There was nothing in the world 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. Arthur’s knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.
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?
CWs & TWs
Death of an animal, Sexism, blood, kidnapping
wlw side character
I loved the plot of this book, really much. I am a big Arthurian legends fan, and I dislike the original Guinevere really much. This one? I really liked her. She won’t ever be my favourite character ever, because she is a bit too grey for me in her relationships, but I still loved this take on the character. Mainly because, as the synopsis reveals it: this is not the real Guinevere.
She wanted to give him her name. She wanted to give him everything. And it terrified her.
This is an interesting take on the legends for sure, and a very good use of the characters. But knowing the original stories, I was expecting to be a bit more surprised by this book, regarding the characters. In the end, not many plot twists really surprised me, the characters development neither. I can’t say much without spoiling you, so I wont spend a long time on this side of the story. But let’s say that I was expecting way more risks to be taking on the characters side – outside of Guinevere, of course, who the author really changed for the best.
Keeping secrets is like a thorn beneath the skin. You can get used to it but it is always there, festering.
This is a story with multiple plots. Some work very well, the magical one and the antagonist one, and some a bit less – the romance, for example. I feel like this book really had a great potential to be a feminist fantasy story. The side character of the original legends becoming the protagonist, very badass and here to protect people. And yet, I am not sure it really is. Some decisions taken by the author regarding some characters and plot-twists, really left me with a bitter taste on my tongue. Not to spoil anything, I will just say this: if a character being lgbtqia+ isn’t supposed to be a plot-twist, a character being a woman shouldn’t be either. It is not bad, far from it, because I can feel how genuine it is in the book. But still, I didn’t like that.
Women are strongest when bearing each other’s pain. We each take a little on ourselves.
Nevertheless, the author put some bases up for very interesting character development to come in book two, so I am very excited about that. I loved the magical plot and the use of Merlin, even if some of my questions are still floating in the pages. I can’t wait to see where she is going to take the characters, hoping I will be a little more surprised by them in the sequel.
Have you read this book ? What did you think about it? Are you an Arthurian legends fan?
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