Tyrant Queen of Mars


Fiction - Science Fiction
425 Pages
Reviewed on 05/09/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Tyrant Queen of Mars by F. Rob Dorsey is the final novel in the Barsoom Pentalogy and to say I’m sad that this series has ended would be an understatement. On the other hand, this is the perfect conclusion to a perfect series and it ended on a blisteringly high note. This action packed and fast paced novel takes us years after the last novel ended and we get to see our beloved characters happy in the lives they are leading. Once again, the narrative was so powerful and filled with little anecdotes about the past novels to bring the story full circle and create a huge wave of nostalgia.

After the terrible war ended, Darus and Zurah were enjoying life with their almost 16-year-old son, Carthan, their pride and their joy. They were living a blissful life but, unbeknownst to them, something far more terrible than they had ever anticipated was going to happen. The Jeddara of Helium has gone bad and so has John Carter. The queen is sentencing even the most loyal warriors to jail and the pride of Helium, Darus and Zurah, are among them. With no escape in sight, Darus and Zurah have their hopes on their young son to save them and everyone else from impending doom. However, what no one realizes is that there is something far bigger happening, someone more powerful and crazy is looking to destroy Helium forever. Can Carthan save everyone?

The mystery and suspense was so intense at times, which just made the story even more perfect than expected. The characters were given page space to develop and bring their own personal stories forward and show that they have peaked! I’m in love with Carthan because I got to see little glimpses of Darus and Zurah in him, but at the same time, I saw his own personality as well. What can I say about Darus and Zurah? They are amazing; they bring such life to the whole story and make you wish the story would never end. I hope we get to see these characters some time soon, perhaps in the Carthan-centered novels? Perfect and brilliant as always!

Ray Simmons

I have just finished reading Tyrant Queen of Mars by Rob Dorsey. This is Book Five in the Barsoom Pentalogy. As such, it is the last book in this series, but I truly hope it is not the last story about this world or this awesome family. I have really enjoyed watching them grow, learn, and most of all, fight. When all is said and done, I guess I have a warrior’s heart. These books have been such a treasure and pleasure. Rob Dorsey couldn’t create a better tribute to the memory of the late, great Edgar Rice Burroughs. He has expanded on the culture and people in the original stories and introduced them to a new generation of readers. It is a thrilling ride and, like the best stories often are, it is a ride you hope will never end. Fans of good, clean, old-fashioned action and adventure tales will get exactly what they need when they read Tyrant Queen of Mars.

It’s hard to say what element of Tyrant Queen of Mars satisfied me most. Rob Dorsey excels at creating a perfectly balanced story. The plot moves swiftly and logically. It is always filled with action and suspense. I cared about the characters, and it was a delight not only to watch John Carter’s son come into his own, but be introduced to his grandson, and all the new members of the next generation. The setting is equally well done as Mars and its various cultures are introduced and explained throughout the story. I just loved this book and this series. I hope it never ends.

Lesley Jones

In Tyrant Queen of Mars by F. Rob Dorsey, the final volume of The Barsoom Pentalogy, the Zodangan people are finally living in peace. It has been fourteen years since Zurah’s brother launched a vicious attack on the people of Helium. Zurah, Princess of Helium, and her dearest lord Darus of Helium now have a son, Carthan, who they are teaching to become a master swordsman and warrior. Little do they know that someone from their past is about to emerge and unleash revenge. Their enemies have been working on their deadly plan for ten years and they now have everything they need to bring Helium to its knees, including an army of 100,000 warriors. Zurah and Darus must once again fight for survival, only this time even the people they could once trust have turned against them. Their son, Carthan, prepares for his first battle, but at only seventeen, is he a match for this sophisticated and deadly force?

If you haven’t read the previous volumes of this series, I would highly recommend that you do. However, the author has written each volume so cleverly that each is a standalone story in its own right. In Tyrant Queen of Mars, I enjoyed reading a little more about the history of the characters, especially John Carter and the circumstance around his arrival from Earth. The plot moved at such a fast and exciting pace with very interesting and diverse characters. The battle scenes were amazing, especially the final one. I thought Carthan and Elon were fantastic characters with such a great fighting spirit. The antagonist Val Tar was so cold-hearted and devious, a superb villain. As in the previous volumes, the author has created strong and interesting sub-plots which all cleverly weave together. The ending made me gasp in places, although it was a fitting conclusion. This is so much more than a story of battle, and is one of relationships, honour, and integrity. Highly recommended.

