is the penultimate of my I Dare You to Read 2014. Seeing this was already in
my TBR pile, Ronnie recommended me to read this as part of the challenge, providing
me with the audio book (too), which was wonderfully narrated by Neville Jason.
1: The Sword in the Stone is a well-told story of The Wart, his childhood and
education under the tutelage of Merlyn, a sorcerer living backwards in time. It
was a joy reading the boy's adventures and challenges leading to his phenomenal unsheathing
of Excalibur from the stone.
2: The Queen of Air and Darkness (The Witch of the Wood) introduced us to the
remaining descendants of Igraine and the Earl of Cornwall. Within it is the story
behind the tragic future of King Arthur, of how sin took roost and extracts its
due. Also, included is Arthur’s
conception of the Round Table and his ideals.
3: The Ill-Made Knight spoke of Lancelot, his knighthood, his quests, his
betrayal of Arthur, and his illicit affair with Guenever. Although this book
was long and arduous, it included Arthur’s struggles as a king of the New
Order, and the quest for the Holy Grail. The narrative from here grew somber
4: The Candle in the Wind came with great sorrow. Arthur’s dream of a New Order
is crumbling. He struggles to hold his kingdom together in the face of betrayal
and war. His eminent demise swiftly unfolds.
White dressed these legendary stories in an amusing and unpredictable manner.
Even his narrator, a present-day scholar, has a rather peculiar way of addressing
the reader. His linking of the fictional past and present is curiously clever, even
though these books were already told and retold for years. The tone begins
playfully and sweet, and then gets philosophical and darker as the plot moves
along. It slowly moves from a wonderful fantasy, to a tragic ending we all saw
but unable to avoid.
Life is too bitter already, without territories and wars and noble feuds.
many others before me, I love King Arthur and will never get tired of reading
his story being told from different perspectives. I root for him not only for
his adventures, but also for his noble ideals. An incredible illustration of
how a great man can fail despite of honorable intentions. The night before his
death, Arthur instructed his page, Tom of Newbold Revell, to run back home away
from the war, and to take heart the King’s dream of using one’s force in behalf
of justice for others and not for his own account. I strongly believe that
stories are called epic because they leave behind sagacious lessons such as