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Swords of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
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Swords of Mars (1936)

by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Barsoom (8)

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749612,418 (3.34)10

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English (5)  Hungarian (1)  All (6)
Showing 5 of 5
John Carter goes to another city to break up an assassins guild. They in turn kidnap his wife. End up going to a moon of mars and back to rescue her. Ugh. I can't stand these anymore. I wish I hadn't bought them. Well, I will end up finishing the series next year. Only 3 more stories to go. But I need at least 4 months between these. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
I cannot give this book (#8 from the Barsoom series) more than 3 stars. Why? Because - contrary to most of the preceding Barsoom books - this story could for 80% or more have been set on Earth (or anywhere in the Universe, if it comes to that). All the characters (with the exception of one newly 'invented' one) behave like Earth people and there are even hardly any non-earthly events or settings. The inhabitants of this book eat in eathouses, walk home through small streets, the houses have doors and windows, that are not different from the ones in my house, people even knock on them when they want to come in etc. etc.
This really is a pity! I liked the former books because of their SF aspects, especially because of the strange creatures with strange un-earthly habits.
Another disappointment is that the book stops suddenly. Confronted with the villains, John Carter is at the point of simply believing them in their obvious lies, and while he is walking away to make another journey to find his missing Princess, she suddenly appears as a 'deus ex machina'. And that is it. The book is finished. No real climax, nothing.
In fact - given my criticism above - two stars would an adequate rating, but the Barsoom series as a whole, of which his book is part after all, makes this unreasonable. ( )
  ReneH | Sep 26, 2013 |
This is the eighth book in Burroughs' John Carter series of books set on Barsoom, a fictionalized and pulpy version of Mars. I've read and enjoyed the previous seven in the series before, but I was somewhat disappointed with this one.

The initial plot of the book involves John Carter having trouble with the assassin's guild in the Barsoomian city of Zodanga. He has sent agents to wage a clandestine war against them, but they have failed. Naturally, he decides to travel to Zodanga by himself and in disguise to take care of the problem personally. For those unfamiliar with the series, back in Warlord of Mars (book three in the series) John Carter became the acknowledged warlord of the entirety of Barsoom, in addition to being a prince of the city of Helium. Carter setting out would be like, say, sending Dick Cheney off to hunt down Osama bin Laden because the CIA hasn't been able to track him down.

Once he reaches Zodanga, the first person he meets is an aspiring assassin who introduces him to a obsessively paranoid mad genius scientist who is the rival of another mad scientist who happens to have the head of the Zodangan assassin's guild in his pay. He takes up employment with the mad scientist (who is building a ship capable of interplanetary flight and a mechanical "brain" to control it) and begins some rather clumsy efforts to infiltrate the assassin's guild.

The story then takes a left hand turn, as the assassins and the rival mad scientist use their own interplanetary ship to kidnap John Carter's great love Dejah Thoris (the Princess of Mars from book one in the series) and whisk her away to the Martian moon Thuria. John Carter immediately flies back to Helium to prevent the kidnapping, arrives late, and then takes a single warrior with him and sets out to use the first mad scientists' ship to follow to Thuria.

Once there (and, oddly, having shrunk so that he and his companion are the same proportionate size to Thuria as they normally are to Barsoom, which apparently happens to everyone who visits Thuria), he immediately finds the other ship, but is taken prisoner by invisible enemies. There is a lot of intrigue, other prisoners (including a very bizarre alien) join up with him in a plan to escape, yet another princess falls madly in love with Carter and offers to help him and his companions escape. The head of the Zodangan assassin's guild is so impressed with Carter's fighting skill he pledges his loyalty to him, and Carter manages to fight his way out of captivity. Dejah is kidnapped again, but manages to free herself in time for Carter to rescue her.

All of the elements of a good Barsoom story are here, but they are so disjointed that they don't add up to a great story. It reads like Burroughs just couldn't make up his mind what direction he wanted to go in, so he just threw in everything including the kitchen sink. ( )
2 vote StormRaven | Oct 11, 2008 |
Volume 8 of John Carter of Mars ( )
  stpnwlf | Jul 17, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Burroughs, Edgar Riceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abbett, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
D'Achille, GinoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ilmari, SeppoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The moon had risen above the rim of the canyon near the headwaters of the Little Colorado.
Over nineteen hundred miles east of The Twin Cities of Helium, at about Lat. 30° S., Lon. 172° E., lies Zodanga.
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Book description
The Stolen Princess

Disguised as a mercenary warrior, John Carter sought to break the power of the Assassins of Zodanga. Spying on their councils, the Warlord discovered a plot to kidnap his beloved Dejah Thoris. 
But it was too late to save her. She was already in space, on the way to Thuria, Barsoom's nearer moon!
---------------

There was no reply to my call of "Kaor!" Yet, though all was silent, and there were no faces at the many windows of the strange castle on Thuria, I could have sworn that eyes were all around, watching us.

WE had crossed half the distance from the spaceship to the castle door when the silence was shattered by a terror-ridden scream. "Escape, my chieftain! Escape this horrible place while you may!"

It was the voice of Dejah Thoris. I halted, stunned - and then invisible hands seized us, tearing our weapons from out grasp.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345278410, Mass Market Paperback)

Over nineteen hundred miles east of The Twin Cities of Helium, at about Lat. 30 degrees S., Lon. 172 degrees E., lies Zodanga. It has ever been a hotbed of sedition since the day that I led the fierce green hordes of Thark against it and, reducing it, added it to the Empire of Helium.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:45 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

John Carter is back and in the Barsoonian city of Zodanga, where he discovers the Assasins guild is alive and well!

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