THREE MUSKETEERS AGAIN: the old-fashioned adventure novel is alive, well, sprawling and spry.

Posted: April 24, 2019 in Uncategorized

When uttering the word„iconic”, there are few associations more often thought of then France and Musketeers. I grew up, like many a boy worldwide, with the adventures of the Three Musketeers(although it would be more correct to say „four”) as imagined by the legendary author Alexandre Dumas.
Imagine my surprise and delight, when I found out that there are actually sequels to The Three Musketeers, and written by an American author with Russian origins, nonetheless.
Let me tell you this, dear readers of old-fashioned historical adventure novels of the cloak-and-sword variety. If the name on the covers of these two books in the Three Musketeers again did not give away said Russian origins and if the author info on the back did not reveal that the author lives in the USA, one may actually believe that the novels are written by Alexandre Dumas himself. No exaggeration there. They are that good and the writing is that well-studied. Reading these is an immersive experience, right down to the proverbial avant-la-lettre fourth-wall-breaking techniques that were present in the originals.
Picking up where The Three Musketeers left off, the novel starts in La Rochelle, in the autumn of 1628, during blazing siege warfare between Catholics and Protestants. Our beloved hero, D’Artagnan, is a spy for the Catholics, disguised as a Protestant known as Monsieur de Castelmort. There is plenty of intrigue, backstabbing, betrayal, romance and high adventure of the most pristine of qualities. Cardinal Richelieu is ever-plotting and scheming, seeking to manipulate events in his favor in the war with Spain and to gain the edge over those who seek to ruin him and support the foes of France. There is also quite a bit of romance for our hot-blooded and honorable Gascon hero, still mending his heart after the loss of Madame de Bonacieux, and some very interesting adventures in the New World, with pirates. It is too bad that the BBC made the decision of canceling its Musketeer series. This novel and its sequel would have been excellent sources of inspiration for further seasons. In a world so filled with superhero blockbusters, not that there may be anything wrong with that, to me, this book served as a good, solid, old-fashioned throwback to the days when the greatest excitement a nerdy kid would find was between the covers of a Dumas novel. Herein lies the literary equivalent of a „cover” that I, for one, find as thrilling, vibrant, dramatic, laugh-out-loud funny and chock-full of adventure as the classic which inspired it. I am a richer, more joyous soul for having read this awesome book by Mr. Kharin. Destined to become an adventure classic for ages to come, THREE MUSKETEERS AGAIN: UNKNOWN ADVENTURES OF ATHOS, PORTHOS, ARAMIS AND D’ARTAGNAN gets fifteen stars out of five! Thank you so much, Mr. Kharin! You have done my shelf a great honor!
Though I was provided with a copy of Mr. Kharin’s work in exchange for review, this bundle of words is a summation of my own thoughts, and I would be a dishonorable knave should the situation be otherwise!

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