Three Hearts and Three Lions

Poul Anderson

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This was a nostalgic read for me, as I first encountered Poul Anderson in high school. I decided to read it to see if it held up over time. For the most part it did. The story of Holger Carlson, a Danish engineer wounded fighting the Nazis is transported back in time to fight the forces of Chaos. Known as Ogier the Dane, he is the champion of Law. His shield bears three hearts and three lions, and he is famous. Although he knows nothing of this land or its problems, he immediately aligns himself with the forces of Law against Chaos.

The part I remember best is the saying ‘Bare is brotherless back,’ and I have encountered it many times in various forms over the years. Holger finds that in spite of the fact he is literally brotherless, he has allies in the fight against Chaos. Some are human, and some are magical. Alienora the swan maiden is especially appealing.

A champion for all times, we could use his like today as the forces of Chaos rise again.

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