The Ill-Made Knight is book 3 in T.H. White’s YA fantasy series, The Once and Future King. The book is all about Sir Lancelot.
The book begins with Lancelot’s childhood and progresses to his budding romance with Queen Guinevere. Lancelot is caught between his love for his king and the romantic love for his queen. Eventually this love triangle becomes a love quadrilateral when Elaine emerges with Lancelot’s child, Galahad.
The overarching theme in The Ill-Made Knight is a question about, “what happens when you are the greatest knight in the world?” The book documents challenges that Lancelot faces as well as miracles that he performs. Each trial that Lancelot faces makes him less and less holy and he begins to fear that he is losing his ability to perform miracles. He has one final test at the end of the book.
In the book there were also a few brief accounts of King Arthur’s knights and their search for the holy grail which isn’t worth mentioning here.
The Ill-Made Knight is a much longer book than book 2 in the series, The Witch in the Wood. Though I don’t remember much about The Witch in the Wood, I am pretty confident in saying that The Ill-Made Knight has been my least favourite in the series so far. I only just realized it now after reading book 3, but Merlyn single-handily makes up all the humour in the series. Since there is a almost complete lack of Merlyn in The Ill-Made Knight except for a scene where he meets a young Lancelot, the book was just not funny at all. It really read like a documentary of Lancelot’s life.
As usual with any book in the middle of the series, I won’t tell you whether you should read it or not because if you’ve made it this far, you might as well just finish reading the series.