In which John Carter has only a bit part. His daughter Tara -- newly introduced for the work -- has center stage, as does the jeddak of Gathol, Gahan, who meets her af her father's house -- and doesn't impress her.
Also, the man her father wants her to marry does not get her for a dance, because he had asked another woman first. Between the two of them, she goes flying to relieve her spirits, and gets caught in a windstorm.
Gahan goes to help with the search, gets torn from his ship, and through a combination of flukes, ends up near her. When she is captured by strange beings, he realizes it and goes to aid her. And the adventures go on from there. It involves the beauty of song, a stepfather who is more concerned by his stepson than his own father, accusations of witchcraft -- the Corphals of Mars -- and the belief that only a jeddak can kill one, the title game played as a gladiator's game, an old man who admires courage, stealing a dagger, and much more