Much like Princess of Mars, Tarnsman of Gor ended with Tarl Cabot returning to Earth and desperately searching for a way back to the planet and woman he loves. We see with the introduction that Tarl is no longer the bookish man whom we met at the beginning of Tarnsman, he is much more barbaric.
When Tarl finally makes it back to Gor, he is given the tunic of a warrior. However, it is missing the insignia of his home of Ko-roba. Tarl ventures to his home to find the town has been completely decimated. He seeks to meet with the Priest Kings (the gods of Gor) and find out what fate has dealt his beloved Talena.
Something about Norman's writing style is so captivating. I know the Internet weirdos love to claim these books as smut, but I consider them pulpy action-adventure titles. However, I think I understand why the Internet weirdos despise this series. Bear with me.
If you have ever browsed the neckbeard fortress known as reddit, you'll stumble across some things you may wish you never knew. One of those things is a lot of chicks desperately seek to be hatefucked by some giga chad dude. I wish I could say this is an Internet only type thing, but no. I've known some chicks irl who desperately seek to be a mega chad's fleshlight for the weekend. It's weird.
John Norman, who used to teach philosophy, actually calls out this type of behavior in Outlaw of Gor. This book was written in 1968. The only queen on all of Gor tells Tarl about her dream in which she is kidnapped by a Tarnsman and is turned into his pleasure slave.
Tarl, being the lovable idiot he is, says, "that dream sounds horrible."
And she says "au contraire mon frere, it is the best dream I've ever had."
I'm not saying that's why people hate the series, but it definitely wouldn't surprise me if that was the catalyst. Moving on.
This book does what a good sequel should do, it expands the world and doesn't retread old ground. We are introduced to Tharna (the only town on Gor governed by a woman) and its politics. They capture men who have been in the city for more than 10 hours and turn them into slaves. If that's not equality, I don't know what is.
Overall, I enjoyed this one a little more than Tarnsman. The concept that Tarl is being used by the Priest Kings as a pawn, really intrigues me and I can't wait to read Priest Kings of Gor to close out the trilogy.