web site hit counter The Witch in the Wood - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Witch in the Wood

Availability: Ready to download

The Queen of Air and Darkness, is the second book in his epic work, The Once and Future King. It continues the story of the newly-crowned King Arthur, his tutelage by the wise Merlyn, his war against King Lot, and also introduces the Orkney clan, a group of characters who would cause the eventual downfall of the king. The original second book in the series was The Witch in The Queen of Air and Darkness, is the second book in his epic work, The Once and Future King. It continues the story of the newly-crowned King Arthur, his tutelage by the wise Merlyn, his war against King Lot, and also introduces the Orkney clan, a group of characters who would cause the eventual downfall of the king. The original second book in the series was The Witch in the Wood, published in 1939. It has the same general outline as the replacement work, but is substantially longer and most of the text is different.


Compare

The Queen of Air and Darkness, is the second book in his epic work, The Once and Future King. It continues the story of the newly-crowned King Arthur, his tutelage by the wise Merlyn, his war against King Lot, and also introduces the Orkney clan, a group of characters who would cause the eventual downfall of the king. The original second book in the series was The Witch in The Queen of Air and Darkness, is the second book in his epic work, The Once and Future King. It continues the story of the newly-crowned King Arthur, his tutelage by the wise Merlyn, his war against King Lot, and also introduces the Orkney clan, a group of characters who would cause the eventual downfall of the king. The original second book in the series was The Witch in the Wood, published in 1939. It has the same general outline as the replacement work, but is substantially longer and most of the text is different.

30 review for The Witch in the Wood

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael Gardner

    Long before Harry Potter and the License to Print Money appeared in bookshops, there was another fantasy series following the development of a boy through to manhood, where he learns that with great power comes great responsibility. Book two of The Once and Future King matures in tone and style from the first. The Sword in the Stone is Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows in style (it’s a song, not a chapter), whereas this story is more Angry Scottish Teenagers Murdering a Unicorn (which is a Long before Harry Potter and the License to Print Money appeared in bookshops, there was another fantasy series following the development of a boy through to manhood, where he learns that with great power comes great responsibility. Book two of The Once and Future King matures in tone and style from the first. The Sword in the Stone is Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows in style (it’s a song, not a chapter), whereas this story is more Angry Scottish Teenagers Murdering a Unicorn (which is a scene in the book, not a song). As the transitional book in the series it’s a well-balanced story, not all grim with the onset of war. T.H. White gives us plenty of playful moments as Arthur grows from boy to man to King. The scene where he fetches Merlin for a meeting is hilarious. The fact the book is very funny in parts makes the end hit harder, as T.H. White takes us to the necessary place the story has to go, the foreshadowing of the inevitable tragedy. It sets the tone for the next part of the tale, The Ill-Made Knight, which of course deals with the heartbreaking Arthur, Lancelot, Guinevere love triangle. Reading this epic again, it seems to me that T.H. White set out to retell a story which he clearly loves and to make Malory accessible to a modern audience. It’s superb storytelling.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    The Queen of Air and Darkness is shorter and less rich than the first book, I think. There's less of Arthur and Merlyn, and more interludes spent -- carrying most of the humour of the story -- with Pellinore and Sir Grummore, and the Questing Beast. It does do several important jobs: introduce Gawaine and his brothers, foreshadow the birth of Mordred and the consequences of the incest, and begin to set Arthur up as a noble king, one who is doing things a little differently to the traditional ways The Queen of Air and Darkness is shorter and less rich than the first book, I think. There's less of Arthur and Merlyn, and more interludes spent -- carrying most of the humour of the story -- with Pellinore and Sir Grummore, and the Questing Beast. It does do several important jobs: introduce Gawaine and his brothers, foreshadow the birth of Mordred and the consequences of the incest, and begin to set Arthur up as a noble king, one who is doing things a little differently to the traditional ways kings are meant to behave. Despite the relatively smaller scope, it's still an enjoyable read. Funny in places, and easy to read, and well-written, with passages of surprising beauty given the general humorous tone. It's probably better to take it in context with the other books, rather than think of it separately.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tiara

