If you look really closely and perhaps squint, you can make out a nubile young woman being carried off by a dragon/pterodactyl near the top of this cover, right under the words “In the Tradition of Conan”. Sadly, she is not topless, which makes her the lone female to appear on a Kyrik cover wearing something over her nipples. It’s not much of a covering, admittedly, but as a fan of smutty 1970s fantasy covers, I’ve got to say I was a little disappointed with this outing from painter Ken Barr.
I mean, Kyrik is supposed to be a bit of a “dark” hero, no? Nice iguana in the foreground, though. That really pulls everything together.
Here’s the back cover copy:
THE MIGHTY KYRIK FIGHTS THE DEMON WORLD
When Kyrik—warlock warrior—finds a dying man and a bloody parchment map, he is drawn into a whirlwind of evil in which demon lords contend for all Terra. With Myrnis, his gypsy sweetheart, and the aid of the thief pack, he brings five ancient magical gifts to the land of Surrilione—where he meets betrayal by the very demon lord he is forced to serve.
Gary Gygax listed the Kyrik books in his fabled “Appendix N: Inspirational and Educational Reading” in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide, which is how the ended up on my radar. The Kyrik books (as opposed to Gardner F. Fox’s other barbarian hero, Kothar) are devilishly difficult to find, but I managed to complete the set last year without cheating and using the internet. I haven’t read this (or its predecessor) yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
The talk of demon lords and the release year of this book leads me to believe there may be a fair amount of AD&D inspiration in this one. I’ll let you know once I’ve had a chance to read it all the way through.