[[ read online Best ]] Lord DemonAuthor Roger Zelazny – Bilb-weil.de

Roger Zelaznywas 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 Zelaznybut 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 thingsblood, 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, smartmouthed, detached, homicidal when roused but 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

10 thoughts on “Lord Demon

  1. Alazzar Alazzar says:

    In a word: depressing.

    This book was started by Roger Zelazny and finished by Jane Lindskold after his death. I've given the book 3 stars, but it started out as a solid 5. The premise was great. The character of Kai Wren, Lord Demon, was great.

    Then Zelazny had to go and die, and Lindskold took over.

    The worst part of it all is that I'm fairly certain I can pinpoint the exact moment at which Zelazny stopped writing and Lindskold started. (I'll mention it in a spoiler section below -- I don't want to give that info away to people who don't want to see it, because then they'll be looking for the change in voice.)

    Anyway, once Lindskold took over, the characters became a little . . . over-dramatic. Zelazny's protagonists are always cool and calm, even in the face of danger or sorrow--we get the idea that they may be feeling pain on the inside, but they try not to let it show, and that makes them all the more interesting. Just look at Corwin of Amber or Conrad Nomikos, to name a few.

    Once Lindskold took over, everyone (not just Kai Wren) started being much more animated. She added lots of unnecessary adverbs to her dialogue tags (if one more person says something indignantly, I'm going to shoot myself). Now, one could argue that this was an intentional change based on the plot of the book, but it wouldn't explain why every character started acting differently at once (unless they were all under some magic spell that we don't know about). Li Piao, for example, had the feeling of a wise old man early on. He lost a lot of his mystique when he started saying things indignantly or with any other adverb (that's just the one that comes to mind because it was said so damn often; it's a strong word, so it's noticeable if overused).

    Another beef I had with the book (and this could very well have been Zelazny's doing, as it could have stemmed from his notes) was that a lot of things were fixed by magical means and it seemed like a cop-out. It seemed like the characters never had to struggle their way through a problem. How are we going to get out of this? Luckily, I have a spell that will do just the right thing! Isn't that convenient? Again?

    Once again, this could have been Zelazny's intent, as it's a plot point more than a style point. But I'm pretty sure I never noticed this gross misuse of power in Zelazny's sections . . .

    My interest dropped GREATLY after chapter 10 (and no, that's not where the Zelazny/Lindskold split was--I believe the split came earlier than that). There was a lot of moving between planes and whatnot, and I lost track of where people were and who had which objects of power in their possession. Mind you, this isn't necessarily because it was poorly described--it was more likely because I was just so disinterested by that point that I wasn't about to put any effort into following what was going on.

    For this reason, the last ~90 pages of the 276-page book were disappointing. And that's very frustrating, considering it definitely started out as a 5-star book and had a great premise. I haven't read any of Lindskold's other work, and now I'm reluctant to do so, though I imagine I'll still give Donnerjack a whirl some day.

    So sad. So very, very sad. All that potential--wasted. =/


    I can say with relative certainty that Zelazny stopped writing after chapter VI. After reading a few pages of chapter VII, I sort of did a double-take and went back, and that's when it hit me--the Zelazny goodness had ended, and we were in Lindskold territory. It was frustrating, but I accepted it and the book was still fairly interesting for the next four chapters. It was in those chapters that it dropped from 5 stars to 4. Then, from chapter XI to the end, we lost another star.

    I will say this, though--there's a sequence at the beginning of chapter XI that was pretty good. I actually feel like Zelazny may have written that (which is entirely possible, as it's sort of an isolated event within the plot). But if he didn't write it, and Lindskold did--well, kudos to her.

  2. William William says:

    A powerful story.

    Fascinating cast of characters, great character development.

  3. Ray Zdan Ray Zdan says:

    One of the best. The most enjoyable experience. Highly recommend.

  4. Whickwithy Whickwithy says:

    Another superb book by Roger Zelazny.

  5. William Mansky William Mansky says:

    One of Zelazny's trademarks is the ability to write about his superhuman characters and fantastic worlds so matter-of-factly that we can believe in their existence, no matter how distant they might seem (in the hands of a lesser author) from ordinary life. When this is done well, as it is in most of Amber, Lord of Light, and especially in his short stories, we never notice the tension between the wild imagination of the scenario and the realism of the writing. In Lord Demon, this tension is apparent from the first dialogue, in which the immortal demon protagonist discusses pizza toppings with his 300-year-old servant. The combination of the high mythic and the mundane is frequently amusing - and a novel can certainly do worse than amuse - but rarely believable. The story itself is classic Zelazny, with a powerful but slightly naive hero navigating the politics and intrigues of his fellow immortals. In fact, it reads a bit like a pastiche of his earlier works (particularly Lord of Light), and at times even explicitly references them.

