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The Brothers Lionheart

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4.36  ·  Rating details ·  26,320 ratings  ·  879 reviews
The Brothers Lionheart (Swedish: Bröderna Lejonhjärta) is a children's fantasy novel written by Astrid Lindgren. It was published in the autumn of 1973 and has been translated into 46 languages. Many of its themes are unusually dark and heavy for the children's book genre. Disease, death, tyranny, betrayal and rebellion are some of the dark themes that permeate the story. ...more
Hardcover, 231 pages
Published December 31st 2004 by Purple House Press (first published 1973)
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Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  26,320 ratings  ·  879 reviews


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Alex
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In high school I loaned this to a girlfriend and then she dumped me and then I called her house like every day all "GIVE ME MY BOOK BACK" until she finally left it outside my door so she wouldn't have to talk to me.

I was a pretty big fan of this book.
Angelina
If you don't like this book, you just don't understand anything. If you still haven't read it, please do!
Simply one of the best children's books ever written. It deals with some very serious issues in a truly admirable way and gives hope at the same time. Pure, honest, brave and magical.
Lisa
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
There are times when reality is hard to bear!

There are times when you wish you would not have to face what is actually happening. For all those times, Astrid Lindgren wrote The Brothers Lionheart. I must have read it about ten times by now, several times as a child, and several times with my own children, and students. I have watched the film, listened to the magical audiobook in which Astrid Lindgren herself reads the story, in that slow, humoristic voice of hers, indicating her Småland dialect
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Bröderna Lejonhjärta = The Brothers Lionheart, Astrid Lindgren
The Brothers Lionheart is a children's fantasy novel written by Astrid Lindgren. It was published in the autumn of 1973 and has been translated into 46 languages. Many of its themes are unusually dark and heavy for the children's book genre. Disease, death, tyranny, betrayal and rebellion are some of the dark themes that permeate the story. The lighter themes of the book involve platonic love, loyalty, hope, courage and pacifism. In
...more
Sharon L
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
remember that book you read in your childhood?

it was in hardcover, it was a bit dusty and used, and you had that feeling that you would like this book. and so you read it- and it had adventures and it was interesting and you couldn't stop reading that book (you read other books before, but that was the first book you were glued to).

remember that book in your childhood that, in a way, is the main reason for your deep love to books? that book that holds magic to you? that is cherished by you?
...more
Helle
This is the most important, most magical and most precious book from my childhood. It is the book that made me believe in something greater than myself when I was about ten years old. It is, to me, one of the most wonderful stories for children and young teenagers.

By the time I was 18, I had read it three or four times, later I read it to my oldest daughter and now to my youngest. And I still struggled to hold back the tears.

It is about the love between two brothers, about life after death,
...more
Noah
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Beautiful, heartbreaking, uplifting and timeless.

Astrid Lindgren Forever! :)

*****
“Why did you save Park's life, was that so good?'

'I don't know if it was such a good thing to do,' said Jonathan. 'But there are things you have to do, otherwise you're not a human being, just a piece of dirt. I've said this to you before.'

'But what if he'd realized who you were?' I said. 'And they had caught you!'

'Well, then they would've caught Lionheart and not a piece of dirt,' said Jonathan.”
― Astrid
...more
AnnaLund
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who has a beating heart
Recommended to AnnaLund by: My mother
The book that made me who I am today.
The one that taught me to stand up for my friends.
The book that showed me that Somethings you just HAVE to do, or else you are not a real human being, just a little speck of dirt.
Of course, I read it in the original Swedish, but anyone who has half a mind of reading something truly healing should give this a go in English. It is well translated, and she IS, after all, the mother of Pippi Longstockings. I rest my case.
Jonatan, jag ser ljuset.
Leni Iversen
Reading childhood favourites again as an adult is risky business, and with Astrid Lindgren it can be devastating. Not because her books disappoint; they don't. She has the gift of writing books that are read one way by children and another by adults. For a child, The Brothers Lionheart is an empowering adventure about brotherly love, courage, and doing the right thing even if you are scared. Children take the story at face value. It's the story of a sick child who gets to go on adventures and be ...more
Kirstine
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Oh man, I am an absolute sucker for sibling relationships (have I mentioned this before? Maybe I have), if not, know now that I am.

