The city of Zodanga is a hotbed of sedition for the Helium empire. The Guild of Assassins is growing in strength and John Carter is determined to wipe them out. He disguises himself as a wandering adventurer named Vandor and heads to the city. There he meets Rapas the Ulsio(rat) and finds service in the household of Fal Sivas. He is in competition with another scientist Gar Nul to create a synthetic brain to pilot a ship to Thuria(the nearer moon of Phobos).
Gar Nul is also head of the assassin’s guild and has kidnapped Dejah Thoris. He flees to Thuria and Carter must steal his employer’s ship to pursue. On Thuria Carter is captured by a race of blue haired people that have the power to mentally project themselves invisible. To escape Carter must join forces with his adversary and a cat man. Through heroic sacrifice and betrayal Carter and his friends manage to rescue Dejah Thoris and return to Barsoom.
The eight book in the series is the first since the third that John Carter is the main protagonist. It has intrigue and a whole new world to explore. I really enjoyed it. The book showed daily Martian society and showcased the dreaded Guild of Assassins which have been hinted at in previous books as the scourge of red Martian cities.