One often hears of King Arthur and his noble knights, and the book by Roger Lancelyn Green portrays this story eloquently. Throughout this story, the reader experiences the adventures and trials of King Arthur and his knights. This book has many exciting endeavors of heroism and fortitude. The author really brings to life King Arthur and his many knights of the round table.
In book one, it tells of the beginnings of Arthur and his knights. It starts when Arthur was born to Uther, leader of the Britons, and Igrayne, queen of Cornwall. The reader learns of how Merlin, the enchanter, watched over their love and once Arthur was born, how Merlin carried him by a secret path down a cliff side. Nothing was spoken of his fate. Years went by, until the appointed time was at hand. Then Merlin and the Archbishop called for a gathering of knights on Christmas Day. On this day, a great slab of marble stone, set with an anvil on top, was found in the churchyard. In this anvil sat a sword thrust deeply into it with its point downwards. Engraved in this stone were gold letters that said: “Whoso pulleth out this sword from this stone and anvil is the true-born king of all Britain.”
Many men tried to extract this sword, yet none could make the sword budge. Many more came to draw the sword, and among these came Sir Kay and his younger brother Arthur, merely sixteen years in age. Sir Kay had forgotten his sword and sent Arthur to fetch it for him, when Arthur saw this sword plunged into the anvil. Arthur pulled the sword from the anvil with ease, not knowing what this sword was. When Sir Kay was handed this sword, he recognized it immediately and Arthur was proclaimed the true king of Britain. King Arthur quickly gathered around him the best knights in the kingdom and married Guinevere, the most beautiful woman in all of Britain.
Many have heard of King Arthur and Guinevere, but there were many other essential characters who were vital to the legends and stories of the Round Table and the Holy Grail. The knights were men of courage and nobleness. They fought for and honored the king. They also set out on the most dangerous of quests. One of the most well-known of the knights is Sir Launcelot; He is the most accomplished and probably the most famous of all King Arthur’s knights. Launcelot is told to be the best at arms but not the best in piety. Although Launcelot was in love with Queen Guinevere, as she was with him, Launcelot had a son called Galahad with a woman named Elaine. Galahad is another indispensible character. He was the most perfect knight who sat at the round table.
Galahad was also one of the three knights chosen to undertake the Quest for the Holy Grail, along with Sir Bors and Sir Percivale. Although they all achieved the quest, only Bors returned to the court. Among the noblest of knights is also Sir Gawain. Gawain and Launcelot were close at one point, but Gawain’s brothers were accidentally slain by Launcelot. Because of this, Sir Gawain showed bitterness towards Sir Launcelot. Later when Sir Gawain was mortally wounded, he repented of his bitterness toward his friend Launcelot and forgave him.
In the fourth and final book, King Arthur hears that his nephew Mordred had kidnapped Guinevere. King Arthur starts a battle with Mordred, which the author calls The Last Battle. The author depicts this particular scene in the book as sad and doleful. King Arthur didn’t want to have a battle, but felt it was necessary. During this battle, Arthur delivers a hard blow to Mordred, but in the process King Arthur was struck too. It was then that Arthur commands Sir Bedivere (one of the first knights of the table) to throw the Excalibur back into the lake from which it was given to him by the Lady of the Lake years before. After lying to King Arthur twice, Sir Bedivere finally tossed the sword into the lake, and the hand of the Lady of the Lake reached up and grabbed the sword. King Arthur’s last wish was for Bedivere to take him to the lake. The Lady of the Lake, Queen Morgana le Fay (Arthur’s half-sister), and other women were waiting in a boat. They received King Arthur and laid him in the boat. Arthur tells Bedivere that he will return when Britain needs him, but until then Bedivere must tell of Arthur’s story.
In the epilogue, the reader hears of what happens to the Knights of the Round Table. Sir Launcelot returns asking of King Arthur. The townspeople showed him the grave of Sir Gawain and Sir Launcelot wept at the sight of this. They also told Launcelot of how King Arthur had left nearly a month earlier. Later, Launcelot finds Guinevere at a nunnery. She tells Launcelot of Sir Bedivere and how he had become a monk at an Abbey. Launcelot tells Queen Guinevere that he shall spend the rest of his days in fasting and prayers.
About the year 1200, it was announced that King Arthur was in fact dead. His bones were found in a tomb near to those of Queen Guinevere. Some also believe that King Arthur still sleeps in some enchanted cave and that it was in fact Launcelot, not Arthur that was found lying near Guinevere.
This book has new stories and adventures in every chapter, which is just one reason the reader wants to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next in King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Roger Lancelyn Green does such an exceptional job of describing the events taking place that at times the reader can feel the true emotions and really connect with the story.