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The Guinevere Deception
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The Guinevere Deception
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"Fascinating. . . . Kiersten White has taken the best parts of the Arthurian legend and made them all her own."—Renée Ahdieh, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn...
"Fascinating. . . . Kiersten White has taken the best parts of the Arthurian legend and made them all her own."—Renée Ahdieh, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn...
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Description-

  • "Fascinating. . . . Kiersten White has taken the best parts of the Arthurian legend and made them all her own."—Renée Ahdieh, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn series.
    A new fantasy series set in the world of Camelot that bestselling 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 bestselling author Christina Lauren
    "Stunning. . . . will leave every reader hungry for more." —Somaiya Daud, author of the Mirage series

Excerpts-

  • From the book There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl on the cusp of womanhood.
     
    This particular girl had never before felt the power she held by existing in a space of men, but today, surrounded by them, it radiated from her. I am untouchable. They revolved around her as though she were the Earth, and they the adoring but distant sun and moon and stars. It was a type of magic in and of itself.
     
    A veil obscured and dimmed the world around her. She sat back-achingly straight in her saddle. She did not wriggle her toes in the boots they were so unaccustomed to. She pretended she was a painting.
     
    “I cannot believe the convent had no nuns willing to travel with you,” Brangien complained, brushing at the fine layer of dust that baptized their journey. Then, as though unaware she had spoken aloud, she bowed her head. “But of course I am very pleased and honored to be here.”
     
    The smile offered in response to Brangien’s apology went unacknowledged. “Of course,” the girl said, but the words were not quite right. She could do better. She had to. “I do not love travel, either, and I appreciate the kindness you have shown by being my companion on this long journey. It would be lonely without you.” They were surrounded by people, but to them, the blue-and-scarlet-wrapped girl was goods to be guarded and safely delivered to the new owner. She hoped desperately that Brangien, eighteen years to her own sixteen, would become a friend.
     
    She would need one. She had never had one.
     
    But it would also complicate things. She had so many precious hidden things. Having another woman with her at all times was both unfamiliar and dangerous. Brangien’s eyes were black like her hair and hinted at cleverness. Hopefully those eyes would see only what was offered them. Brangien caught her staring and offered a tentative smile.
     
    Focused on her companion, the girl did not notice the change outright. A subtle shift, a lessening of tension, her first breath fully drawn in two weeks. She tipped her head back and closed her eyes, grateful for the leafy green reprieve from the sun. A forest. If she were not barred on all sides by men and horses, she would hug the trees. Run her fingers along their veins to learn each tree’s story.
     
    “Tighten the circle!” Sir Bors commanded. Under the heavy arch of branches, his shout was hushed. He was a man unaccustomed to being muted. Even his mustache bristled at the offense. He moved his reins into his teeth to grip them and drew his sword with his good arm.
     
    The girl snapped out of her daydream to see that the horses had caught the fear of the men. They shifted and stamped, eyes rolling to search as their riders did. A gust of wind lifted her veil. She met the gaze of one of the men—Mordred, three years older than she, and soon to be her nephew. His subtle mouth had twisted up at one corner as though he was amused. Had he caught her reverie before she realized she should not be pleased by the forest?
     
    “What is it?” she asked, turning quickly away from Mordred, who was paying far too much attention. Be a painting.
     
    Brangien shivered and shrank into her cloak. “The trees.”
     
    They crowded in on either side of the road, twisting trunks and grasping roots. Their branches laced overhead to form a tunnel. The girl did not understand the threat. No crack of a twig, no rustling. Nothing disturbed the beauty of the forest. Except her and the men around her. “What about the trees?” she asked.
    ...

