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Lord Demon Mass Market Paperback – February 8, 2000

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (February 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380770237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380770236
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,701,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Zelazny left two novel manuscripts unfinished when he died in 1995. One was Donnerjack, which Lindskold (Brother to Dragons, etc.) completed for 1998 publication. This is the second. Zelazny is best known for characters who, in between waging interdimensional battles and building planets, still have time to be very human. Lord Demon, also called Kai Wren, and sometimes Godslayer, follows that familiar model. Once the greatest of his kind, Kai, along with the other demons, was banished from their homeland 5000 years ago by the gods. The demons found a way to Earth, specifically China, where they rebuilt their lives. For the last few millennia, Kai has withdrawn from demon society, focused on constructing splendid magical bottles infused with his chi. Now his human servant and best friend has been murdered. Assuming the crime is merely one born of an old grudge, Kai doesn't take it too seriously. That is, until he's betrayed and stripped of his ability to manipulate chi energyAreducing him to the merely human in a new war among demonkind. Fighting back means dangerous alliances and sticking his neck out as he hasn't done for thousands of years. Most dangerous of all, however, is the possibility that Kai is just a pawn in a plot that passed him by years ago. Though the novel is slow to get moving, once the fight is on, it doesn't let up. The narrative weaves a fine line between tragedy and humor, sometimes slapstick, as Kai gathers a ragtag band of Chinese sorcerers and shape changers and Pekinese dogs. Lindskold effectively captures the voices of Zelazny's wise-cracking characters and continues the expert blending of magical and mundane that makes his work so enjoyable. This novel is fine Zelazny, and a fine tribute. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

As previously noted, the ending is too pat.
I became a fan of Roger Zelazny after reading the Amber books and Lord of Light.
Marshall L.
While this book is certainly not a bad read, it did disapoint me a bit.
Jeff Viar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By LVX on March 11, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a bit surprised to read some of the scathing comments that other reviewers have posted about "Lord Demon," and from the general trend of these reviews I suppose myself to be among the minority of Zelazny fans who thoroughly enjoyed this book. So be it. "Lord Demon" was fresh and original Zelazny fiction, full of warmth and wit and all of the other goodness that readers have come to expect from this master of letters. Zelazny was never an author to churn out endless carbon-copy reworks of the same tired themes, and once again he succeeded in breaking out of his own mold when he wrote this book. In fact, I suspect that many of the negative reviews about "Lord Demon" are rooted in the fact that this novel, like so much of Zelazny's fiction, is completely different from anything else that he's ever written. This book is not "Nine Princes In Amber," which is appropriate enough since Zelazny already has a book by that name!

Kai Wren is something of a self-imposed exile among demon-kind, concentrating most of his time and energy on the creation of fabulous (and potently magical) art glass. When a beloved human servitor is murdered by lowly "scrub" demons, however, Lord Demon's thirst for vengeance draws the lonely recluse back into demonic society and politics.

Yes, the reader sees much of what is coming long before Kai Wren catches on. Big deal. The story is told primarily from Kai Wren's perspective-- that is, from the perspective of an ancient and powerful being, confident in his own immortality and therefore blinded by arrogance-- so it shouldn't be too surprising that the reader often sees things that Lord Demon is incapable of comprehending, for all of his terrible power and ancient wisdom.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Trinque VINE VOICE on August 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
"Lord Demon" is, I understand, the final posthumous book of the great Roger Zelazny, completed by his friend and companion Jane Lindskold. It is a novel which fits well within the classic Zelazny mold, set in a world of the quasi-rationalized supernatural. This time the mythological background is Chinese, but I think if you did a DNA analysis of "Lord Demon" you would find strains of "Lord of Light" and probably "Jack of Shadows" in its ancestry. I would not select it as among the very best of his works -- Zelazny's best are dazzling -- but "Lord Demon" is fun to read and the usual Zelazny themes are dancing around. If you're a Zelazny fan, I think you will like it. And if you have never read him before ... well, it's not a bad introduction at all.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Shepherd VINE VOICE on May 27, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Zelazny was one of the field's premier science fiction and fantasy writers from the mid-sixties to the nineties, giving us some truly unique visions and always told in his own voice, a voice colored around the edges by cynicism and a touch of humor, but mainly couched in a sense of legend and archetype. This book begins in very typical Zelazny fashion, introducing us to the world of literal demons, mainly drawn from Chinese legends. And the introduction will grab you; its setting and concept are very well drawn and captivating.
The story is told from the point of view of Kai Wren, also known as Lord Demon and the Godslayer, so named as the only demon to ever defeat a god in their long running war. But as we meet him, we find an artisan and something of a hermit, who has spent the last 120 years designing and fashioning a magical bottle, who has feelings for his human servant (something demons aren't supposed to have). When his servant is murdered by some scrub demons during a routine run to Earth for pizza, Kai is galvanized to action, first to obtain revenge on the perpetrators, and later, as just who the real brains behind the murder becomes more and more of a puzzle, he finds himself working as an investigator, slowly developing friendships with other humans and demons as he gathers information.
If the starting scenario had been consistently carried through the entire book, this might have been a very good novel. Unfortunately, after about page 70 or so, it deteriorates into very ordinary developments, as the demons are more and more portrayed as having very human qualities and vices and several rather pointless additions are made to the initial idea.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As others have pointed out, Lord Demon starts out in a manner fitting of Zelazny. The ideas and the style, the writing, are everything one could want. Truth be told, the first several chapters through, that nostalgic feel of classic Zelazny was so strong, I could have wept. Okay maybe that's a bit too dramatic, but you get the idea.. :P
In any case, there was suddenly a point when it hit, that the book just lost it and went downhill. It was actually quite a noticeable division. The last part in particular was hastily thrown together, far too many easy outs, and simply badly executed.
I'm tempted to blame all that on Lindskold, but its probably unfair to pass judgement in such a blanket fashion, especially since Zelazny did write some pretty bad (IMHO) books towards the end... So I guess I'll just leave it as a book with a beginning that was a joy to read and an ending that does it quite an injustice.
Zelazny fans should still read it though, because there is some good stuff in there, more than enough to remind us of how much poorer the world is with his passing.
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