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Sign of Chaos (The Chronicles of Amber #8)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  7,225 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
Merle Corey, son of the great Prince Corwin of Amber, has been pursued through Shadow by unknown enemies and left trapped in an Alice in Wonderland world - a bar with the Mad Hatter serving and the Cheshire Cat grinning malevolently. In a dramatic escape from a monstrous Jabberwock, Merle embarks upon a fantastic adventure, leading him back to the Court of Amber and finall ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 214 pages
Published September 1987 by Arbor House (first published January 1st 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dan Schwent
Dec 11, 2009 Dan Schwent rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zelazny
Merlin continues on his quest to find out who has been trying to kill him for years and why. Along the way, we find out more of his backstory, in particular the bits involving his half brothers Jurt and Mandor. More illegitimate spawn of the Amber family pop up, as does Merlin's mysterious body-swapping aide. What do all of these things have to do with the Keep of Four Worlds?

I'm over halfway through the second Chronicle of Amber and I have to say I'm not as captivated by it as I was the first f
Apr 01, 2017 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some very surprising developments at the end of this volume, I'm hurrying on to the next book in the series. If you are a fantasy fan and haven't read this series you really should give it a try.
May 11, 2015 Joel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
These are getting a tad homogeneous at this point, but still extremely enjoyable. I'm a bit irked by the fact that anytime someone asks how something happens, they get a detailed, exact and completely true response, but it's minor details. I am excited to get closer to the end of the series, and see how it's going to end. Still nowhere near as awesome as the Corwin cycle, but good.
Feb 11, 2008 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sign of Chaos marks return to form for Zelazny and his Chronicles of Amber. Anyone who has come this far in the series (this is the eighth book) hardly needs a glowing review to continue reading, but after the somewhat tedious book that preceded it, this one is a welcome improvement.
Jul 04, 2009 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is where the Merlin stories start to fizzle out, unfortunately.
Kimberley doruyter
another damm cliffhanger.
Книжни Криле
За трети пореден път поемаме към истинския свят Амбър! Очакват ни трите финални романа от едно истинско фентъзи от майстора Роджър Зелазни! „Знакът на Хаоса”, „Рицар на сенките” и „Принц на Хаоса”, обединени под една корица в том 3 от „Хрониките на Амбър”, неминуема част от колекцията „Велики майстори на фентъзи и фантастика” на издателство „Бард”. Прочетете ревюто на "Книжни Криле":
Dec 20, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2010
The story of Merlin, son of Corwin from the first 5 Amber novels, continues. I really should just cut-and-paste one of my three previous reviews of the Amber novels here and be done with it. Most characters carry over from the previous novel and that left me completely baffled at the end of this one. I'll try not to give away any spoilers, but stop now if you don't want to hear anything. At the end there is a huge climatic scene where a certain individual's identity is revealed. The character sa ...more
Eloise Sunshine
Selle raamatu huvitavamaid mõtteid võiks olla ehk:
"Kui teil oleks võimalik valida kahe võime, vale märkamise ja tõe avastamise vahel, siis kumma te võtaksite? Kunagi ma uskusin, et need on erinevad sõnastused sama asja kohta, aga nüüd ma enam nii ei arva. Näiteks on suurem osa mu sugulastest ühtviisi osavad nii ettekäänete läbinägemises kui nende esitamises. Ma ei ole aga üldse kindel, et nad tõest eriti hooliksid. Teisalt aga on mulle alati tundunud, et tõe otsimises on midagi õilsat, erilist j
Mar 24, 2016 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-time-faves, 2016
The craziness and extreme imagination of Zelazny continues to shine. The story gets deeper, weirder and cooler. New and interesting characters are introduced in this book. We continue deep down the rabbit hole (inside joke) and the mysteries continue to mount. This series is absolutely phenomenal.
Dec 13, 2009 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting ending. Not entirely unexpected but the timing and method was a surprise. I also enjoy that the reader never really knows who the good guys and bad guys are with these books, there is always doubt and suspense.
Nov 21, 2010 Charles rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This book is where the 2nd Amber series begins to pick up steam and starts to carry the reader along on the ride, after the first two books tended to plod a bit.
Feb 10, 2017 Pante rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 / 5. ავტორი ისევ ცდილობს კორვინს დაამსგავსოს მერლინი, მაგრამ რაღაც აკლია მაინც. რამდენიმე კარგი პერსონაჟი დაემატა. ელისმა და LSD-ს ეპიზოდმაც მოიტანა.
ვკითხულობ და ვფიქრობ, რომ მანდორი მერლინისთვის დაახლოებით იგივე სტილის პერსონაჟია როგორც რენდომი კორვინისთვის. მერე დავფიქრდი და Mandor და Random არც თუ ისე რენდომ ანაგრამებია.
I see what you did there Roger.
Peter Kalin
The best of the Merlin series so far, still inferior to the Corwin story.
Ariel Hudnall
Aug 12, 2014 Ariel Hudnall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Sign of Chaos, the third book in the Cycle of Merlin, and the eighth of ten on the Book of Amber, begins with Merle trapped in a Wonderland Bar with Luke (Rinaldo), the Cheshire Cat, Humpty Dumpty, and a very pissed off Fire Angel from Chaos. Discovering his predicament to be the result of a drugs Luke has been exposed to, Merle conjures pharmaceuticals from the shadow and leaves him to sober up.