So you might guess why this is (along with 'Mio, My Mio') my favourite Astrid Lindgren book. The relationship between Tvebak and Jonathan (the Danish names) is so unbelievably precious, and leaves me in tears, even now, despite it being a childrens book.
Having a brother myself, I understand the devotion you can have for a sibling; I'd do anything for him. I'd face
...more
Stina
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If I told you one of the most famous Swedish children's books started with two boys dying, would you believe me? Because it's true. And it still manages to be sweet and lighthearted.

All makt åt Tengil, vår befriare.
Winter
This book is everything lovely about childhood to me. Just picking it up and looking at that well read cover and seeing the handwriting of my eight year self, I knew this was going to be as good today as then. Even though I know the story by heart, and I have seen the series/movie a ton of times, it still has something fresh and still timeless over it.

At least in our part of the world Astrid Lindgren is cherished and loved for her childrens’ books. She’s mostly known for Pippi Longstocking, but
...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
A strange if charming little book. It begins with the tragic deaths of two young brothers who are then reunited in the land of Ningiyama, where the world is still as it was in the age of sagas with many adventures to be had. However, the boys discover that not all adventures are worth having as they find themselves facing increasingly evil foes and long odds. The end of the story took me by surprise and I'm not sure what to make of it. Despite what a one-star review on this site claims, the ...more
Irene
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, danish, from-library
I remember my mom reading this to me when I was very young. It's just as good as I remembered it to be.

I love the way Karl describes his brother Jonathan, it's full of admiration and love, in a way only a child can describe it.
I also really loved grandpa and the way he tested these two young boys. He was easily my favourite character.

The setting of Nangijala was perfect and romantic, and i cam understand why Karl wanted to go there.

The white doves were a nice touch and very symbolic.

I
...more
Tandava Brahmachari
For years I've had a strong but vaguely-detailed memory of a book I read as a child. I couldn't remember the title, the author, the plot, or even how old I was when I read it. I knew that a boy followed his brother to a land after death, and I had a blurry image of what was possibly the cover, and I knew that younger-me had been deeply moved by it in some way. Every few years I'd try to find it, but without any luck.

A few weeks ago, I found it. I must have have finally hit on the right search
...more
Matthew
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
while this is technically a children's book by a children's author, the subjects are heavier than most adult novels: death, disease, loss, the afterlife, the right to react to violence with violence, family, and loyalty. everyone i spoke to about this book said the same thing: that the book illicited tears, whether out of sadness or joy or some combination of both. it is one of the most universally loved books in the author's home country of sweden: the extended version of the movie from 1977 is ...more
Krista Baetiong Tungol
A tale about brotherly love and finding courage even in the most difficult of circumstances, The Brothers Lionheart narrates the adventures of two brothers, Jonathan and Karl Lionheart, as they dwell in an idyllic happy place called Nangiyala and confront the evil that starts to threaten the peace of the land.

Not long after Karl joins his older brother Jonathan in a secured border in Nangiyala called Cherry Farm, he learns that a cruel tyrant named Tengil has taken control of its adjacent
...more
Maryana
May 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: junior-fiction
Character Development - 4/5
Themes - 2/5
Writing Style - 3/5
Plot - 2/5

The style and vocabulary were good, for a children's book and the relationship between the two brothers was certainly heart-wrenching. All in all 90% of the plot was great however the ending felt unsubtle and hastily contrived. It also illustrated questionable ideas concerning life and death. After defeating a dark and evil dragon, Jonathan reveals to his little brother that he had been injured in the battle and will soon be
...more
Rebekah Waldorff
Nov 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
It has been a while since I've read this book. But it still deserves a review from me. The writing style is gripping and the characters endearing. The message of familial love is well writ and heart wrenching. Now, that was the good part. I warn you that there will be a spoiler, and a scathing review next, because no reader should venture into this book unwarned and I suggest you look closely at this book before passing it onto a child: (view spoiler) ...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
"It's Valhalla — you know, for kids!" (i.e., the heroes' afterlife, but in a somewhat toned down and sanitized way.)

