Derek's Reviews > Three Hearts and Three Lions

Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson
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's review
Dec 27, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: appendix-n
Read from February 18 to 28, 2012

I had heard the name of this book bandied about as a Dungeons and Dragons inspiration, but was surprised to find such striking similarities to Michael Moorcock's writing: an eternal battle of Law and Chaos as metaphysical entities; the idle suggestion of a system of related universes, each a distorted reflection of the others; and a Defender figure fated to walk the worlds, who figures greatly into the Law/Chaos conflict.

Aside from the trappings, the direct Appendix N inspirational value is in the idea of a frontier between civilization and the monstrous wild lands, where life is uncertain and adventure awaits the ambitious. This is practically the introduction to The Keep on the Borderlands.

I was amused to see that Holger Carlsen, to remain incognito, fabricates an identity as a knight of Graustark. It was a clever reference.

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