The Chessmen of Mars is a science fantasy novel from the Barsoom series. Tara - daughter of regular series-hero John Carter and Deja Thoris - meets Prince Gahan of Gathol, and is initially unimpressed, viewing him as something of a popinjay. Later she takes her flier into a storm and loses control of the craft, and the storm carries her to an unfamiliar region of Barsoom. After landing and fleeing from a pack of ferocious Banths (Martian lions), she is captured by the horrific Kaldanes, who resemble large heads with small, crab-like legs. The Kaldanes have bred a symbiotic race of headless human-like creatures called Rykors, which they can attach themselves to and ride like a horse. The Kaldanes imprison Tara, intending to fatten her up, then eat her... Will Gahan be able to rescue her? If so, will there be more trouble ahead?