If you seek for action and adventure in classic literature, then The Three Musketeers might be an excellent choice. Despite the title, The Three Musketeers centers on the journey of the young Gascon, d’Artagnan, to be one of the King’s Musketeers. An incident with a gentleman in Meung made him lost his recommendation letter to M. de Treville, the captain of the Musketeers. When he was running after the abovementioned gentleman, d’Artagnan bumped at one, two, three men and ended up making duel appointments with them, on the same day. The three men were not else than our famous three musketeers; Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Just when they meant to start the duel, Cardinal’s Guards appeared. Then they—the four men—rose their swords together against the Guards. It was the start of the unbreakable friendship between the four men.
In the meantime, France was torn between loyalty to the King or to the Cardinal. Our four heroes were all in the midst of political intrigues, heroic battles, and also amorous adventures. D’Artagnan fell for Madame Bonacieux, who was the queen’s most trusted lady-in-waiting. His romantic inclination towards Mme Bonacieux made him aware of the queen’s secret affairs; he came to recognize a mischievous plan that would be carried out by the Cardinal to humiliate the queen and to start war between France and England. He would make use of Duke of Buckingham’s love to Anne of Austria to carry out his plan. We would see how the four friends fought to save the queen’s honor against Cardinal’s agent, the lovely but deadly Milady de Winter.
This is the second time I read The Three Musketeers, and although the edition I read this time is retold by Clarissa Hutton, I enjoyed it anyway. In fact, my second experience in reading The Three Musketeers is more enjoyable than the first one. It felt funnier in many parts and the story is more engaging. I guess the style of translation affects the sense of the story and the enjoyment in reading, for I first read it in a translated version into Indonesian language and this time I read it in English. I love The Three Musketeers as a work of historical fiction of 17th century France as well as an adventure and romance, and as a story of bravery, loyalty, and friendship. The version I read is a Young Readers’ Edition (of which I thought the vocabulary used is rather unfamiliar for a young reader) with illustrations by Brett Helquist (the illustrator of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events). The illustrations made this book even more collectible. And if you wonder if I would want to reread The Three Musketeers in the words of Alexandre Dumas himself, then my answer is yes.
When Athos saw the need of a private conference between him and his three friends, he made a wager with people at the inn that the four of them would have breakfast at the bastion St. Gervais for at least an hour, no matter what the enemy would do to dislodge them. It was a brilliant and really courageous idea, and they don’t even need to bring their muskets because they would find muskets of the fallen Frenchmen and Rochellais lying around the bastion. Aramis then claimed at the end of the passage; “Oh, Athos! Truly you are a great man.”
Memorable Passages & Quotes:
It was scarcely eleven o’clock, and yet thus morning has already brought him into disgrace with M. de Treville, who could not fail to think the manner in which d’Artagnan had left him a little cavalier. Besides this, he had drawn upon himself duels with two men, each capable of killing three d’Artagnans.
“Where can you find love like mine—a love which neither time, nor absence, nor despair can extinguish? It is now three years, madame, since I saw you first, and during those three years I have loved you.” – Duke of Buckingham
“Is the king accustomed to give you reasons? No. He says, ‘Gentlemen, go and fight,’ and you go. You need give yourselves no more uneasiness about this.”
“D’Artagnan is right,” said Athos. “Here are our leaves of absence from Monsieur de Treville, and here are pistols from I don’t know where. Let us go and be killed. D’Artagnan, I am ready to follow you.”
“Love is a lottery you are very fortunate to have lost, believe me, my dear d’Artagnan.” – Athos
“I shall have no more friends,” said the young man. “Nothing but bitter recollections.” And tears rolled down his cheeks.
“You are young,” replied Athos, “and your bitter recollections have time to change themselves into sweet remembrances.”
24th review for The Classics Club Project | 4th review for Books in English Reading Challenge 2013 | 4th review for Back to the Classics 2013 | 3rd review for Books on France 2013 Reading Challenge | 2nd review for 2013 TBR Pile Challenge | 2nd review for TBRR Pile Reading Challenge: Historical Fiction
The Three Musketeers (original title: Les Trois Mousquetaires), by Alexandre Dumas
384 pages, published September 2011 by HarperCollins (Illustrated Young Readers’ Edition retold by Clarissa Hutton and illustrated by Brett Helquist) (first published 1844)
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