Tarzan and the Lost Empire

by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Series: Tarzan 12
Reviewed date: 2019 Jul 28
Rating: 4
159 pages
cover art
cover art

This is a fantastic Tarzan adventure. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the plot is more straightforward; Burroughs dispensed with the convoluted capture-and-escape-and-recapture plots that feature multiple groups marching through the African jungle.

Instead, we get a hidden valley deep in the heart of Africa that holds two small city-states founded two thousand years ago by a rogue Roman legion. Each city has its own Roman Emperor, its own legions, centurions, patricians, plebeians, and slaves. They speak a dialect of ancient Latin.

Tarzan is taken captive and is sent to fight in the arena. That leads to one of my favorite scenes: after Tarzan knocks his opponent out, the Emperor orders him to kill the unconscious man because the fight is not over while two men remain alive in the arena. Tarzan picks up the unconscious man and heaves him into the stands directly at the Emperor. Now there is only one man alive in the arena: Tarzan. The match being technically ended, Tarzan strides out of the arena.

Tarzan helps foment a revolution, which looks to end in disaster until his Waziri warriors show up and save the day. The cruel Emperors of both cities are deposed and killed, and good honest Emperors are installed in their place.

My only complaint (and it's a minor one) is that this felt more like a Barsoom story than a Tarzan story.

Archive | Search