The Once and Future King by T.H. White

The Once and Future King by T.H. White: I thought I’d read this for a class in high school, but I know now that I did not. This lengthy tome is actually four books in one. “The Sword in the Stone,” which inspired the Disney film of the same name, is the charming story of Arthur’s childhood with Sir Ector, Kay, Merlyn, and the rest. Easily my favorite of the four. Next is “The Queen of Air and Darkness,” which introduces the Gaelic Orkney clan, headed by Morgause. It’s probably the funniest book, between the silliness of King Pellinore’s lovesickness and the darker humor of the Orkney sons’ desperate attempts to get their mother’s attention. “The Ill-Made Knight” was my least favorite. It’s all about Lancelot and his unending angst. “The Candle in the Wind” more or less wraps up the Lancelot story, with a sometimes irritating amount of commentary on how much better everything and everyone was back in those days. I wish the story could have gone all the way through Arthur’s death and successor, but by and large I could see why this is considered one of the quintessential books on Arthurian Legend. I could spot the inspiration for many other works, from Excalibur to Monty Python’s Holy Grail. If you’re a fan of Arthur, I would definitely recommend reading. If you only have a passing interest, just read “The Sword in the Stone.” It’s delightful.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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