First published by Daw 1972; this futura copy 1974.
Illustrated by Tim Kirk
Dray Prescot, a 19th century seaman, is snatched in the best Burroughsian tradition from a perilous situation on Earth and deposited on the planet Kregen. After a perilous river journey through the heart of a great forest, he encounters a human tribe and begins his predictable rise through their ranks. Romance is provided by the lovely Delia of the Blue Mountains; conflict, by the feuding great houses of the canal city of Aphrasöe.
At key moments Prescot is visited by visions of a great scorpion or a huge brightly coloured bird, perhaps the watchers of some game being played out in which he is a pawn. The early chapters of the book, the journey through the forest, are engaging; and Aphrasöe is nicely evoked; but for the most part this is fantasy-by-numbers, predictable and quickly forgotten, but enjoyable for all that.
I've noted that the cover painting is by Chris Achilleos (though there's no credit given on the book). The full page illustrations - unusual in paperbacks - are by Tim Kirk. Alan Burt Akers is of course a pseudonym of prolific British fantasist Kenneth Bulmer.
The first few Scorpio books are just as good as ERB.
They do tend to get a bit long winded as time goes by.
The Michael Moorcock two books about Mars are also good. A homage to ERB.
Thinking about the dates on the Scorpio book, I was probably reading my last Burroughs' fantasies at the same time, and getting into Moorcock. The comparison with Burroughs is probably apt. I read Bulmer's short horror and SF without much excitement, but at the time this Scorpio novel did indeed seem 'lighter'.
The Moorcock's all had that sour edge to them, although even he explored Burroughs territory of course (as E P Bradbury, later reprinted with new titles by NEL probably and under his own name). This seems all good grist to the mill here. I've been looking through old reviews and found references to Burroughs Martian novels and Moorcock's fantasies.