    If one is inclined to put up with the protagonist, who ranges from oblivious to obtuse in matters of intrigue, the twists and turns of the plot are decently executed, and the world fairly imaginative for all its blatant Orientalism. The dialogue is stilted, though, even in the rare cases in which the speaker is a native speaker of modern English, and the flow is not helped by the protagonist's insistence on becoming infatuated with every major female character. Perhaps the blame isn't all Zelazny's - the novel was completed posthumously by Lindskold, and I like to think the master would have given it a bit more polish - but it showcases enough of his weaknesses, and few enough of his strengths, that a dedicated fan (such as myself) might prefer to pretend that Lindskold was the sole author. Freed from the burden of expectations that the name Zelazny carries, Lord Demon might stand on its own as a passable high-fantasy political drama; the flashes of Amber and Lord of Light only make its shortcomings more glaring in comparison. Ultimately, despite its few moments of charm, this is a book that fails to fulfill its promises at every turn.

  6. El El says:

    At risk of making some persons exceptionally angry, I can say that what makes me interested in Roger Zelazny is just about everything that is not his well-known Amber series. Lord Demon has some similarities to the Amber books but draws on the same information in a more complete manner. Kai Wren, the Lord Demon, is a more fully developed character throughout the book - some may argue co-writer Jane Lindsgold played a part in that. In any case, Zelazny's inspirations (East Asian myths, etc.) are obvious in Lord Demon and seem to actually serve a purpose. And there are dogs!

    What I get out of Demon that I failed to get out of the Amber series is the personality. I found Demon a much more touching story, even in the midst of some epic battles; I am not talking of the relationships Kai Wren forms with the ladies in his worlds, but the connections he makes with any of the other characters, particularly Li Piang, a character Kai Wren refers to at one point as being a sort of grandfather figure for him. I found Kai Wren's journey to discover himself and learn to trust himself after being screwed over by people he thought he could trust to be somewhat charming as it is a universal concern - with only the difference of here the concern is between demons and gods. And, again, puppies.

  7. Daryl Daryl says:

    There are three writers whose books occupy a special place on my shelves, whose books I tend to collect and keep, and whose books I re-read over and over. Those three are J.R.R. Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, and...Roger Zelazny. Lord Demon was one of the novels Zelazny was writing at the time of his unfortunate death and later finished by his friend and protege Jane Lindskold. Lindskold does an amazing job of keeping the feeling of the novel going, for the most part, but the farther one reads in it, the more one can feel the absence of Zelazny (the last chapter especially seems very different from the rest of the novel). For that reason alone, I'd probably have to lower the rating to 4 1/2 stars. However, the plot and characters here (as well as most of the writing) is vintage Zelazny: the casual but regulated use of magic, the movement between dimensions, the thorough plotting and discussions of motivation, plans, and events, the very odd and interesting characters presented matter-of-factly. Lots of things here reminded me of Zelazny's classic Amber series (and in a good way). I probably wouldn't recommend this to someone unfamiliar with Zelazny, but it's a great addition (and finale) to the works of a true master.

  8. Lisa Tollefson Lisa Tollefson says:

    Love this one. Demons and gods, a kite flying sorcerer, magic bottles, and a little homage to Corwin of Amber.
    Zelazny is excellent, but Lindskold adds something to this - I can't put finger on just what it is, and I can't say who wrote what during the collaboration, but this book is more than the sum of two excellent authors. Maybe it's an added warmth and depth to the characters, a deeper dimension than either author alone. Whatever it is, it's good.

    Kai Wren, also known as Lord Demon Godslayer, is an artist. He creates bottles, magical ones with whole universes inside. The one he lives in is a peaceful place, guarded by a pair of Fu dogs, fairies and a dragon. His companion, Ollie, and he are quite content with their lives, until Ollie goes out into the world to order pizza and is killed. This act starts Kai Wren on a journey that leads to unsuspected consequences, as well as some unusual places. He discovers that much of what he held true about the world, others, and himself is quite far from true.

    I'm saying this all badly. I just don't have the words, but if you like Zelazny, Lindskold, Brust, or so many others, try this one. It's really good.

  9. M— M— says:

    I really enjoyed reading this and I really wished Zelazny had survived to see it through publication. I think it would have been better if he'd lived long enough to properly finish it. As it stands, Lord Demon is imaginative and epic and full of fascinating characters and cultures, and just choppy enough and full of uneven loose ends to keep me from falling in love with it utterly. It's highly worth reading and I'll look forward to reading it again, but if anything it's strongest in that it makes me want to go back through Zelazny's bibliography and read all his works I'd never gotten around to reading before.

    The best review I've seen of it is on The SF Site.

  10. Rhonda Browning Rhonda Browning says:

    The main character Kai Wren is a glassblower who creates entire worlds inside the bottles he makes; worlds in which many of his demon-friends live, each inside their own bottle.

    Lord Demon appeals to me because of its contemporary nature and adult-like subject matter. The personal interactions and learning experiences of Zelazny’s characters are much like those of human beings, instead of what we’d expect from a typically-crafted, supernatural demon. In this way, he creates characters to which we can relate, and from which we can learn lessons in friendship, trust, and the balance between those values and self-protection.

    Coming from a person who's not really a fan of fantasy and sci-fi, this is a very good read!