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    PRINCE OF SCORPIO by Alan Burt Akers (Dray Prescott)

    DAW, 1974

    After years of keeping him away from Vallia where his great love lives, the Star Lords suddenly thrust Dray Prescott onto Vallia itself. Yet even this gift is mixed. Prescott is thrust back to the time before he met Delia, even before his initial journey to the world of Scorpio.

    Prescott finds himself naked and thrust into danger--a danger so serious that the Aphasoe have sent another man to do the job. In the initial rescue against the slavers who have turned the island of Valka into their private preserve, Prescott succeeds where Alex Hunter fails. Still, the task of freeing Valka takes years--years that Prescott has by virtue of the Star Lords' casual alteration of time itself. For Prescott, the battle against slavery is eternal, a part of who he is. Yet the more important part is his love for Delia. Even success on Valka amounts to little. Vallia is torn with political unrest and the Emperor, Delia's father, plays each faction against the other holding on to what power he can. A rebellion is in the works, its secret message communicated by headless riders and the balance of power so fine that even a minor 'Strom' of a minor province such as Valka may play a role.

    PRINCE OF SCORPIO represents the best of the fine Dray Prescott series (see more reviews of novels by Alan Burt Akers/Dray Prescott). Here Prescott battles against the odds again, carving out a new position for himself, and finally re-uniting with his long-sought love. Delia too is shown as a competent character, acting on her own to help delay her marriage to whatever political force might help her father. The small army of close friends that Prescott developed during the first four novels in the series (a group which is little augmented in later books), rallies to Prescott's aid in moments of danger (of which there are many).

    Dray Prescott novels are filled with action, battle, and individual heroism and PRINCE OF SCORPIO is no exception. Here, Alan Burt Akers' sense of humor is more exposed and the reader can enjoy both pulse-rattling excitement and an occasional grin of pure enjoyment. PRINCE OF SCORPIO is one of the best of this fine series.

    Four Stars

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