Three Hearts and Three Lions

  • by Poul Anderson
  • Narrated by Bronson Pinchot
  • 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 elfin warriors of the armies of Chaos and the beautiful sorceress Morgan le Fay. On his side are 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 armor, 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?


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I read the hardback years ago and loved it. With all the heavy accents, you have to concentrate with this one. For the first hour I was enjoying the unusual language. By the end of the day, my mind was wondering. I tried multiple times to concentrate, but the narrator's style when not doing voices was putting me to sleep. I tried to CLING TO MY PATIENCE WITH BOTH HANDS, but it did not work. Listen to the sample to see if the narrator can keep you awake. I thought this take on knights, swan women, elves, dwarves, manticores, unicorns, griffins, Morgan Fey and others was unique.

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- Jim "The Impatient" "My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books."

A Christian Alternate World Amnesiac Hero Romp

Published in 1961 and based on a novella from 1953, Poul Anderson???s Three Hearts and Three Lions is an entertaining picaresque novel in which Holger Carlsen, a Danish football-playing engineer gets knocked out during a skirmish with German soldiers during WWII and regains consciousness in an alternate world based on medieval French legends, in which the forces of Chaos (represented by Faerie and its evil supernatural and human allies) are gearing up for a big offensive in their eternal war against the forces of Law (represented by the Empire and its Christian paladin heroes and other good allies). Who does the formidable warhorse and nifty armor in its packs really belong to? Is he a heroic paladin or a Danish engineer?! Can he find a way to return to his own world and time? Should he follow the advice of a creepy crone? Will he be able to resist the innocent affection of the nubile swan-maiden Alianora? What will happen if he were to meet up with the debonair Saracen knight who???s looking for him? Should he become involved in the coming war between Chaos and Law? How can he defeat monsters like trolls, giants, and dragons, let alone irresistibly sexy femme fatales like Morgan le Fay?

Bronson Pinchot has a grand time reading it all, enthusiastically doing the American narrator, the Danish protagonist Holger, the heavily Scottish dwarf Hugi, the lightly Scottish swan-girl Alianora, the ominously soft-voiced Morgan le Fay, the comically and scarily deep-voiced Giant, and so on.

It???s not a great book, but it is often funny, sometimes scary, and never dull. It is interesting to read it as a precursor of later books featuring people from our world who get caught up in conflicts in alternate fantasy worlds like the Eternal Champion stories of Michael Moorcock or the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson. Anderson???s novel is refreshingly concise and single-volumed, too.
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- Jefferson "I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-23-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.