Wednesday, January 27, 2021

When The Green Star Calls

When The Green Star Calls is a fun throwback to an earlier time. It's the second of a series detailing the adventures of an Earthman who is astrally projected to the world of the Green Star- a faraway planet of immense trees and jeweled cities, of opal- winged dragonflies and swashbuckling adventure. The protagonist takes the form of a young boy- his previous adventures came to an abrupt end after his body was slain- and now, in his second sojourn to this world, he takes on a new identity- that of Karn of the Red Dragon tribe. It's a far cry from his earlier incarnation- the mighty warrior Chong-but at least he is back on the world of his dreams, once more on the trail of his lost love Niamh the Fair, princess of the jewel city of Phaolon. 

The Green Star books are a pastiche of the Carson of Venus books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Lin Carter is well known for his affectionate homages, and the style is very similar- there are princesses to be rescued, alliances to be made and lose, hair raising escapes and an abundance of swordplay. Karn finds himself taken in by a savant who lusts after ancient knowledge, meets a million year old descendant of the planet's ancient rulers, and has various other adventures, all while trying to rescue Niamh from her sinister captors. 

The point of view shifts from Karn to his companions- Janchan of Phaolon, a prince of that city who also seeks Niamh, and the mysterious creature from an ancient past who joins Karn on his quest. The result is a fast paced, never dull series of adventures and narrow escapes. And the writing- propulsive and always moving, albeit at times florid and overdone. This was the era of the pulp pastiches though- early seventies- and the spirit of Edgar Rice Burroughs flourishes. 

There's not really much to dislike for me here- books like this are a fun distraction. It's hard not to laugh at the coincidences, or the plot development that occurs in a few pages when they should take much longer- but the draw here is escapism, pure and simple. And this delivers.     


  1. This really does sound like quite an adventure and I'm all about books that provide escapism these days. I'm loving the retro cover too. :)

  2. That cover alone is enough to get me to try this!

  3. i love a book i can get lost in and this sounds like a good one
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. I was hoping you would review this book -- think you'd spotlighted this book cover some time back. Looks like a lot of fun!

    "Astrally projected" -- now how did they do that? I Googled and got to know it was published in 1973. Was astral projection a common travel trope (other than wormholes and space jumps, I mean)? I'd love to know more about space travel mechanics....

    And while I haven't read Carson of Venus, seems to be very similar to Princess of Mars as well? Niamh certainly fits that part, haha.


  5. Can't go wrong with a bit of escapism.
    Lynn :D

  6. Princesses, swordplay and a faraway planet...what's not to like about that? ;D

  7. I love when a book actually delivers the escape I'm looking for. Happy reading!

  8. I've been enjoying vintage mysteries and adventure stories so I can see why this one appeals. They're such fabulous escapism. This looks like a lot of fun!

  9. I misread savant as servant for a moment, and was like - wow, that's an ambitious maid! Oops! XD