A Princess of Mars

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Ex-Confederate Army captain John Carter finds himself suddenly and unwittingly transported to Mars while fleeing Apache Indians. This new world is populated by a race of monstrous Martians whose culture is based on the ability to fight for their race. Captured by the savage green men of Thark, John discovers that the gravitational difference between Mars and Earth has endowed him with the strength that he will need for survival on this hostile planet. He battles ferocious Martian creatures and gains the respect and friendship of the Barsoomians. Along the way he encounters the beautiful Dejah Thoris Princess of Helium, and earns her everlasting devotion.
 

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Burroughs employs a literary device for A Princess of Mars to which he returned to in several sequels—introducing the novel as though it were a factual account passed on to him personally. Characterized by copious violent action, the novel is essentially a travelogue, telling a tale of a journey and various encounters on that journey, that doesn’t always have an explicitly defined plot.
As is the case with the majority of the Barsoom novels to follow, A Princess of Mars portrays a hero facing impossible odds and forced to fight a range of lurid creatures in order to win the love of the heroine.
 

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"A Princess of Mars" was difficult to stop reading. Kept me awake most of one night.

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Page 22 - I OPENED my eyes upon a strange and weird landscape. I knew that I was on Mars; not once did I question either my sanity or my wakefulness. I was not asleep, no need for pinching here; my inner consciousness told me as plainly that I was upon Mars as your conscious mind tells you that you are upon Earth. You do not question the fact; neither did I.
Page 21 - I felt a spell of overpowering fascination — it was Mars, the god of war, and for me, the fighting man, it had always held the power of irresistible enchantment. As I gazed at it on that far-gone night it seemed to call across the unthinkable void, to lure me to it, to draw me as the lodestone attracts a particle of iron. My longing was beyond the power of opposition; I closed my eyes, stretched out my arms toward the god of my vocation and felt myself drawn with the suddenness of thought through...
Page 1 - I AM a very old man; how old I do not know. Possibly I am a hundred, possibly more; but I cannot tell because I have never aged as other men, nor do I remember any childhood.
Page 37 - ... extreme age among them, nor is there any appreciable difference in their appearance from the age of maturity, about forty, until, at about the age of one thousand years, they go voluntarily upon their last strange pilgrimage down the river Iss, which leads no living Martian knows whither and from whose bosom no Martian has ever returned, or would be allowed to live did he return after once embarking upon its cold, dark waters. Only about one Martian in a thousand dies of sickness or disease,...
Page 21 - I stood thus meditating, l turned my gaze from the landscape to the heavens where the myriad stars formed a gorgeous and fitting canopy for the wonders of the earthly scene. My attention was quickly riveted by a large red star close to the distant horizon. As I gazed upon it I felt a spell of overpowering fascination — it was Mars, the god of war, and for me, the fighting man, it had always held the power of irresistible enchantment. As I gazed at it on that far-gone night it seemed to call across...
Page 26 - ... later, for I was given but little time to speculate on the wonders of my new discovery. I had seen that the eggs were in the process of hatching, and as I stood watching the hideous little monsters break from their shells I failed to note the approach of a score of full-grown Martians from behind me. Coming, as they did, over the soft and soundless moss, which covers practically the entire surface of Mars with the exception of the frozen areas at the poles and the scattered cultivated districts,...

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