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Thuvia, Maid of Mars/The Chessmen of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs, Frank Frazetta

After the pummeling my nerves received from John Carter’s ego in Warlord of Mars, I approached this book with trepidation. Fortunately, I enjoyed it a lot more than the previous installment. Firstly, the focus isn’t on John Carter, but on the eponymous Thuvia of Ptarth and John Carter’s son, Carthoris. They come across as more rounded, likeable individuals. The villainous Drusar, learning from the mistakes of others, try something more subtle than kidnapping Dejah Thoris  and inviting John Carter to slaughter them. Thuvia, destined to be married to one of her father’s allies, is kidnapped and, in trying to help find her, Carthoris becomes the number one suspect for her disappearance.

 

Of course, yet again, there’s another region that nobody ever leaves: the ghostly city of Lothar. The inhabitants are an archetype I’ve come across in later novels, and their intriguing nature is never fully resolved.

 

While there’s a big war brewing, the focus is firmly focused on Thuvia and Carthoris. As soon as their story comes to a close, the novel comes to an abrupt stop. Even if you found A Princess of Mars a bit off-putting,  you might still enjoy this novel.