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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Three Hearts and Three LionsThree Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was charmed from the get-go for I knew that this was a classic, more SF/F Andersonian mix, a retelling of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and that is exactly what I got.

There's plenty of old adventure that's a little less nuts than White's Arthurian adventures, with a bit more in the straight adventure arena, including a sphinx/troll Scene, clever science fixes for epic battles, swooning women, time travel, witches, Faery courts, dragons, hidden memories and unbreakable promises. It's an all-around good story.

Does it really live up to, say, Anderson's The Broken Sword? No. But this one is a bit more light-hearted and it's straight-up Arthurian legend Plus stuff. I'm glad I read it but it's not nearly as good as his others.

It doesn't have quite that special kick since its ideas are all common-stuff. Still, it's Poul Anderson, so it's still head and shoulders above most of the rest, and I can see this being a nice precursor to so many of the modern fictions we have today, considering how straightforward the plots are.

It came out in 1961 and I'm honestly most charmed by all the modern-science considerations and speculations. :) This, more than anything, made it stand out for me. I'm now interested to see if anyone else has decided to do this with today's knowledge of science. You know. An upgrade, like this one was an attempt to upgrade Twain. :)

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