Reviewed by J. Keith Jones
“A Fighting Man of Mars” is the final installment in the John Carter of Mars series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. In this one, John Carter is an important, but ancillary character. Instead, the main character is a previously unknown character named Hadron of Hastor. Like the previous books, this is essentially a quest to recover a lost love. Hadron, a military officer, has fallen head over heels for the daughter of his commander. Sanoma Tora is an exceedingly beautiful – and haughty – woman who instantly beguiles Hadron.
She is soon kidnapped by an unknown party. So a mystery is to be solved and the chase is on. The quest takes Hadron half way around Barsoom (Mars) and introduces him and us to several new characters including Tavia, a slave girl that Hadron can neither keep off his mind, nor admit he has stronger feelings for than friendship.
In Tavia we see a far stronger and more assertive female character than in the previous books. Of course it is complete with the usual assortment of creatures like white apes, giant spiders and even some insane cannibals for good measure.
This edition wraps up the series nicely. “A Fighting Man of Mars” was originally serialized in six parts in Blue Book Magazine in 1930. It was collected into book form in May 1931.