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The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (REVIEW)

Burroughs' concept of race, as depicted in the series, is more like a division between species than between different ethnicities. The novel also features a number of incidents of religious deception, or the use of superstition by those in power to control and manipulate others.

6 months ago

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Gods of War by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950). Published by planksip
Gods of War by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950). Published by planksip® 

A Critic's Meta Review: 4/5

Review

The Gods of Mars showcases Burroughs’ talents as a writer. His imagination, colorful descriptions, and sense of adventure are a delight to read. Burroughs’ use of complex prose and vocabulary are surprisingly sophisticated for pulp fiction. Race is a major theme, as the novel takes place in a world with clear territorial divisions between the White, Yellow, Black, Red and Green skinned races. Burroughs' concept of race, as depicted in the series, is more like a division between species than between different ethnicities. The novel also features a number of incidents of religious deception, or the use of superstition by those in power to control and manipulate others. This theme was introduced in A Princess of Mars, but is central to The Gods of Mars. The book describes deceitful priests in a theocratic nation that appear to manipulate a temple idol with the intention of controlling their followers. Burroughs continued the use of this theme in his Tarzan novels. While he shouldn’t be considered anti-religious he was concerned by the abuse and exploitation of religious beliefs, and saw this as a common feature of organized religion.

Hooked on the story of John Carter? The Gods of Mars is available for free download on planksip®.


Overview

The Gods of Mars is the second novel in American novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs’ science fantasy series, Barsoom. The book was first published in The All-Story as a five-part series that debuted between January and May in 1913. It was later published as a complete novel for the first time by A.C. McClurg in 1918. The story features the beloved characters John Carter and his wife, Dejah Thoris once more.

Gods of War by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950). Published by planksip®

Plot

Following his typical style, Burroughs begins the text with a frame story that explains how he came into possession of the novel. Following the conclusion of the first book, A Princess of Mars, where John Carter was unwillingly transported back to Earth, The Gods of Mars begins with his arrival back on Barsoom after a decade long separation from Dejah Thoris, their unborn child, and the Red Martian people whom he has adopted as his own. Unfortunately, Carter arrives in the one place on Barsoom in the Valley Dor, which is considered the place of Barsoomian afterlife and allows no one to depart from it. The story is continued in the third book, The Warlord of Mars.

Gods of War by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950). Published by planksip®

Daniel Sanderson

Published 6 months ago