Each book of the quadrilogy is markedly different both in tone and style to its brethren. The first sees King Arthur as a boy, the second as a young leader and introduces the Orkney clan, the third almost entirely deals with Lancelot and the final with the war which eventually rent Camelot in two.
As is now the norm - but TOAFK begets - only the man whose ambition destroys all that Arthur - who in the end loses faith in justice - had judicially achieved, is portrayed as evil and motivated by hate. His brothers - a few of them co-conspirators - are unlikeable or selfish, but none so evil as Mordred.
White's obvious gift was in taking an idea and running with it - The Sword in the Stone could praecied as two hundred pages of one boy's experiences as a pike, hawk, goose and frog. That Merlyn, a proto-Who/Dumbledore, lives backwards in time only serves to highlight an almost futile existence.
It's certainly languid, expansive and a little self-indulgent, but enjoyable nonetheless. It'll take you a fair amount to get through, but this isn't a typical light-hearted swords-n-sorcery epic. This is big, sad and will always be theArthurian novel against which all are judged. Footballs - but I preferred The Winter King.