Algernon's Reviews > Lord of Light

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
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Jun 08, 11

bookshelves: 2011
Read in June, 2011

this one is le-gen-waitforit-dary, as in the stuff that myths are made of. It could be considered as a memory of our distant past or a glimpse of our future - a multigenerational spaceship that arrives on prehistoric Earth and lays the seeds of civilization as we know it, or the same multigenerational ship that is sent from Earth to colonize the distant stars. I have read some of these ideas in Erich von Daniken slightly provocative speculations from the 70's, but Zelazny does a much better job at presentation

The story is one of avatars and symbols, of the struggle between Light and Death, between freedom and tyranny, of friendship, love, dreams and hope transcending the physical body and continuing as "atman" - spirit, energy, ideas.
The book is a little confusing at the start, due to the decision to start the first chapter somewhere towards the end of the story, with Mahasamatman ressurection after his defeat in the attempt to overthrow the Hinduist Pantheon. The patient reader is rewarded, as the author doesn't set up to confuse and misdirect the attention of the said reader and I found the gradual revelation of the epic scope of the story very appealing.
The major selling point of the novel for me is Zelazny's masterful control of the language, alternating between the archaic phrasing of the Mahabharatta to the modern space faring quips. The prose soars to lyrical heights, as in the meeting between Kalkin and Khali in the Pavilion of Silence, or in the duel between Yama-Dharma and the nameless Buddha apprentice.

I've saved a couple of quotes to illustrate this:

[I] "But I recall the springtime of the world as though it were yesterday—those days when we rode together to battle, and those nights when we shook the stars loose from the fresh-painted skies!" [/I]

[I] Then, as so often in the past, her snowy fur was sleeked by the wind.
She walked where the lemon-colored grasses stirred. She walked a winding track under dark trees and jungle flowers, crags of jasper rising to her right, veins of milk-white rock, shot through with orange streaks, open about her. [/I]

I liked The Great Book of Amber when I first read it last year. I think Lord of Light is even better.
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Quotes Algernon Liked

Roger Zelazny
“The day of battle dawned pink as the fresh-bitten thigh of a maiden.”
Roger Zelazny, Lord of Light

Roger Zelazny
“But I recall the springtime of the world as though it were yesterday—those days when we rode together to battle, and those nights when we shook the stars loose from the fresh-painted skies!”
Roger Zelazny, Lord of Light
tags: youth


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message 1: by seak (new) - added it

seak I've heard lots of good things about this, but this review really makes me want to finally read it.


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