Review: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

This is kick-ass. You’ve all heard the tales of the Three Musketeers right? Defending the king, fighting the Cardinal, wooing fair maidens? All with a devil-may-care attitude?

Well, it’s all in here – with a lot more besides: A tricky relationship between the Cardinal and the King (the Cardinal is never quite all-in on being the villain of the book, but he is certainly a genius); a queen who isn’t faithful, and has definitely picked the wrong suitor; a femme fatale in the shape of the devious Milady; and a race against time to save France from tearing itself apart.

There’s a lot to love about this book, but the more I think about it, the less I’m sure about what it is I love about it.

The Musketeers behave like absolute bastards, so it can’t be them. They’re always having affairs, or using women for money. Or fighting for no real reason. They live for love and honour though, so its easy forgive them for their sins.

On the other hand, Milady and the Cardinal are relentlessly practical – their end goal is all about power (the Cardinal is the de facto ruler of France) and they’ll use any devious means to get it.

I suppose that’s why they’re the villains in the end – in a battle between honourable people and powerful people, I’ll always want the honourable guys to win. In another telling of the same story, Milady and the Cardinal could easily be the heroes who save France from the invading Duke of Buckingham, and the Musketeers the bumbling comic relief getting in the way of his plans.

So, I guess my review is this: its brilliant fun if you don’t pay too much attention. Enjoy it!

My favourite Dumas book will always be the Count of Monte Cristo. I recommend that one if its a toss up between the two.

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