This is the Temple of Doom of the John Carter series. Dark, creepy, adventurous and awesome.
Picking up ten years after A Princess of Mars ended, John Carter is finally transported back to Barsoom (Mars), eager to be reunited to his beloved princess, Dejah Thoris. Yet when he wakes up he is in a dark corner of Barsoom that he has no knowledge of. He soon finds that he must battle his way out of the very center of the holiest city on Mars, the headquarters of the diabolical cannibalistic false deity that holds the planet under her spell.
Action packed and ending with a heart-wrenching cliff hanger, this book makes for an entertaining read.
I’m not one to try to read too deep into these kind of books but at many times I wondered if Burrows was making a subtle attack on religion in general through this book. A Princess of Mars seemed to be critiquing communism at times, an ideaology which was gaining a lot of traction at the time of its writing. I could see the theme of exposing false mythologies and traditions in The Gods of Mars as Burroughs way of commenting on the modernization of his era. Again, these are only my conjectures.