    3.5 stars “Indeed, they did love her. Perhaps we all give the best of our hearts uncritically—to those who hardly think about us in return.” This book is where Arthur’s story starts to take a darker turn, and plays on the ideas that the sins of the father revisit the son. This book follows Arthur as he begins to think of ways to unite the people, which brings about a lot of philosophical debate tinged with humor about war between Arthur, Kay, and Merlyn. This is the story that introduces us to Art 3.5 stars “Indeed, they did love her. Perhaps we all give the best of our hearts uncritically—to those who hardly think about us in return.” This book is where Arthur’s story starts to take a darker turn, and plays on the ideas that the sins of the father revisit the son. This book follows Arthur as he begins to think of ways to unite the people, which brings about a lot of philosophical debate tinged with humor about war between Arthur, Kay, and Merlyn. This is the story that introduces us to Arthur’s round table and his reasoning for deciding to make it round (to foster camaraderie between his knights by making them all appear equal at a round table rather than at a traditional table where a knight might feel his seat is further away from the head and therefore an insinuation that he wasn’t as good as those before him). However, largely this book follows Arthur’s Gaelic half-sister–the queen of Orkney, sister to Morgan Le Fay, and a witch herself, Morgeuse–and her sons (eventual knights of the round table), Gawain, Gaheris, Gareth, and Agravain. Morguese’s husband, King Lot, wages a failed campaign against the young Arthur. Morguese and her sons play a large role in the eventual downfall of Arthur. This book gives a glimpse of the people the young boys will become in time and the dark machinations of their mother whose attention they clamor desperately for. Arthur isn’t aware of who his mother is, even if he’s now aware that his father is the deceased king Uther Pendragon. When he meets Morguese and her sons, he doesn’t know that they share a mother, and well, she is a really beautiful woman. I have such a soft spot for books where characters have so many psychological issues with the loved ones in their lives that shaped them, so my rating of this part is largely due to the Orkney clan.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    I have to stand by my old review of this almost to the letter. It's shorter than The Sword in the Stone, and the humour is less evenly distributed -- there's a sort of humour about Morgause and her sons, I suppose, but it's not the same warm kind that Pellinore and Palimedes carry in this book, or that attended just about everyone in the first book. Again, some parts are surprisingly beautiful given the overall tone of the book, and it introduces a lot of characters and begins to develop Arthur I have to stand by my old review of this almost to the letter. It's shorter than The Sword in the Stone, and the humour is less evenly distributed -- there's a sort of humour about Morgause and her sons, I suppose, but it's not the same warm kind that Pellinore and Palimedes carry in this book, or that attended just about everyone in the first book. Again, some parts are surprisingly beautiful given the overall tone of the book, and it introduces a lot of characters and begins to develop Arthur into a king rather than just a boy. Of course, now I'm trying to remember the publishing history of this -- it was once longer, maybe? It got totally revised as some point, I know that much. That might be part of what makes it less appealing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Hunter

