"Forbidden City" is generally considered a rather weak Tarzan story by dedicated and oft-times critical readers because the original tale came from a radio serial written by Rob Thompson. Burroughs’ heart was apparently not into revising "Tarzan and the Forbidden City" for magazine and book publication. Burroughs teams his ape-man up with his old friend d’Arnot, who explains the history of Tarzan to the characters and to the reader. The author initially uses a case of mistaken identity between Tarzan and Brian Gregory but this plot device is soon abandoned. "Forbidden City" is a tale of treachery, deceit, greed,--and trust and love. The novel contains Burroughs' trademarks of capture and escape, unrequited love, and heroic deeds. Burroughs’ prose has been better in other Tarzan novels, but as one of the middle tales where plot redundancy and lost cities seem to stand shoulder to shoulder, "Forbidden City" is nonetheless a required item for the completist.
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