Saturday, May 15, 2010

Black Amazon of Mars - Leigh Brackett


Number of words : 23900
Percent of complex words : 5.3
Average syllables per word : 1.4
Average words per sentence : 15.3


Fog : 8.3
Flesch : 76.5
Flesch-Kincaid : 6.4


Eric John Stark

N'Chaka, the Man-Without-a-Tribe. Earthman, out of Mercury.


A dying Martian.


The warlord Ciara, Black Amazon of Mars.

Ban Cruach

A great Martian king of old.


Leader of the Riders of Mekh.


One of Ciaran's men. Elderly and crazed.


A Kushat girl who helps Stark. Balin's sister.


The military leader in Kushat.


A soldier of Kushat. Thanis' brother.


A noble in Kushat.


A girl Stark knew in his youth.



A Martian desert region.


Where Stark is heading. A city in the Martian north.

Thieves' Quarter

Where Camar was born.

Gates of Death

A pass that opens into the black mountains beyond Kushat. Domain of Ban Cruach.


Ancient Earth city.

Phobos and Deimos

The moons of Mars.

Jekkara and Valkis and Barrakesh

Southern cities of Mars.


Lord of Silence

A deity.

High Martian

Ancient dialect.



A crystal lens, some four inches across with an intricate interlocking of many
facets. Ban Cruach's, and contains his knowledge.

Crystal Globes

Ancient technology, used for heat blocking.


Technology of the ice-folk.


Riders of Mekh

Ciaran's barbarian warriors.



Shining faceless ones. The kings of the glacial ice of ages past. Banished by Ban Cruach.


Ban Cruach's sword

Worries the ice-folk.


Stark's friend Camar has taken the Talisman of Ban Cruach, and wants to take it back to Kushat. However, he has been mortally wounded, so passes it on to Stark.

Stark runs into a problem when he encounters the Riders of Merkh - a barbarian horde under the command of Lord Ciaran. He is brought in front of the lord, who shows both intelligence and brutality, but he manages to escape and make it to Kushat. Despite two of the locals, a brother and sister believing him, those in charge do not believe in barbarian hordes at the gate.

Hence, unprepared and despite Stark's effort, Kushat will soon be overrun. Stark decides to lead a charge, however, futile, and heads straight for Ciaran. They clash on horseback, both losing their weapons. This brings Stark an advantage in size as they grapple - and even more so when he realises Ciaran is actually female. She still has a good punch though, knocking Stark back.

Her own men are shocked by this revelation, but she declares he accomplishments, and when they waver she rides into them, slaughtering several. So the new boss is the as the old boss. Stark gets away in this confusion. Fascinated, however, he seeks her out in her new chambers in Kushat.

She says will eve go beyond the Gates of Death - and knows that Stark has the talisman.

Thanis' brother Balin has gone to the Gates of Death, which is very bad if in his anger at his city's loss he looses what Ban Cruach stived to hold in check. The coming of the ice-folk again.

Both Stark and Ciara are too brave to see the city go this way, even if it is not hers, and they head out to try and find Balin. There they find ancient super science and the old, cold race, and Ban Cruach's sword.

It is up to Stark to use the talisman and Ban Cruach's knowledge within to hold back this old anyway, and save Balin and Ciara.

5 out of 5

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