    Dark stuff! The book begins with Morgause boiling a cat alive as part of her disinterested and unnecessary attempt to achieve invisibility. Unsurprisingly, her four sons - brutal lads who would make perfect test cases for Siggy Freud - mimic her savagery as they mercilessly flog a donkey and torture, kill, and mutilate a unicorn. In all honesty, the scenes with the cat and unicorn damn near made me ill, proving once again that this series is not even remotely for youngsters. Be careful who you c Dark stuff! The book begins with Morgause boiling a cat alive as part of her disinterested and unnecessary attempt to achieve invisibility. Unsurprisingly, her four sons - brutal lads who would make perfect test cases for Siggy Freud - mimic her savagery as they mercilessly flog a donkey and torture, kill, and mutilate a unicorn. In all honesty, the scenes with the cat and unicorn damn near made me ill, proving once again that this series is not even remotely for youngsters. Be careful who you choose as a read along partner! White contrasts the self-centered violence of the Orknians with the bungling, manic, almost slapstick exploits of King Pellinore, Sir Grummore, Sir Palomides, and the Questing Beast. The banter between the three men reminds of Abbott and Costello. And the scene where the actual beast behaves amorously toward the disguised-as-Questing-Beast duo of Palomides and Grummore is absolutely hilarious. Alongside the deranged behavior of the Orknian royals, this comedy takes on more of a Waiting for Godot-like heaviness. Tragedy and comedy are never far apart in White's Arthurian universe. In the midst of this brutality and levity is the teacher-student relationship between Merlyn and Arthur. I loved Merlyn's lessons on power dynamics and the necessity of addressing cycles of violence. Some wisdom from Merlin: "The destiny of Man is to unite, not to divide. If you keep on dividing you end up as a collection of monkeys throwing nuts at each other out of separate trees." Then there's this lesson that's only possible because Merlyn's life runs backwards in time. "Very interesting. There was just such a man [who forced reforms on human beings via threat of violence] when I was young--an Austrian who invented a new way of life and convinced himself that he was the chap to make it work. He tried to impose his reformation by the sword, and plunged the civilized world into misery and chaos. But the thing which [Hitler] had overlooked, my friend, was that he had a predecessor in the reformation business, called Jesus Christ. Perhaps we may assume that Jesus knew as much as the Austrian did about saving people. But the odd thing is that Jesus did not turn the disciples into storm troopers, burn down the Temple at Jerusalem, and fix the blame on Pontius Pilate. On the contrary, he made it clear that the business of the philosopher was to make ideas available, and not to impose them on people." Clear evidence that Arthur was prepped to be a philosopher-king with a Christ-like mission ending in martyrdom. Interesting stuff! I love the freedom that Merlyn's living backwards through time gives to White as a storyteller. I'm really looking forward to the last two books in this series. It's a much darker and philosophical read than I'd anticipated. Now its on to Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. Should be fun!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    Technically, I've sorta read this. I mean, I've read 'The Queen of Air and Darkness' which is a more abridged, slightly darker, version of the same story. I think T.H. White cut this book down to the nubs a little to make 'The Once and Future King' more managable and probably more marketable. So, while I write that I've read, and while the 'Witch in the Wood' is often used interchangably with 'the Queen of Air and Darkness', they aren't identical twins or even dopplegangers. It is like they are Technically, I've sorta read this. I mean, I've read 'The Queen of Air and Darkness' which is a more abridged, slightly darker, version of the same story. I think T.H. White cut this book down to the nubs a little to make 'The Once and Future King' more managable and probably more marketable. So, while I write that I've read, and while the 'Witch in the Wood' is often used interchangably with 'the Queen of Air and Darkness', they aren't identical twins or even dopplegangers. It is like they are kissing cousins, or perhaps they share the same mother. _______________ - Robert Farwell / Edward Jones library / Mesa, AZ 2014

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cole Wehling

    The Queen of Air and Darkness is a relatively bland continuation of The Sword in the Stone. It has a mellow plotline that follows foreshadowing to the letter. Many aspects of the story are foretold, and therefore the story could basically be explained without reading any of the actual text. The story stays right on the line of ridiculousness, occasionally crossing over at random intervals. In many pieces of the book, the reader feels that White simply did not feel like talking about something an The Queen of Air and Darkness is a relatively bland continuation of The Sword in the Stone. It has a mellow plotline that follows foreshadowing to the letter. Many aspects of the story are foretold, and therefore the story could basically be explained without reading any of the actual text. The story stays right on the line of ridiculousness, occasionally crossing over at random intervals. In many pieces of the book, the reader feels that White simply did not feel like talking about something anymore, and moved on, midthought. In other places White could not stop talking about a single point, droning for pages and pages. The plotline of this story is purely linear, with no writing skills or techniques that persuade the reader to continue. Other than the occasional tangential rave, it might as well be a blow by blow bulleted presentation. The story is dragged over a well worn path in circles, taking breaks very infrequently to show any reason behind the continued publication of the book. The emotional journeys of the characters is barely felt at all, with the intellectual message getting buried beneath chaotic dialogue and destructive word choice. Whenever any beneficial or entertaining element peeks out, almost to be seen, it is crushed by a random outburst or flurry of imagined words. In conclusion, The plotline is clear but bland, the characters defined but weak, and the language barely understandable.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brian Eshleman