Defeating the angel is no easy feat, the creature being conjured from Chaos and having three hear
Oleksandra Orlova
Розплітання інтриг навколо Мерліна прямо пропорційне збільшенню кількості його родичів. Герой і далі намагається розібратися, хто і що до нього має, вирішує нагальні проблеми, бігає Лабіринтом і Тінями (Відображеннями). Виявляється, Хаос не такий уже і безликий, як мені здавалося. Два брати Мерліна - тому доказ. Юрт, звичайно, ще той психопат, але Мандор... О, він зачаровує!
Нестача сильних жіночих образів виправляється із подвійною, де там, потрійною силою. Віала/Найда, Ясра, Корал і, гм, Маска
Newton Nitro
Nov 19, 2016 Newton Nitro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Mais um episódio do ciclo de Merlin terminado em um gancho tremendo, no melhor estilo pulp-literário do Zelazny.

A criatividade de Zelazny é invejável, a narrativa fica bem bizarra nesse episódio da saga, com novos personagens surgindo e reviravoltas inesperadas na trama.

Como é tradição na saga de Amber, novos mistérios surgem à medida que Merlin se envolve cada vez mais nas intrigas das Cortes do Caos e da Corte de Âmbar.

Uma coisa legal da saga de Merlin é o seu ponto de vista de mago, dentro d
Alfred Haplo
Nov 01, 2015 Alfred Haplo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-f
As mentioned in my previous review of the Xth book in COA, the ending of one leads right into the next. The 8th book, Sign of Chaos, is no exception. The beginning two sentences for all my COA reviews should be structured thus - “The end of the Xth book leads immediately into the (X+1)th book. The end of the (X+1)th book leads immediately into the (X+2)th book.” And so forth.

Certainly, I am being facetious. So is the unconscious tone and attitude adopted by Merle/Merlin throughout his half of t
Gabriel C.
May 27, 2012 Gabriel C. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2012
They just get worse and worse and worse. The only explanation I can come up with is that Zelazny fancied himself a storyteller rather than an author, so that it makes sense to:

-Introduce new major characters for no reason
-Slow down for stupid detail every single wrong time
-Make up stupid rationales for everything so that he can have stupid stuff happen the way he imagines it would be cool to have happen even though nothing makes sense
-Always have everyone refuse to explain to anyone else what is
Feb 15, 2013 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Merlin is still a bit of a putz.

There were a number of times in this novel where I was thinking "No, you idiot, don't trust that person and tell them all your plans...oh, great, you already did it. And they took advantage of you. Way to go." But in a way, it's pretty cool that, despite the similarities due to the first-person narrative, Merlin is quite a different character than his father was/is(I'm convinced Corwin is still alive out there). He acts quite a bit differently, and reacts to thing
William Gerke
Not as strong as it's predecessor, but still a cut above most current fantasy adventure. Why can't people write like this anymore? Lovely prose, stories that rocket along, mysteries, magic, adventure, and all under 300 pages. If Zelazny wrote this now, they would have published the whole series as one 1000 page book or a trilogy at least. The shorter format keeps things tight, events swarm on events, and economy (and beauty) of prose is the watchword.

Two excellent sequences here--Luke and Dalt'
Apr 15, 2016 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Merlin has been a man of action so far, and that continues here. We get to see more of the sorcerer side of him in this book, and that is interesting. In the Zelazny universe, good sorcery isn't something you can make up as you go along. You have to take time to prepare your spells and once one has been used, it is gone until you can take time to prepare it again. While Merlin doesn't spell out his plans to us, his audience, ahead of time, he goes into an epic confrontation at the end of the boo ...more
Dec 16, 2013 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
Sign of Chaos stands as an improvement over the previous Amber novel, even if it's not quite up to the caliber of the Corwin cycle novels. The muddled storyline begins to become clear as enemies are named, motives are set, and decisions are (finally!) made. Zelazny did a much better job of keeping my attention with some fantastic action sequences and a twist that I should have seen coming.

