Mistydawn Thrash's Reviews > The Once and Future King

The Once and Future King by T.H. White
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Oct 21, 12

Read in October, 2012

I had read this book as a youngster (far too young to appreciate it) and since my kids are all enthralled by the television show "Merlin" I was thrilled to have it find its way to my hands again, later in life.

I have to say, it is hard to read this book and not, at times, picture different characters, songs, people, that I have accumulated in my mind representing the Arthurian tales. There were times where I saw a cartooned Merlin skidding on his heels in bermuda shorts from the Disney "The Sword in the Stone". I had to remind myself that Lancelot is not the handsome, dashing man that runs in at the last minute as in most movies. That Mordred is not an enchanting young boy but rather a hunchback filled with venomous intent. The hardest thing about this book, besides reading the few lines in French and Old English, was remmebering that TH White spun a tale so detailed and pointed that you can not help but question the versions that have come since.

This book touches on so much more then the round table, King Arthur and his knights, Guenevere or Lancelot, or England for that matter...although all are mentioned and described in painful detail. This book brought to me, as an adult and not a novice reader, that it all boils down to humanity. The age old struggles of power, family, lust, betrayels, and above all else, friendship. I was renewed that I should hold close those friends I have that would go to a battle for me without blinking. That family sense that blood is thicker then water. The overall concept that the human is good, if not weak.

TH White, always acclaimed to have written the book "by which all others are judged" is excruciating in detail...and if you are looking for a fast read this may not be it. All 600+ pages are worth poring over if you are looking for a deeper look. If you are looking for the soap opera love triangles, gory jousting tournamets, wicked witches with eyes of newt...best stick to televison...as this book holds so much more.
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