The Sword in the Stone is a hilarious look at King Arthur’s youth. He is nicknamed Wart and lives as a foster child to Sir Kay. He meets Merlin in the forest while chasing his hawk. Merlin is aging backwards and has come to be Kay (Wart’s foster brother) and Wart’s tutor. Wart learns wonderful lessons from Merlin, many through being changed into a fish, a merlin (bird), and a badger. Wart also meets up with Robin Hood and his gang.
After the death of the king Uther Pendragon (who seems to be taking the place of William the Conqueror), a mysterious stone is found with a sword in it with an inscription that whoever pulls the sword will be king of England. Kay wants to be a part of the tournament and the group sets out for London. There Wart accidentally takes the sword from the stone while searching for one for Kay, and finds himself the new King of England.
This book is a very unique Arthurian tale. The language is very “modern” British (the book was first published in 1939), and funny. I enjoyed the humor and imagery. This is the book that the Disney cartoon, The Sword in the Stone, is based upon. Kay is not as bad in the book as he is in the cartoon.
This audiobook version was read by Neville Jason. He did a fantastic job with all of the voices and accents. I also loved how the audiobook had classical music selections between chapters. The music was beautiful and really seemed to set the story.
This is my first book selection for the Arthurian Challenge. I was looking through my nightstand and discovered a copy of The Once and Future King by T.H. White. I had read about three-quarters of the book and had really enjoyed it. Then I was struck down with the most horrible case of morning sickness for four months and the book was forgotten. Years later, I thought I had finished it, until I saw the bookmark only three-quarters of the way through. The Once and Future King is made up of four novellas, the first of which is The Sword in the Stone. I listened to this audiobook to remind me of what I had read four and a half years ago.
Audiobook Source: The Kewaunee Public Library