After John Carter's arrival, a boat of Green Martians on the River Iss are ambushed
by the previously unknown Plant Men. The lone survivor is his friend Tars Tarkas,
the Jeddak of Thark, who has taken the pilgrimage to the Valley Dor to find Carter.
Having saved their own lives, Carter and Tars Tarkas discover that the Therns, a
white-skinned race of self-proclaimed gods, have for eons deceived the Barsoomians
elsewhere by disseminating that the pilgrimage to the Valley Dor is a journey to
paradise. Most arrivals are killed by the beasts of Valley, and the survivors enslaved
by Therns. (Summary by Wikipedia)
John Carter, an American Civil War veteran, goes prospecting in Arizona and, when
set upon by Indians, is mysteriously transported to Mars, called "Barsoom" by its
inhabitants. Carter finds that he has great strength on this planet, due to its lesser
gravity. Carter soon falls in among the Tharks, a nomadic tribe of the planet's warlike,
four-armed, green inhabitants. Thanks to his strength and combat abilities he rises
in position in the tribe and earns the respect eventually the friendship of Tars
Tarkas, one of the Thark chiefs.
The Tharks subsequently capture Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, a member of the
humanoid red Martian race. The red Martians inhabit a loose network of city states
and control the desert planet's canals, along which its agriculture is concentrated.
Carter rescues her from the green men to return her to her people. (Summary from