Review: The Sword in the Stone

3866788“He was one of those people who would be neither a follower nor a leader, but only an aspiring heart, impatient in the failing body which imprisoned it.”

Author: TH White
Category: Fantasy, Arthurian Legend
Publication Date: 1938
Podcast Review: Episode 86

I went into this fully expecting that I would read my way all the way through the entire Once and Future King series.

Unfortunately, I was about 30 minutes into the audio book when I realized that I would be stopped with just this first part.

The Sword in the Stone, very much like the Disney version, is the story of a young boy called Wart that lives in a castle under his guardian, Sir Ector. After meeting a strange old wizard named Merlin in the forest, he begins tutoring under him and just general hijinks ensue.

So I am one that likes classics. I love to read them, I like to go back and watch older films. Partly this is because I find the differences in writing style and filmography to be very apparently different from more contemporary work and I like experiencing those other styles. I also like classic books because they are generally more likely to make you think which…<3.

The Sword in the Stone did nothing for me. It is a story of pure escapism which I know is what fantasy as a genre really is but in this case, even being a story about King Arthur, did nothing for me.

And the writing style….oh dear god in heaven the writing style. I honestly couldn’t stand it. Between all the random lists and descriptions of things that did not matter one bit and the rhyming nonsense songs for all the spells just drove me insane (honestly I might not have minded these so much in physical/ebook form but I listened to this on audiobook and…no. Just no).

I would plug into the audiobook determined to get super far into it and then be forcing myself to keep listening because I was just so not into this book.

The only thing that I can say that I liked were the final few scenes with the Wart and the sword in the stone and finding out he is King Arthur. Those were some fun moments for me but it was a handful of scenes out of the whole book.

I will not be finishing the rest of The Once and Future King which makes me incredibly sad because I had been trying to get around to reading it for so long. I understand that this is one of the fathers of modern fantasy and I completely get it. But really it has not aged well.



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