Also, I was a little put off by the age of the book. I might be the only bibliophile in the world who thinks that old books just smell old. In a bad way.
image via librarything.
But, no, this didn't trip me either. What the real problem has become is that these stories are so iconic, so foundational, that I already know them. Had Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions been published in 2011, I would've brushed it aside for being cliche.
And despite knowing that it was among the first of this epic fantasy genre, it still bugged me that I could anticipate so much of the story.
That said there are some absolutely beautiful passages. Holger is deeply flawed, and a superior hero for it. Hugi is hilarious, even if sometimes I had to read his lines out loud to understand. It's a short book, so I would say definitely worth the read, but I'm looking forward to the next one in the stack.