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A young Gascon nobleman, D'Artagnan, sets off to Paris to realise his dreams of being one of the King's musketeers. Events go off-track in the very beginning when his letter of introduction is stolen by a mysterious gentleman. D'Artagnan reaches Paris and befriends the titular trio and settles down comfortably to the scheme of life in 17th century Paris. This peace is not to last because D'Artagnan and his friends, the Three Musketeers, are embroiled in a web of intrigue and conspiracy as pawns in a struggle for power among the most powerful people of the age: Cardinal Richlieu, Anne of Austria and the Duke of Buckingham. They must escape the Cardinals ubiquitous agents, go on a cross-country jewel chase and protect their queen's honour. Matters are further complicated by a mysterious and beautiful woman who is more than she seems to be...
It was written by Alexandre Dumas in the late 19th century who sourced much of the facts and historical perspective from the memoirs of the Comte De La Fere, a nobleman who was in the thick of the action nearly 200 years ago. It was an instant bestseller at the time of its publication and remains so today. It's timeless themes: friendship, bravery and the proverbial "One for all and all for one" find scope of reference in as diverse fields as children's novels and science fiction.
The book is written in the third person from D'Artagnan's perspective, who is the protagonist of this story. It is a classical adventure story and hence apt for light reading without need for pondering a philosophical subtext. The style of narration is light and descriptive of life at that time without being exhaustive or losing thread of the main plot.
A timeless tale and makes for very good reading. Elegantly paced, it does well to relieve an afternoon of boredom. Being the author's first novel, the character of D'Artagnan seems an autobiographical commentary. It aroused a great deal of interest in the historical context and prompted me to read more about the fabled Queen Anne and the Red Richlieu.
Book Reviewed by Sayan Mukherjee
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