T.H. White – The Book of Merlyn (The Once and Future King book 5)

The Book of Merlyn is book 5 and the final volume in T.H. White’s Once and Future King fantasy series.  The entire story takes place in one night – King Arthur’s last night on Earth.

At last Merlyn has returned.  With the return of Merlyn comes the philosophical discussions between Merlyn, Arthur, and a few fury friends.  They are discussing whether someone or something can be purely evil and the necessities of war.  Merlyn claims that humans are an anomaly on earth and the world would run much smoothly without the presence of humans.  I think I agree.

I mentioned in The Candle in the Wind that I felt the entire series should have ended there – that last seen was just too good to not be the ending.  After reading The Book of Merlyn, I still feel the same way.  It was fun reading about T.H. White’s philosophies and all, but from the story standpoint the last book was unnecessary.  The entire episode with the geese and ants was long and tedious, not to mention a rehash of book 1.  White even says so at the end that nobody really knows exactly what happened to Arthur.  In that case, why even mention that he had one final battle with Mordred?

All in all, the series was fantastic.  Any King Arthur fans must read this.  Heck, even historians should be reading this book.  The entire series is about the length of one adult fantasy book.  I will definitely be reading this series again in the future.

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