The third installment of Akers’ long, long Kregen series is absolutely formulaic sword and planet fiction. The book features beast-men, airships, exhaustive detail of exotic military technology, a kidnapped princess, a predatory queen, an arena battle with a monster, and heroic nudity. Protagonist Dray Prescott’s companion-in-arms is Seg Segutorio, a name that recalls the Tars Tarkas of Barsoom, although Seg is more conventionally humanoid than the green Martian. The bird steeds that are called tarns in the Gor books feature here as multiple species, including corth and impiters.
One little innovation: A footnote points out a lack of continuity with the previous volumes, and opines that some of Prescott’s memoir has been lost. It’s a sort of retnoncon! Along with a different allusion to missing tapes in the second book, this may have been the author’s scheme to open up gaps in the narrative that might later be filled with further writings.
Towards the middle of this book I was getting genuinely bored of planet Kregen (pretty unforgivable in a book of this sort!), but the pace picked up toward the end, and I genuinely enjoyed the last two or three chapters. I guess I’ll read some more Dray Prescott, but not very soon. [via]
The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.