The Warlord of Mars picks up right where The Gods of Mars left off with Dejah Thoris trapped in the Temple of the Sun by the false god Issus. John Carter searches for a way to free his princess but there are other forces at work that would see him suffer for the crimes he has committed against the gods and their station. To free his princess, he must travel across the planet with untold dangers lying in wait.
I’ve enjoyed the Barsoom series thus far. I was pulled into this world originally because of Disney’s movie, John Carter. While the casting was fairly decent, the story was quite different.
Diving into the books, it was very evident that Burroughs knew how to write a cliffhanger. Each novel successfully wrapped up all of the plot points during the falling action but then at the very last moment he found a way to hook you in for the next book. Warlord I feel successfully wraps up a trilogy of novels and while there are a multitude of others, I’ll be satisfied with taking a break for now as it has a very, “Return of the Jedi” type feel to it.
With regard to the writing, I know it has been said that Burroughs’ writing style can be somewhat tiresome and frustrating. I would agree to an extent. There are times when John Carter is performing a great feat or incredible action is taking place but due to the character’s “humble” nature (or perhaps ERB’s limits as a writer?) it’s often down played or described similarly as a hundred other passages. For example, the first two books could not say Dejah Thoris without saying, “The Incomparable Dejah Thoris.” Finally, by the third book, someone must have pointed this out to ERB and he started to mix it up a bit.
I do not feel this detracts in any way from the story. For the most part I would give this book a 3 or 3.5 stars but the end would tip it towards the higher end of the spectrum and into the 4 Star scale for me as I really like a good ending. All in all, its classic Sci-fi/fantasy and worth reading if you enjoyed the first two as it really wraps up the trilogy well.