So at the core, I want to love this book. It’s a fantasy retailing of the legend of Arthur and Camelot from the point of view of Guinevere. It’s supposed to be a woman empowering novel, showing women are magical and terrifying and strong. However, I found myself bored.
Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to marry someone she never met, King Arthur. The kingdom is being threatened by magic, so Merlin sends Guinevere, a magical changeling, to protect Arthur under the disguise of his wife. Leaving her real name and identity a mystery.
To keep her husband and king safe, Guinevere must learn how to be a queen. Beyond that, she must learn how to keep the threats at bay. But, might even Guinevere be a threat? After all, she doesn’t even know who she truly is.
I think if Kiersten White spent more time diving into the time period and magic, this story would have been better. But instead we get Guinevere trotting around without any real purpose.
I wanted to love this story so badly, but it was tedious. We knew from the start Guinevere was not the real Guinevere, but actually a changeling witch. We knew she was sent by Merlin to protect Arthur, but since her urge to protect him doesn’t come from any real conflict in the start, she just wanders the halls and chats with other characters. We spent so long having no idea where the story was going because it didn’t go anywhere.
When excitement finally does start to happen, the queen is whisked to safety and we don’t even get to read about the fighting. Just the aftermath when the knights return.
Possibly I misinterpreted the story and the tension was supposed to rise from the budding romance between Arthur and Guinevere, but that was so bland. Honestly, at times I forgot he was supposed to even be a romantic interest.
The only exciting part was in the last 100 pages or so. But then so much happens at once, it’s almost hard to follow. She did set it up for a sequel and maybe that one will be better since we aleady have the world and characters set up and in the middle of action. But honestly, she should have cut the first half of the book out, or thrown in more tension and events.
I love Kiersten White as an it’s an author but this book was a disappointment. Maybe someone with more patience will enjoy this one.