Review: The Queenslander (Brisbane) August 9, 1924
Lady Dorothy Mills has written before of the “Dark Continent,” but never with more compelling effect than in her last book, “The Arms of the Sun” (Duckworth), Caryll Rose, a wealthy widow, with a flair for adventure, explores Central Africa, is captured by an Egyptian prince, and taken to his stronghold at Krao. There she is drugged into complaisance until an Englishman, another captive of the Egyptian’s Followers, rescues her. But the charm of the story lies in the description of Krao and its unknown people. Lady Dorothy has handled very skilfully the old story of Prester John and has woven into a likely-sounding tale the ancient history of the Chaldeans. From this ancient civilization the people of Krao boasted their descent, and in spite of centuries of retrogression their astute ruler, educated in the ancient scientific knowledge of his people and backed by the education of the English Public School, hoped to fulfill the old prophecy of a Great King who was to rule the world. He had trained to his hand a magnificent, army, and how near that force came to shaking the world gives the author a chance to tell a moving and epic story.
Description: L. W. Currey Inc. (Booksellers)
THE ARMS OF THE SUN. London: Duckworth & Co., . Octavo, pp. [1-10] 11-284 [285-288: blank] [note: first two and last two leaves are blanks used as front and rear free endpapers and paste-downs], original red cloth, front and spine panels stamped in black, publisher’s monogram stamped in blind on the rear panel. First edition, probable later binding. Lost race thriller concerning the hidden city of “Krao” in Central Africa which has slept for hundreds of years. In their stronghold, the ruling class descended from ancient Chaldeans, has laid careful plans for world conquest. Their scientists have bred a race of zombie-like ape-men (newborn monkeys are injected with human blood mixed with certain chemicals) and created a sophisticated plague bacillus (which brings quick death, spreads rapidly, and loses it potency within 30 minutes). With their bacilli perfected and their army of 750,000 synthetic men, hidden underground in hollowed-out mountains, their leader, M’Bon (a Fu-Manchu-like character) is making final preparations to launch his war of world conquest. M’Bon wishes to marry an English woman and make her the white queen of his empire, and this proves to be his undoing … despite his electric stun gun. One of the more imaginative lost race novels of the period. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, pp. 157-58. Bleiler (1978), p. 140. Reginald 10152. A clean, nearly fine copy. A scarce book. (#148838).