Lord of the Spiders (aka Blades of Mars) (Trade Paperback)

2.60/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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by Michael Moorcock, with an introduction by Roy Thomas

Blades of Mars!

Once before, physicist and warrior Michael Kane’s experiments in matter transmission catapulted him across space and time to the verdant and war-torn Mars of the distant past, only to wrench him back home at his greatest moment. Now, desperate to return to the princess he loves and the kingdom he left behind, Kane throws himself once more into the ether, and finds himself again on Mars—but this time confronted with man-sized spiders, ancient mutated races, and a brutal civil war between the planet’s familiar Blue Giants. Can it be that he’s arrived thousands of years too late to find his beloved Shizala?

The creator of Elric of Melniboné, Michael Moorcock remains one of the most honored science fiction and fantasy authors of all time. With Kane of Old Mars, Moorcock’s Eternal Champion returns with interplanetary adventure in the best Edgar Rice Burroughs tradition.

“Michael Moorcock was one of the best... one who could turn a pastiche into something far more than mere imitation, a house of art in its own right.” —Roy Thomas, Former Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics

160-page softcover trade paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-082-7

About the Author

Michael Moorcock (1939– ) has been recognized since the 1960s as one of the most important speculative fiction writers alive. Born in London, Moorcock began editing the magazine Tarzan Adventures at the age of 15, and quickly gained notoriety for his character Elric of Melniboné, an anti-hero written as a deliberate reversal of recurring themes he saw in the writings of authors like J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert E. Howard. Many of his works, including both the Elric books and those of his popular androgynous secret agent Jerry Cornelius, are tied together around the concept of the Eternal Champion, a warrior whose many incarnations battle to maintain the balance between Law and Chaos in the multiverse, a term popularized by Moorcock referring to many overlapping dimensions or realities. In addition, Moorcock has also been recognized for his non-genre literary work, and his influence today extends into music, film, and popular culture. His writing has won numerous critical accolades, including the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement award, and in 2002 he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

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Average product rating:

2.60/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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Good, Quick Read


Michael Moorcock's Kane of Old Mars trilogy continues in the eighth Planet Stories book, under the name Lord of the Spiders*. After his untimely departure from Mars, Kane enlists a wealthy benefactor to help him recreate the machine that sent him to the red planet. The device works, but Kane finds himself in an area of Mars far removed from where he was before--and this time, he's caught up in a war between rival sects of the Argzoon, the blue giants he fought in the previous book. Kane becomes the battle-tactician for one of the factions, and discovers that an old enemy is responsible for the war. And will he ever see his beloved Shizala again? (sigh . . .)

Not surprisingly, this book is very much in the same vein as the first one. It is fast-paced, heavy on the action, and light on the exposition. More time, however, is spent on the history of Old Mars and the ancient beings responsible for the amazing technological advances present (probably my favorite part of the book is when Kane leads an Argzoon expedition to survey a lost city of the ancients). At 132 pages, this is another quick and mildly enjoyable read--it won't transcend any stereotypes, but it's fun for what it is.

* The original title of the book is Blades of Mars. I'm not sure why Paizo titled the book Lord of the Spiders, as there's only one brief chapter involving the man-spiders depicted on the book's cover.

Good but title misleading


I enjoyed this book, but I may have enjoyed it more had I not been mislead by the title.

While there is encounters with the spider people Its not in my opinion enought to justify the title itself. As other reviews have said already "Blades of Mars" would have been more appropriate.

I would say that the last quarter of the book was probably the best part of the book, and really made me want to pick and read the last book in the Kane trilogy.

Not as good as City of the Beast, but still enjoyable


The alternate title, "Blades of Mars" is much more appropriate, as the titular character and the creature on the cover play a very small role in the book.

Although the story wasn't as gripping and fresh as the first, it was still full of likable characters and some interesting scenes.

I'll agree with the introduction, that the Kane stories are essentially a bonus three John Carter books. You could do far worse than that. :)


Not quite as enjoyable at the first. Kane returns to Mars after getting some help and financing in building a machine, especially from an author acquaintance looking to recount his tales to the public.

He helps yet another rebellion succeed, fights some spider monsters, builds an airship, stops a war, and returns to find he actually has come back to the same time period, as his betrothed is still hanging around.


"Lord of the Spiders" was a huge disappointment. First of all, the title of the novel is completely inappropriate. There is little logic or purpose behind Michael Kane's arrival in the land of the Lord of Spiders, and suffice it to say that it is inconsequential to the overall "plot" (what little there is of one) anyway. While I generally enjoyed reading this story more than I did the first in the trilogy (City of the Beast), perhaps because it reads a little less like a hack an' slash novel than the previous book in the series, the other reviewers are right. There are way too many threads left dangling by the end of the story. The characters remain as bland as they were in the first book, and the ending left me thinking "meh". Moorcock spent so much time developing random encounters throughout the novel that he had no time/space left to write a compelling climax and denouement. Oh well...

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The Exchange

Rad cover!
Also, yay for more Kane!

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