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Llana of Gathol is the tenth book in the Martian series, and the last one to be written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It is composed of several small books (novelettes) each dealing with different situations and all are part of the larger storyline.

Book 1, The Ancient Dead[]

Seeking solitude, John Carter flies northwest as far as the deserted city of Horz. There, he rescues a white man named Pan Dan Chee from a group of Green Martians. Afterwards he is however taken prisoner by 100 other white men, despite the protests of Pan Dan Chee. Carter is to be delivered to Ho Ran Kim, the Jeddak of Horz, who tells him they are Orovar, a race that has been living in this hidden city for centuries. Despite being grateful for his help, they will have to kill John Carter to keep their existance a secret. Both John Carter and Pan Dan Chee are brought to the pits, with two guards posted at the entrance.

Carter and Pan Dan Chee are attacked by a giant ulsio, which Pan kills because he still has a short sword in his possession. In an attempt to find another way out of the pits, they find chests filled with jewels and a large chest containing an ancient warrior in a state of perfect preservation. He was presumably embalmed by Lee Um Lo, the ancient artist of embalmers. John Carter takes his swords, and they see a flicker of light, and laughter comes from down a black corridor. The two men find nobody however, so they sit down to play a game of jetan using John Carter’s pocket set. The pieces are exact likeness of his family. Pan Dan Chee falls in love with the Llana of Gathol piece. (The eternal torches of Horz are explained.) John Carter will not return to die, so loyal Pan decided he must fight him to the death. Neither has the desire to kill the other, so they only duel halfheartedly.

Following the mysterious laughter, they find an old madman who loves on ulsios and a dead man called Ro Tan Bim. He notices that Carter is carrying the swords of Hor Kai Lan. The old man tires to hypnotize them, but Carter struggles against his powers and kills him. Ro Tan Bim's dead awakens all his previous victims from their eons old slumber, at first not willing to believe it's been thousands of years since they last set foot outside the pits One of the more recent victims turns out to be none other than Llana. She explains how she ended up here: Her father, Gahan of Gathol, was visited by Hin Abtol, the Panar, Jeddak of Jeddaks of the North, who arrived in an ancient ship. He was a pompous braggart who managed to abduct her and steal her more modern ship. Llana however managed to sabotage the buoyancy tanks of the ship, causing them to crash land in Horz, where Green Martians attacekd the Panars, leaving Llana behind. Eventually she found the pits.

Upon finally finding a way out, all the old men crumble to dust, their years catching up with them somehow. Carter considers it a blessing since the world they knew no longer excists. John Carter finds his flier gone; Hin Abtol has stolen it. The three have no choice but to walk the 1500 miles to Gathol. Pan wants to call Llana “my princess,” but she says he has to fight for her first. A banth comes, and they all fight it, but it’s not good enough for Llana.

Book 2, The Black Pirates of Barsoom[]

After thirty-seven days of travel the group of three find a huge rift valley, near which are many human skeletons. Following a path down they end up in the valley below. The valley turns out to be very lush and fertile. Trees and a beautiful city can be seen in the valley. They decide not to approach the city, but entering the valley they stop for the night by a river. The next day however they are captured by 200 Black martians and taken to the city, which is revealed to be named Kamtol. Separated from the others, John Carter is strapped to a machine and asked many questions. A red slave named Jad-han, who turns out to be the brother of Janai, tells John Carter the machine he has been strapped to is called the Nerve Index Machine.  It has recorded his individual nerve indexes, which are unique for every person, and stored them in a master machine. If needed, this nerve index can be used to kill someone at long range with a vibration tuned to that persons nerve index. Doxus, the cruel Jeddak of Kamtol, uses the machine to keep his people at bay. Jad-han also says that if destroyed, the machine can never be replaced since the inventor is dead and the current maintainer, Myr-lo, could never repair it.

Llana is sold to a noble and John Carter is bought by Xaxak, who wants to enter him in the Lesser Games. He  befriends a soldier named Ptang and proving his worth by defeating a man named Ban-tor. The Lesser Games are described and compared with a minor race meet. There is boxing, wrestling and duels. Native politics and population (200,000) of Kamtol are explained by Ptang. Dator Nastor comes to call on Xaxak and bets 100,000 tanpi (one tanpi equals one dollar) at 2:1 that his champion can kill John Carter, who pretends to be terrible at the Lesser Games.