    If this is a children's book, it is one of such timeless quality that adults can expect to have their eyes opened through it. Arthur and Merlin's tutoring sessions are ones in which people of every age and in every age could sit and benefit. In fact, one may want to wait until adulthood. Some of the scenes, such as the one early in the book in which witches are boiling a cat and over which the author chooses to dwell at some length, would be pretty intense for children. The biggest thing I took a If this is a children's book, it is one of such timeless quality that adults can expect to have their eyes opened through it. Arthur and Merlin's tutoring sessions are ones in which people of every age and in every age could sit and benefit. In fact, one may want to wait until adulthood. Some of the scenes, such as the one early in the book in which witches are boiling a cat and over which the author chooses to dwell at some length, would be pretty intense for children. The biggest thing I took away from the book, other than finding the language pleasing and applied exciting, is a chance to consider the nature of power and the quality of mercy. Might-makes-right is the persistent tutor and goad of each age, and Merlin's challenge to reconsider is one that must be dealt with by anyone who exercises any degree of influence for his or her own benefit. Some, says Merlin, is necessary consolidation to effectively use future influence. Beyond that is the exercise of power for a person's own gratification, and this is the evil Arthur matured to fight against. I am eager to move with him into the rest of this sweet and yet tragic story that has prompted so many retellings.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Juho Pohjalainen

    This second book is less humorous than The Once and Future King, and far more to the point, less thematically consistent and solid. I don't think too much of its material has to be known for the rest of the saga to work out. But I still appreciate some good prose and greatly enjoyed reading it. The bit about the unicorn was brutal.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    I enjoyed this one, but not as much as The Sword in the Stone. This strongly focuses of the themes of war, which I found has it's challenges and there were also some challenging moments with witches and also hunting. All were clearly showing a moral story, some I agreed with... some I did not. My favourite storyline in here was The Questing Beast and I really enjoyed King Pellinore, he could be my favourite character in this book save for Merlin (of course!). Overall it was enjoyable and I might I enjoyed this one, but not as much as The Sword in the Stone. This strongly focuses of the themes of war, which I found has it's challenges and there were also some challenging moments with witches and also hunting. All were clearly showing a moral story, some I agreed with... some I did not. My favourite storyline in here was The Questing Beast and I really enjoyed King Pellinore, he could be my favourite character in this book save for Merlin (of course!). Overall it was enjoyable and I might even want to re-read/skim it again before heading into the next book so I can get more grounded in the characters. There were lots introduced here, and many they came back to again but I don't remember all of them. The version in the book I'm reading lists it as The Queen of Air and Darkness: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... Because they are listed as separate books in a series, I am logging both the individual titles as I complete them as also updated the bind up I'm reading them in: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Eggp

