Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Review: The Chessmen of Mars

The Chessmen of Mars The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tara of Helium, young daughter of John Carter and Dejah Thoris, is serious bad-ass, killing rapists and dangerous eunuchs, and mouthing off to anyone who tries to disrespect her. Burroughs was clearly before his time when it came to bad-ass women. This pretty much follows the theme of the previous Mars stories, adventures, battles, meeting strange new Barsoom races, except this time it's Tara, and she is completely lost after being blown across the planet on her flier in a horrific wind storm, much like Dorothy in Oz. Sufficiently interesting and entertaining for a story over 100 years old, although the stilted and flowery prose of the time might be off-putting. Again the strength of the Mars books is the exquisite world building that ERB is so good at with many great examples. The story is not without weaknesses. The male hero, and love interest, goes by three different names, which can be confusing. All of the characters in the main location have names formatted like A-AAA, and similar enough to add to the confusion. It also get a bit repetitive with several capture-rescue set pieces. Pretty good book in the Barsoom series. I give it three stars.

The book is in the public domain and available here.

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