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Thuvia, Maid of Mars (Barsoom #4)

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,284 Ratings  ·  229 Reviews
Revolted by the crude advances of Astok, Prince of Dusar, Princess Thuvia of Ptarth calls Carthoris of Helium to her aid. This magnificent warrior, son of that great earth-man John Carter, Warlord of Mars - loves Thuvia passionately...but she is promised to another prince.

Astock determines to wreak a terrible revenge on Carthoris. This jealous plan threatens to plunge all
Paperback, 127 pages
Published June 1975 by New English Library (first published 1920)
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May 23, 2012 Helen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Highly formulaic. I begin to see a pattern in these books. Carter's (or now his son, Carthoris) loved one is kidnapped by some cruel person. He pursues, despite being outgunned, outnumbered, and hopelessly behind. Via a series of improbable coincidences, our hero catches up, faces certain death as he dukes it out with the bad guy's army, and survives just to find that the villain has slipped away with his prize. Repeat ad nauseum. Sorry, Mario, Princess Peach is not in this castle. Our hero disc ...more
J.G. Keely
Burroughs is at his best when he combines the impetus of pulp adventures with the unselfconsciously far flung. When he gets too tied down to an idea or progression, it tends to hinder his imagination somewhat.

The alien setting of the Mars books then proves a great boon to Burroughs, since it is unfettered by much need for suspension of disbelief. The series has its highs, but it also has lows, like this book.

In it, he explores many of the same things he has in the previous books, casting John Ca
Eventually every good series needs to be put to bed. Drawn to a close. Wound up. Killed. In spite of that Burroughs is soldiering on with his stories from Barsoom. The first three books focussed on John Carter and his beloved Dejah Thoris as she repeatedly got into scrapes and he repeatedly had to rescue her. The fourth book completely changes everything and instead focusses on their son, Carthoris, and the woman he has fallen for: the titular Thuvia of Ptarth. This time it's Thuvia's opportunit ...more
Mar 17, 2012 Ron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Burroughs must have written this one to make a few bucks (or because his contract required it). Little imagination, improbable plot and more-than-usual coincidences (both good and bad) to make it work. But at least it was short. Normally, I want a book to be as long as possible; not this time.

Like father, like son: Carthoris is as clueless as his father.

Why does everyone always choose the new slave (in almost all cases a spy or one of the Carters) to accompany them on a critical, secret mission?
“Thuvia, Maid of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs is the fourth book in the Barsoom series, and it is quite a bit different than the previous books. The first three books focused on John Carter, and his love of Dejah Thoris, but they are barely mentioned in this book. Instead, the focus switches to focus on John Carter’s son, Cathoris, prince of Helium, and the title character Thuvia, princess of Ptarth, both of which were introduced in the second book of the series “The Gods of Mars”, but were fai ...more
Noel Coughlan
Jun 03, 2016 Noel Coughlan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
After the pummeling my nerves received from John Carter’s ego in Warlord of Mars, I approached this book with trepidation. Fortunately, I enjoyed it a lot more than the previous installment. Firstly, the focus isn’t on John Carter, but on the eponymous Thuvia of Ptarth and John Carter’s son, Carthoris. They come across as more rounded, likeable individuals. The villainous Drusar, learning from the mistakes of others, try something more subtle than kidnapping Dejah Thoris and inviting John Carter ...more
May 30, 2015 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The epitome of high adventure. The best I've ready by Burroughs so far. An incredible arrangement of the ways in which people might react to the passions of the love within them.
Apr 24, 2015 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulp, sci-fi
Differs from earlier Barsoom books in two respects: 1) It stars John Carter's son, and J.C. himself is reduced to a mere cameo. 2) It's written in first- rather than third-person.
The first of these differences makes virtually no impact on the story, since there is almost no difference between John Carter and his son, apart from their names. In fact, I think the primary reason Burroughs switched characters was so he could recycle plot points from the previous books without being too obvious about
Samuel Valentino
Oct 21, 2011 Samuel Valentino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: barsoom
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kyle  Tresnan
Aug 01, 2012 Kyle Tresnan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was talking to my dad about Edgar Rice Burroughs the other day. My dad discovered Burroughs through comic book adaptations of A Princess of Mars and Tarzan, and then he moved on to the novels.

He said that Burroughs is "One of the best authors who gets absolutely no respect."

