Pros:Good story, brings back Jad-Bal-Ja
Cons:Seems to have no direction, ends suddenly
The Bottom Line: Nice story and needed if you want a complete Tarzan series.
Tarzan was roaming the Northern reaches of the jungles that he called home when he discovered a man who was lost and needed assistance to make his way back to the city he hailed from. Normally, the Ape Man would have merely observed a stranger to make certain that he meant no evil to the lands or their people, but this man was garbed in strange clothing and spoke a language that Tarzan had learned in another lost city far to the south (see Tarzan and the Lost Empire). The language was Roman and the man was going north rather than south. Once his curiosity had been aroused, Tarzan decided to join the stranger in his journey back to the city that he had been told was made of ivory. Along the way, the rains came and flooded a river that the two had to cross. Just prior to attempting to cross the river at a ford, Tarzanís new friend pointed out a marvelous bridge that was made of solid gold bricks and a road that was paved with gold, which lead to a city built from the precious metal. The men who lived in the city were enemies of the Athne, the city made from ivory, so the two had to cross the swollen river without the aid of the bridge.
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But when Tarzan neared the center of the ford, he stepped into a hole and was swept away by the current. When he was at last able to make it to shore, he found himself close to the marvelous city and soon was captured and accused of being an assassin sent to kill the Queen of Cathne. Thus begins the strange adventure of Tarzan and the City of Gold.
The Queen of Cathne was, in fact, quite insane. Everyone was suspect and she ruled her city with an iron fist. There were laws in place that were really quite unfair, such as the fact that everyone was guilty and no trial was ever granted, merely a hearing before the Queen where the sentence was passed. In Cathne, lions were considered Gods and were raised and trained for war. Tarzan was sent to the arenas to fight these creatures without weapons and at first he was a bit worried. In the wild, against a regular lion, Tarzan had an even chance of winning without weapons, but how would he fair against one that had been trained since it was a cub to attack and kill men?
Follow the adventures of Tarzan as he explores this most savage city and discovers many wonderful and dangerous things. Although this novel starts off as Tarzan is traveling to the city made of ivory, he never quite makes it as he is forced to defend himself from the people of Cathne. Despite being a captive for the bulk of his stay, Tarzan was able to make some close friends and eventually wins his freedom in a most unusual manner.
Some of the bonus features of this novel include the reaction that Tarzan gets from these people because they had never before seen a bow & arrow, the return of Jad-bal-ja, the golden lion, and a good dose of Tarzanís grim, almost gothic brand of humor. I was a bit disappointed by the seemingly directionless plot, but eventually the tale came to a satisfying end, even if it was a bit abrupt. Far from the worst Tarzan novel, this one also fails to make the grade that would place it among the best of the series.
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