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The Excalibur Curse

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Not my favorite from this author (and I've read many of her books). While I love Arthur and Camelot inspired books, this trilogy seemed to go downhill for me as it went on. The characters make wishy-washy decisions and I just had unresolved questions and unsatisfied plot points left with me at the end.
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I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed this book and am very thankful to have received an ARC. I did feel that it was a little slow at parts, but the characters and writing style made up for that. the characters are written wonderfully and (no spoilers) are my favorite to read about! The story could have been a little more developed at some areas, but most books are like that. I think this is defiantly a book people will want to read for the holidays. I loved every second I spent on these books and I'm just in awe of the writing. I can't wait to see what other books the author brings us!
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***eArc provided by Delacorte Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

What more is there to say about Kiersten White's Camelot Rising trilogy? It's a dream of a series, and the finale is no different. At once intriguing and romantic as it is magical and epic, Guinevere is a hero for the ages. White continues to give powerful, interesting, and much needed voices to the women and girls in important cultural texts, and I'm forever grateful for her ability to do it with such ease.
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Thank you to Penguin Teen and Netgalley for an arc of this book!

In the last book of the Camelot Rising trilogy, Guinevere is trapped outside Camelot and captured by the Picts. She has betrayed Lancelot and doesn't know when Arthur will return, and she's about to find out who she really is.

I loved this ending! This series has had my heart since the beginning and I am so glad I was able to read and love it all the way to the end. There are so many things I want to say about it but can't without spoiling.

I love how Guinevere's... Shall we say, love troubles? Turned out. I thought it was done really well and believably without feeling forced or contrived at all. 

I love the writing and feeling in this series so much. I love all the characters and love the villains and the whole thing was just excellent!!!

CWs: animal death, death, drowning, violence
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This was such a great conclusion to the Camelot Rising trilogy! Finally, we discover who and what Guinevere truly is, and we get to see her go through a lot of growth as she’s presented with so many choices for her future. This book focused a lot on female friendships, something that is very important to Guinevere. I loved reading her interactions with Brangien, Isolde, Lancelot, Dindrane, and Fina. However, I still didn’t like Arthur’s portrayal. Arthur is somewhat of a cardboard cutout; he’s not malicious or evil, but he also isn’t the infallible hero Guinevere imagined him to be at the start of the series. But by the end, he still hasn’t undergone much growth, and while he’s blandly kind enough, he still has a lot of deep-rooted misogynistic ideas that make me wonder why Guinevere chose what she did. 
I also didn’t like the conclusion of Guinevere’s and Mordred’s relationship. Halfway through the book, it seemed like they were finally going to be together, but by the end, their relationship wasn’t concluded very well, much like most of the relationships and dynamics in the series. 3.5/5
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Fun, fast paced read.  An innovative Authorian reimaging and epic conclusion to the trilogy.  This book has everything;; fantasy, action, friends/enemies, love triangle drama. A satisfying conclusion
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Overall, I really enjoyed this series and think this book did a great job of concluding it. I was not expecting that ending, but ultimately think the author chose it correctly. There were so many twists in the plot that kept me hooked. Really recommend this series! It’s a great twist on Arthurian legends.
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I was pretty sure going into this final book in the trilogy that I wouldn't be satisfied with how it ended. And whereas I was right, I do respect the ending for what it was and it is different than I had expected. Following up to The Camelot Betrayal, we head back to Camelot with Guinevere, Mordred, and Arthur. There are several new characters that come into play, that make a big impact in the plot line. Also, this one dives even further into questioning the patriarchy and women's role in society and I'm always here for that.

This was a fast read, as the first two were. There is a lot that goes on in the course of these books, a lot of scheming and politics. Most of the gang are separated at the beginning so there is a lot to happen to find their way back to each other. There were some surprises and plot twists which I always enjoy in finales

I won't speak much on the romance because it would be huge spoilers. I wasn't happy with the romantic ending, personally. Doesn't mean others wouldn't like it, but I really had my heart set on another conclusion. I am glad I finished the series and appreciate the opportunity to read it early. It just further shows me that King Arthur retellings aren't my favorite, and that's okay!

**Thank you to Delacorte Press and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review**
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I loved the first two books in this series, so was eager to read the third and final book to see the conclusion of this different take on the Arthurian Legend. 

