The First Barsoom Omnibus

With the upcoming release of John Carter in cinemas, I thought I would read the original source novel “The First Barsoom Omnibus” by Edgar Rice Burroughs, which  contains the stories  Princess of Mars, Gods of Mars and Warlords of Mars.

The novel features A Former Confederate Soldier from Virginia named John Carter, who finds himself inexplicably transported to the surface of Mars after venturing into a mysterious cave.

He soon finds that, Far from being deserted, Mars boasts many of its own wierd and wonderful inhabitants including a race of barbaric 15ft/5m tall blue/green aliens called Tharks, who capture John, At first he finds their customs very odd, however he manages to earn their respect after clobbering a few of them, saving a few lives and demonstrating his prowess with a weapon, and even manages to win a few friends in Tars Tarkas, Woola and Sola, and becomes a Chieften among them.

Shortly after a Princess of the great City of Helium, named Dejah Thoris is captured by the Tharks. John takes rather a shine to her, unfortunately though he and the fiery Martian princess get off on the wrong foot, since Carter knows nothing about the culture and customs of the red humanoid race, and they are soon at odds with each other, gradually though she warms to him and he learns all about Martian history and discovers a planet inhabited by different races who are all continually squabbling with each other.

So John, Sola, Woola and Dejah decide to escape from the vicious Tharks and return her back to her own people the Red Skinned Martians of Helium. However this proves to be harder than it looks and he has to undertake many hazardous adventures which bring him into conflict with more of the Barbaric Green Skinned Tharks, the Vile Warlord Tal Hajus, The Red Skinned people of Helium, the civilised peoples of Zodanga and the Black Pirates of Barsoom among many others.

Events come to a head and John finds himself in the midst of an all out war between the various civilizations on Mars and those of destruction that will determine the fate of Mars and the survival of every single person on the planet!