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Three Hearts & Three Lions (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) [Paperback]

Poul Anderson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Dec 2003 FANTASY MASTERWORKS (Book 40)

The gathering forces of the Dark Powers threaten the world of man. The legions of Faery, aided by trolls, demons and the Wild Hunt itself, are poised to overthrow the Realms of Light.

Holger Carlsen, a bemused and puzzled twentieth-century man mysteriously snatched out of time, finds himself the key figure in the conflict. Arrayed against him are the dragons, giants and elven warriors of the armies of Chaos, and the beautiful sorceress Morgan le Fay. On his side is a vague prophecy, a quarrelsome dwarf and a beautiful woman who can turn herself into a swan, not to mention Papillon, the magnificent battle-horse, and a full set of perfectly fitting armour, both of which were waiting for him when he entered the magical realm. The shield bears three hearts and three lions - the only clue to Holger Carlsen's true identity. Could Carlsen really be a legendary hero, the only man who can save the world?

Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New edition edition (4 Dec 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575074981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575074989
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 688,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Book Description

'His rare fantasies are jewels of the genre, certainly among the best' Baird Searles

About the Author

Poul Anderson (1926-2001) was born in Pennsylvania of Scandinavian stock. He started publishing science fiction in 1947 and became one the great figures in the genre, serving as President of the Science Fiction Writers of America, winning multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, and was named a SFWA Grand Master. He collaborated regularly with wife, Karen, and their daughter is married to noted SF writer Greg Bear. Poul Anderson died in July 2001.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
After so much time has passed, I feel obliged to write this down. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! 14 May 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While running from the Nazis in occupied Norway, Holger Carlson is struck unconscious, and awakens in an alternate Earth. In this Earth, it is still the medieval period, and the forces of Law and Chaos are locked in a life and death struggle. Lawful humans seem to believe that Holger is a great knight-errant, who will carry the battle to the Chaotic elves.
This wonderful fantasy book was written one year before Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (and 16 years after The Hobbit), and was a major influence on the original Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game. It is a great adventure, and quite a view into the early history of modern fantasy literature. This is a great book, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Three Hearts and Three Lions" by Poul Anderson is a wonderful tale of a 20th century man who must fight chaos and evil in land full of magic and oddities in order to keep his dream alive. I personaly found my self lost in this book of high adventure as unimaginable events unfolded before my eyes. A great book for the first time "fantasy" reader, and for the experienced as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing read 1 Mar 2009
Not too many people nowadays know that there was fantasy before and beyond Tolkien's work - and Poul Anderson's fantasy novels are masterpieces of this genre. "Three hearts and three lions" (1953, two years before LOTR was published) is a bit like Twain's Connecticut Yankee (also quoted in the book) as a modern Dane finds himself in a parallel world where the forces of Chaos (magic beings like elves and trolls) and Law (men aided by other magical creatures) are fighting for supremacy. Full of quotations from ancient lore and sagas, and expect a nice twist in the end. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy Adventure 3 Aug 1996
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is amazingly similar in some ways to "Glory Road" by RAH, although it predates it. It also has a JRR Tolkein flavor mixed with the general struggle of good and evil.
This is a completely enjoyable book that pits a modern day soldier against a fantasy world from his ancestral past.
Unlike many fantasy books, it has a very credible plot, fascinating characters, and a very attractive writing style. This has always been my favorite book by Anderson,
and still reads very well today.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy that's believable 12 Feb 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The thing I've always liked about Anderson's forays into fantasy, is that he manages to maintain that hard edge of reality throughout the work. Anderson's characters don't stumble around fairy land tripping over magic junk that they're going to happen to need in the next chapter like in some of the feebler fantasy on the market. Anderson gives his hero all the discomforts associated with running around in armor, the confusion of a modern character stuck in a parallel universe that he is having trouble making sense of and yet, manages to make a detailed, sociologically believable parallel universe without resorting to some of the cheaper tricks you too often see in sword and sorcery stuff. When something happens, it makes sense, even if it's fantastical at the same time. Anderson knows his sociology, history and his physics quite well. He's one of the brightest practitioners of the science fiction/fantasy art form and way under-appreciated. This is one of my favorites!

Tom King
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neat book for swan-may fans 25 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A main character is a swan-may, or Scandinavian were-swan. It's so nice to see some good, decent shapeshifters in fantasy instead of all that werewolf/curse/bloodlust crap that gets so boring and melodramatic after awhile. There is that kind of werewolf in here too, but doesn't take up much of the plot and the wonderful swan-may makes up for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost true 27 Mar 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was so extraordinary that I had to keep reminding myself that it was not a true story. Players of Dungeons&Dragons will be amazed how many ideas for that classic role-playing system came from this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 9 July 2014
enjoyable fantasy
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting post WW2 time travel take on Arthurian legend
Poul Anderson, an American Science Fiction / Fantasy legend of Danish heritage has produced an interesting combination of time travel, parallel universes and Arthurian legend here. Read more
Published 6 months ago by AK
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Anderson
I had forgotten what a great storyteller he was. Fundamental fantasy principles and archetypes abound but hey! This guy was leading the pack!
Published 8 months ago by A Humphrey
3.0 out of 5 stars A classic of fantasy that is showing its age
This is my second reading of this book, which I guess must be quite an early Poul Anderson. Holger Carlsen is the hero of the tale and his exploits are standard hero fare. Read more
Published on 29 April 2010 by Mr. Kevin P. Futers
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Story - Must Read
A fantasy story with a very healthy mix of reality.

I particularly enjoyed the part where the main character dealt with a dragon using a helmet full of water and caused... Read more
Published on 6 Feb 2010 by Horrocks
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy's Grandpa
You could be forgiven for thinking this tale highly unoriginal, that is till you realise it was written back in the early fifties and it is this story that has been plundered by... Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2009 by Mr. A. I. Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Escapist Fantasy, very enjoyable
This book is a lot like The Compleat Enchanter, also in the masterworks range, its very fast paced, got some great characterisation and I thought it was a real page turner. Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2009 by Lark
2.0 out of 5 stars Surprised and let down
I expected more from a book micheal moorcock cited as an early influence, and I'm just as baffled by the positive reviews here. Read more
Published on 30 Dec 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best!
I read this book in my early teens (which by the way is the Golden Age of Science Fiction). I've re-read it several times! It's a darn good book. Read more
Published on 20 Feb 1999
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