    They're too rich to fight King Arthur's not playing fair pick on someone poor.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    This is a very strange book. (Book 2 of T.H. White's The Once and Future King) It seems like five random and unconnected plots which all begin but never finish or join together. Granted - I have not yet read the sequels so I don't know if these plots will make sense later, but for now it was just weird. (It was also later retitled "The Queen of Air and Darkness) It's a collection of short stories. Some are silly: like the tale of the questing beast. Some are gruesomely disturbing: like the take of This is a very strange book. (Book 2 of T.H. White's The Once and Future King) It seems like five random and unconnected plots which all begin but never finish or join together. Granted - I have not yet read the sequels so I don't know if these plots will make sense later, but for now it was just weird. (It was also later retitled "The Queen of Air and Darkness) It's a collection of short stories. Some are silly: like the tale of the questing beast. Some are gruesomely disturbing: like the take of Gawaine and his brothers killing the Unicorn. The only parts I really enjoyed we're the conversations with Arthur, Kay, and Merlyn. Arthur learns much about the nature of war in this book. Merlyn is constantly teaching him, helping him, and giving him examples. He teaches Arthur that his problem is that he doens't care about the serfs, the foot soldiers. Arthur and his knights have fun in war, and earn huge ransoms, while the people are murdered, raped, pillaged, etc... Here are my two favorite lessons from Merlyn: 1. Merlyn tells Arthur there is never a reason to go to war, unless the other man starts it. Arthur points out "If one side was starving the other by some means or other - some peaceful, economic means which were not actually warlike - then the starving side might have to fight it's way out." Merlyn answers: “There is no excuse for war, none whatever, and whatever the wrong which your nation might be doing to mine–short of war–my nation would be in the wrong if it started a war so as to redress it. A murderer, for instance, is not allowed to plead that his victim was rich and oppressing him–so why should a nation be allowed to? Wrongs have to be redressed by reason, not by force.” 2. Later Kay tells Merlyn he has thought of a good reason to go to war. "There might be a king who had discovered a new way of life for human beings — you know, something which would be good for them. It might even be the only way from saving them from destruction. Well, if the human beings were too wicked or too stupid to accept his way, he might have to force it on them, in their own interests by the sword." The magician clenched his fists, twisted his gown into screws, and began to shake all over. "Very interesting," he said in a trembling voice. "Very interesting. There was just such a man when I was young — an Austrian who invented a new way of life and convinced himself that he was the chap to make it work. He tried to impose his reformation by the sword, and plunged the civilized world into misery and chaos. But the thing which this fellow had overlooked, my friend, was that he had had a predecessor in the reformation business, called Jesus Christ. Perhaps we may assume that Jesus knew as much as the Austrian did about saving people. But the odd thing is that Jesus did not turn the disciples into storm troopers, burn down the Temple at Jerusalem, and fix the blame on Pontius Pilate. On the contrary, he made it clear that the business of the philosopher was to make ideas available, and not to impose them on people." This is part of the joy of having a character like Merlyn in the book. He can draw examples from any era, and use any example he wants. He mentions both Jesus and Hitler in this example (which is impressive since the book was published in 1939, before the majority of Hitler's horrors had occured)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jay Daze

    I liked this.... not as much as 'Sword in the Stone'. There was a very odd mix of the extremely dark: the opening cat scene and the unicorn butchery were really awful while the silliness of King ?Pellinore? was satisfyingly stupid. Arthur is in the book, learning that maybe we shouldn't romanticize war - it is interesting to have a World War I pacifist take on chivalry and romantic knights. A bunch of blood-thirst bumbling aristos - anarchy now!!! I'm all good with that - though really White see I liked this.... not as much as 'Sword in the Stone'. There was a very odd mix of the extremely dark: the opening cat scene and the unicorn butchery were really awful while the silliness of King ?Pellinore? was satisfyingly stupid. Arthur is in the book, learning that maybe we shouldn't romanticize war - it is interesting to have a World War I pacifist take on chivalry and romantic knights. A bunch of blood-thirst bumbling aristos - anarchy now!!! I'm all good with that - though really White seems to have Arthur go for a decent humanism - undercutting it by spilling the beans about Arthur's fate at the end of the book (doomed!) - and names Mallory! And did I mention child of rape and incest? The book is gonna get a lot darker. Unfortunately White has a rep for having his women either evil or stupid and so far this seems to be the case. But that's okay we can still hate the Irish and Scottish.... (Oh, sorry, I just checked, one half of my family is Scottish so it turns out that isn't okay either.) So to sum up, I'm looking forward to things getting nastier, darker, more misogynistic and racist towards those of the Gaelic persuasion - but written extremely well, with hopefully some nice nature scenes, before a bunny gets it. But actually I do enjoy stuff that takes the darker side of humanity - which usually means an author who shares that darker side - it is all down to the art, fellow maggots.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    This part of the saga really feels like material that could have been skipped over to me. It switches back and forth between the beginning of Arthur's reign and the origins of the future Sir Gawaine and his brothers. There isn't much here that's of interest in and of itself. I think it would have been interesting to focus more on Arthur and his early days of kingship. There is some good stuff here about how he decides to set up the Round Table and the anti-war message, but I would have liked more This part of the saga really feels like material that could have been skipped over to me. It switches back and forth between the beginning of Arthur's reign and the origins of the future Sir Gawaine and his brothers. There isn't much here that's of interest in and of itself. I think it would have been interesting to focus more on Arthur and his early days of kingship. There is some good stuff here about how he decides to set up the Round Table and the anti-war message, but I would have liked more of that. Again, I suspect there's more of that coming in later books. It feels rather like White is supplementing Malory in this book, rather than writing his own take. I think that's a bit unfortunate. Rather than rewriting the myth, he's bringing out his own focus on what's already there, and I'm not sure how much creativity there is in that. It's like White thought he wasn't allowed to reinterpret Malory or the myth of Arthur, or that he wasn't allowed to make it his own. I'm so used to authors retelling fairy tales and myths in their own way that White's approach seems a bit lacking to me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    William Wren

