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The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (REVIEW)

The Chessmen of Mars is a particularly inventive and broad piece of imagination for Burroughs, as the work includes extensive detailing of the traditions, beasts and characters featured in the novel.

2 months ago

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The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950). Published by planksip
The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950). Published by planksip®

A Critic's Meta Review: 4/5

Review

The Chessmen of Mars is a particularly inventive and broad piece of imagination for Burroughs, as the work includes extensive detailing of the traditions, beasts and characters featured in the novel. Much like Thuvia, Maid of Mars, Burroughs has created another work that explores the limits of excessive intellectual development at the expense of bodily or physical existence.

The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs The Chessmen of Mars (Fiction, 1922) A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER 3 0. PRELUDE : JOHN CARTER COMES TO EARTH 4 1. CHAPTER I : TARA IN A TANTRUM 6 2. CHAPTER II : AT THE GALE’S MERCY 14 3. CHAPTER III : THE HEADLESS HUMANS 22 4. CHAPTER IV : CAPTURED 3...
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Overview

Written by American author Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Chessmen of Mars is a science fantasy novel and the fifth book in his Barsoom series. Published originally as a six-part serial over the course of the first months of 1922, it was eventually published as a complete novel by the end of the year. The Chessmen of Mars focuses on Tara, princess of Helium, and the daughter of well-known protagonists John Carter and Dejah Thoris.

The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950). Published by planksip
The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950). Published by planksip®

Plot

Tara is sought after by Prince Gahan of Gathol and upon their first meeting, she was unimpressed. She later loses control of her flier in a storm and is carried into an unfamiliar region of Barsoom. The Kaldanes, a local tribe, imprison Tara with the intention to fatten her up and eat her. While imprisoned, Tara manages to win the affections of one of the Kaldanes, Ghek, by singing to him.

Gahan, after falling in love with Tara, sets out to find her and is eventually caught up in the same storm, falling overboard while attempting to rescue one of his crew. He stumbles upon the Kaldanes’ territory, and manages to rescue Tara. Together with Ghek, they flee the region in Tara's crippled flier. Tara doesn't recognize Gahan as the prince she met earlier, as he is exhausted from the expedition and no longer dressed in formal clothing. In light of her earlier reaction to him, Gahan decides to keep his identity secret, and identifies himself instead as a Panthan (warrior) called Turan.

Their journey brings the three to the isolated city of Manator. Gahan ventures into the city seeking food and water but is soon tricked and taken prisoner by its inhabitants. Tara and Ghek are also captured. As a result, the captives are forced to fight to the death in an arena while partaking in a modified version of Jetan, a popular Barsoomian board game that resembles Chess. However, the living version uses people as the game pieces on a life-sized board, with each taking of a piece resulting in a duel to the death.

The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950). Published by planksip
The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950). Published by planksip®

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