I can see why some people fell in love with this book when they read it as children. I also think that this is a book you have to read as a child to fully relate to its charm. (There will be adults who are exceptions to this, I suspect. It depends on how you feel about death and dying. Because it deals with these themes it would be good to preview it before giving to a young child,
...more
Anna
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this book more than any other Lindgren. It helped me with my fear of death as a child like nothing else possibly could have done. I read it over and over again and am now reading it to my youngest who is currently struggling with all those dark fear after her best friend's mother died suddenly a few weeks ago. To me this is the book Lindgren should have been famous for. It is one of the most beautiful and profound adventure stories for young children ever written.
Jeff
Aug 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This is a classic mythos book. It's my favorite book in the entire world. I first read this book in the third grade and kept reading it until I left that school. Then followed a period of ten years when I couldn't find the book as it had gone out of print. I finally found a copy and forced my long-suffering girlfriend to read it. And then forced my next girlfriend to read it. It's got an amazing premise for a children's book. And it's written by the Pipi Longstocking woman!
Sandra4444
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite-books
*if I could rate this book all of the stars in the night sky, I would without hesitation*

Words cannot describe how much I love this book. Seriously. This is my 34th time reading it. I think that speaks for itself. I think everyone should have read it at least once during their life (or thirty....). One of my all-time favourites!
Primadonna
Jul 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Touching and enlightening. Somehow, I feel less afraid in embracing death after reading this story.
Mady
Wow it's really hard to rate this book. It was a first sad, then adventurous story with a WTF moment at the very end.

I read 'Bröderna Lejonhjärta' in Swedish while at the same time listening to the audiobook recorded by Astrid Lindgren herself, which made it enjoyable as well as a helpful learning device to become better in speaking and understanding the Swedish language.

I must say that I've reread 'Ronja Rövardotter' last year and it will always be my favorite Astrid Lindgren book, but then
...more
Halfempty
Oct 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
My best friend in the fourth grade, Dell Simpson, gave me this book and I still have his copy. Actually, I think he loaned it to me, so this goes to show that you should never loan me a book. Hear that, Multnomah County Library? Take away my card now! Also, Dell, if you're reading this, you can't have it back. It looks like I read it in the shower anyway, so you probably wouldn't want it now.

Anyway, it's a melodramatic tale of a young, very ill boy whose older brother tells him stories about
...more
Rebecca
This was a really sweet story about Karl "Rusky" Lionheart and his quest to be brave. A sickly boy in life, it is only after his death that his journey begins. He is reunited with his brother in Ningiyama, the land of sagas and adventures. Life seems idyllic to begin with, but Rusky soon learns that some adventures are dark and scary.

This book dealt with some pretty heavy themes for it to be purely a children's book. It deals with death, the afterlife, loss, disease, family, violence, and so
...more
Sylvia
Wonderful story! Astrid Lindgren has found a good way to tell children what death is. I can imagine that the book might raise some discussions, but the the author handles this matter is great. The story about Jonathan and his younger brother, their adventures and their strife against evil is like a good fairy tale.
Leah
No words needed: One of the best children's book of all time.
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Astrid Anna Emilia Lindgren, née Ericsson, (1907 - 2002) was a Swedish children's book author and screenwriter, whose many titles were translated into 85 languages and published in more than 100 countries. She has sold roughly 165 million copies worldwide. Today, she is most remembered for writing the Pippi Longstocking books, as well as the Karlsson-on-the-Roof book series.

Awards:
Hans Christian
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“Men då sa Jonatan att det fanns saker som man måste göra, även om det var farligt. ’Varför då’, undrade jag. ’Annars är man ingen människa utan bara en liten lort’, sa Jonatan.” 50 likes
“But I can't kill anyone,' said Jonathan, 'you know that Orvar!' 'Not even if it means your life?' asked Orvar. 'No, not even then,' said Jonathan. Orvar couldn't understand this and Mattias hardly could, either. 'If everyone were like you,' said Orvar, 'then evil would rule for all eternity!' But then I said that if everyone were like Jonathan, then there would be no evil.” 36 likes
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