A Princess of Mars

Edgar Rice Burroughs
A Princess of Mars Cover

A Princess of Mars


Originally parceled out as a serial, this pulp novel has many cliffhangers - including the book itself. Many indicate this is really the first book of a trilogy, with eight more sequels after those.

Despite gaping plot holes, the story works. It rushes at times, dispatching whole armies in a few short pages. It was written during Taft administration, more than 100 years ago, and originated many of today's standard tropes.

The introduction has Burroughs finding this story and publishing it, framing as a story within a story and providing a convenient excuse for any poor writing. This framing device was used by Verne as well, to better effect - his narrator wasn't the main character. John Carter comes across as a braggart, and it is painful to read his descriptions of his actions. I wonder if anyone has analyzed this in light of Carter being an unreliable source?

It is a classic work with many flaws, and I liked it. I plan to rate the first three as a trilogy separate from the individual books, but by itself this novel is a solid 3 stars.