Originally published as Blades of Mars by Edward P. Bradbury in 1965. The second book in the trilogy.


Publication year: 1979
Format: print
Page count: 150

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I’ve loved Burroughs’ Barsoom stories for a long time and I’ve been looking for something similar, except with better female characters. This certainly delivered, except for the women characters.

For some reason, the Finnish library system doesn’t have the first book, so I had to settle for this second one.

Michael Kane is a physicist in present day (1960s) US. Apparently, in the first book he had invented a device which allowed him to travel to Mars, but millions of years in the past. There he had adventures and fell in love with a Martian woman but before they were married, he was yanked back to Earth. Now, he has managed to build his device again, with the help of Edward, and vanishes from Earth. But moments later Kane reappears but clad in a strange way.

The book is very clearly modeled after Burroughs’ style. It even has the frame story of the MC telling his tale to the writer who later publishes it as fiction. In this case, Michael Kane appears before the astonished “Edward” and tells him the story.

Kane returns to Mars but he comes to a desolate wasteland and realizes that he’s in a different timeframe than where he wanted to be. Desperate, he starts to walk. Soon, a beast attacks him but he’s saved by a savage Martian, a blue giant from a race called Argzoon. Kane fought against them in the first book. However, Kane realizes that this giant isn’t a savage. In fact, Hool Haji is a prince whose throne has been usurped by a terrible giant Jewar Baru who rules Hool Haji’s people with ruthlessness and superstition. And the help of 200 equally ruthless men. Kane likes Hool Haji and decides to help him free his people. Most of the book is spent in this mission.

While Kane doesn’t have incredible strength because of Mars’ lower gravity, otherwise this is a fine imitation of Burroughs. Two races, one monstrous and another human-like, men battling with swords. This Mars had two technologically advanced races who have left behind ruins. High adventure with strange creatures and almost as strange allies. I’m sure fans of Barsoom are highly entertained.