LORD OF LIGHT is a story of myth and
science and man, all wrapped and twisted about each other into
an ineffable whole.
This would be an impressive novel if
Zelazny had simply managed to craft a narrative of such epic
scope which managed to be a grand vision of science fiction
world-building; a potent myth tapping into fundamental truths;
and a heart-touching character drama – each in turns. But what
makes LORD OF LIGHT one of the greatest novels ever written is
that it routinely succeeds at being all of these things at once.
One person will read a passage and be
captivated by the depth of Zelazny’s future history.
Another, reading the exact same passage,
will be awed by Zelazny’s uncanny ability to capture moments
of mythic perfection upon the page.
And yet another, while reading the same
passage as the other two, will be moved to tears or laughter or
joy by the sheer, human passion of Zelazny’s characters.
And what’s truly special are those
moments where your mind rises to Zelazny’s challenge and
expands to encompass all three perspectives at the same time –
rendering a passage resonant with myth and marvel and man.
On top of that, LORD OF LIGHT is ultimately
a narrative of canny subtlety. To even the most casual reader,
Zelazny will deliver a rip-roaring tale of unforgettable
quality: Men walk as gods; titanic duels and mighty wars are
fought with the unimaginable fires of science; and the fate of
mankind balances somewhere inbetween. But the more attention you
give it, the more rewarding it becomes – revealing layers and
hidden depths and wheels within wheels.
LORD OF LIGHT appears at #4 on my list of
all-time favorite science fiction novels. And it's a place