    Where The Sword in the Stone was fairly light, The Witch in the Wood (aka The Queen of Air and Darkness) is rather dark. Quite dark, actually (the business with the cat seemed unnecessarily long, as was the unicorn). It’s also a weaker book. White has said he struggled with this one and it certainly seems that way. In a sense, it isn’t really a novel so much as it is a lengthy exposition setting up the books that follow. It is largely characterization, which is partly why it bounces back and fort Where The Sword in the Stone was fairly light, The Witch in the Wood (aka The Queen of Air and Darkness) is rather dark. Quite dark, actually (the business with the cat seemed unnecessarily long, as was the unicorn). It’s also a weaker book. White has said he struggled with this one and it certainly seems that way. In a sense, it isn’t really a novel so much as it is a lengthy exposition setting up the books that follow. It is largely characterization, which is partly why it bounces back and forth between Arthur and the Orkney brood (Gawain, Agravaine, Gaheris, and Gareth). The book is entirely set-up. Still, it’s an easy read though you may find yourself tapping your toe wondering when the story will start until, out of nowhere, it ends.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I can see why T.H White meant for these books to be read as a whole, and not as separate volumes. The Witch in the Wood is shorter than The Sword in The Stone and if read alone might come across as too abrupt. The humour has grown slightly, becoming darker, as Arthur has grown and the events surrounding his life mature and grow increasingly dangerous. I would say this instalment comes across as somewhat of a humerus Greek Tragedy, as it falls into the pattern of invincible young hero who is desti I can see why T.H White meant for these books to be read as a whole, and not as separate volumes. The Witch in the Wood is shorter than The Sword in The Stone and if read alone might come across as too abrupt. The humour has grown slightly, becoming darker, as Arthur has grown and the events surrounding his life mature and grow increasingly dangerous. I would say this instalment comes across as somewhat of a humerus Greek Tragedy, as it falls into the pattern of invincible young hero who is destined to be thwarted by a taboo he didn't know he was committing (think Oedipus).

  17. 5 out of 5

    Becky R.

