A girl stares at the reader as she sits on a boat with water splashing around her and the setting sun behind her.

About the Book

Title: The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising #2)
Published: 2020

Cover Story: Don’t Wet
BFF Charm: Heck Yes
Talky Talk: Feminist Reimagining
Bonus Factor: Friendship
Anti-Bonus Factor: Bridge Book-Ish
Relationship Status: Loyal to the End

Red alert! The Camelot Betrayal is the second book in the Camelot Rising series. If you haven’t read the first book (The Guinevere Deception), man your battle stations turn away now, as there might be spoilers in this review. If you’re caught up, however, feel free to continue below.

Cover Story: Don’t Wet

This cover is just as pretty as the first in this series, with the fierce young woman staring off of it as if daring the reader to challenge her. The water, however, throws me for a loop. Because Guinevere would never—she even uses magic to bathe to avoid coming in contact with the liquid she’s so terrified of.

The Deal:

After driving back—but not defeating—the Dark Queen, Guinevere is even more on edge living in Camelot and working to protect the city and its people. And her husband, King Arthur. She’s also increasingly worried about who and what she is, which is made all the worse when her sister—or the true Guinevere’s sister—shows up in Camelot, looking to reconnect. Then there’s the connection she had and continues to have with the traitorous Mordred; her maybe-father, Merlin, having been trapped by the Lady of the Lake; and her physical aversion to all things water … Girl has a lot on her mind.

BFF Charm: Heck Yes

BFF Charm Heck Yes - sparklier and shinier than the original BFF Charm

Guinevere continues to struggle with her place in the world, which creates tension with those around her and keeps her from being truly open with anyone but Arthur, Lancelot, and (to a lesser extent) Brangien. Even if would be a struggle, I’d love to try to break into that inner circle. If she’d have an old, non-magical person like me. (Guinevere is 16. I’m grateful for White reminding me of this, because it’s really hard to keep in mind with all that she goes through.)

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Arthur continues to keep Guinevere at arm’s length, in a marriage consummation sort of way, and she’s too tentative to push it. Thankfully, their relationship doesn’t remain completely chaste for the entirety of the book, and they do eventually have a very adult conversation about why things are the way they are.

But Guinevere continues to have dreams about Mordred’s pillowy lips …

Talky Talk: Feminist Reimagining

A while back, I was listening to a book event during which Tracy Deonn, author of Legendborn—another great Arthurian legend book—said that she never sees books that use Arthurian legends for inspiration as retellings, as there isn’t one specific version of Arthur’s tale. Instead, she considers them reimaginings, which I think is super apt. The Camelot Betrayal continues to be just that, inspired by and using elements of the King Arthur stories, but White makes them fresh through the spins she’s put on them. The book also continues to be nicely feminist, with Guinevere pushing for her own autonomy and that of her fellow Camelot ladies. (The plot thread about Lancelot’s place as a knight, as Guinevere’s knight, and her relationship with the other knights, is particularly compelling.)

White’s also got a deft hand with the twists. I did not see some of what happened in The Camelot Betrayal coming, even though I was trying hard to keep an eye open for foreshadowing and hints, from the very beginning of the book. The title gave me such ominous vibes!

Bonus Factor: Friendship

Characters from Baby-Sitters' Club show sitting on a bed talking and laughing.

Although it’s a point of frustration for Guinevere, her relationship with Arthur is really lovely and founded on friendship, which—from personal experience—is super important in any marriage. And, although I mentioned above that she’s very particular about her close relationships, Guinevere’s relationships with Lancelot and Brangien are enviable, even when they go through struggles. Love seeing friendships elevated as high as romantic relationships!

Anti-Bonus Factor: Bridge Book-Ish

A stone bridge over a still pond in a forest

As I was reading, The Camelot Betrayal didn’t feel like a Bridge Book, especially with the twists revealed at or near the end. However, thinking back, not much happened? It moved the plot along, but not as much as it perhaps could have.

Relationship Status: Loyal to the End

You’ve got a solid place in my heart, Book, and I pledge myself to be loyal and true until my dying breath.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Delacorte Press, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. The Camelot Betrayal is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband and their dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.