Edgar Rice Burroughs. Thuvia, Maid of Mars. Ballantine, 1976 (originally published 1916). 158 pages.
This is the fourth book in the series. The first three were all narrated by John Carter, and the pairing of that character with Burroughs’ wonderfully corny prose was perfect. This time, there’s a new hero, and it’s told in the third person. But the writing is still in the same absurd style, removing any illusion that Burroughs might have been in on the joke. Also, the story isn’t as fun as the first three books. It takes a while before the action starts; instead it begins with intrigue, as if one were expecting to take things more seriously than a simple swashbuckling fantasy adventure. It’s good once it finally gets going, and there are some clever new adversaries, but it’s no John Carter book.