    I love the mix of future historical events, such as the rule of Hitler, mixed into the conversations Merlin has with Arthur. The philosophy about war and happiness in the kingdom's people is all really interesting mixed in with the story. I highly recommend checking these out if you have not read them before.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Fate

    I'm going to wait until the end of the 5th book to do a full review, but this is like a 3.50. The narration is fantastic on Audible so I'm giving 4 stars. It's very disjointed and has so many characters that it's more like a series of vignettes. Plus there are 2 disgusting scenes that seemed pointless

  19. 5 out of 5

    Suzy Kennedy

    A fun second book but at the end I kind of wondered what the point was. maybe I was just preoccupied while reading it, but I feel like this could have been part of another book, not a book in itself. Its so short I may reread it soon when I can really focus on whats happening in the book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amy (Lost in a Good Book)

    First of all, I think we now know why unicorns are no longer with us and it ain't pretty. But besides that, a highly political book, and a lot shorter that the first. Getting your head around the history was hard since I only know a little about England history and the legend of Arthur but it is explained thoroughly so as long as you pay attention it is not lost on you. There are good philosophies about the act of war and I'm pretty sure there is a passing comment comparing Hitler to Jesus as we First of all, I think we now know why unicorns are no longer with us and it ain't pretty. But besides that, a highly political book, and a lot shorter that the first. Getting your head around the history was hard since I only know a little about England history and the legend of Arthur but it is explained thoroughly so as long as you pay attention it is not lost on you. There are good philosophies about the act of war and I'm pretty sure there is a passing comment comparing Hitler to Jesus as well. Pellinore and the Questing Beast reappear with some Knights for some lightheartedness which was enjoyable as the story shifts focus from Arthur, to the Knights and the opposing army. The ending was interesting and made me remember more facts about the legend. Hopefully the story will continue in the same way in next book because it is a really interesting legend.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christian

    My review of The Sword in the Stone was gleaming, and while this novel has many of the same qualities, it just doesn't live up to its predecessor. That's not to say that this entry was bad, far from it, but it is simply a setup book for the future two main entries in this series. Arthur begins to learn some more lessons in this one, but instead of being taught through animals as he was in the first book, he and Kay are directly taught by Merlin. While many have critiqued the lack of King Arthur My review of The Sword in the Stone was gleaming, and while this novel has many of the same qualities, it just doesn't live up to its predecessor. That's not to say that this entry was bad, far from it, but it is simply a setup book for the future two main entries in this series. Arthur begins to learn some more lessons in this one, but instead of being taught through animals as he was in the first book, he and Kay are directly taught by Merlin. While many have critiqued the lack of King Arthur and Merlin, I found the side story to be rather interesting for both King Pellinore coming to terms with some things and the strange and horrid stories with the Orkney children and their mother. Overall, it was a good read with a lot of valuable setup, but it could have been longer (only 100 pages!) and have more of Arthur's conflict.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Krzysztof

    Strange book. It's divided into two themes - one is very serious, even too serious for a children's book (getting through a cat-boiling scene was hard for me even now, the same for the unicorn-slaying scene - both are gruesome and completely pointless as far as I'm concerned), and the other is slapstick/comedy-relief humouristic. The effect is that there's very little here that works - the Arthur chapters are mostly fine, but again, the ending - a very important part of the whole story - is very Strange book. It's divided into two themes - one is very serious, even too serious for a children's book (getting through a cat-boiling scene was hard for me even now, the same for the unicorn-slaying scene - both are gruesome and completely pointless as far as I'm concerned), and the other is slapstick/comedy-relief humouristic. The effect is that there's very little here that works - the Arthur chapters are mostly fine, but again, the ending - a very important part of the whole story - is very short and doesn't really build on the plot much. Can't really recommend it, unless you want to read it to know the whole story as told by White.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ellinor

    In this second part of The Once and Future King not much happens really. It mainly tells some of the information you need to have to understand some of the things happening later. The Sword in the Stones sometimes had its lengths but overall the humour dominant. This book still often is humorous but some parts of it just annoyed and bored, especially King Pellinore's Quest. It was funny in the first book but now things were repeating themselves.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bettie

    tape to mp3 conversion Read by Alexander Scorby. #49 TBR Busting 2013 "In tragedy, innocence is not enough. Excellent. tape to mp3 conversion Read by Alexander Scorby. #49 TBR Busting 2013 "In tragedy, innocence is not enough. Excellent.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Antoine

