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The Candle in the Wind (The Once and Future King #4)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  608 ratings  ·  43 reviews
The Candle in the Wind is the fourth book from the collection The Once and Future King by T. H. White. It deals with the last weeks of Arthur's reign, his dealings with his son Mordred's revolts, Guenever and Lancelot's demise, and his perception of right and wrong.
208 pages
Published (first published 1940)
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The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer BradleyThe Once and Future King by T.H. WhiteMary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy by Mary StewartLe Morte d'Arthur by Thomas MaloryThe Winter King by Bernard Cornwell
The Arthurian Legend Retold
138th out of 394 books — 641 voters
Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Borrowers by Mary NortonHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Best Children's Books of the 1950s
83rd out of 144 books — 16 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,512)
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Nikki
The Candle in the Wind redeems Gawain a bit for me, and brings Arthur back, and deals with Mordred. I remember studying this in class and it being pointed out that the timescale of these books is very clever: you start with bows and arrows in the early middle ages, with Arthur not being that far away in time from William the Conqueror, but by the end, there's cannons and Sir Thomas Malory. It was interesting to notice that properly this time, instead of being carried along by it.

Lancelot and Gui
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Ashley.C
I gave five stars to this book because it makes me think the most. The once and future king is a school assigned book and it was boring at first because to me. It was hard to read, just imagine reading a book and checking the dictionary for about a thousand times per page, and I got really tired when there were huge paragraphs describing something. But in this book, I really got interested. I felt sad for Arthur, and thinking of the happy young Wart in the first book, I just can't help but feel ...more
Scott Sheaffer
Others have adequately described the context of the book within the series and so I will not waste your time by retelling it here. The Candle in the Wind is my favorite of the "Once and Future King" series. It's without the magic and fantasy I thrilled over in the first book in the series, The Sword in The Stone but is a more complete and complex work. It's "Shakespearian like" in that the seemingly innocent acts of the past all lead to consequences which meet at a crossroads in time to smite th ...more
Tiara
Best book in the series.

This is where it all comes crashing down. Agravaine hates Lancelot and Mordred hates his father, the King (child of the incest mentioned earlier). The conspire together to tell the king of Lancelot and Guinevere’s transgressions. Everyone knows of the transgressions, but once publicly acknowledged, Arthur will have to have Lancelot killed and Guinevere burned at the stake. Once Mordred has brought their transgressions to public, Lancelot flees and promises to rescue Guin
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Ellinor
This fourth and final part of The Once and Future King is definitely the best one.
Mitchell
The Candle in the Wind is the fourth and sort-of-final book in T.H. White’s Arthurian mega-book The Once and Future King, since the very final instalment The Book of Merlyn was published separately and posthumously. It deals with the final stages of King Arthur’s life, as Lancelot and Guinevere’s affair is exposed and the Arthur is reluctantly forced to pursue violent justice against them.

I feel this series dropped in quality considerably beyond its opening volume, but The Candle in the Wind is
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Desclian
Simply amazing, but also very strange. White's writing is delicate, beautiful, and so very sad. Like "The Ill-Made Knight", this book seems to be almost a commentary on Malory's work, though with a bit more of a focused narrative. The characters were compelling and so very human.

Beyond the narrative, White's commentary on medieval history and and culture and of 20th century culture was also very interesting and, I think, good to read. We too often look down on the medieval period as being charac
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Matthew Hunter
After my disappointment with The Ill-Made Knight, I started The Candle in the Wind in a foul mood. The magical shape-shifting fantasy of The Sword in the Stone had given way to dissolution, Freudianism and ill-omened romance. Could White make everything better in my reading life? I had serious doubts. Thankfully, White proved me wrong.

I love The Candle in the Wind even more than The Sword in the Stone. Sure, Merlyn's still gone; all magic and humor remain on sabbatical. But the heart on display!
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Shinju
"La vela en el viento" me ha encantado. Arturo; un gran Rey, una gran historia.
En este cuarto libro por fin ocurre la confrontación entre los personajes por los males cometidos en el pasado y que durante varias décadas estuvieron arrastrando con resentimientos, pesares, vergüenza, tragedia. Es la encrucijada final. "¿Qué es lo justo? ¿Qué es lo correcto? ¿He obrado mal?" Son las preguntas que surgen de distinta manera en los personajes de la historia, especialmente en el Rey Arturo y Lancelot, q
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Darwin8u
The sad, meditative, final chapter of The Once and Future King (if you don't count the later addition of The Book of Merlyn, which continues as part of the narrative, but can't really be considered a part of TO&FK).

