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Friday, March 11, 2011

Review: Three Hearts & Three Lions

When my father issued his reading challenge for 2011, I assumed the biggest hurdle I would need to overcome is finding the time to read more. I've collected about 20 new books since January, but I have to say that I've been moving along at a brisk pace.

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.


  1. I could have sworn I commented on this last night, but I guess it got eaten. Or I forgot to hit submit. One of those.

    Reading the classics sounds like a lot of fun, though I'm sure I would also be constantly tripping on that line between classic and cliche if I tried it. Good luck finishing your stack. I may have to add a few of these to my reading list, too. If it ever starts to get shorter anyway...

  2. I have that problem sometimes too with blogspot. I usually just forget there's a captcha to get through too, haha.

    I'll definitely post more reviews as I dig through the stack. I really need to learn to limit reading other books though, especially those around 1000 pages. Damn you, Pat Rothfuss.