I must say, the first time I perused this particular selection, I was bored to tears by it. A high school student forced to do as such, I found reading through White's tome of knights and adventures to be extremely tiresome. It was only on my second go through, some years later, that I recognized this work as one of the best pieces of literature to grace my library.
T. H. White goes to great depths to properly craft his characters, and remains true to his depictions throughout the five books comprising his depiction of the Arthurian legend. All the famous figures - Arthur, Guenevere, Lancelot, and Merlyn, to name a few - are given a new lease on life, and for the first time, we are given a good look at their personalities, from fears to secret desires. White reminds us through his ingenuity and silver tongue that even the greatest of people are fallible, as witnessed in the fall of Lancelot. The reader is given, for the first time that I can recall, a deep look into the thoughts of each character, and what drives their actions throughout the course of each novel.
White's derivations from traditional Arthur also give his work a strikingly original air, casting old characters in occassionally new roles while still largely following the legend. His work with Merlyn struck me as particularly interesting: a man travelling backwards in time, who knows already the sad fate of Arthur yet who does his best to steer Arthur in the proper direction. Of special note is Merlyn's outlook on 'might' versus 'right', and the struggles Arthur has with this issue throughout the tenure of his reign.
On the whole, it is well worth the read, especially if one is a fan of the Arthurian legend. My only complaint comes in the scope of White's narrative; he is, at times, very long-winded, supplying several expansive passages and descriptions that are rather superfluous, and excessive. If you can suffer such things, however, I would highly recommend this brilliant story.