    The creepiest, most tragic, and in some ways the saddest of all the parts of The Once and Future King, this title refers to the rare freestanding edition of part two, which is a good deal longer than "The Queen of Air and Darkness," the shorter version which appears in the one volume edition of White's epic. It is a bit like Lord of the Flies meets Arthurian legend. The creepiest, most tragic, and in some ways the saddest of all the parts of The Once and Future King, this title refers to the rare freestanding edition of part two, which is a good deal longer than "The Queen of Air and Darkness," the shorter version which appears in the one volume edition of White's epic. It is a bit like Lord of the Flies meets Arthurian legend.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kailey (BooksforMKs)

    This book was okay. It had some good funny bits about King Pellinore and the Questing Beast. The plot didn't seem to have a clear objective though, and the ending wasn't really an ending at all. The charm of novelty from the first book, Sword in the Stone, is gone and the storyline and characters in this book don't really hold up anymore.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    White is simultaneously so delightful and so frustrating. He introduces fabulous people and concepts and then completely abandons them, or just mentions their outcome in passing later while spending chapter upon chapter on anecdotal stories about minor characters. I feel like he's doing it on purpose to upset me. He probably is. It's fine. This series is still a work of genius.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Such a difference from the book later included in The Once and Future King! Difficult to read at times, and not particularly well-structured. The edited version for the complete edition is much better, even if it cuts out half of the plot of this one!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Hard to rate this one. I still enjoyed the writing but the story was so dark compared to the Sword and the Stone.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    The Witch in the Wood is the second in TH White’s Arthurian epic, The Once and future King. Published in 1939 but substantially revised for the collected work, published in 1958 (the version I just read), it takes a decidedly dark turn in comparison to the children’s story that is volume one (The Sword in the Stone). It starts with Queen Morgause boiling a black cat alive and then fishing through the soupy mess to find a bone that is purported to make one invisible. Her four sons, Gawaine, Agrava The Witch in the Wood is the second in TH White’s Arthurian epic, The Once and future King. Published in 1939 but substantially revised for the collected work, published in 1958 (the version I just read), it takes a decidedly dark turn in comparison to the children’s story that is volume one (The Sword in the Stone). It starts with Queen Morgause boiling a black cat alive and then fishing through the soupy mess to find a bone that is purported to make one invisible. Her four sons, Gawaine, Agravaine, Gaheris and Gareth, then torture a donkey just for the fun of it, before trapping and killing a unicorn and hacking up the body into a hideous mess. Queen Morgause and her troubled sons, in fact, take up around a third of the novel. The boys are growing up with an axe to grind against Arthur due to the history between their two families (Arthur’s dad, Uther Pendragon, dishonoured their grandmother). Another third is taken up by Arthur and Merlyn. Arthur is now entering manhood and learning to govern his kingdom. Merlyn tutors Arthur about war and I’m betting that, more than the Normans and the Saxons, TH White had Hitler in mind when he wrote what he wrote on the subject in this book. Then there’s a comic element which takes up the final third. This involves Sir Pellinore and his love interest, Princess ‘Piggy’ from Flanders; and his two friends, Sir Grunmore and Sir Paolides, with whom the Questing Besst falls in love. This element seems thrown in merely to add comic relief to an otherwise quite dark and savage story. It does also explain some parts of the Arthur legend but it seems that the only reason why this eccentric trio of knights are living with Morgause is for the convenience of the narrative. The book ends with Merlyn anticipating his future of being locked up in a tumulus for centuries; and with Arthur sleeping with Morgause, neither of whom know that they are half brother and sister. This union, of course, begets Mordred, who will later bring about Arthur’s fall. “It is the tragedy of sin coming home to roost... Remember, when the time comes, that the king slept with his own sister. He did not know he was doing so... but it seems, in tragedy, that innocence is not enough.” The Witch in the Wood (or is it The Queen of Air and Darkness?) is an uneasy and untidy mishmash of elements and tones that failed to interest or engage me. I hope the remaining volumes are better, as the collected work takes up an inordinate amount of shelf space.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.