The Phantom Tollbooth

The Once and Future King – Book I: “The Sword and the Stone,” Chapters 1–4

Summary: Chapter 1 In medieval England, Sir Ector raises two young boys—his son, Kay, and an adopted orphan named Art, who has come to be known as the Wart. The boys are taught chivalry and mathematics, and although Kay makes mistakes in his lessons, he is rarely disciplined, since he will one day inherit his …

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The Once and Future King – Book I: “The Sword in the Stone,” Chapters 5–9

Summary: Chapter 5 Power is of the individual mind, but the mind’s power is not enough. Power of the body decides everything in the end, and only Might is Right. (See Important Quotations Explained) Sir Ector’s castle is located in the middle of a wild English forest called the Forest Sauvage. On a hot summer …

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The Once and Future King – Book I: “The Sword in the Stone,” Chapters 10–13

Summary: Chapter 10 The Wart and Kay walk toward the Forest Sauvage alongside the strip of barley in Sir Ector’s fields. Eventually, they encounter a seven-foot-tall giant named Little John. Little John leads them to the camp of a man he calls Robin Wood, known to the villagers as Robin Hood. At the camp they …

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The Once and Future King – Book I: “The Sword in the Stone,” Chapters 20–24

Summary: Chapter 20 Six years pass. Kay becomes more temperamental, insisting on using weapons he cannot handle and challenging everybody to fights in which he is invariably defeated. He begins to spend less time with the Wart, since the Wart will soon be beneath Kay’s social station, though it seems Kay is behaving in this …

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The Once and Future King – Book II: “The Queen of Air and Darkness,” Chapters 1–5

Summary: Chapter 1 In an uncomfortable castle in Orkney, a medieval kingdom in Ireland, four brothers, Gawaine, Gaheris, Gareth, and Agravaine, whisper to one another. Gawaine tells the story of their grandmother, Igraine, the countess of Cornwall, whose husband was killed by Uther Pendragon so Pendragon could have Igraine as his wife. In the room …

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The Once and Future King – Book I: “The Sword in the Stone,” Chapters 14–19

Summary: Chapter 14 In November, Sir Ector receives a letter from Uther Pendragon, the king of England, telling him that the royal huntsman, William Twyti, will be coming to hunt near Sir Ector’s castle that winter. Sir Ector is expected to house Twyti, his dogs, and his men. Summary: Chapter 15 On Christmas night, the …

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The Once and Future King – Book II: “The Queen of Air and Darkness,” Chapters 6–10

Summary: Chapter 6 Why can’t you harness Might so that it works for Right? . . . The Might is there, in the bad half of people, and you can’t neglect it. (See Important Quotations Explained) Arthur stops by Merlyn’s room to ask his advice, but Merlyn tells him that the king should always summon …

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The Once and Future King – Book II: “The Queen of Air and Darkness,” Chapters 11–14

Summary: Chapter 11 In Orkney, King Pellinore is walking along the beach when he comes across Sir Palomides and Sir Grummore trapped on a cliff ledge. They are still in costume, and the Questing Beast has fallen in love with what she thinks is her mate. She watches them adoringly from the foot of the …

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The Once and Future King – Book III: “The Ill-Made Knight,” Chapters 1–6

Summary: Chapter 1 King Ban’s son Lancelot is skilled at games, but horribly ugly. Arthur once explained to the young Lancelot his attempt to end the principle of might makes right and asked Lancelot if he wanted to help Arthur do so when he was older. Lancelot said he would indeed like to join Arthur. …

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