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Nine Princes in Amber (The Chronicles of Amber #1)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  30,197 ratings  ·  905 reviews
Here is the first novel in Roger Zelazny's classic Amber series. Amber, the one real world, of which all others-including our own Earth, are but shadows...

Amber burns in Corwin's blood. Exiled on Shadow Earth for centuries, the prince is about to return to Amber to make a mad and desperate rush upon the throne.

From Arden to the blood-slippery Stairway into the Sea, the ai
Audio Cassette
Published June 1998 by Sunset Productions (first published April 1970)
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No, it would be no problem at all! I'd be happy to respond to the first draft of your new fantasy novel.

Lets start with the good: I enjoyed your method of immersing the reader in your fantasy world. The protagonist's case of amnesia makes it so he must learn all the same things the reader needs to know. Protagonist Corwin regains his memory gradually, creating a sense of mystery throughout the first hundred pages that is quite entertaining.

Then. . . well, you lost me. I mean, it's so eso
Man, all the good stuff has been said to let me be brief:

OVERALL FEELING: One of my favorite fantasy pieces; sort of starts out as a PI man who lost his memory and has to figure out that he's the prince of another world.

CONCEPT: What if Gods who looked like people created this world and all the other worlds through their Godly thoughts? And what if their father disappeared and there was a fight for the throne which shook all the worlds? And what if this Godly war led to doorways being opened wh
currently reading for the September 2009 read for the Zelazny group. Wow! It's still a fantastic read after all these years. That's amazing.

I re-read this every 5 years or so. It's the start to one of the best series I've ever read. Zelazny is a super writer & this book started a series that has spawned a lot of other books. There are 4 other books that follow this one with Corwin as the hero, then Zelazny did another 5 about Corwin's son, Merlin. Gregory Betancourt is up to book 4 (let's ho
Mike (the Paladin)
See my review under the one volume (omnibus) of my favorite series. This is another classic that ought to be called a classic!


I read this one first...back when. It was in the 1970s. I have since grown a bit, aged quite a bit and...possibly even matured a little. I still love these books. I have also discovered audio books (this to happened some years ago and has been detailed elsewhere. My wife became very ill and was bed fast a long time, she also came to the point where she re
What a weird, weird book.

Nine princes in Amber begins with the protagonist, Corwin, waking up in an hospital room, with no memories of himself or his past.
Soon after that he realizes he's been drugged for days and flees the building, meanwhile collecting bits of informations about his former life.
Within a few chapters he learns he's one of the nine living princes of Amber, the only true world (of which every other world is but a Shadow. Literally.) and that this makes him basically a god.
Sherwood Smith
I know, I know, I'm a tasteless Philistine. Believe me, I got many appalled looks over the decades when I'd admit that I found it boring, and I always assumed that it was because I, the visual reader, wouldn't know good writing if it bit me in the butt. But now I've a pretty fair grasp on the manifold problems inherent in defining "Good writing" and there were patches of it here and there--he'd slip into Shakespearean pastiche and out again fairly deftly, and some of his setting descriptions wer ...more
This was a great short fun adventure fantasy. I particularly enjoyed the dialogue in the first half of the book. The banter was witty and quick and full of laughs. I thought it was an interesting world complete with an interesting family and set of characters. I very much liked the protagonist and was rooting for him even when he didn't know what he was trying to do. There were lots of surprises which I always appreciate. I'm not sure I see where the next books are going and I'm not sure I'll ju ...more
Kada citam neke od ovih starijih knjiga prosto mi je tesko da poverujem da za ovih 40 godina nisu ostavljeni u prasini i da su pojedine (mnoge) knjige bolje od danasnjih.

Ako uzmemo ovu knjizicu prosto je neverovatno da na svega 170tak strana imamu pricu dubine i tezine daleko vece nego mnoge epske knjige na 400 i vise strana. Mada sa druge strane moglo bi se reci da je minus sto imamo malo likova ali su barem svi odlicno razradjeni.

Ako niste citali obavezno overite, ako jeste vreme je za obnovu
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Oct 12, 2014 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: Scott D.
Add this to the list of fantasy series and authors I had never read. I picked up a volume that includes this book and the next one, from a used book store in Georgetown, SC that has since burned down along with most of the downtown.

Luckily, I had rescued this book by purchasing it from the obscure science fiction and fantasy corner in the attic, along with a Catherynne Valente. It has a child's bookplate with a unicorn in the inside front cover, and this really made it feel like a living book!

