The Chessmen of Mars Barsoom #5 review å 109

Edgar Rice Burroughs Á 9 review

The Chessmen of Mars Barsoom #5 review å 109 õ Held captive by grotesue bodiless heads Princess Tara of Helium was rescued by a warrior who dared not reveal his name But escape led the daughter of the Warlord of Mars into even loathesome peril as the prize in a bloody game of living chessWarrior who dared not reveal his name But escape led the daughter of the Warlor. The Chessmen of Mars Edgar Rice Burroughs' 5th John Carter novel out of 11 first appeared in serial form in the magazine Argosy All Story Weekly from February to April 1922 It is easily the best of the Carter lot to this point; the most detailed the most imaginative and the best written Carter himself only appears at the beginning and end of the tale Instead our action heroes are his daughter Tara who gets lost in a rare Barsoomian storm while joyriding in her flier and blown halfway across the surface of the planet and the Gatholian jed Gahan who goes in search of her In the first half of this novel Tara and Gahan wind up in the clutches of the kaldanes bodiless brains who live in a symbiotic relationship with their headless rykors One of these brains Ghek befriends the couple and tags along with them for the remainder of their odyssey Ghek is a wonderful character touching and fascinating and amusing all at once In one passage Ghek gives us some very interesting philosophy regarding the relationship between mind and body In the second half of the book the trio is captured by the hordes of Manator and Gahan winds up fighting for Tara in a game of Martian chess or jetan a game in which real men are used in lieu of pieces and fight to the death for possession of suares The jetan seuence is extremely exciting and detailed and a knowledge of chess is not necessary for full enjoyment One need not be a chess buff to appreciate the detailed moves that Burroughs gives us Chessmen is as I mentioned very well written for a Burroughs novel; even dare I say it poetically written in spots The action is relentless the standard of imagination very high and the denouement extremely satisfying It is a near masterpiece Why only near Well as is usual with these books there are some problemsAs in the previous Carter novels these problems take the form of inconsistencies and implausibilities At the book's beginning Burroughs who has just been told this tale by Carter himself writes that if there be inconsistencies and errors let the blame fall not upon John Carter but rather upon my faulty memory where it belongs He is excusing himself in advance for any mistakes that he might make and well he should because there are many such in this book I however cannot excuse an author for laziness and sloppy writing Saying excuse me doesn't make for good writing Just what am I referring to here Let's seeTara in several spots in the book refers to Tardos Mors as her grandfather when in actuality he is her great grandfather The Martian word sofad is said to be a foot; but in the previous book Thuvia Maid of Mars an ad was said to be a foot Tara in one scene smites Ghek on the back of the head Gahan is watching this fight from a distance and sees her hit Ghek in the face In the game of jetan the thoat pieces are said to wear three feathers; but in the Rules for Jetan at the book's end they are said to wear two This book is based on events told to John Carter conceivably by Tara Gahan andor Ghek and yet scenes are described in which none of those characters appear; thus they could have had no knowledge of these events described This I feel is a basic problem with the book's structure Besides these inconsistencies there are some things that are a bit hard to swallow For instance that Gahan could fall 3000 feet from a flier in the middle of a cyclone and freakishly survive It's also hard to believe that Tara does not recognize Gahan when he comes to her rescue and fails to remember where they have met until the very end of the book In addition I feel that the character of Ghek is underutilized in the book's second half It might have been nice to see the old boy loosening up a bit as he got in touch with his emotions Spockstyle Anyway all uibbles aside Chessmen is a wonderful piece of fantasy one that had me tearing through the pages as uickly as I possibly could It is an exceptionally fine entry in the John Carter series

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D of Mars into even loathesome peril as the prize in a bloody game of living che. A pretty darn good one in the Mars series I felt Thuvia Maid of Mars was a little lacking but this one makes up for that This one again does not focus on John Carter but rather his daughter Tara which he suddenly has She gets captured by the Kaldanes which are spider like creatures and can attach themselves to these headless human bodies called rykors and control them for their own use She also gets captured by the Manatorians which are the chess players; but they play using real people on a life size board It's good stuff

characters The Chessmen of Mars Barsoom #5

The Chessmen of Mars Barsoom #5Held captive by grotesue bodiless heads Princess Tara of Helium was rescued by a. 35 to 4 stars – I will round up here to an official 4 star ratingAnother classic sci fi tale that brings forth black and white images from early sci fi films of bold muscular heroes space damsels in distress and bizarregrotesue alien creatures When the space craft are flying you might even be able to envision the cord that it is hanging fromBut seriously it definitely has that feel and if you have enjoyed the other books in the John CarterBarsoom series then you should enjoy this one no lessI will say that I think I like it for the atmosphere described above and the characters than anything else The story is okay but sort of forgettable It is the individual scenes unusual relationships and somewhat cheesy dialogue that keep me interested It is almost like going to a sci fi museum where nothing has been updated since the 40s Sometimes you think it is so bad but you realize it is so good