Arthur has been crowned king, and with Merlyn’s help and tutelage he must face a devastating war against King Lot.

The second book in The Once and Future King was an odd mix of stories. Arthur discusses with Merlyn on the ideologies of being king. One interesting lesson includes, “Might is not right” with supporting references to Hitler. Remember that Merlyn, who lives backwards in time, has already experienced the world through WWII.

The introduction and the Orkney clan, Morgause and her children turn the entire story much darker, with dark magic, the killing of cats of unicorns, and Morgauses eventual seduction of her half-brother. Despite the fun youthful story of Pellinore and companions searching for the Questing Beast and Pellinore’s marriage at the end, Arthur’s story now hints of deception and tragedy.

This one is a little less cohesive, and darker than the first in the series, but serves to set up the eventual downfall of Arthur’s reign. Recommended as a continuation of the series, but certainly not as a stand-alone story.