The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White {Book Review}

I can’t believe I’ve already gotten the second book to this series and read it. When I found The Guinevere Deception last year, and went nuts over it I was dreaming of this point in time. Now? Now, I want to skip to September when I’m pretty sure we all know I’ll just preorder finally. I love a good finale, and with how well both of this books have gone, I think this series will stick with me for quite a while. This is the second book in the Camelot Rising trilogy, so spoilers are ahead. If you would like to check out the review for Book 1 (The Guinevere Deception, click here.

Synopsis

The Camelot Betrayal is the sequel to The Guinevere Deception in the Camelot Rising Trilogy. In the first book we saw Arthur and Guinevere betrayed by Mordred as the Dark Queen is awoken and unleashed. Following those events Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot find themselves facing foes both known and unknown even as Guinevere must come to terms with her stolen identity and her own past.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I think this series might end up on my underhyped books list. For how unique it feels each book has been I’m still shocked at how little I see this book mentioned on either booktube or bookstagram. The Camelot Betrayal was a great continuation of the Camelot Rising Trilogy, bringing us back into the betrayal from Mordred, and the question of what a recently risen Dark Queen might be planning to do. We essentially come into this book with already established problems, but then it’s like escalation everywhere.

What built this book to be a four star read for me was in it’s cast of characters, and weaving of the original tale into the YA version we are reading. The characters that really seem to shine so far in this book are Guinevere (of course), Lancelot, Mordred, and Brangien. In this book, and the first we get a good look, and feel of how these characters think and feel about their circumstances. I really enjoy just how much we get for even some of these side characters as their storylines play into Guinevere’s own and into Camelot politics. Guinevere in this book is hit with a lot of different dangers, one of which being her surprise visiting sister, Guinevach (not a really creative name), who shows up unannounced and serves to make Guinevere question her own identity. It’s an interesting twist of events, and really had me questioning with Guinevere just what she had been through with Merlin, and who she actually was.

Playing off of that is possibly one of the few negatives I had in this book/series; Arthur and Merlin. Possibly the most well known characters of the tale, or let’s be honest, the two most well known period, but in this book they are like a fog. They are there, but not quite fully tangible. Merlin, is the one that upsets me, since he has quite a few of the answers our protagonist has been seeking, but is effectively out of the picture from the events of book one. He also is used as an argument starter for Arthur and Guinevere, since she now distrusts him, and Arthur of course owes just about everything to him. Arthur though, is the most present of the two, and yet still pretty untouchable. I thought this was strange in book one, but in book two we are seemingly closer to understanding him, and yet he feels too perfect still? It just seems like his big flaw is that he puts Camelot first, and Guinevere second at all times. On every other front it’s hard to say he makes errors, or taps into a lot of emotion. (If you’ve read the book, there is one scene where all of this feels different, but it’s almost like a plot device that came out of a left field??). It also means that if you’re going into this book/series for romance, it may end up being a slow burn, like slooooowwww. We are in book two and these two have kissed maybe twice? So, the great love story of the legends isn’t quite there yet, hoping we get to see more of this in the finale, since it’s well the finale.

So, the negative paragraph is longer than the positive, what does that mean? Well, in this case only that I want to see two characters given a lot more in the next book, and honestly, the way book two set it up, it feels like we’ll get it. One of the top comments in a lot of reviews for this book is that it almost, but not quite suffers from the middle book syndrome, having not as much happening in its plot for the sake of the finale being huge. While I would say that this is sort of true, this book took an interesting path of expanding the Arthurian world for us, and giving some serious backstory to some characters I hadn’t even expected it for. While we still need more for Arthur, these sections of the stories were both interesting, and great plot drivers, showing us Guinevere’s inner turmoil when it comes to her use of magic, and how it hurts others. A take we don’t see very often in magical stories. It definitely gives the idea of magic a more grey perspective than just the good vs evil, and nothing in between so often portrayed. To sum it up, though this book has some middle book tendencies, it still has a strong presence in the series and does a great job building interest and setting up for the last book, which I will eagerly be waiting on.

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