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The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-4)
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Archived 2014 Group Reads > 2/3-2/9 Book I, Chapters 19-24

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message 1: by Kristi (last edited Feb 03, 2014 08:09AM) (new) - added it

Kristi (kristicoleman) Week 4 is upon us! So tell me, what did you think of Kay's evolution as a person? And what were your thoughts about the sword and the story surrounding it?

Spoilers are welcome in this thread, for this section and the ones that have come before it.


message 2: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary Oh dear ... it seems to me that Kay is becoming more and more unlikeable, and I worry about Wart's acceptance of him as "seneschal of all his lands"...

I found the ending rather rushed. We seemed to spend ages with geese and badgers and then the sword episode was over in no time and with very little buildup or explanation. We did get to see that Wart was using what he had learned from the animals, which was nice.

I didn't enjoy this section so much as the others (in case you can't tell) - maybe just not in the mood for it, and the style was beginning to annoy me. I'm glad this Book is finished and I hope the next will have a different style.


message 3: by Linda (new) - added it

Linda | 1378 comments I agree about Kay, Rosemary. I was saddened that he was about to take credit for pulling the sword out!

I also agree that the ending was rushed, but I still enjoyed it myself. The actual scene where he pulls the sword out without realizing what it would mean if he did, with all the animals gathered to give him support, I thought was a very moving scene. And then the part where Sir Ector kneels before Wart when he realizes who the new King is, yet Wart not wanting anyone to bow down to him, let alone his own father (the father who raised him, that is), I felt so sad for Wart! It was both a happy and sad scene, and a very emotional end to a humorous book.

I'm a bit sad to leave Book One, but also excited to see what is in store for Arthur in the next book.


Alana (alanasbooks) | 456 comments I haven't finished this section yet, but I love this from chapter 21:

"The best thing for being sad...is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then--to learn."


Becky I, too, loved that quote Alana. Its always nice when you see authors, like White, really understand their readers. When they really capture the passion of reading, or learning, its always warming.

This was the first section (once we got past the Badgers) where I was actually interested in the story. I'm hoping the pace picks up in Book 2 now that Arthur is King, and maybe I'll enjoy the book a bit more.

I see everyone ragging on Kay, how old is he? I thought he was only 17 or so when he was knighted? I don't blame him for trying to take credit for the sword, I think 17 year old boys are notoriously stupid, but I was quite happy that he did the right thing in handing the sword to Arthur and saying he had lied. The book also says that he was hurt or angry that Wart was King, I think he could make a god Seneschal, I think he loves his foster brother, I just think that Kay needed a solid job to do, and without that structure he was kind of lost.

I like that the animals were there. It gave credence to the idea that he is going to be King of all of Britain, not just the people, but the lands and the animals as well.


message 6: by Andrea (last edited Feb 05, 2014 09:23AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Andrea (tasseled) | 189 comments I think Kay's maliciousness in this book is just a boyish sort of emotion, like Becky says, and not a deep-rooted problem that might make him a bad person later on. He did confess straight away that it wasn't him who pulled out the sword, so I find that scene filled more with brotherly rivalry than anything else. It's interesting to see the dynamics between a privileged legitimate son and a bastard destined to be a squire. Wart takes it for granted that it is Kay who should take all the credit and doesn't mind backing up his story. Kay on the other hand sees it natural that everything good should be passed along to himself, because that is what he is used to. I think the moment of confession is very touching, because even though Kay had always been the dominating one he just couldn't bring himself cheating Wart out of something so special. Both boys seem to be very good characters.

I absolutely loved the first book. I think the slightly childish tone really suits the narrative, so filled with wonder and humour. Personally I hope that the following books are going to continue in this vein. As someone who has read Book 2 already, however, I have to admit the it gets a little more serious and moralizing from now on. But! There is still plenty of that charming humour.


Alana (alanasbooks) | 456 comments "Who said that?" asked Sir Grummore.
"But the sword said it, like I tell you."
"Talkative weapon," remarked Sir Grummore skeptically.

I literally snorted with laughter when I read that. Such dry humor, I love it!


message 8: by Linda (new) - added it

Linda | 1378 comments Alana wrote: ""Who said that?" asked Sir Grummore.
"But the sword said it, like I tell you."
"Talkative weapon," remarked Sir Grummore skeptically.

I literally snorted with laughter when I read that. Such dry h..."


I love the dry humor also!!


message 9: by Victoria (new) - added it

Victoria (vicki_c) I think Becky and I are on the same page! I just finished this up today so I am a whole week behind. I sincerely hope there won't be much more interactions with the animals! That is just soemehing I have not enjoyed in general and hope that the majority of the rest of the story is about humans and more of the King Arthur legend that I know.


message 10: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam (aramsamsam) Linda wrote: "Alana wrote: ""Who said that?" asked Sir Grummore.
"But the sword said it, like I tell you."
"Talkative weapon," remarked Sir Grummore skeptically.

I literally snorted with laughter when I read th..."


Loved that one too. I took the liberty of adding it here on GR.


message 11: by Linda (new) - added it

Linda | 1378 comments Iselin wrote: Loved that one too. I took the liberty of adding it here on GR.

Nice!! I'll have to find it here.


Silver I really enjoyed Badgers story of creation. I quite like the idea that all creatures started out the same, and then where each given the opportunity to choose for themselves what they wanted o be.

One thing that surprises me in reading this book is how political it is. Particularly in the sections in which Wart is transformed into an animal it seems the author uses these moments as a way of inserting his own personal political views. It is also quite curious that judging from the animal episodes White seems to be very anti-war, and yet he choose to do a retelling of the legend of Author. Perhaps because of the tragedy of the legend, he means to use this story as a way to show that was is not all glory and noble deeds, as young Wart himself believes.


message 13: by Linda (new) - added it

Linda | 1378 comments Silver wrote: "I really enjoyed Badgers story of creation. I quite like the idea that all creatures started out the same, and then where each given the opportunity to choose for themselves what they wanted o be. ..."

I loved Badgers story too, seeing what all the creatures chose for themselves. Although I'm still enjoying the book (I'm on book 3 now), I would love to go back and reread the first book just for all the animal bits.


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