As the day of the games draws nearer, interest in the duel increases. The name of John Carter's opponent is Nolat. The night before the games, a man sneaks into John Carter's room and exchanges his sword with a shorter one. During the games the switch is noticed, and the sword is recognized as belonging to Ban-tor. John Carter is awarded victory and Nastor is forced to pay the 100,000 tanpi. Ban-tor is found guilty of exchanging the swords and is immediately sentenced to fight John Carter. Carter does not kill him, but puts a mark on his forehead. The Jeddak decides to buy John Carter at a ridiculously low price, so Xaxak answers by giving him away. Later, Doxus asks John Carter to teach him some tricks with the sword. Practice begins in a secret apartment.

In the posession of Doxus, Carter learns about the location of the master machine. He is given freedom of the city and uses this to come up with a plan of escape. He has to hurry, since soon a group of Black Pirates from the Valley Dor will visit Kamtor, and they will surely recognize John Carter from the incident with Issus. That night John Carter has to entertain the guests at a banquet by fighting the dator Zithad from the Valley Dor for first blood. Carter kills him however when Zithad is about to reveal who John Carter realy is, and uses the chaos that follows to flee the room, kill Myr-lo, and destroy the machine that prevents escape. He then covers his skin with black skin cream that he purchased earlier. Disguised as a black noble he goes to the hangars and steals a flier. With the flier he rescues Llana. They also pick up Pan Dan Chee and Jad-han on their way and speed away from the city.

Book 3, Escape on Mars[]

Upon arriving at Gathol, the group of four finds the city under siege by Hin Abtol's army. Their flier is damaged by enemy fire and they are forced to land past some mysterious camp fires. John Carter is captured by Red Men, and because he forgot to remove the cream they think him to be a Black Pirate. They take him to Gan Hor, who is in a camp with multiple Gatholian warriors that escaped from the besieged city. Gan Hor recognizes John Carter as the father of Tara, the princess of the Jeddak of Gathol. Gan Hor tells Carter about how Hin Abtol came with thousands of men who flew into the city with equilibrimotors (individual flying belts). All of these men were killed or captured, but now he awaits reinforcements in his circle around the city. The padwar who has gone to fetch Llana, Pan Dan Chee, and Jad-han returns without them because they could not be found -- just some blood on the ground where they had been.

John Carter paints himself red and sneaks into the Panar lines. He talks to Em-tar from Kobol, a a lone warrior who explains that he has been frozen for 50 years -- he’s just been thawed out for this campaign. From him Carter learns that Hin Abtol is planning to send Llana back to Pankor, so he heads for the landing field. Carter applies as a flier to Odwar Phor San, who is drunk. He easily gets appointed as dwar of the ship Dusar, which he discovers is out of commission because it won’t fly and has only one crew member: Fo-nar. Carter manages to fix the ship and secretly starts recruiting a crew of soldiers willing to betray Hin Abtol. Among them is none other than Tan Hadron, who ended up with the army when he was shot down while looking for the missing John Carter.

Once sober, Phor San tries to prevent the Dusar from leaving, but John Carter flies off with the ship anyway. Carter gives order to bomb the ships on the ground, crippling many of them. Next he questions his crew of 23 men: eleven panthans and twelve assassins - a tough lot. He tells them they are flying to Pankor to rescue Llana. One man, Gan-ho, refuses to go back to Pankor, so Carter carves him up with his sword as an example. Gan-ho decides to jump to his death rather than be killed by Carter’s sword. No one else questions Carter’s authority. Phor San gets drunk again and tries to take over the ship but is taken below. Still pursued by a couple of ships, they bomb one in a tricky maneuver and the other runs away. Carter takes 5 survivors aboard the Dusar, and they agree to join his crew against Hin Abtol. A warrior reports that Phor San and his companion have “fallen” through a bomb door to their deaths. One of the survivors is Gor-don, a Panar padwar.

