Here’s two official synopsises…
On a colony planet in which reincarnation has become retail, a brilliant hermit finds himself at the helm of a revolution when he returns to society to obtain a new, younger body and discovers his former colleagues have used the same technology to fashion themselves as gods while keeping society in the dark ages
After humans have moved to a new planet, technological disparities allow a privileged few to assume the names and likenesses of deities, and rule over the common people. Tired of the system, a former “god” wages war against the unjust regime.
Outside of its place in sci-fi/fantasy literature, a previously planned adaptation played a key role in the “Canadian Caper” known to most as the rescue operation featured in the film ‘Argo’. (Read more about Lord of Light and its fascinating connection to the CIA and to the real ARGO mission elsewhere on the Lord of Light website)
The book has been lauded for decades by critics and fans alike and is a noted favorite of some of today’s most influential creators. Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Coraline, Neverwhere) calls it one of his favorite books and a great influence in his work. George R.R. Martin cites it as an influence for Game of Thrones. The author was friends with Zelazny and names his GoT fire god the “Lord of Light” in homage to the novel.
You might not think you know Lord of Light, but if you saw Argo, you do. The fictional movie being worked on in that film was an adaptation of Lord of Light, and Marvel Universe architect Jack Kirby did a ton of design work.