In 1967, Roger Zelazny wrote his masterpiece, "Lord of Light" which was followed two years later by its equal, "Creatures of Light and Darkness".
Although he was to write many excellent and challenging novels in the next twenty-eight years, he never quite reached the heights of originality of these two works. His later work is more careful, more polished and (in the case of the Amber series) more formulaic. It is all very enjoyable, but lacks the breathtaking daring of "Lord of Light" and "Creatures of Light and Darkness". Especially in "Creatures" he writes without rules. As strange as it seems, the best parallel I can draw is the films of Quentin Tarantino. In "Kill Bill" there is an extended anime sequence right smack in the middle of the movie. That should not work, but it does. In the middle of "Creatures", the narrative is suddenly carried by a lengthy poem. That works so well it is hard to imagine it written any other way.
Although less experimental than "Creatures", "Lord of Light" was very unique it its day and introduces us to many of the elements that would ensure Zelazny's lasting popularity: morally ambiguous heroes, tragically flawed villains, the problems of god-like beings, ripping, non-stop action, and shameless, beautiful prose.
I applaud Audible for bringing back this influential book and introducing it to a new audience. The narration is unfortunately mediocre. The narrator frequently steps on the best lines or mangles them with poor timing. Nonetheless, the magic shines through. I invite everyone to rediscover this amazing classic that defined the genre of Science Fantasy.
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