Here's what I think: Edgar Rice Burroughs may not have written anything salient on, say, the American Dream or man's inhumanity to man, but dammit, I don't care. I've never felt unsatisfied after a Burroughs novel.

Aug 22, 2011 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Thuvia, Maid of Mars" is the 4th of 11 John Carter novels from the pen of Edgar Rice Burroughs. It first appeared in April 1916, as a three-part serial in the magazine "All Story Weekly." This is the first Carter novel that does not feature John Carter himself as the central character; he only makes a brief cameo appearance early on. Instead, the action mantle is taken up by Carthoris, Carter's son, but fortunately, Carter Junior turns out to be just as good a swashbuckler as the old man. In th ...more
Charles Stoltz
Nov 21, 2013 Charles Stoltz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I agree with many people that this book is formulaic as are most of Burroughs books. The problem is most people look at this book as well as the rest of the John Carter series and compare it to modern fantasy which is a mistake. People please remember that most of Burroughs works are from the early twentieth century this book was published in 1920 which was 93 years ago. It was a different time. Also these stories started out as serials in pulp magazines they were actioney and fast paced. I enjo ...more
Jun 09, 2012 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't put my finger on it, but this isn't my favorite Barsoom book. Having said that, it's still a very strong entry in the series. This is the first book written in third person, so you actually get multiple points of view. It's also the first book not to feature John Carter as a protagonist (he has a very brief walk-on in the beginning of the book). The plot is about what you'd expect: Steel-thewed, square-jawed warrior is smitten with beautiful princess, but many complications ensue to keep ...more
Jul 03, 2013 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: burroughs-books
Thuvia Maid of Mars is an interesting if old-fashioned story. She’s a bit prissy as the princess of Ptarth and is betrothed to a character Tith, whom we do not meet until the end of the story. The story is mostly about a couple of men who have the hots for her and the length they go through to get her, even risking interplanetary war for her hand.

As with a lot of Mars books, we have interesting subplots – a lost city of Lothar that has men who can imagine so strongly that others can see their t
Paul DiBara
While I'm not a big fan of gratuitous violence, warrior cultures are very much part of human history to modern times. I enjoyed the author's imaginative forays in this story. The discovery of an ancient and unknown city that used mind control to battle its enemies was especially fun.
Dec 13, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Another excellent addition to the Barroom series. I read this book in high school, so it was all new to me reading it again after 40+ years. Great pace on the story telling. The characters are not very believable, but who cares? It's ERB fantasy. Loved it!
There's something missing from this series without John Carter. I know that Carthoris is his son and all of that but it just wasn't the same for me. Part of the mystique about this series is/was John Carter being an outsider, an Earthman on Mars. Without that it just isn't the same for me.

The villains in this one fell a little flat, and Carthoris didn't have enough of a background or unique personality I think to set him apart from many of the other Martians and characters of the book. Not Burro
Aug 11, 2015 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little bit of a change up as this does not actually pertain to John Carter at all, but actually is a story of his son. Burroughs has a way of writing that really pats the main character on the back and almost makes him the luckiest and most skilled person on the planet. The villains do not stand a chance against the Carter's and should probably just stop trying by now. Even with the pompous characters and the over inflated egos, I still find myself reading these books in moments of lull. Maybe ...more
Aug 01, 2015 Sailorx rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 09, 2014 Rena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes, as someone who enjoys writing, I find it entertaining to go back and read things I wrote years ago. On one hand, it’s completely embarrassing to see my first attempts at being a novelist, but, at the same time, it’s encouraging. I can see how I’ve developed as a writer.

Reading the Barsoom series kind of feels the same way.

Edgar Rice Burroughs plunged into the world of writing pulp fiction (“rot” as he called it) because he saw that people actually got paid to write such things. Admitt
Angus Whittaker
This is a typical Edgar Rice Burroughs; romantic, action-packed, unrealistic, predictable, cliched, wordy, and trashy. It is, in short, a perfect representative of '50s pulp fiction. I predicted how this book would end before I even knew the plot (:D), and it turned out to be exactly as I had expected> I downloaded this book from "" and finished it in a few hours. It's a light read, not to be taken too seriously.
While Burrough's excessively wordy writing can be irritating
Jan 06, 2015 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More of the same. Burroughs is a great storyteller, but this novel had more annoyances in it than the previous ones. For one, I didn't like the concept of the 'mentalists' that could conjure up an army with their minds. To follow along with that, the idea of people being killed by the power of suggestion is very far-fetched and really made the story harder to get into. This became especially true when fierce, 'green warriors' fell so easily to its power.

