Drell Master is an epic fantasy adventure in the style of A. Merritt and Edgar Rice Burroughs, but with erotic and occult elements that are beyond what the old pulp-fiction writers could express. The story unfolds on an exotic planet of sky-islands, sailing air-ships, naked Amazons, vampires, super science and black magick. The hero, Brand of Valadeen, is on a dark quest to awaken the ancient, monstrous brood-queen of the drells--deadly air-squids that haunt the clouds of Thoon--to aid the cause of the sky-people in their war with the cavern-dwellers led by Rothgar the Avenger. Rothgar possesses the implanted Crystal Eye of Doom, and is aided in his world-conquering designs by his voluptous, evil sister Nhur the Enchantress.
Brand, and the beautiful warrior-princess Lira of Jhalimar, battle slavers, vampires, sky-pirates, and black magick while the cataclysmic course of events is secretly manipulated by an ancient artificial intelligence and the agents of a world-wide secret society.
Drell Master is fast-paced,action-packed, and suspensful while being intricately plotted and textured. The story has several surprises and twists that will fascinate the thoughtful reader. The book is lovingly illustrated, by the author, with a color frontispiece and fourteen full-page drawings in the old 1940s pulp-magazine style
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Poke Runyon is a romantic adventurer who has done almost everything he writes about in his novels and short stories. He has been a U.S. Army Green Beret, with over 100 parachute jumps, a student of Ninjutsu, a professional SCUBA diver, a yachtsman, and an initiate of an ancient Tibetan tantric order. Runyon holds a master's degree in cultural anthropology from California State University at Northridge where he specialized in shamanism and sorcery. His fiction writing credits include two Cold War thrillers: Night Jump--Cuba, and Commando X --both from Pyramid Books in N.Y.-- and a series of underwater adventure stories in Argosy Magazine. His non-fiction works (also available from amazon.com) include: The Book of Solomon's Magick and Secrets of the Golden Dawn Cypher Manuscript.
Poke Runyon was born in 1935 in St. Petersburg, Florida. He grew up with the late Lin Carter, who went on to become the Grand Master of the post-W.W. II fantasy revival. Lin Carter encouraged Poke to finish Drell Master. The book is dedicated to Lin -- and, as an appendix, the author has included Carter's unpublished private instructions on "How to Create Fantasy Worlds."Review:
...Solid, colorful, vivid action story with plenty of originality and imaginative invention.... Better than I had hoped it might be! -- Lin Carter (1930-1988), former Editorial Consultant, Adult Fantasy Series, Ballantine Books
Make no mistake, this is a rip-roaringly well-told story, for Poke is first and foremost a pure storyteller. . . . -- David G. Van Arnam,
Author of: The Players of Hell, Star Gladiator, Wizard of Storms, Star Barbarian, Lord of Blood, Star Mind, and Greyland---(From Pyramid, Belmont, Lancer and Ballantine Books). Personal Letter from the reviewer to the author.
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