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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Arbane: Under Unfortunate Implications: ISTR the White and Black Martians were at war, but ISTR the Black Martians were the lesser of two evils?

stalkeryik: The Black Martians were indeed feeding and preying on the White Martians, being at the top of an intricate scam featuring a twisted food chain of cannibal races. On the other hand, the entire race undergoes a Heel-Face Turn after the second book, whereas the White Martians are presented as being pretty much irredeemably evil.

vultur: Definitely. The First Born (the Black Martians) are presented as a more 'noble' kind of evil (they still have some respect for the warrior virtues of the rest of the Martian culture), and are thus more redeemable than the parasitic (and apparently pretty much skill-less) Therns (the first group of white Martians encountered). (A different group of white Martians turns up in Llana of Gathol, the tenth Barsoom novel. They are dangerously xenophobic - not uncommon, nor unjustified, on Barsoom - but not calculatingly evil or cannibals.