Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Book Review: A Fighting Man of Mars

Reviewer's Note: This review has been slightly changed.
Get ready for cannibals, invisibility and and true love in the seventh entry in the series.

After a brief prologue explaining how this story reached Earth (and a mention of Pellucidar) we meet Hadron of Hastor, one of the many soldiers of the army of Helium. Hoping to win the heart of Sanoma Tora, the daughter of a rich Odwar Tor Hatan, Hadron puts his heart on his sleeve and tells her of his love only to be rejected, sine Sanoma wants a rich man (kind of like Donald Trump's last few wives.) But it isn't too long though before our hero is off to rescue Sanoma and solve the mystery of how some ships in the kingdom are disappearing mid flight. All points lead to Tul Axtor, the Jeddak of Jahar and Hadron flies off. On his way he makes friends with Jaharian exile Nul An and Tavia, a woman who has fled Jahar and becomes Hadron's closest ally. But will Hadron finds Sanoma Tora? How many madmen are on Barsoom? All that is answered in 200 pages.

Again with this entry Burroughs has John Carter sitting on the sidelines but it works. Hadron is a noble warrior, blinded by what he thinks is love for the woman who rejects him but also loyal to his kingdom. This entry also introduces some sci-fi gimmicks that would pop up over and over again-including the first cloaking device (long before the Romulans invented it) and even one chapter is title "The Cloak of Invisibility" long before Harry Potter had one. What also gives this one juice is Tavia. First disguised as a man, she proves to be a warrior, helping Hadron fight off the cannibals of U-Gor all the while trying to help him accomplish his goal. In the end he makes the right choice. I know I would.

This review is short so I say just read this book. It's the best of the series that doesn't have John Carter as the lead. Rating: **** out of 4

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