ARC Review: The Guinevere Deception

the guinevere deceptionTitle: The Guinevere Deception
Author:
Kiersten White
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 352
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: LGBTQA+ characters
Recommended Readers: Yo, anyone want a feminist reimagining of Arthurian legends?
Rating: ★★★★☆

Thank you, Net Galley and the publisher, for offering this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Kiersten White’s latest trilogy is a feminist study into the character Guinevere, a figure in Arthurian legends who is often regulated to the sidelines as a prize, an adulterer, a villain, and an opportunistic traitor—but never the architect of her own story. With The Guinevere Deception, Guinevere has found her voice at last, but in true White fashion, her story is full of interesting twists and unexpected choices.

For instance, when we meet Guinevere, she is journeying from a convent to Camelot in order to wed her future husband, King Arthur—and she isn’t truly Guinevere. The real Guinevere died tragically, and unbeknownst to everyone, a changeling raised by Merlin has taken her place. Casting all knowledge of her past aside, including her true name, “Guinevere” intends to be a source of magical protection for Arthur against his enemies, even though Camelot has exiled all magic and ousted Merlin. But exiling magic doesn’t stop the forests and lakes from wanting to reclaim the land, and the ideal of Camelot has as many enemies in man and beast as Arthur does. Perhaps the greatest threat might be Guinevere herself.

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The Birthday Book Tag

Hey, everyone! Today is my birthday, so I wanted to do a quick book tag for it because why not? This is actually a combination of questions from book tags I liked, so not 100% original but oh well.

I hope everyone’s having an amazing day so far. Other than my birthday, May 2nd marks some cool historical events:

  • The Soviet Union announced the Fall of Berlin in 1945
  • Dwayne Johnson was born in 1972
  • Osama bin Laden, the FBI’s most wanted man, was killed by U.S. Special Forces in 2011

And as far as fandom events are concerned—Battle of Hogwarts and Voldemort’s death, anyone?

Cool facts, let’s get to the tag!

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abc book challenge a

The ABC Book Challenge – B

Hey, everyone! Welcome back to another ABC Book Challenge post. I decided to do this to add more variety to the blog and also because it looked incredibly fun (and so far, it is!). Once again, thank you to Sofii @A Book. A Thought. for introducing this tag to me, and for her support. You should definitely check out her blog if you haven’t already!

Here’s the challenge: Every week, I’ll have a post sharing my most favorite titles as well as those on my current TBR list that start with the corresponding letter. (For weird letters like Q, X, and Z, I might have to bend the rules a little and just have those letters somewhere in the title, but we’ll see.)

This week is the letter B!

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Book Review: And I Darken

and i darken

Title: And I Darken
Author:
 Kiersten White
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Version: Paperback
Page Count: 512
Publisher: Ember
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Feminism, LGBT characters, POC characters
Recommended Readers: Those interested in a slow-build, female Vlad the Impaler retelling
Rating: ★★★★☆

I read And I Darken by Kiersten White with @dearjenna for our Femme Trash bookclub, and I was happily surprised by it.

The historical figure Vlad the Impaler and the Dracula legend based off him is one of my favorites, so I was worried about how changing him into a female character would go. (This is purely for selfish reasons as I have quite a crush on Vlad, vampire version mostly but historical figure, too.)

But I’m happy to report that Ladislav “Lada” Dragwlya was an incredible character, and this book was an impressive and intricate historical retelling that’s just getting started.

White’s writing style was particularly refreshing because it never once became flowery or dipped into purple prose to make the events of the novel seem more beautiful or profound than they were. Instead, White’s style is blunt but with an edge you didn’t realize had cut you until you realize the full impact of what you just read is saying:

As the baby latched on with surprising fierceness, the nurse offered her own prayer.
Let her be strong.
Let her be sly.
And let her be ugly.

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