A Critic's Meta Review: 4/5
A Critic's Meta Review: 4/5
While Burroughs is typically viewed as a writer who produced work of limited philosophical value, Thuvia, Maid of Mars is one of the two Barsoom novels that appear to explore, or parody, the limits of excessive intellectual development at the expense of bodily or physical existence. And while his previous books tended to neatly fall into the science fantasy genre, this installment often veers even more towards the fantastic.
Thuvia, Maid of Mars also marks the beginning of Burroughs dropping the first person narrative device that he utilized in the previous three books in order to adopt a standard third person narrative as we follow the adventures of Carthoris and the beautiful Thuvia of Ptarth.
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Written by American author Edgar Rice Burroughs, Thuvia, Maid of Mars, is a science fantasy novel and the fourth installment of Burroughs’ Barsoom series. While the story continues to build upon the lives of John Carter and other characters that appeared in previous works, Thuvia, Maid of Mars shifts in focus towards the son of John and Dejah, Carthoris, as well as Thuvia, the princess of Ptarth. Carthoris and Thuvia were seen as secondary characters in previous novels but have now moved into the role of being the primary characters of the work.
The plot devices seen in Thuvia, Maid of Mars are similar to the previous Barsoom novels, involving the kidnapping of a Martian princess that includes John Carter’s son, Carthoris. A handful of inventive additions appear for the first time, including an autopilot and collision detection device created for Martian fliers, as well as the creation of the Lotharians, a race of ancient Martians who have become skilled with the use of telepathic projection. The Lotharians are able to create imaginary warriors that are capable of violence and are able to sustain themselves through thought alone.
The novel also confirms that Carthoris is deeply in love with Thuvia, which was foreshadowed at the end of the previous novel. Unfortunately, his love is unrequited as Thuvia is promised to Kulan Tith, Jeddak of Kaol. It is established that nothing can break an engagement except death. Because any new suitors may not cause that death, Carthoris is left to search for other options that would allow him to pursue his relationship with Thuvia.
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