Camelot's Queen (Guinevere's Tale #2) by Nicole Evelina: A Book Review

Camelot’s Queen (Guinevere’s Tale #2)
Author: Nicole Evelina
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Lawson Gartner Publishing
Release Date: 2016
Pages: 450
Source: This book was given to me by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. 
Synopsis: History remembers Guinevere’s sin, but it was Arthur who transgressed first.

     Forced into a marriage she neither anticipated nor desired, Guinevere finds herself High Queen, ruling and fighting alongside Arthur as they try to subdue the Saxons, Irish and Picts who threaten Britain from every direction. Though her heart still longs for her lost love, Guinevere slowly grows to care for her husband as they join together to defeat their enemies. 

     Meanwhile, within the walls of Camelot their closest allies plot against them. One schemes to make Guinevere his own, another seeks revenge for past transgressions, while a third fixes her eyes on the throne. When the unthinkable happens and Guinevere is feared dead, Arthur installs a new woman in her place, one who will poison his affections toward her, threatening Guinevere’s fragile sanity and eventually driving her into the arms of her champion. 

     Amid this tension a new challenge arises for the king and queen of Camelot: finding the Holy Grail, a sacred relic that promises lasting unity. But peace, as they will soon learn, can be just as dangerous as war. As the court begins to turn on itself, it becomes clear that the quest that was to be Arthur’s lasting legacy may end in the burning fires of condemnation.

     This highly anticipated sequel to Daughter of Destiny proves there is much more to Guinevere’s story than her marriage and an affair. See the legend you think you know through her eyes and live the adventure of Camelot’s golden days yourself – but be prepared to suffer its downfall as well.

      My Review: Camelot’s Queen begins with Guinevere’s marriage to Arthur. Guinevere must settle down to a marriage with a man she does not love. However, she is quickly won over by his kindness and finds a peaceful contentment with him. When she is suddenly kidnapped by King Maleagant that wants her as his queen, Guinevere finds herself abandoned and betrayed by Arthur. Hurt by Arthur’s betrayal, Guinevere begins to have an affair with Lancelot. When Guinevere’s affair becomes known to Arthur, she is put on trial for adultery. Can Guinevere save herself and Lancelot before she is sent to burn at the stake?

     I did not like Guinevere in Daughter of Destiny. However, I found her to be more likable in Camelot’s Queen. I could empathize with her plight in trying to live with a man she did not love and trying to rule Camelot. She eventually grew to be an excellent military strategist and helped Arthur win many battles. I thought that Ms. Evelina did a wonderful job in portraying Guinevere’s trauma after being kidnapped by King Maleagant. I was heartbroken for Guinevere when she realized Arthur had betrayed her. I could see why her pain turned her eyes to Lancelot. Through these hardships Guinevere became a survivor and a stronger person. Thus, I rooted for Guinevere to find her happiness.

     Besides Guinevere, there was not much character growth in the novel. The only secondary character I liked was Arthur’s female spy. Camelot’s Queen made me dislike King Arthur. He was weak and unfaithful. The only reason Arthur is made into an unlikable figure who betrays Guinevere’s love is to justify to Guinevere’s infamous affair with Lancelot. Lancelot seemed too perfect. Their love felt forced. It seemed that she did not really love Lancelot and only used him to get over Arthur’s betrayal.

     Overall, this novel is about lost love, betrayal, and inner strength. Camelot’s Queen was a vast improvement over Daughter of Destiny. Unlike the first novel, she did not play a passive role. She played a more active role and was able to stand up for herself. The novel was also more fast-paced. There were more adventures and battles than in Daughter of Destiny. The novel was very well-written, and it seems that Ms. Evelina is very knowledgeable in Arthurian lore. I’m excited to see what’s next in store for Guinevere in the final novel, Mistress of Legend!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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