**** SPOILERS ON THE GODS OF MARS and THUVIA OF MARS NOVELS ****
I'm deep into Edgar Rice Burroughs territory by now. I'm finishing the " Chessmen of Mars " novel. I like some things about it, some others a bit less. But I've got to say something about " Gods of Mars ". This novel really stands out in the Barsoom series so far.
The action is intense through and through, I mean, hey, right from the very start and then it goes on and on and on almost non stop, it's unbeleivable. The part on the Thern religion feels really thought out, you got to love the way the Therns who manipulate the rest of the planet are themselves manipulated by the First-born who are ultimately themselves manipulated by Issus !
And then there is poetry in this book, like I've not often seen in the other ones in the series. In particular the part about the "tree of life " ( I forgot how it's called exactly ) the mythological explanation of the birth of life on Barsoom is not only a great way to explain why Burroughs populated his Mars with these species but also a very poetic way of doing so. It's short, it's simple, it's impact is great. "Brevity is the soul of wit " said William Shakespeare; mission accomplished. I only wish I'd see a little bit more of these poetic, mythological moments.
I've read a similar passage though, in " Thuvia maid of Mars", the whole part in wich Cartoris goes with Thuvia in that city where two schools of thought on the reality of matter/existence are in opposition in a dying nation of men who are illusionists...who can make their illusions actually real after a while ! These are not so poetic than troubling. Burroughs likes to shock and surprise his readers with exotic beings and situations, a common occurrence in pulp litterature, but for me, that went a step further, because he actually went to the trouble of imagining the mental state of people who had access to powerful mental tricks. I was troubled and a bit confused by the read that evening, and promised myself I'd go back to read again later, to appreciate it differently. That guy really rocks !