The Masters of Mars is the story of a race of cat people who live on Mars after humanity goes extinct (possibly).Hadyn of Mars
: The Fra'r take control and Hadyn, daughter of the recently assassinated King, goes on the run with an eye toward putting down the uprising.
The story was pretty good but not as much like ERB as I was hoping. The twists and turns surprised me at times and I didn't see the ending coming, which is always a huge plus for me. Nods toward ERB and other Mars writers and scientists were pretty cool. There were cities called Burroughs, Sagan, and Bradbury, for instance.
Things I didn't like? The inconsistencies of the names of the cat people. I could buy Hadyn since her mother named her after a composer. Others really irked me. One of the cat people was named Mighty, another Jeffrey, and another Kaylan. That pretty much sums it up. Sebastian of Mars
: Young Sebastian, son of Hadyn, is crowned King of Mars just before Frane's revolutionaries start another rebellion. Sebastian goes on the run and stays will rebels and, later, a nomadic clan before infiltrating the F'rar army, growing up in the process.
The plot of this one was very similar to the plot of Hadyn of Mars but better executed in this iteration. The ending would have been a surprise if not for the ending of the previous book.
One thing I still don't like is that Sarrantonio doesn't take advantage of the fact that his protagonists are cat people rather than humans. Is it too much to ask to have a fight that involves teeth and claws?
While these two books have had their good points, reading this omnibus is similar to eating a two foot sandwich. It tasted good at first but after a while, you're just trying to finish it. Queen of Mars
: Clara, Sebastian's daughter, is crowned queen of Mars. Sidenote: I'm so glad this wasn't called Clara of Mars. Anyway, just like in the other two books, Frane attacks and plunges Mars into chaos. Again. Clara, with help from the Science Guild, goes into hiding, matures a bit, then goes after Frane.
In addition to my earlier complaints, here are a few more. All three books use nearly the exact same plot structure. By the third book, the surprises weren't surprises any more. Frane's motivations were never really explained. I get that she wanted glory for the Fr'ar clan but that didn't really explain things enough for me, not to the extent that she took things. She was really one dimensional as a villainess, which was a shame considering she had a lot of potential.
I'd give this a 2.5 if I could but I'm not giving it a 3.