on June 22, 2012 :
I don't know how she does it, but Arlene Harris continues to breathe new life into an old story, making the major and minor characters of Les Miserables more real than even Hugo ever did.
Book three continues the story of Victor Hugo's chance meeting with two characters he had intended to write a book about, and as they tell him the true story of events, the audience is transported to continents around the globe, watching the tale unfold.
In book one, the plot was the most mesmerizing thing about the book, simply because it revolutionized Hugo's original story. Book two struck out on its own, transporting the major characters to other lands and new adventures, further developing minor characters from Les Mis. But the real stars of Book two are the imagery and philosophy. Now in book three, while Javert and Valjean are undoubtedly still the stars, the previously "minor" characters and original characters come to the fore. The Marquis of Montrose, for example, is one of the most delightful characters ever to grace the pages of any book. The poor wallflower Madamoiselle Gillenormand has her day in the sun. Monsieur Bamataboise has an encounter I wish I could have witnessed, but just reading about it filled me with urge to stand up and cheer.
I know this set is supposed to be a six-part series. I can only say that with each book getting better, it will be a long and horrible wait for books four, five and six. Ms. Harris, my tricorner hat is off to you!
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)