The Warlord of Mars

Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Warlord of Mars Cover

The Warlord of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs


Completes the trilogy of the first three books, with even more action and cliffhangers. Returns characters from the earlier books in one massive conclusion.

Like the first two books, this story was originally published as a 4 part serial in 1913-1914. The collected serial of book 3 was first published together in 1919. The next book in the series (Thuvia, Maid of Mars) was published as one book in 1916 - arriving before book 3. Most of Burrough's fans must have read the serialized version.

Carter travels literally from pole to pole tracking down the mother of his child. There is a lot of battle and action in this one - leaping and sword thrusts and decapitation, and of course John Carter's famous Right Cross punch (apparently there's no bar room brawls on Barsoom).

In bringing back all the other peoples Carter has traveled among, a wide range of skin colors are represented. As a major plus, none of this is racism - it's mostly a coat of paint, and that's the way Carter slips through the various camps - red mud and yellow paint. If the boardgame Risk hadn't been invented decades after his writing, I would have imagined Burroughs with a map of Mars and several handfuls of colorful counters. Where are the purple men of Mars?

As predicted after the second book, I am glad I read these, but in no hurry to delve further into the series at this time. The remaining books deal with Carter's son and other relations, with John Carter providing only the occasional cameo. Of the three books, the first is the strongest. This one almost has too much action for a story line.