From the creator of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars comes . . . this.
Written in 1915 and first published in 1918, The Rider is essentially a comedy of mistaken identity set in the mythical European kingdom of Karlova. It chronicles the adventures of a prince and a princess who must marry to bring peace to their kingdoms, and of a young American reporter who wishes to marry a wealthy heiress against her family's wishes. Mix these four in with one mysterious and surly bandit, have them switch identities so nobody knows who is who, and you have a recipe for . . . mediocrity, actually.
Not much to see here. As much as I adore Burroughs, and as slavishly as I would lick his boots were he still alive to tread the unworthy dust of this planet, I have to say that this book is in itself an example of the kind of knockoff writing that Burroughs himself inspired: a second-tier tale with few gripping characters and a plot, like a miniskirt, which holds the reader's attention only by virtue of its brevity.
Not his best work, nor even his second best. If you want to look into old Ed, start elsewhere. This is a book for fans whose affection outweighs their taste. Like me.
If you're looking for dashing, bold adventure, read The Three Musketeers or The Prisoner of Zenda instead.