9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
There is simply no other author like David Zindell,
This review is from: The Lightstone: Book One of the Ea Cycle (Hardcover)
If you have never read David Zindell, this is a good place to start - without a doubt, the Lightstone is the most accessible of his books. Diehard Zindell fans may be a bit disappointed - if only because it is not quite as intensely personal and philosophical as the Neverness books.
Neverness and its sequel trilogy, A Requiem for Homo Sapiens (comprised of The Broken God, The Wild and War in Heaven), are simply incomparable to anything out there - the only books I can think of off-hand that come even remotely close, in my opinion, are Frank Herbert's Dune and Gene Wolfe's New Sun books. No other author that I have read creates a gestalt like Zindell does: One of piercing philosophical inquiry, seering personal exploration, and inspiring perhaps the most important element of any story - a deep sense of wonder.
In many regards, the Lightstone succeeds in all of that. Many of the ideas and characters have obvious parallels to the Neverness books - but I wouldn't go so far as to say they are merely paler versions (although a few times I found the obvious similarities somewhat distracting); instead, Zindell is expressing many of the same archetypes yet within the context of a fantasy world, one in which magic is technology.
The first book of the Ea Cycle can be read like any of the 'huge fantasy epics' - but it is so much more, blending fantasy with philosophy, spirituality, and the pure joy of ideas.