The book is the conclusion of Camelot. The conspiracies, the betrayals, the killings, and the expulsions are all there pushing against the King (I love when T.H. White calls Arthur - England) and his faith in man and justice. It just isn't to be. Do I need to hide the ending? Am I
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Amy
From a dull and weak beginning The Candle in the Wind ended beautifully. I know the book of Merlyn is the final book of the series but if we ignore that for a minute I can pretend this was the last. It was such a sorrowful tale of Arthur that I barely knew and I am glad that I know a bit more. As I say the beginning was very history filled with names and places I didn't really care for, and then, as if a switch had been flicked, it became the same tone and flow of the other books. White has done ...more
Matt
Wow - a final book that really wraps it all together and makes it all worth it. We get to see Arthur's reflections on his entire life. Why he made the round table, what he hoped to accomplish, what he fought for and why. We see the destruction of his kingdom. We see his "sins come home to roost" as he says so many times.

We see that man has good desires, but all men are imperfect. They often don't live up to their own standard, and they don't know how to deal with that. Even if they can forgive t
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Ahmed Al-shamari
This book of the Once and Future king is definitely the best out of all 4 of the books. I enjoyed reading it due to the fact that it was mostly dialogue between people without much of the description, because in my opinion, almost all of the description is pointless and doesn’t add on to the plot whatsoever. Throughout this book, I did not feel any sympathy at all towards Lancelot because I thought: no matter what, his whole thing with Guenever is completely gross and betraying to his best frien ...more
Alex Baker
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikki
Like the other books, The Candle in the Wind is a retelling of the story of King Arthur, largely drawn from sources like Malory (as opposed to earlier ones). This book covers the period of Camelot's fall. I think the main thing that prompted me to give this (and the second and third books) four stars instead of five is that the first book was inventive and added things to the story -- the inclusion of Robin Hood, for example, and Arthur's childhood and adventures with Merlyn -- whereas these boo ...more
Sheila
I read this as part of the complete The Once and Future King. My full review will be there, as I read this set as one complete book, and not as four individual stories.
Tawni
I've determined that the problem with these books is, in fact, ME. I don't know anything much about Arthurian lore, and what I DO know comes from movies & TV. Considering how often White refers back to Malory's stories, I really wish I had known to START with Malory. :(
Suncerae
All roads converge in The Candle in the Wind. Arthur's past catches up with him as his only son seeks to destroy him and Lancelot and Guinevere's betrayal is forced to surface. It's a tragic end to a fantastical story, with a muddled sense of revenge and justice. Arthur is no longer the innocent idealistic Wart of boyhood, but instead, seems to be unable to handle the difficult decisions he is faced with, whether referring to his wife, his friends, his son, or his kingdom.
Kailey
I liked this last book of the Once and Future King Quartet. It had more action, more dialogue, and a focused plot. However, it also had more philosophizing and more unnecessarily detailed descriptions. One entire chapter was just descriptions of the types of people you might encounter in the Middle Ages. No plot whatsoever in the entire chapter! So I basically skipped all the liberal sermonizing about the state of the human race, and only read the actual storyline.

It was interesting to see the
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Monica
This is the best book in the series by far. It is because of this novel that I will some day introduce my children to this series. It is a perfect introduction to arthurian legend, fantasy, and adventure.
Breanne
This was the most enjoyable book in this series for me. I feel that T.H. White had a far stronger sense of a storyline, and I feel that this is the book that he was working towards the entire series. There was a stronger sense of characters and what they represented, and the storyline did not jump all over the place as in the previous books. Sadly, though, this is the book that tells of the fall of King Arthur and deals with what he has learned, although too late.

