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Barsoom by Edgar Rice Burroughs
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This is number two of the John Carter of Mars books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. As I read books from the series I am growing to enjoy the non-stop action and the variety of settings and characters.
As soon as John Carter gets back to Mars he starts looking for the love of his life, Deja Thoris. This leads him to meet the Therns a white skinned golden haired variety of Martian and the First Born, black men who are flying pirates. The fliers come in all sizes from single fliers like motor cycles of the air to huge machines with a capacity of tens of thousands. The fliers are a centerpiece of the continuous combat that is at the heart of the action.
Tars Tarkas, a huge green warrior and one of John Carter's best friends has a large role in this story. Carter also meets Carthoris a young red martian whom Carter later learns is his son. The Therns pass themselves off as the religious leaders of Barsoom with Issus an old, ugly and evil old woman at their head. In fact they use their power to make slaves of their pilgrims that are not immediately killed.
Issus reminded me of a similar ugly, evil, old woman who appeared in King Solomon's Mines. I wikied the book and the character's name is Gagool.
Burroughs gives Carter incredible physical abilities based on the difference between gravity on the Earth and Mars. All he lacks is x-ray vision.
The ending is a suspense filled cliff hanger. The last we see of Dejah Thoris a dagger is being thrust at her neck as the door closes on a cylindrical prison that will not open for one year.
I do not agree with those who describe these books as great science fiction. Great is used so often the superlative quality of the word has become diluted. There is nothing wrong with enjoyable and entertaining which is how I would describe this book. I will continue to read them as long as they maintain that level of quality.
#3 The Warlord of Mars
When we last left our hero, John Carter of Mars, he was watching the walls of a cleverly designed prison cell close in on his beloved Deja Thoris as a blade in the hand of Phaidor descended towards her heart. This book is the final volume of a trilogy that began the John Carter of Mars series, written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
The hallmark of these books is fast paced action. Burroughs created a vision of Mars peopled with numerous races who are distinguished by their color. The different groups have feudal governments headed by something like a king. Every man is a warrior always armed to the teeth. The warrior's code of conduct and their attitude toward romance remind me of knights of the Middle Ages. Bizarre plants and animals add to the danger that makes every moment an adventure. John Carter was teleported to the planet and because of the lower gravity on Mars he has great strength and agility. He married Deja Thoris and became the Prince of Helium, the red skinned people.
In this book John Carter is chasing a group led by a member of the First Born and the Father of the Therns who have released Deja Thoris from her prison and kidnapped her. His chase leads him to the Land of the North whose residents possess a devastating weapon that allows them to capture all who enter their country.
The book is one fight scene after another and John Carter is always saved in a fraction of a second. This is not great literature but it is an entertaining story. The combination of fantasy and action made it a fun read. ( )
  wildbill | Aug 24, 2012 |
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