Friday, February 8, 2013

Book Review of #4 The Candle in the Wind by TH White

Name of Book: The Ill-made Knight

Author: TH White

ISBN: 0-425-06310-0-395

Publisher: Berkley Novel

Part of a Series: The Once and future King

Type of book: messed up details, King Arthur, Fantasy, Holy Grail, relationships, cuckolded husband, friendship, Medieval Ages

Year it was published: 1958

Summary:

The Candle in the Wind is the fourth book from the collection The Once and Future King by T. H. White. It deals with the last weeks of Arthur's reign, his dealings with his son Mordred's revolts, Guenever and Lancelot's demise, and his perception of right and wrong.

Characters:

There's really nothing to tell about the characters. Somehow the author certainly makes the exciting parts boring, thus the characters become boring as well. I wish that he could have explored more of the father-son dynamic between King Arthur and Mordred, and why Mordred was like that. I also would have wanted more exploration on between Mordred and his, well, siblings. I would have wanted to know more about Morgana and Morgause.

Theme:

When there's nothing to fight against, you turn against your own fellows.

Plot:

Here Arthur struggles with his son Mordred. The secrets are revealed and things that should not be faced are faced instead.What should have been an exciting novel, it must have been boring since I can't recall much about it. Its written in third person narrative with bouncing point of view from many characters. (Boy was I happy when I was done at last!) Something random, but I wouldn't advice someone trying to be familiar with King Arthur to read this book.

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

born
May 29, 1906 in Bombay, India

died
January 17, 1964

gender
male

genre
Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Historical Fiction

influences
Thomas Malory

About this author
Born in Bombay to English parents, Terence Hanbury White was educated at Cambridge and taught for some time at Stowe before deciding to write full-time. White moved to Ireland in 1939 as a conscientious objector to WWII, and lived out his years there.

Opinion:

So, what happens when evil things run out? What happens when there's too much good and, according to author, trying to express "might is right" idea? The book turns to third one, and what happens when everyone is done with religion and cynicism sets in? The fourth book happens, when everyone turns against one another. I think what drove me nuts about the book are the inaccuracies due to time and whatnot, as well as listening to the author lecture on and on without stopping. I'm not sure in which book, but I was sad at the way a death was handled, (possibly in this book,) and the reunion with Lancelot and Guinevere, which the author had done a surprisingly good job of portraying, is cheapened in this one. I read the series in hopes of discovering more about King Arthur and the knights, but although I learned a number of fascinating things, it wasn't enough to warrant a five star rating. Something else I learned is that the kingdom and Round Table are hypocrites so to speak. They never helped anyone who is not a christian. Unfortunately I don't recall a lot about the book, which is for the best perhaps.

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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