Creatures of Light and Darkness

I recently read Roger Zelazny’s Creatures of Light and Darkness.  Apparently, he wrote it as an exercise, never intending to publish it.  He was convinced to do so by his editor and Samuel Delaney (hence the dedication).

It is a book, I think, for Zelazny completists.  Too unconventional to appeal to typical readers and certainly not for fans of Amber–despite the war of gods and powers it portrays.  The characters are both complex and barely painted.  The systems at work are only hinted at.  But neither of those are the point.

It is a playground of perspective and language from a master of prose.  It deserves to be preserved if only for such gems as:

The Steel General, who has dismounted, stands before [redacted to prevent spoilers] like an iron statue at ten o’clock on a summer evening with no moon…. and his voice is a thing of such beauty that one could listen to it for years.

and

The focus of the fugue has become this moment of intensity, and they clash with a force that sends widening ripples of change outward through the universe, rising, diminishing, gone by, as Time once more tricks history around events.

and

And [redacted] awaken to a sound of laughter that is like the singing wind.

As with many of his “lesser” books, Creatures of Light and Darkness is a short but rewarding read.

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