Definitely not disappointed and the ending tied everything up from the first books. This whole series was so satisfying and I loved the different take and twists from the tale I grew up with.
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Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Children’s for the ARC of this! 

I have been dying to know what was going to happen with Guinevere, Arthur, Mordred and Lancelot! This was really fun, and I enjoyed seeing old characters grow and new characters introduced. I recommend this series if you’re a fan of magic, love triangles, and gender-bent retellings.
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I loved the first two books in this series but this third and final installment was such a let down. It felt a bit disjointed and didn't flow well. I hate love triangles. I just wanted Guinevere to be able to choose her own happiness, which I think in the end she did. Overall it had a satisfying ending just my least favorite of the three books.
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I enjoyed the first two books in the series, so I was looking forward to reading how everything would end. It wasn't bad and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it but I didn't like it as much as the previous books.
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I'll admit I never understood the hype around King Arthur stories - that is, until now. I love how Kiersten White has reclaimed Arthur's story and the women in it and given them agency and a voice. I also love how in doing so she has made me understand Arthur himself so much more. I love this series and The Excalibur Curse is such a fitting ending. The last few lines made me CRY and the whole book is just full of heart-swelling emotion and Big Feelings. 
This is also one of those rare books where I really didn't know who I wanted Guinevere to end up with because every option was SO GOOD and my feelings changed from book to book, and the eventual choice is so satisfying and so right. 
TL,DR I will follow Kiersten White anywhere, she has my sword.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Children's. Delacorte Press, and Kiersten White for the opportunity to read The Excalibur Curse in exchange for an honest review.

The Excalibur Curse is the third book in the Camelot Rising trilogy, following The Camelot Betrayal (#2) and The Guinevere Deception (#1). 

SPOILERS IF YOU HAVE NOT YET READ THE FIRST TWO BOOKS, as this book starts right where the second book left off.

Arthur is away from Camelot on some rumor that he has a child somewhere, while Guinevere cast a magical barrier over the city to protect it in her absence. She went with Morgana and Mordred with the pict army, supposedly to appease the Dark Queen in some way. As long as Guinevere is away from Camelot, the Dark Queen has no interest, thus keeping the city safe.

Guinevere fights her passion for Mordred and her love for Arthur and Lancelot. She makes new friends, soon to be powerful alliances, and will eventually learn the truth of her identity.

The beginning of this book revolves around Guinevere in her captivity, as Morgana plans to take her to the Dark Queen. During this time, the structure of the book brings Morgana to find vital information from others by casting a spell on Guinevere. When a specific word is said, such as "friendship," "passion," or love," Guinevere is transported into the mind and moment that eprson is living, giving the reader a change of scenery and a glimpse into other character's heads, spicing up the reading while she is a captive and furthering Morgana's ambitions.

Arthur claims that the sword Excalibur is both a gift and a curse. Guinevere thinks she understands that, but perhaps there is more to Arthur's way of thinking than she realizes.

This novel brings the trilogy to a solid conclusion and feels rather wholesome. It has it's moments with the big bad, though doesn't feel quite as exciting as the previous novels. The characterization continues to build, and I find this retelling of the Arthurian tales to be a fantastic iteration of the legends.
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What a finale! I initially had forgotten what happened in book two, but after a few chapters I was able to remember the series of events that led to Guinevere being captured by Mordred, Morgana, and the People of the North. This third book had everything, and I am so pleased.  Was it the ending I wanted? Not really. Was it a satisfying one? Most definitely!
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Our Guinevere is in peril again in the latest chapter in Camelot. In this installment Guinevere learns who she truly is and comes to grips with the price of magic. She must face the Dark Queen and decide whether she needs Arthur or Merlin's help to do it. As always she is brazen and headstrong and wants what she thinks is right, rarely capitulating to others. Her attitude gets her into some trouble but also makes her some unlikely allies.

That is what I loved the most about this series, characters are forced to face their preconceived notions about one another. They must choose loyalty or justice. The depth with which we understand each character's point of view is unparalleled in stories of YA fantasy. My absolute favorite part was the description of how the Dark Queen manifests, she is so unique and creepy and evil. I loved it. 

I rated the last two books five stars but this one missed that for me in two ways. One, it wrapped up a little too cleanly at the end, if that's your jam then you'll love this but for me I wanted a few more rough edges and what ifs. Two, there was a lot more time spent in Guinevere's head than I'd like, I prefer action and dialogue to endless pontifications.

