Floyd C. Gale praised The Sword in the Stone as "blithely comic and entirely delightful", stating that it was "in utter contrast to the mounting tragedy" of the other three volumes of the series. Fantasy historian Lin Carter wrote, "... the single finest fantasy novel written in our time, or for that matter, ever written, is, must be, by any conceivable standard, T. H. White's The Once and Future King. I can hardly imagine that any mature, literate person who has read the book would disagree with this estimate. White is a great writer."
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