Book Reviews

The Once and Future King by T.H.White



I saved this book to review last even though Me and Earl and The Dying Girl was the last book I read but hey!


Sort of Blurb:

T. H. White’s masterful retelling of the Arthurian legend is an abiding classic…

This is the tale of King Arthur and his shining Camelot; or Merlyn and Owl and Guinevere; of beasts who talk and men who fly; of knights, wizardry and war.

It is the book of all things lost and wonderful and sad; the masterpiece of fantasy by which all others are judged.

The once and future king
The witch in the wood
The ill-made knight
The candle in the wind
The book of Merlyn


Okay so those who know me know that I love the Arthurian legend. Seriously. I could write my own book of King Arthur with the things I know. I’ve watched historical shows on it, I’ve seen the TV Shows (Camelot and Merlin… Merlin being my all time favourite!) and I’ve seen numerous amount of movies.

And have read so many books on it.

And then there was this one.

Okay so I found out that the Disney movie The Sword in The Stone was based on the book so I thought I’d get it (My mum got it me for my birthday)

From watching the Sword in the Stone I already had an idea of what the first book was going to be like. Full of magic and silly things and it was so I wasn’t really bothered about that.

There were things however that did bother me…

Now before anyone says anything I know this book was a retelling of the legend and when we retell stuff we do things differently but…

For one Lancelot was not ugly like he was made to be in the book.

They did not speak like they were from the 1930’s. They are medieval characters.

They were not around during the time of the Battle of Hastings.

Morgan Le Fay didn’t play any specific role in the book… She appeared twice over all and the first time she was a lard woman living in a house made of lard and raw meat (Don’t ask)

And also…


Okay rant over.

It was a good book. There was all the major King Arthur characters like Merlin, Guinevere, Lancelot, Gawain, Percival, Galahad, Gareth, Gaheris, Agravaine, Mordred, Bors, Pellinore, Morgause, Uther etc…

It was just done so so so strangely!

Its a retelling I know but the things he had but in it sometimes annoyed me and he did waffle on a lot of the times.

Some things I didn’t think were relevant.

But he did have the legends in their like Guinevere and Lancelot’s affair, Lancelot and Elaine, Galahad, The Holy Grail (which isn’t in a lot of the books) Merlin’s imprisonment by Nimue (which wasn’t really touched on much but we got to see Nimue once), The Round Table, Mordred being Arthur’s son etc

I liked it and I didn’t like it. It’s one of those books that I couldn’t quite get my head around.

If you want a book that is mainly weird and has components that are not in the King Arthur legend then this is for you. It does take you away from things and it is a fantasy book so you expect things to be a little crazy but if you want a proper King Arthur book to read then I’ll suggest either The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley or The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell. They are the best books I have read out of all the others I have.


So yeah it was odd but even thought things in there was wrong I still loved it.

It is King Arthur after all and I LOVE HIM!

4 out of 5 stars (for the bits that were right and the bits that I enjoyed)

2 out of 5 stars (for the things that were wrong haha)


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