Thanks to Netgalley for access to this novel. All opinions are my own.
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I am sad to say that this book fell so flat for me. I loved the first book in this series and liked the second book. The characters in this finale felt like complete strangers to me and their storylines from the past 2 books seemed to not even matter. All of Guinevere's character development was basically gone and the romance in the book seemed so forced and out of place. Overall, very disappointed with this finale.
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The almost perfect ending to this amazing trilogy. I will be the first to admit I judged the first book by its cover but before you know it, I was hooked the story truly is awe inspiring. Told artfully to not overwhelm the reader while you constantly root for all parties. Definitely a great retelling for anyone who likes a new take on a classic and for once King Arthur isn’t the main part of the story. Nor is Merlin the savior. - opinion are entirely my own and no reflection on anyone else.
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“‘When they look at us, they see plots and pawns and weapons. How could anyone who looks at you and sees only what you can do for them ever tell you who you are?’”

There are spoilers ahead for The Guinevere Deception and The Camelot Betrayal. Guinevere’s plan to seal Camelot safely inside a magical barrier–and herself on the other side–has worked, but not the way she’d hoped. Now the captive of the Pictish King and his soldiers while Arthur chases down a false lead, she’s going to have to rely on herself to escape and discover who she truly is. With Merlin sealed away, Morgana may be the only one left who can help her, but she has her own agenda with the Dark Queen. What Guinevere discovers is more terrible than she could have guessed, and she has a choice between saving Camelot or undoing a terrible wrong that could destroy her. Spoilers will be clearly marked. I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at Random House/Delacorte Press. Trigger warnings: character death (on-page), parent death, drowning, mentions of domestic abuse, abduction, violence, grief, spiders, bug horror, sexism. Some mild NSFW content.

If you couldn’t tell by my last two gushing reviews, I’ve been loving this series from the beginning. It’s not fast-paced or action-packed so much as atmospheric and introspective, with lovely writing and more focus on character than on plot, which are all things that work well for me. Throw in the number of nuanced, complex female relationships, and I’m there for it. Much like the previous books, The Excalibur Curse isn’t particularly fast-paced or plot-heavy. It meanders a bit through the first half, and while there is an eventual showdown with the series’ major villain, it doesn’t pack as much punch as the character development. For the whole of the series, Guinevere has been struggling with identity and whether she can truly know who she is if she doesn’t remember her past, and that search comes with a painful twist.

Lancelot of Arthurian legend is one of my favorite characters of all time, and I love her interpretation in this series. My biggest regret for this book is how little time Guinevere and Lancelot spend together on the page. On the other hand, Guinevere has a lot of soul-searching she needs to do on her own, and that can’t happen when she’d distracted by her feelings for Mordred/Lancelot/Arthur. All those relationships are well-handled, and I liked where she eventually settles on all of them. I also like that, even in a world with magic, there are few easy magical solutions to any of the problems. If there’s a message here, it’s that sometimes we do terrible things or have terrible things done to us and just have to find a way to live with them.

Far from any love interest, the truly important relationships in this series are the ones between women: Brangien and Isolde (ship it), Guinevere and Brangien/Dindrane (friendship), Guinevere and Lily (sisters), Guinevere and Fina (allies). Guinevere’s kindness and understanding help her make friends wherever she goes, and there’s the distinct feeling that everyone around her is better for it, especially the women. There’s a strong theme of women supporting each other and telling their own stories, and I love a series where all the main characters (and all my favorites) are various shades of kickass, complex women. I’ll be holding this story in my heart for a long time.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS. TURN BACK BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

I’m crushed this series is over, and we didn’t get a single on-page Guinevere and Lancelot kiss. 😭 Love the character development and where they end up, but please, please write another book about their love story!

I review regularly at brightbeautifulthings.tumblr.com.
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I devoured this entire series in 4 days. I absolutely loved the whole thing but this final book was fantastic. Twists and turns, love and loss, magic, dark and light, humor, beautifully developed characters and story, good vs evil and the grey area in between and friendship...it has everything. I grew so attached to so many of the characters, so much so that I didn't always know who to root for...in the best way. I am sad to say goodbye to this story and these characters because I enjoyed hanging out with them the last 4 days. I would highly recommend this entire series. It was a lot of fun to read and it ended perfectly, in my opinion. I received this final book as an arc through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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