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Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny: Hindu Mythology meets Science Fiction


This is the first book of Roger Zelazny that I have read and I enjoyed it. It is measured and pitch perfect with words chosen and sentences crafted with great care.
What Zelazny does with great finesse is confuse the reader as to what the book is actually about. It starts of feeling like fantasy and mythology but the more you read the more it seems like Science Fiction but this is one of those books that makes it really hard to put in a shelf.
This book also has the perfect sentence to begin the book. It is rare that one sentence capture the soul of a book and yet invite you in but Zelazny really nails it when he writes

His followers called him Mahasamatman and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the Maha- and the -atman, however, and called himself Sam. He never claimed to be a god, but then he never claimed not to be a god.

It concerns itself with Sam and his tales. Humans have landed on an Alien Planet and made it their own and for some strange reason they choose to model their society as a Hindu one with all the problems that this brings about. Writing more would be giving away too much of the tale.
All I can say is read the novel.
If you have even a passing knowledge of Hindu Mythology your enjoyment of Lord of Light will be immensely increased.
It is an amazing piece of work and is a short, quick read which will stay with you for some time to come.

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