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Review: The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King: Part 1) by T. H. White

In a sentence or so: before he becomes King Arthur, he is a scrawny little dude named Wart who goes on adventures with his cousin Kay and is sometimes turned into an animal in the name of knowledge. Adventures ensue!

Merlyn comes to tutor the young Wart and Kay in between their chores and their path to knighthood. While Kay isn't the most attentive student, Wart is always itching to learn and patiently absorbs all the lessons that Merlyn has to share with him. These aren't your typical lessons either, mind you, but probably the coolest lessons you've ever dreamed of. Wart becomes an owl, a falcon, a fish, a badger, and many other rad wild animals. Each of these animals teaches him something different about the nature of the world and a bit about himself.

Since this is just part one of The Once and Future King, we mostly get background and framework for how Wart becomes Arthur. Which isn't to say this is boring, because it most certainly is not.

In fact, this is quite silly and tongue-in-cheek and clever and witty. Merlyn and Wart have a great banter that kept me giggling like an idiot.

"You know you will turn me into a hawk when you want to," shouted the Wart, "but you like to plague me because it is wet. I won't have it."
"Hoity-toity!" (74)

Ultimately, this is a way for us to get to know what makes King Arthur tick, to experience his emotional development and to be a part of his childhood, which is pretty spectacular.

If you're looking to get your feet wet with some Arthurian legend goodness, this is a great place to start!

Fave quote: "So little time to pass?" said Merlyn, and a big tear ran down to the end of his nose. He wiped it off with his pyjamas and added anxiously, "Am I going to tell it you again?"
"I do not know," said the wart, "unless you have not finished telling me yet." (35)

Fix er up: I think any surprise was ruined for me because I've seen the Disney movie, but I still loved very page!

Title: The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King: Part 1)
Author: T.H. White
Genre: Fantasy, Arthurian Legend
Publishing Info: Penguin Putnam, 1965

[ftc notice: I own a copy of this book, so needless to say, I was not compensated in any way for this review.]

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. loooove Arthur's story but i haven't seen the Disney movie. and i love things tongue-in-cheek.

    one of these days i need to read "The World's Greatest Fantasy Classic" for sure.

  2. the Disney movie is really really great. i am not familiar with The World's Greatest Fantasy Classic...enlighten me!

  3. that is printed on the cover of the book you show on your post, silly.

  4. I have never seen the Disney movie. But this makes me want to try the actual book...love a good classic and a great story ;)


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