The Sword in the Stone is the first part of The Once and Future King pentalogy (followed by The Witch in the Wood, The Ill-Made Knight, The Candle in the Wind and The Book of Merlyn).
The Wart is a young orphan boy who lives in the castle of Sir Ector, his foster father. The son of the latter, Kay, is his best friend and model, for one day he will be Sir Kay, the master of the estate.
One day, they decide to go hawking together on the edge of the Forest Sauvage, but they're inexperienced and Cully the hawk flies away. They have no choice but to enter the foreboding woods and go after it. And soon the Wart gets lost. In the forest, he meets with King Pellinore, whose Quest is to catch the Beast Glatisant, and later with Merlyn the Enchanter, who brings him back to the castle and becomes his tutor.
As the Wart gets turned successively into a fish, a merlin, an ant, yet several other species of birds and finally a badger to add to his education, the novel itself sort of turns into a book of natural science, more than an actual fantasy, and not much else happens. The author's tendency to address to the reader is somewhat annoying too, and in general The Sword in the Stone far from lived up to my expectations. Not to mention that you have to wait until the fifth to last page for the Wart to finally remove the actual sword from the stone.