Even in addressing the profound issues of war and peace, The Book of Merlyn retains the life and sparkle for which White is known. The tale brings Arthur full circle, an ending, White wrote, that "will turn my completed epic into a perfect fruit, 'rounded off and bright and done.'"
ÒArriving from beyond the curve of time and apparently from the grave, The Book of Merlyn stirs its own pages, saying, wait: you didnÕt get the whole story. . . . It gives us a final glimpse of those two immortal characters, Wart and Merlyn, up close, slo-mo, with a considered and affectionate scrutiny. The book is an elegiac posting from a master storyteller of the twentieth century. Its reissue in our next century is just as welcome as when it first arrived forty years ago. . . . Certainly the moral questions about the military use of force perplex the world still. . . . The efficacy of treaties, the trading of insults among the potentates of the day, the testing of weapons, the weaponizing of tradeÑthese strategies are still front and center. Rather terrifyingly so. We do well to revisit what that old schoolteacher of children, Merlyn, has been trying to point out to us about power and responsibility.Ó
ÑGregory Maguire, from the foreword