At first I found that I wasn't particularly engaged by the story but I was expecting science fiction when in fact this is more science fantasy
in the Dying Earth
tradition. Indeed, it works much more as a fantasy novel than SF and once I had made the mental adjustment to the right mode, I began to enjoy it much more.
The human race has gone well past its peak and is now in the third age in which much of the technological marvels that it attained in the previous age have been forgotten and what is left is a rigidly stratified society that is technologically backward. We follow through the eyes of the wandering protagonist as he passes through a period of intense personal and social upheaval. He moves from one guild to the next as his old perceptions and beliefs are altered by the events in the world around him, the old social structure is torn down and from the ruins a new enlightened culture can emerge.
Robert Silverberg writes well here and that helped sustain my interest in the early part of the book before I had engaged with the story. It's not among my favourite of his novels I've read from this period but still well worth reading, particularly for fans of future fantasy.