T.H. White's masterful retelling of the saga of King Arthur is a fantasy classic as legendary as Excalibur and Camelot, and a poignant story of adventure, romance, and magic that has enchanted readers for generations.
Of course, there are some chunks of prose that are absolutely brilliant. We're talking T.H. White, after all. Things are enlivened by Arthur's trip to the worlds of the ants and the geese. (However, I feel these episodes functioned better in Book 1.)
Editorially, I found this edition tantalizing but unsatisfying. A highly personal introduction provides details about White, but fails to explain some basics -- how did the goose and ant segments ultimately ended up in Book 1? How and why was the text "lost?" Frustrating.
The day before the final confrontation with his son Mordred, Arthur follows Merlyn to the Combination Room, where lives his menagerie. There he listens to the magician and Archimedes, Badger, Urchin and so on, who are in a political debate on how the human way of considering life and the world is different from that of animals.
I was disappointed with the Book of Merlyn, which in fact is hardly a novel. Merlyn's supposedly natural history lesson is but an excuse for discoursing on war and the bellicosity of Man. The only passages where there's an actual story are when Arthur visits the ant nest and travels with the wild geese, but these chapters were already included in The Sword in the Stone. As for what happened to Lancelot and Guenever, it is briefly mentioned in the manner of history books. The introduction on T. H. White's life is interesting, and there are some nice illustrations, but as a whole I found nothing worth recommending this book.