The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Three Hearts and Three Lions opens with an author’s note introducing the protagonist, Holger Carl-sen. It describes him as gigantic, with yellow hair and blue eyes, and says that he was abandoned as a child in Denmark. It tells how Carlsen returns to Denmark in 1941 to join the anti-Nazi resistance. He is shot and knocked unconscious in a battle. The story then switches to Carlsen’s point of view.

Carlsen awakes on a parallel Earth. Nearby is a warhorse carrying weapons and clothing of medieval style. Carlsen rides until he finds the cottage of Mother Gerd, a witch. This is near the border of Faerie, where supernatural beings such as elves and sprites live. To return home, Gerd says, Carlsen must enter Faerie and find Duke Alfric, an elf. She offers him a dwarf named Hugi as guide.

Hugi explains that this Earth is divided between Law (supported by humans) and Chaos (supported by the Faerie Folk). Chaos has been driven back but is now arming for war. Hugi’s sympathies are with Law, as are those of a swan-may named Alianora, a shape-changer who soon joins them.

Morgan le Fay, King Arthur’s evil sister, awaits them at Alfric’s castle. She tells the elves to trap Carlsen, but he fights free. Le Fay visits him later. She says that they knew each other before and that he should join her in fighting for Chaos. Carlsen refuses.

With Alianora and Hugi, Carlsen seeks out a human magician for help. Along the way...

(The entire section is 519 words.)