The novel's overall mood is adventurous and humorous, as Hank Morgan has various exploits while he is in King Arthur's court. These episodes generate excitement and anticipation in the reader as Hank navigates the unfamiliar and often perilous world of medieval England.
In scenes where violence occurs, the mood notably shifts to match the intense subject matter. This can be seen in the below passage from Chapter 17, for example, when Hank observes a man being tortured:
All down my legs were hurting in sympathy with that man’s pain. Conducted by mailed guards bearing flaring torches, we tramped along echoing corridors, and down stone stairways dank and dripping, and smelling of mold and ages of imprisoned night — a chill, uncanny journey and a long one.
Hank begins by describing the physical discomfort he feels upon recognizing the other man's pain, which creates a sense of unease and distress in the reader. The ominous setting also contributes to the passage's intense and solemn mood. The description of the corridors and stairways as cold, damp, and foreboding reinforces a feeling of discomfort. Hank's use of the word "uncanny" suggests a feeling of strangeness or eeriness, and his description of the journey as "long" creates a sense of uncertainty and anticipation.