As far as the plot is concerned, it's very
Gary Peterson
Thus far the weakest book in the ERB Mars saga. Not so much because John Carter is relegated to the deep background while his son Carthoris takes center stage, but because the book drifts from space-fantasy adventure into turgid romance. Thuvia is at the center of a love triangle and there's enough teenage angst and pining to fill a dozen early Spider-Man comic books.

The book is not irredeeemably bad. The Lotharians proved to be another interesting Barsoomian people. There's a clever play on wor
Oct 13, 2015 Ken rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sword-and-planet
It's nice to be back to the D&D-on-Mars series. As usual, this is a page turner and we are introduced to yet another hidden culture of Mars, this one a lost city of illusionists. This book is the basis of the illusionist class in D&D, so for that it is very very cool, and once more Thuvia's speak with animals is on display. However, from strictly a literature point of view, we have yet another chase-the-girl saga, and though the hero is now Carthoris instead of John Carter, he is functio ...more
William Stafford
Aug 13, 2015 William Stafford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fourth of the Barsoom novels and the adventure is still fresh a hundred years later. So inventive is Burroughs's imagination and so vivid and evocative is his style, you are swept away by the time you reach the second paragraph. The titular heroine conforms to the damsel-in-distress archetype of the genre - but only to a point. Come the climactic battle and she is prevailed upon to fly the ship and fire the guns at the enemy below. No shrinking violet is our Thuvia, and undoubtedly one of th ...more
An Odd1
Jan 04, 2015 An Odd1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy

Hero usually needs a heroine. Again, kidnapped maiden pursued by beloved. Here are fierce banth lions and imaginary warriors hordes. Girl is still passive, hohum, all that was expected back then. Plus 7-pg Glossary.

Carthoris chases kidnapper Astok of Dusar for Thuvia of Ptarth, promised to "Kulan Tith, Jeddak of Kaol .. most puissant ally" p 84. Recognizable by scar on face, Dusarian noble Vas Kor copies key for Carthoris' destination navigator, poses as
This was certainly not an ‘exciting’ read, as it was pretty much the same plot as the previous three, only instead of John Carter, it features his son Carthoris. He is in on the trail of Thuvia, Princess of Ptarth, who was kidnapped by his rival.

The tale might be the same but where the adventure leads him and the tribe which he discovers is what is intriguing. The Lotharians, who believe they are the last men upon of all Barsoom, are secluded in their valley home. What is unique is not their out
May 27, 2013 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: podcast, listened-to
Thought not as good as previous books. Several terms and scenes brought forth images of Star Wars saga.
Mar 01, 2016 Karthik rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Completed via audio book. The book feels like the work of a creator of a Blockbuster franchise who decides to make one more sequel with the same theme same story line but fails to get the budget or the original star and decides to make a direct-to-Video production with a second-grade lead and a small budget and decides to abruptly end it like someone pulled the pen from him.

Follows pretty much the same story as the original trilogy replacing the lead characters with newer characters of the same
Sep 16, 2014 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite as fulfilling as the original trilogy (when are they ever?) but still a thoroughly enjoyable read. Pretty cool to see more of Carthoris, though Burroughs makes him very much like a watered-down version of John Carter. Understandable considering their relation, but nonetheless a little weak as far as character development goes.
Pretty darn essential that you read the first three books before this one.
On the whole, if you enjoyed the other John Carter novels then this should most certainl
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Edgar Rice Burroughs was an American author, best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic John Carter, although he produced works in many genres.
More about Edgar Rice Burroughs...

Other Books in the Series

Barsoom (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • A Princess of Mars (Barsoom, #1)
  • The Gods of Mars (Barsoom, #2)
  • The Warlord of Mars (Barsoom, #3)
  • The Chessmen of Mars (Barsoom, #5)
  • The Master Mind of Mars (Barsoom, #6)
  • A Fighting Man of Mars (Barsoom, #7)
  • Swords of Mars (Barsoom, #8)
  • Synthetic Men of Mars (Barsoom, #9)
  • Llana of Gathol (Barsoom, #10)
  • John Carter of Mars (Barsoom, #11)

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