Book review - The Once and Future King by T.H. White
Review by Taylor Libbert
The Once and Future King is T.H. White's masterful retelling of the saga of King Arthur, a fantasy classic as legendary as Excalibur and Camelot, and a poignant story of adventure, romance, and magic that has enchanted readers for generations. Available on Amazon.com: The Once and Future King
The story, the tragedy, of King Arthur is quite sad. First, Uther's and Igraine's new son must be taken from them because it was too early in the marriage for a child. They gave their son to Merlyn, who gave him to Sir Ector. While Arthur was young and curious, Merlyn was his teacher. When Arthur is King of England, his best friend, Sir Lancelot, has an affair with Queen Guenever that causes a rift in the noble court. Before the marriage to Guenever, Arthur's half sister seduced him and gave birth to a son, Mordred. Sir Galahad and the Quest for the Holy Grail are included also.
This is a good classic but also a challenge. I did not realize what I was getting myself into at the beginning. However, I am glad that I finished. The story is simple, heartwarming, and descriptive like most older books. The challenge with the book is the length and older vocabulary. I think the most important thing to remember when beginning is to have time planned to read and enjoy the novel. In other words, patience is needed. However, less than half the novel - the beginning and end mostly - is Arthur's perspective. The trials of Lancelot dominate the middle portion of the novel.
This magical account of King Arthur's last night on earth spent weeks on the New York Times best-seller list following its publication in 1977.
An old wizard named Merlyn takes care of a curious young boy named Wart and transforms him into Arthur, the future king of Britain, in a beautiful new edition of the classic tale, enhanced by luminous paintings.