The crew fears that they will be frozen again when they go to Panar, so they mutiny against John Carter. Since there are 4 men (Carter, Tan Hadron, Fo-nar, and now Gor-don) against the entire crew, they are quickly captured and bound. Carter and Gor-don are marooned upon the Arctic waste and the Dusar flies off with Tan Hadron and Fo-nar as prisoners. Carter and Gor-Don reach Pankor, where Carter pretends to be Gor-Don's slave. As a slave in Pankor, Carter learns the terrible secret behind Hin Abtols army: he has abducted about a million men from their home cities, and keeps them in a frozen state of suspended animation untill they are needed. Demonstrating his great strength, Carter manages to become a royal slave for Hin Abtol. In the palace John Carter finds Llana and the flier Hin Abtol stole from him in Horz. Hin Abtol pits Carter against Rab-zov, the strongest man on Barsoom. Carter throws him easily, then notices that Llana is sitting with the Jeddak. Next, Carter swordfights, Ul-to, and manages to tell Llana that when he kills him, she should run and start up his flier. They crash through the glass dome into freedom.

Book 4, Invisible Men of Mars[]

Carter and Llana of Gathol fly toward her home, deciding to go straight to Helium and warn the navy. Along the way they land in the rarest of Barsoomian forests for provisions. There they are captured however by a group of invisible warriors. One of them tells the two they are now the prisoner sof Pnoxus, son of Ptantus, jeddak of Invak. Pnoxus has taken a fancy to Llana. The invisible men cannot see each other and keep bumping into one another. Carter has to take the arm of a man while going through the dangerous “Forest of Lost Men,” and his hand disappears. His friendly guide is named Kandus.

At Invak, the warriors become visible because of special lamps that hang all around the city. The entire city is covered in vines which grow from trees in many central courtyards. Carter is chained by an ankle in one of the large courtyards. He is kicked in the groin by the invisible Motus, but manages to knock him out. The girl , Rojas, accompanying Motus leaves the bully unconscious in the street. Carter discovers his old friend Ptor Fak is also a prisoner in Invak. Ptor Fak explains the people of Invak become invisible due to a large pill they take every day. It lasts but a day and takes an hour before it takes effect. The Invaks have a rival twin city called Onvak which they fight quite ineffectively since both sides are invisible.

Carter learns that Llana is being held in the quarters of the female slaves and that Ptantus and Pnoxus are arguing over her. He gets a piece of wire from his friend Kandus. Rojas later visits Carter and declares her love for him. He decides to play along, hoping she can provide a way of escape, and asks her for some of the pills. She becomes mad however when she thinks John is in love with Llana. Kandus tells Carter that Llana has been given to Motus, and Carter suspects that it was the jealous Rojas’s doing. He asks Kandus to explain to Rojas that Llana is his granddaughter. He also tries to arrange a duel with Motus through the aid of a bribe of Ptor Fak’s jeweled medallion. Rojas comes to apologize. She fears for Carter’s life at the hands of Motus, but Ptor Fak tells her not to worry. Rojas gives them the pills, as promised, which they swallow, and Carter is taken away to the duel with Motus. In the throne room, Carter manages to have Rojas go to Llana with an invisibility pill and the message to wait outside the slave quarters a little after midnight.

Carter deliberatly plays with Motus untill the pill takes effect. He then kills him and flees the throne room. At midnight he finds Llana. Their escape is almost foiled, but in the end Carter, Llana, Ptor Fak and Rojas reach Carters flier and escape. When Carter tells Rojas he is already married, she doesn't seem to care. Back in Helium she confesses she tricked John Carter like he tricked her; she just wanted to use him to escape Invak and never truly loved him. 

Carter takes an invisibility pill and flies a ship to Gathol, where he scares the soldiers. When Hin Abtol arrives with reinforcements, Cartere abducts him while the fleet of Helium destroys Hin Abtols navy. The siege on Gathol is over and so is Hin Abtol's reign. Carter returns to Panar and frees nearly a million frozen men. He also brings back Pan Dan Chee, who finally wins the hand of Llana of Gathol. The final fate of Hin Abtol himself is not told.

Cover Gallery[]