The Wart is a young boy from an unknown parentage who is raised by Sir Ector in The Sword in the Stone. Wart calls Sir Ector father, but it is Sir Ector’s real son, Kay, who is destined to be knighted and Wart his squire. The Magician Merlyn is the tutor of both Wart and Kay, but he puts most of his efforts on Wart.
The Sword in the Stone is book 1 of a 4 book series, The Once and Future King, by T.H. White (Terence Hanbury White) about King Arthur. There actually is no direct refernce to this story being about King Arthur until the end except for a few name drops here and there which one wouldn’t even suspect if they weren’t familiar with King Arthur’s tales. It was pretty obvious who would eventually get named King Arthur.
This book was written in the 1930s like Lord of the Rings, but reads very differently. The Sword in the Stone is basically written for the younger fantasy readers. First off it’s rather short and secondly there isn’t the character development or plot developments that you expect to see in adult epic fantasies.
Wart’s education from Merlyn consists mostly of observing the world from different animals like owls, badgers, ants, etc. They all play a part in the end in helping the true sword owner pull the unnamed sword (at this point at least) out of the stone.
Well I can’t say this was one of my favourites, but I did buy the entire The Once and Future King series on my e-book and I am a sucker for mythology, so I’ll definitely finish it. It’s an easy enough read that I don’t really need to force myself to read it. I’m sure a younger audience (the target audience of this book) who aren’t as familiar with King Arthur would get more out of this book than adult readers.