Book Review: Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar

Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar by Edgar Rice Burroughs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tarzan and Jane have lost their vast fortune, so Tarzan journeys to Opar to plunder the treasure troves of that lost civilization. But his journey is perilous, and a treacherous friend brings ruin and betrayal that will bring down even strong Tarzan. Jane is left to defend herself against the marauding Arabs, and Tarzan will have to call once again on his animal friends of the jungle to save the day.

I always like the pace of a Burroughs novel. No frills or tangents, just straightforward action and plot that moves briskly. With very few words, Burroughs paints a vivid picture of the setting, the characters, and the action.

In this book though, it felt like the plot just twisted around on itself too often. Everybody gets kidnapped too many times, and then they escape only to be taken prisoner by yet another evil group. Warring African tribes, Arabs, witch doctors, Belgian military, wild Opar priests; there are too many villains! I just wish something different would happen, rather than constantly being kidnapped and escaping again.

Tarzan and Jane are good solid characters, and there’s a few good supporting characters. I was especially impressed with the Belgian Werper’s character changes. He’s always a villain, but he goes from being an accidental villain to a purposeful villain, and greedy villain to a remorseful villain, and back to greedy again. His internal mental processes were always interesting; how he would lie to himself in the midst of all his scheming. Good writing!

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