Transwarp Tuesday! The Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

The naked truth about Mars…

 

Yet another cliffhanger at the end of the second book in the series, The God of Mars, left me with no alternative but to return to Barsoom (Mars) for the third instalment in the adventures of John Carter. Will he ever manage to release Dejah Thoris from captivity? Is Woola alive or was he eaten by the hideous plant men? Are they still all running around naked???

All will be revealed in this week’s…

Transwarp Tuesday!

 

The Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

 

Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs

This review will include spoilers for books 1 & 2 in the series… but since they’re all basically the same it really shouldn’t matter too much…

Last time, we left poor Dejah Thoris trapped in a prison cell with her friend Thuvia and her deadliest enemy Phaidor. As the rotating cell disappeared from view, not to be seen again for a full Martian year, Thuvia had leapt in front of Dejah Thoris to shield her from the knife being wielded by Phaidor. Did Dejah Thoris survive? Did Thuvia survive? Did Phaidor survive? (Exciting, isn’t it?) Poor John Carter – left alone again to wait for his incomparable Princess, with only Woola the dog/cat-like calot for company.

My sweet little Woola...
My sweet little Woola…

He has quelled the forces of the false Gods of Mars and peace has been declared amongst the red, green, white and black races. But he suspects that some of the followers of the now dead goddess Issus are conspiring against him, in particular one man, Thurid. Following him one day, John Carter overhears Thurid conveniently reveal his dastardly plan to open the unopenable cell and steal the matchless Dejah Thoris for himself – for all men love her on sight. Admittedly, all women love John Carter on sight so it seems only fair. In fact, I should probably have mentioned that the three prisoners, Dejah Thoris, Thuvia and Phaidor, are all in love with him – a cosy little gathering, eh?

Admittedly, one can see why...
Admittedly, one can see why…

Anyway, John Carter decides to follow Thurid and, after lots of feats of superhuman endurance and stuff like that, he catches up with Thurid just in time to see him make off with the girls and Phaidor’s Dad (who quite fancies Dejah Thoris for himself). Encouraged by the sight of Dejah Thoris’ unsurpassable beauty, John Carter joins up with Thuvia’s Dad, Thuvan Dinh, to follow them to the ends of the… er… Mars, if necessary. (Hold on! I’ve just noticed a major plot hole! Thuvan Dinh is not in love with Dejah Thoris! Must be a printer’s error, surely…)

Banth by Joe Jusko - he's just a big pussy cat really though...
Banth by Joe Jusko – he’s just a big pussy cat really though…

Accompanied as always by the lovely, loyal, ten-legged Woola, off they go to the wild frozen wastes of the North, from whence no man (or Thark, or Thern) has ever returned. Along the way, John Carter will have to escape from the lion-like banths who like nothing more than a tasty bit of live Martian for breakfast, and the giant hornet-like sith with its poisonous sting. And then he must face the horror of the Apts – giant creatures with four legs and two arms, complete with human-like hands, who prefer their Martians dead in the form of ripe carrion. But nothing is too great a danger for our heroic John Carter, in the throes of love for the unrivalled beauty that is Dejah Thoris, for as he tells us himself with his usual inspiring humility…

If your vocation be shoeing horses, or painting pictures, and you can do one or the other better than your fellows, then you are a fool if you are not proud of your ability. And so I am very proud that upon two planets no greater fighter has ever lived than John Carter, Prince of Helium.

The horrible carrion-eating Apt... no match for our John though!
The horrible carrion-eating Apt… no match for our John though!

And finally, they will encounter the yellow men of Barsoom (a disappointment – I was hoping for purple) and John Carter will have to battle as he never battled before to win his way through to his peerless Princess. (Well, OK – he’ll battle pretty much the same way as he has battled in every book, but he does have to use a different kind of weapon at one point – so that’s good.) For the evil ruler of the yellow men has fallen madly in love with the unmatched beauty of Dejah Thoris and will stop at nothing to gain her for himself!