About the Author-

  • KIERSTEN WHITE is the New York Times bestselling author of The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, the Slayer series, the And I Darken trilogy, and many more novels. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, which, in spite of its perfection, spurs her to dream of faraway places and even further-away times.
    kierstenwhite.com
    @kierstenwhite on Twitter
    @authorkierstenwhite on Instagram

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    September 1, 2019
    An acclaimed master of the female-centric retelling turns her hand to Arthuriana. Guinevere is a mystery: an impostor princess, daughter of Merlin, and possessor of magical knowledge, she has been sent to Camelot to pose as queen and keep Arthur safe. White (Slayer, 2019, etc.) sets up an ambitious take on Arthurian lore, with many details familiar yet altered--Lancelot is a woman, Mordred is Arthur's right hand and also very appealing, and Guinevere intends only good, although it seems as if this incarnation may still bring ruin, in this case merely by being magical in a world that has banished magic. The connective tissue of the power women wield despite being overlooked doesn't always hold together, but the questions Guinevere asks about women and power, and the subtext that chaos is inherently feminine (the defeated Dark Queen, Guinevere, the Lady of the Lake) while Arthur represents masculinity and control, are intriguing--although this volume comes to no conclusions. More diverse than many Camelot representations (Sir Bors has a physical disability, Sir Tristan has brown skin in otherwise white Camelot, and there is a pair of lesbian lovers), 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. (Fantasy. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 23, 2019
    In this fresh twist on an enduring tale, White (Slayer) introduces an intriguing new heroine. After the real Guinevere, a princess preparing for marriage in a convent, dies, Merlin (banished from Camelot along with all magic) replaces her with a 16-year-old forest witch who has magic at her fingertips and no clear memory of her early life. Drawn to King Arthur’s innate goodness and devotion to Camelot, she marries him to protect him from any threats. The new Guinevere is enraptured by Camelot’s sights and soon makes new friends, including her lady’s maid, Brangien; Arthur’s enigmatic nephew, Mordred; and the preternaturally skilled fighter dubbed the Patchwork Knight. When a long dormant threat awakens, Guinevere must choose her destiny: embrace the wild magic that beckons her, or fight for the hope and promise of Camelot. 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, and while Guinevere is the focus, White doesn’t shortchange her supporting cast. Guinevere’s mysterious past, and her future, leaves much to be explored in future installments. Ages 12–up. Agent: Michelle Wolfson, Wolfson Literary Agency.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2019

    Gr 9 Up-Sixteen-year-old Guinevere knows she has a tough task ahead of her, charged by the wizard Merlin to protect King Arthur, her soon to be husband. She must do this while maintaining her secrets: she can do magic, which has been banned from Camelot and would get her thrown out, and she's not actually Guinevere. Surprisingly, Arthur is in on her secrets and is her sole confidant, though Guinevere is often left alone as he goes off to save the kingdom. She makes friends with her maid Brangien, and with Arthur's nephew, Mordred, who she initially distrusts as overly observant. Guinevere's mission is unclear as Merlin often speaks in riddles and is said to be able to walk through time, giving him knowledge of all that's to come. She increasingly questions Merlin's motives as she learns more about him, and wonders about the gaps in her memory, such as when she can't remember her real name. Her fear of water often becomes an issue and she's greatly distressed to find Camelot surrounded by the substance. First in a series, this fantasy novel will appeal to fans familiar with stories of Arthur, and provides an introduction to those unfamiliar. Well-paced background is provided for key characters who are allowed to develop realistically and grow with the story. White deftly weaves together traditional Arthurian legend with an original plot that will keep readers questioning what they know. VERDICT Full of battling knights and romance, this is a must purchase for all libraries serving teens.-Rebecca Greer, Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, FL

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    September 15, 2019
    Grades 7-10 The woman known as Guinevere rides from the convent to join her soon-to-be husband Arthur in Camelot, but she is not what she seems. Merlin has charged her with protecting the new king at all costs, but there are other players in the mix who have a different target in mind. White plays with the Round Table legend, giving Guinevere a different origin, Lancelot a gender switch, and Mordred a much more sympathetic role in the intrigue at court. This series-opener focuses on Guinevere's early days as she tries to settle into unfamiliar territory while learning the tasks of a queen. The writing is engaging, and this is undeniably a fresh take on Camelot. The author mixes action and introspection and takes care with character motivations and backstories. Arthurian legends are seeing a bit of a revival these days, so nudge interested readers toward Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy's Once & Future (2019) and Thomas Wheeler's Cursed (2019).HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: White regularly turns out best-sellers. Couple that with a robust marketing campaign and King Arthur's current popularity, and this should be another hit.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

  • Booklist "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 "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."

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    Random House Children's Books
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