Web of Angels by John M. Ford.
This was a book I read very quickly on the first pass and felt moved enough that it needed and deserved a slower read than what I'd initially given it. It was worth it.
Its about a young man, Grailer Diomede is what he's called, who has an incredible ability to manipulate a FTL communications network, The Web, that links a huge group of worlds. The Web is faster than the fastest ship - instantaneous and has its own dangers, ranging from the Black Knights of CIRCE - enforcers charged to kill to protect the integrity of that network. And with good reason - literacy on that network is the basis by which one can travel. If you can't use the Web, you can't travel - as simple as that. Its also a world of near immortals - one where someone can live 20 times their normal span (and be cursed to live forever as well) - with the changes that it means for humans.
This is interesting in that it precedes a lot of the cyberpunk movement, but it is, well, more than that. Grailer's confidence, love, caution and then vengeance are worth reading and very much operatic. I like it and I hope others will seek this out and read it.