A nice story, one that takes us along a familiar path, but takes the time to point out some new features along the way. I loved the conversational style Kirtley used to tell the story. The more modern sensibility in both presentation and setting really work to carry the reader along on the journey of discovery. Fables are time-tested stories of the impossible. “Beauty” is a nice continuation of that tradition, one that’s well worth your time.
Ghar Han is a memorable character as he tries to redeem himself in battle. David Barr Kirtley takes the situation and avoids a pulp story with a resolution that is both satisfying and has something to say.
And Robert E. Waters adds:
Kirtley works it out very nicely and shows us how someone classified as a “freak” might be treated in a very rigid place like Barsoom (and through Ghar Han’s eyes, we get a glimpse of how John Carter himself must have felt when he first appeared on Barsoom).