My love of the television show Merlin, could not get me through this book. I finally finished it, and all I really have to say is that I shall not be starting “The Once and Future King” any time soon.
When I picked up this book up at a library book sale I had such high expectations for the story, which quickly evaporated within the first four chapters. The book was not exactly poorly written (I’ve read worse), but the overall narration, prevents the reader from being fully invested in the characters and overarching story.
Being part of the Arthurian legend, the fantasy and magic one would expect to find contained within its pages just was not there; as the story seemed to be grappling with too little plot and an author who could not make up his mind about their intended audience. Most of the adventures that Wart went on were both boring and tedious and whilst clever, the addition of modern topics (Eton College, or Nazism) seemed asynchronous to the main plot. However it should be noted that as Merlin lives time in reverse order perhaps it does make some sense to have references to a more modern age.
Perhaps T.H. White improved the story when he included “The Sword in the Stone” as the first part of “The Once and Future King”, but having looked at the latter book very little of the story seems to have been edited or changed. While one can commend T.H. White for trying the story never came off the page as it should have done. When this book was purchased I was hoping to step into a world of wonder, steeped in the lore of King Arthur, instead the reader is immersed in a book that appears cobbled together and no adventure for Wart has any connection to the chapters that came before it.