Salensus Oll - evil leader of the yellow men and in love with Dejah Thoris - obviously.
Salensus Oll – evil ruler of the yellow men and in love with Dejah Thoris – obviously.

(I know some of you will, like me, be deeply concerned about the possibility of fatal goosepimpling what with the whole nakedness thing combined with the frozen wastes thing. So I’m delighted to inform you that the yellow men wear clothes when they leave the confines of their artificially heated cities. How John Carter and Thuvan survive till they they get to the cities goes untold – one must assume they were carrying suitcases throughout the journey… or perhaps all that battling was enough to keep the circulation flowing. I’m also relieved to note that Dejah Thoris is apparently irresistibly beautiful even when clothed…)

Disney preferred  the peerless Princess Dejah Thoris clothed too, thankfully..
Disney preferred the peerless Princess Dejah Thoris clothed too, thankfully..

For a moment tense silence reigned in the nuptial-room. Then the fifty nobles rushed upon me. Furiously we fought, but the advantage was mine, for I stood upon a raised platform above them, and I fought for the most glorious woman of a glorious race, and I fought for a great love and for the mother of my boy.

And from behind my shoulder, in the silvery cadence of that dear voice, rose the brave battle anthem of Helium which the nation’s women sing as their men march out to victory.

And at the end of the inevitable war, will John Carter and the incomparably lovely Dejah Thoris finally be together? You shall have to read it to find out…

* * * * *

 

Great fun! All the books are fundamentally the same but each one has new twists of imagination and John Carter’s feats grow more ridiculous amazing every time. Silly they may be, but they keep me turning the pages and provide much chuckling along the way.  Will I read the next one? Oh, yes, I really think I must…

Little Green Men rating: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

53 thoughts on “Transwarp Tuesday! The Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

  1. *laughing* Stellar review, FEF! Loved the part about the purple people. I didn’t know you were looking for purple people!

    Don’t you think ERB looks a bit like CS Lewis? Just a bit! Come on you know you do!

    Check out Salensus Oll! I had no idea his arms…were that thick! I John would have a bit more trouble with that version of Oll!

    I’ll have to read the next one, too. This third book was great, from a battle perspective. (You know, I picture them all clothed anyway. Except the green ones.)

    • Yay!! I got a stellar!! *dances a happy dance* Don’t you think purple would have been more fun? Or blue. In fact, given the cold and the lack of clothes, blue would have made more sense…

      Oh, yes! I had to google – but he absolutely does! Do you think they were brothers? Or maybe clones!

      Even Rafa would be a bit jealous of those arms – but not of the beard! He doesn’t look anything like my image of him but it was the only illustration of him I could find. And I couldn’t find a good one of the bald-headed hornet either. You should draw one…

      *laughs* I think we’re going to end up reading them all… but not till after Children, eh? (That, my dear C-W-W, is because you are a sweetie pumpkin pie…)

      • *laughs* Funny you should say that. I was thinking he might introduce some blue people! I’d automatically be on their side, because I’m a racist like that. (Forgot to mention as well, loooooooove the font!)

        I’m not sure! It’s an interest. I suppose maybe they’re the same person. Just suffering from MPD–like me!

        Bald-faced hornet! You can google them. Lots of pictures of the mean things. I love them to death. White and black instead of yellow and black. Yes, I agree…I didn’t picture him that way at all. But I do dig the beard….

        Right, right. Children next! Maybe we should start… (Am not!)

        • *laughs lots* That’s a good kind of racist, I think! But he should have polka-dot people the next time. (*laughs again and blushes* Still can’t believe I thought you could all see these fonts…)

          I wonder if they play guitar – or growl…

          Yeah, but I meant siths! For some reason nobody seems to have drawn illustrations of them. Too scared probably. No! No beard!!! *frowns threateningly*

          Hmm… I’m ready if you are, but don’t you think you’ve got enough on your plate already without another readalong? But it’s up to you – I’m happy either way… and sonmi reminded me of Rider Haggard, so I’m adding another one of them to our list too… *smiles kindly* (I may run a poll – I reckon I know what the majority would decide…)

          • *laughs* Polka-dot! Imagine. I wouldn’t put it past him, you know. (I think this one is my favorite, you know, you know.)

