Lord of Light

January 22nd, 2003 § 2 comments

Although I already knew Roger Zelazny as one of the great names of fantasy and science fiction, I had never read one of his books. Recently, I was found a copy of Lord of Light in the Public Library, and borrowed it. Lord of Light is considered Zelazny masterpiece. It earned him the prestigious Hugo award, and a nomination for the equally prominent Nebula. More so, it has figured in almost any single list of the greatest works of science fiction of all times since it was published. Considering those facts, I expected a great book, and it didn’t disappoint me.

The story takes place far in the future, when the Earth no longer exists, in a planet colonized by the crew of a human starship. In this planet, a band of the first colonists achieved such control of technology that they became virtually immortal, and now rule over the descendents of the starship crew and passengers as gods of the Hindu pantheon, including Kali, Goddess of Destruction; and Yama, Lord of Death. However, a man — who was once Siddhartha, one of them, and now is Mahasamatam, Binder of Demons and Lord of Light — dares to oppose their rule.

Obviously, like in any good book, the story is more complex than it seems, and Zelazny does a good job in developing the characters and revealing their true intents and motivations as the book progresses. I won’t spoil the pleasure of future readers; it’s enough to say that Lord of Light is an incredible epic where love, hate, honor and pride will shake the very foundations of a society.

With respect to Zelazny writing style, few writers know their trade as he does. The narrative is fast-paced, and he builds a detailed and beautiful world, blending fantasy-like technology with a medieval setting in a convincing way, and captivating the reader with the richness of the imagery. He also leads the story to a satisfying conclusion, without losing control of the plot.

In short, if you appreciate a good book, Lord of Light is an excellent choice.

§ 2 Responses to Lord of Light"

  • Ginger says:

    Lord of Light is definitely one of Zelazny’s better works. I’m also partial to the first Chronicles of Amber (I’m not so keen on the second series, though.).

    I think Dilvish the Damned and its sequel, the Changing Land, are also pretty fun, although I don’t think they’re as well known as Amber and Lord of Light.

  • Ronaldo says:

    Althought I knew about Zelazny, I didn’t knew much about his works until a few months ago. I had previously heard about the Amber series in a Fantasy/SF mailing list I’m subscribed to, but had never got really interested until I read about it in your blog.

    I’m now trying to find the books, but so far I’ve found that they’re either too expensive to import (I live in Brazil) or cannot be found in bookstores here. It’s a real bummer.

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