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    WARRIOR OF SCORPIO by Alan Burt Akers (Dray Prescott)

    DAW, 1973

    Dray Prescott, earth-human from the age of Napoleon, has been transported to far-off Kregan where he has claimed a position of power (see our reviews of TRANSIT TO SCORPIO and THE SUNS OF SCORPIO. In WARRIOR OF SCORPIO, Prescott is thrust naked into a battle against slavers and joins up with the bowman Seg Segutorio and is finally re-joined with his great love Delia. Together, he, Delia, Seg, and Delia's friend Thelda attempt to cross the great mountains that separate the Eye of the World from Delia's Empire of Vallia.

    Naturally, the trip is eventful. Dray and companions are sabotaged, find their way into the remnants of an ancient civilization, deal with barbarians and powerful wizards. In homage to the pulp fiction of H. Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Dray must repeatedly rescue Delia from powerful enemies. Even his 'friends' cannot be fully counted on, however, and Dray finds himself alone once again, against a hostile world.

    In many ways, WARRIOR OF SCORPIO is a transitional novel between Prescott's initiation into Kregan and his arrival in Vallia. Seg becomes a fixture of the Prescott series (he finally gets his own novel in Dray Prescott #32). Key innovations in WARRIOR is the use of magic and the introduction of rideable birds (does Dray Prescott's bird-riding anti-slavery campaign form a subtle attack on John Norman's bird-riding slavers?).

    All of the early Dray Prescott novels are a pleasure to read and WARRIOR is no exception. Fans of the series will enjoy seeing Prescott dealing with new foes, meeting the man who becomes his best friend, and being re-united with Delia. While it is as well-written as all of the early Prescott series, and while it provides a wealth of adventure, WARRIOR does not do it advance Prescott either physically or morally the way the earlier two novels did. See more reviews of novels by Alan Burt Akers/Dray Prescott.

    Three Stars

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