The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White

I figured this would be a good place to start with my Arthurian Legend goal. It was fun for the most part, and I really really wanted to love it but I just didn’t.

It tells the story of Wart, ward of Sir Ector, and his childhood growing up with Sir Ector’s sun Kay, who is destined to be a knight. The magician Merlyn becomes their tutor and his lessons are unusual to say the least – they tend to involve turning into something (fish, snake, bird) but there’s the occasional battle alongside Robin Wood (whose name people get wrong all the time).

There’s a lot about this that’s utterly delightful. The description of Merlyn’s cottage is fabulous, Merlyn is endearing but Archimedes the owl is awesome and the lessons, particularly those that involve transforming into something else, sound like just the sort of lesson everyone would love. The ending, which everyone knows, was great and was particularly well done in how Wart’s lessons tie together to help him get the sword out of the stone. For some reason, though, the bits in between just didn’t hold my interest, and that hampered my enjoyment of the book a little bit.

I haven’t seen the Disney version but I’d be interested in doing so to see what they’ve made of it – I imagine most of it translates brilliantly into an animated film.


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