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The Princess of Mars
04-09-2011, 11:57 PM
Post: #1
The Princess of Mars
Written by Edgar Rice Burroughs and published in 1917, The Princess of Mars is a science fiction book. It is the first novel of Edgar Rice, who later gained much popularity with his Tarzan series. The book has shades of Western adventure stories too. It's full of sword fights and daring fight scenes.

John Carter, the hero of the story, is an American man who has retired from the Confederate Army of the American Civil War. He goes gold-hunting in Arizona. There, while running away to save himself from the native tribe, he enters a cave. Mysterious and unknown things happen to him in this cave and he finds himself transported to Mars.

Mars, in this book, is a dying planet inhabited by huge beings and even human beings. As the resources on this planet are getting scarce, death of someone has become a matter of happiness and cheer for others, even to the family and friends of the dead one. The beings of Mars are not selfish or unjust, they just don't value life. They have put on a strict control over their birth rate and installed a rigid system that ensures the 'quality' of the kids to be born, while at the same time limiting their numbers. This system, followed over centuries, has killed all sentiments like maternal love etc.

John Carter, the hero, gets caught by such beings. However, as he weighs less on Mars and thus is more agile than all other beings there, he succeeds in surviving and even winning appreciation and high rank among the Tharks (as the huge beings are called.)

There are several other communities on Mars (called Barsoom in the book) beside Tharks. But they all are as warlike as Tharks. Every one keeps on fighting. Among all this fighting, John Carter finds love in a prisoner of Tharks who looks like human and is a Princess.

How their love survives against all odds, and how John Carter deals with the constant fighting, ruthless cruelty and cunning politics of Barsoom, that's what the book is all about.

Plus points: The story is interesting and has lots of twists and turns. The writing is simple, fast paced, the chapters all are small in length, which adds to the pace too. The language used is easy, the narration is straight-forward, so overall, the book is easy to read. The characters are well described and seem natural and believable, despite their red or green skins and multiple limbs. It is highly imaginative and full of daring action.

Minus Points: the whole basis of plot is too far-fetched. Some very vital questions remain unanswered. The hero finds everything too easy. But then, the book is more like a pulp fiction (though better than many of today's so called bestsellers!). If you like science-fiction and adventure and romances full of action, and if you can 'suspend your disbelief' for a while, you can easily give this book a try. I am not too fond of science fiction, but even I found myself turning the pages quickly to know what happens next.

The book is copyright free, so easily available in ebook formats.
Rating: 3.5/5

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07-04-2017, 11:46 AM
Post: #2
RE: The Princess of Mars
A Princess of Mars is a science fantasy novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the first of his Barsoom series. It was first serialized in the pulp magazine All-Story Magazine from February–July, 1912. Full of swordplay and daring feats, the novel is considered a classic example of 20th-century pulp fiction. It is also a seminal instance of the planetary romance, a subgenre of science fantasy that became highly popular in the decades following its publication. Its early chapters also contain elements of the Western.

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