Lord Demon

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9780380770236: Lord Demon

The great wars between gods and demons began five millennia ago--and ended with the demons' crushing defeat and banishment from their homeland. The demon race would have surely perished in the empty dimension of their exile had they not found a secret conduit to a safe and hidden plane...called Earth.

Greatest among the demons was Kai Wren--the Godslayer and Lord Demon--a master swordsman, dreamer, and glassblower who can contain entire universes in bottles of his creation; a legendary warrior who once, long ago, singlehandedly destroyed a god. But now, Kai Wren must seek vengeance for the murder of his devoted human servant, and he fears that this one death heralds the crumbling of a peace that has reigned for a thousand years.

Forced into a series of uncomfortable alliances, Kai Wren strives to preserve the Demon Realms. But his heart has become his fatal weakness, growing soft during years of peace. He has given trust where trust should not be given, only to discover that among his closest companions are those who will betray him--even destroy him--unless he can regain that which once made him LORD DEMON.

The great wars between gods and demons began five millennia ago--and ended with the demons' crushing defeat and banishment from their homeland. The demon race would have surely perished in the empty dimension of their exile had they not found a secret conduit to a safe and hidden plane...called Earth.

Greatest among the demons was Kai Wren--the Godslayer and Lord Demon--a master swordsman, dreamer, and glassblower who can contain entire universes in bottles of his creation; a legendary warrior who once, long ago, singlehandedly destroyed a god. But now, Kai Wren must seek vengeance for the murder of his devoted human servant, and he fears that this one death heralds the crumbling of a peace that has reigned for a thousand years.

Forced into a series of uncomfortable alliances, Kai Wren strives to preserve the Demon Realms. But his heart has become his fatal weakness, growing soft during years of peace. He has given trust where trust should not be given, only to discover that among his closest companions are those who will betray him--even destroy him--unless he can regain that which once made him LORD DEMON.

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Review:

Roger 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

About the Author:

Roger Zelazny burst onto the SF scene in the early 1960s with a series of dazzling and groundbreaking short stories. He won his first of six Hugo Awards for Lord of Light, and soon after produced the first book of his enormously popular Amber series, Nine Princes in Amber. In addition to his Hugos, he went on to win three Nebula Awards over the course of a long and distinguished career. He died on June 14, 1995.



JANE LINDSKOLD is the author of Brother to Dragons; Companion to Owls; Marks of our Brothers; The Pipes of Orpheus; Smoke and Mirrors; When the Gods Are Silent; and the recently published Changer. She also completed Roger Zelazny's penultimate novel Donnerjack. Educated at New York's Fordham University, she now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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