This book solidifies the theme of the Merlin cycle novels as that of an arms race for weapons and artifacts
Jan 17, 2016 Yve rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, 20th-century, 1980s
Reading this is kind of like listening to an 8-year-old who just watched Alice In Wonderland and Star Trek tell you a stream-of-consciousness story. Kind of entertaining, also kind of annoying. I really liked some books in this series, and I certainly don't pretend that the Chronicles of Amber were ever high literature. But in Sign of Chaos, the whole Zelazny-writes-the-first-weird-thing-that-pops-into-his-head formula is totally wrung out. I just barely care about Merlin and Luke/Rinaldo, the o ...more
The middle book of the five about Merlin, child of Corwin and royalty in both Amber and Chaos.

As with all the Amber books, the plots threads seem to multiply and barely hang together, though I trust Zelazny to find a way to wrap them all up.

What bothers me more is that Merlin can seem like such an idiot. Such as: "Merlin, don't trust that woman!" "OK." (Later) "You seem like a nice person, I'm going to tell you everything!" Or: "I just got back from being kidnapped and almost killed. I'm hungry.
Aug 22, 2016 Doris rated it liked it
Shelves: series
Merlin wakes up in a schizophrenic world populated by Lewis Carroll characters, including the Cheshire Cat. He struggles to escape, and to drag along his frenemy/cousin/companion, who is reluctant to leave, having been magicked in.

Merlin escapes and travels home, finding deadly intrigue there as well as several of his brothers, most of whom have him on their hit list.

There is a romance or two, a newly found family member, and spinning magic that was actually more enjoyable this second time rea
Jan 08, 2010 Felix rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy

German edition - German review:

Der Roman beginnt mit einer Hommage an Lewis Carroll, in dessen Alice-Romanen Luke und Merlin zunächst gefangen sind, bevor es mit den Konflikten um den Hort der vier Welten, den rätselhaften Zauberer mit der Maske, Geistrad, Amber und die Höfe des Chaos weitergeht. Nach einigen diplomatischen Verwicklungen, in deren Verlauf neue Verwandte ins Spiel kommen, kommt es zum Kampf um den Hort der vier Welten und die Identität von Maske wird überraschend enthüllt...

Ein e
Feb 26, 2014 Sandi rated it liked it
Shelves: sff
I love Zelazny's writing. But I cannot love a protagonist who never learns, who gets fooled several times a day every day about every thing. The only reason the guy isn't dead is that most of the others have been just as confused and almost as stupid. The original series made Amber and the Pattern an exclusive affair with a limited number of people who could traverse it. Now, coincidence is crawling out of the woodwork, relatives too, and everyone and their dog has incredible magical powers and ...more
Michael R.
A quick easy read. Lots of dialog (which I liked). Not a lot of pages.

The story starts off continuing with Merle trapped in an Alice In Wonderland setting, and leaves us in almost as confusing a setting, resolving very little in between.

More new threads/plots started, but no real answers. It's reminding me a lot of the middle seasons of 'Lost'.

Also now there are way too many characters to keep track of, and it's getting predicatable that everyone is related in one way or another, usually from so
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Fantasy Book Club...: Sign of Chaos / Spoilers Ahead 6 16 Sep 22, 2013 05:48AM  
Fantasy Book Club...: Sign of Chaos / Initial Impessions / *No Spoilers* 4 13 Sep 22, 2013 05:34AM  
  • Roger Zelazny's Chaos and Amber (Dawn of Amber Trilogy, #2)
  • I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon
  • Even the Queen: & Other Short Stories
  • Press Enter
  • The Revenge of the Rose (Elric, #9)
  • Christmas in the Trenches
  • Issola (Vlad Taltos, #9)
  • Sailing to Byzantium
  • The Order of Things: How Everything in the World Is Organized Into Hierarchies, Structures, and Pecking Orders
  • Hypérion 2
  • With Morning Comes Mistfall
  • Deryni Checkmate (The Chronicles of the Deryni, #2)
Roger Zelazny made his name with a group of novellas which demonstrated just how intense an emotional charge could be generated by the stock imagery of sf; the most famous of these is A Rose for Ecclesiastes in which a poet struggles to convince dying and sterile Martians that life is worth continuing. Zelazny continued to write excellent short stories throughout his career. Most of his novels dea ...more
More about Roger Zelazny...

Other Books in the Series

The Chronicles of Amber (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Nine Princes in Amber (The Chronicles of Amber #1)
  • The Guns of Avalon (The Chronicles of Amber #2)
  • Sign of the Unicorn (The Chronicles of Amber #3)
  • The Hand of Oberon (The Chronicles of Amber #4)
  • The Courts of Chaos (The Chronicles of Amber #5)
  • Trumps of Doom (The Chronicles of Amber, #6)
  • Blood of Amber (The Chronicles of Amber #7)
  • Knight of Shadows (The Chronicles of Amber #9)
  • Prince of Chaos (The Chronicles of Amber #10)
  • Manna from Heaven

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