THE LAND OF HIDDEN MEN BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

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tarzan

Gordon King is an American doctor that has come to Cambodia to study the local diseases. At the jungle’s edge the guide he hires refuses to go with him. He is scared of the ghosts that inhabit the jungle. Gordon is not deterred and enters alone. He then quickly gets lost and contracts malaria.

Wandering half dead he is rescued by a family. They are escaped slaves from the city of Lodidhapura. After recovering he rescues a young girl from a panther. The girl is Fou-tan a princess of the other city of Phom Dhek. She was escaping from being forced to marry an evil man. She was subsequently captured by Lodidhapura and made a dancing girl of the leper king.

The two are later captured by Lodidhapura and what follows is adventures of the two as they escape and are recaptured by the evil fiancée of Fou-tan. Eventually Gordon diagnoses the leper king’s condition as being from the mushrooms he eats. Convincing him to abstain from the mushrooms his leprosy goes away and in gratitude offers his army to rescue Fou-tan. Gordan defeats the evil Bharata Rhatan and wins the princess and the kingdom.

This story is like a Tarzan book without Tarzan. It has all the elements, a lost civilization with two warring factions. A beautiful princess that is the unwanted affections of despotic rulers. The young handsome hero defeats the despots and gets the girl. A simple formula but it works. One of Burroughs’s stand alone novels that I really enjoy.

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