The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King, #1)

English language

Published Nov. 9, 1998

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4 stars (1 review)

The Sword in the Stone is a 1938 novel by British writer T. H. White. First published by Collins in the United Kingdom as a stand-alone work, it later became the first part of a tetralogy, The Once and Future King. A fantasy of the boyhood of King Arthur (in the story an orphan named Wart who draws the sword from a stone to discover his true identity), it is a sui generis work which combines elements of legend, history, fantasy and comedy. Walt Disney Productions adapted the story to an animated film, and the BBC adapted it to radio. Time included the novel in its list of the 100 Best Young-Adult Books of All Time. In 2014, The Sword in the Stone was awarded a retrospective Hugo Award for Best Novel for 1939.

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4 stars

Gorgeous prose from White, and with a shining review from Le Guin it didn't come as a surprise. There's quite a bit of coarse language used that would not fly today--the n-word is used once. A product of the time in which it was written, certainly, but if you can get past some of the language it is a very pleasant read, and well-paced.