Review of “The Warlord of Mars,” Book III of “The Barsoom Series” by Edgar Rice Burroughs


John Carter of Mars has triumphed over the wicked, tyrannical ruler of the Firstborn, and has exposed the official religion of Barsoom as a farce and a system of control. However, tragically, before he could rescue his beloved princess, Dejah Thoris, she is imprisoned in the depths of the Temple of the Sun by a devious timed mechanism. The evil Matai Shang, despotic Hekkador of the Holy Therns, kidnaps the princess and the hero of Barsoom follows in hot pursuit, leading him to uncharted regions and a vast foreboding frozen kingdom he has never encountered before……………….

This is the last volume in the trilogy about John Carter by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The books further in the Barsoom Series go on to other characters and tales on the planet. After reading the amazing masterwork that was “The Gods of Mars,” my hopes were soaring for expectations of the third volume. Unfortunately, they ended up being somewhat deflated.
While this book wasn’t awful, I was let down by the lack of blood and thunder adventure and swashbuckling action that the previous book had. “Gods” just spoiled me rotten, I guess. “Warlord” isn’t as much of a slog as the first Barsoom installment, “A Princess of Mars,” and it did have its moments and strengths. I found the barbarous Yellow Men to be an interesting race, and I enjoyed reading about the frozen land of Okar, finding it to be very much like the ice planet Hoth in the Star Wars Saga. The Wampa-like Apts that haunt the land, are particularly ferocious, and quite monstrous foes. The final battle scene is enjoyable, and the end is satisfying; let’s just say the villains get their just desserts, but on the whole this book just didn’t grab me like the previous installment did.
On the whole though, like I said, “Warlord” isn’t horrible. Just don’t set your expectations too high, or you’ll be gut-punched with disappointment. Mr. Burroughs, although he was a masterful writer,  could have done better.
I give “The Warlord of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs a 3.5 out of 5.


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