            I can do both…at the same time!

            Definitely. That’d scare me for sure. *shivers* Imagine! But his beard can’t really count as a beard. It’s more like…well, just there for the fun. See, it’s not really beard–it’s an effect! Bet I changed your mind!

            Nah, not really. I mean, there’s lots of practicing and all that. But it’s so much fun to read with you–which is a wonder, you know. But then again, we could wait and start it next week. That’d be spicy. Hmm, well, I’ll no longer feel bad about my list for you, madam! (They’d all say how mean I am!)

            • I think the next one is about Thuvia and Carthoris – I wonder if he’ll be as great a warrior as his dad? (Aw, thanks! You’re the only one who ever notices, you know, you know…)

              You should! In the next video!! *eagerly expectant face* (What happened to Leyenda?)

              You can have a glue-on one for special occasions. But only if you dye your skin yellow! And only if I can rip it off…

              OK, if you’re sure – that’ll be great fun! Next week it is then – let me know when you’re ready to start. We’d need to do a readalong with your list too though – you couldn’t be mean enough to make me read them all alone… (Fierce, perhaps, but never mean…)

            • Nah, impossible! I guess he’s bound to be perfect, too. Maybe Thuvia will be about singing when he’s fighting as well! (You’ve very creative and have an eye for such things! *holds ears*

              *laughs; a bit nervous* Well…we had to cancel two shoots! I am quite sorry about it. One more this month. Then two in late June in…Oklahoma! Just a lot of music going on right now. Leyenda will be made, though, later.

              Rip it off? That’d hurt!

              Sweeeeeeeeet! Yes, I’m sure. Let’s start Monday–at 12 noon. Oh, I couldn’t do that to you. Not with your TBR being so big and all. (I’m always kicking people in their bahookys. Sorry! *laughing*)

            • Maybe Thuvia will do the warrioring and Carthpris will sing – or maybe he’ll play battle anthems on the kazoo! (Uh-huh! But thank you…)

              What???? That’s just not good enough, I fear! Get back to work and get a move on! Goodness, are you going to be doing some while you’re out there? You’ll be very busy…

              *nods and smiles – fiendishly*

              *synchronises watch* Is that Kirkintilloch time or Pennsylvania time? Oh, I’ll be finished my TBR soon – only 136 to go! (*laughs lots and shakes head* What have I started…?!?)

            • Thuvia would make an awful warrior–and you know it! I can’t help but get the feeling that the mention of a kazoo is a nod to…Kenny G! (Humph noodles to you!)

              Yes, the hope is to do two movies out there. In the midwest. It’ll be so hot…I’ll probably melt. I feel horrid about it. But, hey, what can be done? Not much, I fear.

              *gulps and calls BUS–and WOB”

              Kirkintilloch time! Which makes it around…5 for me, I think! *laughs* That’s it, be very optimistic about it all. (*laughing* I know! It’s such a good fun. I’m using it quite broadly.)

            • She’d be a womanly warrior – any woman who can control the banths must have amazing warrior skills, like tummy-tickling! I bet if Kenny G had a kazoo song in the middle of one of his albums, no-one would notice!

              Are you going to be out there for a while then? It doesn’t matter if you melt, but what about your poor guitar? You’ll need to buy it a sunhat…

              Thank goodness! The idea of having to read about Alia and Duncan at 7am was making me fearful. (Broad bahookys is quite an amusing idea in itself…)

            • Womanly warriors are awful then! I’d notice, dadblameit! I’ve been taking a break from Kenny and listening to Songs from the Wood.

              I think a week or more…? I think. I forget. But…all the playing will be inside, thank heavens. Unless they kick me out early.

              *laughing lots* (You’re very wicked! Makes paddling easier.)

    • *laughs so much her head falls off* Someone just searched on ‘nude warrior’ and ended up here!! What have you done to me and my poor innocent little book blog?!?