This was an enjoyable read, and
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Timothy
A very beautiful and sad book, and good because it speaks of beauty and sorrow together without lessening either. It is a true book, and a great good to read.
Sandra
This was rather slow to get into (especially with that rather long chapter which had just as much as history as possible thrown into it in the beginning) but when it got started, it really got started. This was a great retelling of the ending of King Arthur, and quite like how I pictured it.

I'd have given it 5 stars, but the writing style annoyed me every now and then. Sometimes it felt like T. H. White was giving too much description and it slowed the story incredibly. Which is sad, because I'm
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Janet
This book was the best of the four that make up The Once and Future King. T.H. White really brought together his ideas of right and justice. He also explored questions on what could create peace in this world. Unfortunately, I believe that he(and the rest of the world) could find no ultimate solution. The book was ultimately very sad but much more relatable than the other three books of the series.
Ruck


Oh wow. A return to form! This book definitely makes the doldrums of The Ill-Made Knight worthwhile- in fact necessary. Once again, present is all the wit, insight, and master story telling craftsmanship present in the first two books of the series. Gone of course, is the lightheartedness and playfulness, as the subject matter is much darker and more serious. The drama and internal struggles are in high form- what has been building over the course of the previous books comes to a head in spades
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Krzysztof
A low 4/5 stars, but still - this is the best of the first four books. It uses very little humour, instead focusing on the drama - and the drama is pretty good. You can't help but feel sorry for Lancelot and King Arthur, as they have to fight each other because of what the situation demands from them. A lot of good plot points here, and it all fits very tightly and nicely with the second and third parts - and even a bit with the first part. Good stuff, not spectacular or riveting, but still pret ...more
Trayana
...Четвъртата част на поредицата, озаглавена The Candle in the Wind, е фокусирана върху падението на краля поради омразата на сина му Мордред и племеннига му Агравейн. Стори ми се доста антиклимактична след емоционаната буря поднесена ни от Уайт в The Ill-Made Knight, но пък придава завършеност на поредицата...

Пълно ревю за петте книги: тук
Ryan Moore
Last of the Once and Future King series. I still like Sword and the Stone the best by far but, while short, this was a good read. We get to learn a bit of Arthur's philosophy as he gets older and reminisces on his times with Merlin. Overall The Once and Future King is an entertaining take on the life of Arthur.
Brista Kent
Wonderful! looking forward to sharing this with Brock someday.
Cassandra Kay Silva
I loved what this book brought to the idea of chivalry, and honor. What it taught us about growing older and the way we view the world and those around us. I loved this whole series and now treasure it as a memorable adventure and a great sadness over its ending.
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Born in Bombay to English parents, Terence Hanbury White was educated at Cambridge and taught for some time at Stowe before deciding to write full-time. White moved to Ireland in 1939 as a conscientious objector to WWII, and lived out his years there. White is best known for his sequence of Arthurian novels, "The Once and Future King", first published together in 1958.
More about T.H. White...

Other Books in the Series

The Once and Future King (5 books)
  • The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King, #1)
  • The Witch in the Wood (The Once and Future King, #2)
  • The Ill-Made Knight (The Once and Future King, #3)
  • The Book of Merlyn (The Once and Future King, #5)
The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King #1-4) The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King, #1) The Book of Merlyn (The Once and Future King, #5) The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-5) Mistress Masham's Repose

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“If it takes a million years for a fish to become a reptile, has Man, in our few hundred, altered out of recognition?” 15 likes
“Lancelot and Guenever were sitting at the solar window. An observer of the present day, who knew the Arthurian legend only from Tennyson and people of that sort, would have been startled to see that the famous lovers were past their prime. We, who have learned to base our interpretation of love on the conventional boy-and-girl romance of Romeo and Juliet, would be amazed if we could step back into the Middle Ages - when the poet of chivalry could write about Man that he had 'en ciel un dieu, par terre une deesse'. Lovers were not recruited then among the juveniles and adolescents: they were seasoned people, who knew what they were about. In those days people loved each other for their lives, without the conveniences of the divorce court and the psychiatrist. They had a God in heaven and a goddess on earth - and, since people who devote themselves to godesses must exercise some caution about the ones to whom they are devoted, they neither chose them by the passing standards of the flesh alone, nor abandoned it lightly when the bruckle thing began to fail.” 9 likes
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