About the BookRoger Zelazny (1937-1995) was a wizard of the pen: he won six Hugos and three Nebulas and is revered by science fiction and fantasy readers. Lord Demon is his last novel, the second of two projects unfinished at his death. Jane Lindskold, his partner and a fantasy author herself, completed it from some manuscript, a few notes, and conversations she'd had with him. Fans are often skeptical of posthumous collaborations: "It's not real Zelazny"--but Lord Demon comes darned close. It deserves space beside the Amber series, The Dream Master, and Lord of Light. As Zelazny once said of another novel: "It has all my favorite things--blood, love, fire, hate and a high ideal or two."
Lord Demon is vintage Zelazny: a "scientific" fantasy built on favorite themes (the necessity of knowing oneself, of taking risks, and of accepting the vulnerability that comes with feeling passionately), drawing on East Asian, Irish, and hero's quest myths, and featuring his signature protagonist: erudite, smart-mouthed, detached, homicidal when roused but more often immersed in art, poetry, and the creation of alternate realities; unexpectedly kind to the weak and deeply romantic in his approach to women. The bad puns and wildly whimsical turns the story takes are also characteristic.
Fans will hear echoes of Amber: Kai Wren and his demon colleagues represent Chaos; the gods live in Origin, imposing their will to order the planes of existence; the powerful demon He of the Towers of Light has sculpted his home to resemble Origin, and approaching it is much like walking the Pattern; and so on. What's unique is what Kai Wren learns in Lord Demon. The immortal doesn't fail, nor does he return triumphant to marry and rule his folk. This hero and the author finally accept the limits of superpower and the pleasures in being "only human." ---Nona Vero