If you're a sci-fi fan, then you've probably heard of Edgar Rice Burroughs' famous Barsoom series of science fiction fantasy novels. Set in the “dying planet” Mars, the ten books in the series portray an Earthman, John Carter and his astral journey to the Red Planet, his marriage with a native princess and his descendants.
The Chessmen of Mars is the fifth book in the Barsoom set, written in 1921 and published in serial form in Argosy magazine over the period of a year. Here, John Carter's daughter Tara meets Prince Gahan of the Gathol kingdom, but takes an instant dislike to the young and fashionable man, feeling that he is just a shallow youth. However, when her vehicle breaks down in a lonely part of Barsoom and she is attacked by the ferocious Kaldanes, it takes all her wits to survive the encounter. Prince Gahan, who is actually a heroic superman in his own kingdom, but prefers to keep it a secret, arrives in time to help her. Together with one of the Kaldanes who proves to be different from his fellows, they escape only to get into an even more hazardous situation. They fall into the hands of another set of monsters whose native sport is a game resembling chess, which is played in an arena using live creatures!
Edgar Rice Burroughs is best known for his Tarzan series, but few know that he was a multi-talented writer who penned books spanning several genres. Besides sci-fi, he wrote historical and romantic fiction, westerns and jungle adventures. A master of the pulp-fiction world which was so popular during the early 20th century, his work was lapped up by magazines like Argosy, The All-Story, etc. and had a great influence on many important writers.
An exciting read for lovers of adventure, sci-fi and fantasy!