common thread throughout the story, and something that I’m assuming will proceed in books to come. Guinevere holds the title of Queen but she doesn’t identify as a Queen. She doesn’t know what her role is exactly besides the rather cryptic protector of Arthur. But protecting Arthur would also extend to protecting Camelot because they are basically one and the same. It’s an interesting quandary and I can’t wait to see how it continues to unfold. Kiersten White applies this same theory to pretty much every other character in the story. If you’re familiar with anything Arthurian you know who all the players are, but I daresay you’ll be surprised and maybe even delighted with some of the twists thrown in and what they might mean down the road. While the legend of Arthur undoubtedly has its romance, I was really happy that there was more focus placed on Guinevere herself. Guinevere does wonder at certain moments where her relationship with Arthur may eventually lead – by the end I think she hopes it turns into love – but there’s a lot less angst about the whole thing, and there’s still that undeniable base connection. The Guinevere Deception is a really good introduction to an already familiar world that just so happens to pull out some unexpected surprises that keep the story fresh. The narration by Elizabeth Knowelden was wonderful. She managed to give distinctive voice to each character without overdoing it, especially in regard to the male voices which I have found some female narrators have problems with (this is does apply to the reverse as well, I've listened to audio where the male narrators have issue with female voices). Her pacing was great and she was very clear in speaking. I look forward to finding other titles she has narrated before.

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  • ValientZero
  • 2020-07-01

clever.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. a good twist on a classic tale. I devoured it and honestly can not wait for the next one ! A must listen to.

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  • tiffany.the.bibliophile
  • 2020-02-14

Whimsical, enthralling, and so utterly captivating!!

Usually the narration is better than the story or story is better than the narration, less often than not, are they in total sync. HOWEVER TGD is one of the best audios I’ve listened to since The Night Circus. I was immersed in the world of Camelot with familiar and new characters of a story from my childhood with the best kind of twists. I fell in love with all the characters all ranging from the heroic to the deceptively villainous and cannot wait for the sequel!

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  • Cean Cruz
  • 2020-02-12

Not what I expected

From the very beginning the book caught my attention when honestly I’m not really into old timely medieval novels. Tho I enjoy Arthurian legends and this one had many twist and turns. And how well interwoven the story was.

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  • Mrs Huey
  • 2020-02-11

Easy listen.

The pace was steady and the book was enjoyable. The voice was also soothing!

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  • Michelle V. B.
  • 2020-01-06

What a way to start 2020!

I enjoyed this so much! I switched between the book and the audiobook, and I loved experiencing this story both ways. I love the twist that this story had, and the way Guinevere was told. I admire her as a heroine, with the strength and abilities that she has. And that ending? Eep! I definitely cannot wait for more. I enjoyed the narrator so much. Perfect tone and nuances in voice. such an enjoyable reading experience.

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  • Mia
  • 2020-08-13

delightful surprise

Okay, so I’d like to premise this that I don’t usually like YA. I judged a book by its cover and was about to pass, but it was the perfect time for my drive so I figured eh, why not? I’m so glad I did!! This is beautifully written and performed! Honestly, I was so entranced in the story in a way that hadn’t happened in a really long time. Is it historically accurate? No. So if you’re a stickler for that you may not enjoy this. For everyone else, I’d definitely recommend! The characters are lovely, the way White creates relationships is so realistic and makes you fall in love with them. This retelling was so creative and well-crafted, it had me at the clutching my steering wheel as I was feeling all the feels in the best way!

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  • ADoWendy
  • 2019-11-15

The Guinevere Deception

Fantastic book, well written and well read. Highly recommend, and can’t wait for book 2!

2 people found this helpful