This is only the second novel by Dumas that I have read. I have read The Count of Monte Cristo twice and have loved it intensely both times. So why did I wait so long to pick up another novel by Dumas? I think we can all be intimidated by the length in Dumas’ works. The Count of Monte Cristo is truly a brick of a book (my edition is over 1000 pages), and so are many of Dumas’ other novels. Sometimes when it comes to a choice between a 200 and a 600 page book, my sanity meter kicks in and I pick the shorter read.
But, halfway through The Three Musketeers, I feel like I am reading a quick novel. The pace never lets up. Each page has action and drama. I am sucked in to the world of the musketeers and D’Artagnan. Their swords crash constantly and there is never a dull moment.
When I first started, I was a little wary. Our main character, D’Artagnan, is introduced from the beginning a young (and kind of foolish) man who seemed to draw his sword at every little insult. I was put off by him at first and couldn’t believe that Dumas would craft such a silly character.
As the novel went on and I was introduced to more of the main characters (mainly the three musketeers: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis) I was drawn in to the action and liveliness of D’Artagnan. He wasn’t silly anymore, just chivalrous and young. Soon, I found myself beginning to fall in love with the romantic sweep of the novel.
Because at its very core, this is a fun novel and I need some of that fun in my life. While the novel certainly explores some deep things-like murder, treason, etc-it is done in a way that I am constantly entertained. Each of the four main characters makes me smile in their own way and seem to dance off the page. I love their banter, and their need to constantly draw their swords. It is fun, light-hearted, and not at all what I expected.
I will say that the only fault I find in the novel is the main characters lack of...morals? There is constant repetition of the fact that they borrow money from others, steal, and gamble. I understand some of it, but it has gotten to be a little much (particularly the scene with Athos trapped in the cellar of that poor innkeeper). However, it is not enough to prevent me from really enjoying the story, and that is what matters.
The story is progressing and while 300 or so pages have passed, I am still anxious to see what happens. So far our heroes have killed numerous men, rescued gems from England, and been wounded. We have also learned a bit about each of their mysterious pasts and the lives of our musketeers are slowly being unfolded. I, for one, cannot wait to see what happens.
If you are participating in the readalong, please comment here and leave a link to your post so I can link it here. Make sure you check back often so you can visit other participants and see their thoughts (that’s what makes a readalong fun!).
I will see you back here on March 31 for the second half of the book!
All for one and one for all!