In this novel the focus shifts from John Carter, Warlord of Mars, and Dejah Thoris of Helium, protagonists of the first three books in the series, to their son, Carthoris, prince of Helium, and Thuvia, princess of Ptarth. Helium and Ptarth are both prominent Barsoomian city state empires, and both Carthoris and Thuvia were secondary characters in the previous two books.
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Thuvia finds new lover
Good story. This fourth book fleshes out both the characters of Carthoris and Thuvia. The interplay between them is not as developed as between John Carter and Deja Thoris. The story is, however, entertaining and satisfying with dramatic action and epic adventure.
Thuvia, Maid of Mars
With a plot tailor-made for a B-movie, this is a story about chivalry, its costs and its rewards. Our protagonist, the Martian son of John Carter, proves his superhero heritage in undertaking the rescue of a princess he loves yet is pledged to another. She is sometimes a modern woman ready to stand up for herself and sometimes a simpering girl needing the reckless courage of a man to save the day.
The book was published in the opening decade of the 20th Century and as such offers a fascinating time capsule of the science and mores of the times; Martians are not microbial, radioactivity is magical, race defines character, women are people/chatel, and warfare has not yet been reduced to body counts. There is a section in the middle of the book involving the nature of reality for those readers with a metaphysical bent.
The book's sentence structure is wordy, slightly stilted, early 1900s vintage. It takes a chapter or two before it becomes less distracting. Also sprinkled throughout is "Martian vocabulary" for which the reader must retreat to a glossary of terms if they cannot figure out the meanings on context alone.
I enjoyed this book as much for its time capsule quality as for its campy storyline.