Liz Konkel

Tyrant Queen of Mars by Rob Dorsey is the fifth and final book in The Barsoom Pentalogy. It's been fourteen years since their last battle, since they faced Zurah's brother. As they enjoy a time of peace, Val Tar enacts a treacherous plan and turns to Dejah's secretary for help starting the first step in his plan. Zurah and Darus decide their son, Carthan, and his friend, Elon, son of Elona and Skola, are ready for their first mission. Meanwhile, Dejah and John Carter appear to change overnight, turning on their family and the kingdom in cruel and unthinkable ways. As Dejah grows colder, she turns on Zurah completely, seeing her as the enemy and striking against her by taking the science project she was working on and threatening to also take away her son. Zurah and Darus have no choice but to turn to their closest friends, Elona and Skola, to escape Dejah's tyranny. It's soon discovered that the worst enemy may just be within.

Rob Dorsey finishes The Barsoom Pentalogy with an exciting adventure and a dangerous battle for a kingdom! After fourteen years, two of the prominent couples are more settled into their lives and relationships with routines and even the family strife has reached a peaceful resolution. Elona has settled into a life with Skola and their teenage son, Elon, while Zurah has been welcomed into the family despite the curse of her last name. Val Tar is the final villain they face. He takes a psychological approach as he uses Dejah and John Carter to tear apart not only their family but their kingdom. He brings out their worst traits while those they love have to confront the worst traits in them and find a way to save them from themselves. Dejah becomes a tyrant, cold and cruel, while John Carter is aggressive yet submissive to Dejah. The kingdom becomes twisted and, living under so much pressure, they plan to revolt. Dorsey explores these characters who've been developed over the previous four books by directly addressing every negative quality they have and the issues still bubbling under the surface between them. The foundation this family has built begins to crumble as Zurah and Darus have to fight not only against Val Tar, but their own family. The friendship Darus and Zurah have with Elona and Skola has only gotten stronger and more charming, forming a sweet family unit and fierce allies.

Dorsey introduces two new family members in the guise of teenage sons Carthan and Elon. These two younger characters bring a fun outlook to the story as they're a new generation. Elon and Carthan each experience coming of age journeys as they take on their first mission and then having to understand this internal battle in their family. They stand out among their warrior family members as for the first time they have to confront the reality of battle and the guilt of killing someone. They have to understand what bravery and courage mean while discovering for themselves what sort of warriors they will be. Tyrant Queen of Mars is a dazzling conclusion with the characters you love facing their worst enemy, with the same adventure, wit, and heart as the previous books while introducing new characters and a surprising turn of events.

Christian Sia

Tyrant Queen of Mars by F. Rob Dorsey is the concluding entry in The Barsoom Pentalogy. We are thrown again into the world of Helium. This time, the Prince, Darus, and his wife, Zurah, are almost comfortable with the peace that has reigned all this time. They have been focused on raising their son Carthan — who is almost sixteen now— to the point that they have become oblivious to an impending threat to the kingdom.

A tyrant Jeddak is about to invade Helium and his army has expanded and grown in strength. Things are getting worse in the free world of Helium, thanks to the erratic and despotic actions of the Queen who has started punishing people for the flimsiest of reasons. Things get even more complicated when Darus and his lovely wife are thrown into the pit, together with the most trusted Admiral of Helium. Can the young Carthan find the resources and the strength to save his parents and defeat the tyrant Jeddak?

F. Rob Dorsey’s work is highly imaginative and the reader is catapulted into a universe with its own rules and culture, an exciting, free world that is under serious threat. I loved the way the conflict is handled, deftly developed alongside the evolution of compelling characters like Carthan. The narrative is a gorgeous treat for epic fantasy buffs. It is transporting, engrossing, and packed with action. Tyrant Queen of Mars features great writing and a setting that is unique; the writing is punctuated by plot-driven dialogues — rich and contributing to character development. The story is riveting, fast-paced, and utterly enjoyable.