Book Review: Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson (Three Stars )

Book Review: Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson

Three Stars (What else?)

(Warning: spoilers follow)

“Perhaps his destiny had too much momentum to end here.”

A 1953 fanciful retelling of the legend of Ogier the Dane by a master of science fiction. As a result he can’t seem to help applying scientific analysis to the vagaries of magic.

“In Holger’s home world, physical forces were strong and well-understood, mental-magical forces weak and unmanageable. In this universe. The opposite held true. Both … were endless struggles between Law and Chaos.”

True to its medieval roots, this is at once an adventure, a romance, and a morality tale.

“The near presence of Chaos must affect the good folk, turning them skittish, lawless and inclined to devilments of their own.”

So heavy on dialect that it’s occasionally hard to follow. “I ha’ been a guid dwarf.”

“Ye’re na the first twa knichts wha’ died because they had so bluidy much pride there was no room left for brains.”

Filled with 50s high school boy over-wrought emotionalism, which was a common characteristic of science fiction and fantasy then. While the stereotypical portrayal of women is off-putting, the innocence of tone is nostalgic.

“a body with more curves than a scenic highway.”

A fun read for all that.

“As evil waxes, the very men who stand for good will in their fear use ever worse means of fighting and thereby give evil a free beachhead.”