  2. What a great example, FictionFan, of a story that doesn’t have to be strictly credible to be a great read. Sometimes the ‘adventure’ part of it keeps the reader turning and swiping pages. Reminds me of the old Saturday ‘cliffhanger’ adventure films. Except of course for the naked part.

    • Haha! The naked bit does make googling for illustrations a bit eye-popping on occasion, I admit. I love these books, Margot – they’re so silly and yet they’re just great fun! I reckon he must have killed at least two million Martians single-handledly in the first three books alone! But they all deserved it… 😉

  3. Do they have squabbly elections on Mars where everyone makes false promises, or does the fact that they are all naked stop the lies (visibly blushing?) It kind of sounds a bit restful!

    • They don’t need elections – they have John Carter, Warlord of All Barsoom!! Maybe we should get him to come back and lead the Labour Party. And we could get a Thark to lead the Greens…

      Yes, restful! Especially the slaughtering of thousands of multi-coloured Martians… 😉

  4. This doesn’t sound like something I’d particularly enjoy reading, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review, FF — well done! Still, I’d never trade my Darling Doggie Dallas for something as toothy as that Woola, ha!

    • Haha! Thanks, Debbie – the books are so silly they’re great fun to review. But Woola is so sweet – look at that grin! I’m not sure Tommy & Tuppence (the cats) would be happy about me introducing a Woola to the household though…

  5. Great review. I read these at a much younger age than you, (I think I was about 10) and so found it easier to suspend my disbelief, and the “naked” thing seemed incredibly daring – didn’t think of the goose-pimples tho’!

    • Haha! This one made me laugh loads too – especially when Dejah Thoris started singing battle anthems! Behind every great man is a woman… singing!

  6. Great review. I’ve read this series and found it all immensely entertaining, so thanks for the reminder. I read quite a few of his books when I was a teenager actually, along with a job lot of H.Rider Haggard novels.

    – sonmi – she who must be obeyed- upon the Cloud

    • Thanks! 🙂 I missed them in my youth but am enjoying them loads now – John Carter is such a hero! I loved H Rider Haggard too – still do. Must read more of them soon actually…

  7. For some reason, I only read the first book years ago. I’m not sure why I didn’t read the next one. Luckily I have them, thanks to a friend.

    • They’re just sheer escapism – it was the Prof’s rip of the first one that got me reading them and I fear we may end up reading all ten…! 😉

  8. After three books, I stopped. My brain was screaming, “No more princess saving!” Things are very repetitive, and the fun is in the new creatures and whether or not John Carter and his woman(ish) will ever know happiness, ruling Barsoom with their awesome kid at their side. But. After three books.

    • Me too! Though the fourth one is apparently about the son and whatshername – the one who is in love with John in the earlier book. Which kinda seems a bit creepy, really… I did like that he introduced new beasts each time though – very imaginative. And I adored the idea of Dejah standing behind John singing battle songs while he fought! Probably better to spread them out a bit though – I might go on and read the fourth sometime…

  9. As a child, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THESE BOOKS!!! Of course as one matures and literary tastes develop, I found I STILL ABSOLUTELY LOVED THESE BOOKS. I read all eleven many times before they finally fell apart, and even then i gave them to a fellow ERB afficianado instead of pulping the pulp. When are you going to review #4??

    • Hahahaha! I had almost forgotten about these reviews! I did have fun reading these – I missed out as a child, but they’re still superfun for adults! Ah, book 4 – see, my reading partner for these (Professor VJ Duke) went off and got busy doing other stuff, so we never got around to the next one, and I’m not sure it would be as much fun reading them without him… but maybe someday… 😀

      • Whereas if Darcy had been touring the American West and got separated from his wagon, took refuge in a cave from marauding Apaches, found himself naked and alone on the Red Planet …. FF? FF? Anyone got smelling salts???

        • Ooooooooooooohhhhhh! *swoons* Well… I might be persuaded to read that book, but purely for its intellectual worth, of course. *rushes out to buy a ticket to Mars – and a camera with a zoom lens*

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