I hate, hate, HATED this book. I hate this series, but at least the other books are better than this horrendous beginning.

Nothing in this book makes any sense. The system of magic (if there is one) has no parameters or rules--one minute the prince can travel between worlds in a car that he can also change around at will, the next he can't do anything, the next he's walking through doors drawn in the walls, the next he's doing something else weird and nonsensical.

The only motive anyone has in th
A relatively short book, Nine Princes in Amber proves why Zelazny is a master of the craft. The book started with a scene I've definitely read before in some other book--only in that book, the doctor holding the patient against their will was a female, and I half-wondered if I'd actually read this book before and just didn't remember. But as the story went on, setting up a world, Amber, and its reverse, Rebma, I realized that I'd definitely never been there before. This book doesn't have the tra ...more
Kat  Hooper
Originally Posted at FanLit.

“I’d get what I needed and take what I wanted and I’d remember those who helped me and step on the rest. For this, I knew, was the law by which our family lived, and I was a true son of my father.”

When Corwin wakes up in a private hospital after driving his car over a cliff, he has no idea who he is. When he realizes that he has healed too fast and that he’s being drugged so he’ll stay unconscious, he decides that he better find out what’s going on.
The truth is strang
4.o stars. Excellent novel that, despite its age, retains much of its originality and all of its fun. A pioneer among the novels involving the "multiverse," this story portrarys multiple dimensions (or multiuple realities) in fantasy rather than science fiction terms.

Corwin, an immortal and powerful (think god-like) prince of Amber awakes in a hospital with no memories of who he is or how he got there. He quickly escapes and comes to learn that he is heir to the throne of Amber (the one true wo
I read this many years ago and, by happenstance, re-read it (not for the first time) again recently. I absolutely love the way that Zelazny starts this novel and, by extension, this series. The challenge in fantasy is always to introduce the alternate reality, and Zelazny meets this challenge by starting his main character, Corwin, start with amnesia, so that he himself must discover the nature of reality along with the reader, even though he himself is centrally placed in this universe. The sto ...more
Zelazny may just become a new favorite of mine. A while ago I read some of his short stories and I thought it was excellent. I saw some reviews on here and decided to give this story a read. I loved it. Great characters and really cool SF elements that make for an exciting read. Plus Zelazny's writing is interesting without being overly flowery so he doesn't waste words telling the story. There is very little filler. A great book.
Mar 01, 2013 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans looking for something strangely familiar... yet totally different
After reading Lord of Light, I thought I knew what to expect from Roger Zelazny. I was very wrong. That was in the third person, this was in the first; that was in a distant fictional world, this starts in our world and expands to a multiverse of worlds; that was a story told in a single volume, this is part of a lengthy series. I wouldn't have even guessed it was the same author had I not known he wrote both books.

As for this book, the plot reminded me of three other books* -- The set-up of the
The Flooze

I'm not one for strict fantasy novels. Or at least, I haven't been up to this point. Lately, I've wanted to give the genre another go, inspired by a huge tome that caught my eye every time I visited a bookstore: The Great Book of Amber.

Having now finished the first installment, I'm not sure how to rate it.

Nine Princes of Amber sets off at a gallop with a daring escape. A first person account characterised by swift plotting, it's riddled with questions our amnesiac narrator can't answer. U
How disappointing.

The first chapters were 4 stars awesome. I was hooked instantly and delightfully surprised. Seeing as this book was written in the 70's, I expected the usual LOTR fantasy style novel. Slow start, simple heroes, old-fashioned setting. Instead, I got a fast paced beginning with a modern unusual protagonist. At first, I enjoyed his aloof tone and the mystery.

However, as the mystery unraveled, really quickly I might add, the detached dialogue started getting on my nerves. The fast
“Besides, I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.”

Nine Princes in Amber is the first book in the Chronicles of Amber series. My initial reaction to the novel is a positive one, as it reflects upon the better aspects of pulp fantasy fiction from the 1970s and beyond. In many ways I feel that this novel is what Michael Moorcock was aimin
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a review of Les Trois Mousquetaires, where I argued that it was the spiritual father of the modern French trash novel. Since then, I've been having three parallel discussions with my wife, Jordan and notgettingenough about what it is that makes something into a trash novel. Three out of the four of us incline to the view that it's the quality of being mass-produced; a trash novel is one that has been hastily constructed according to an existing formula, with a min ...more
I am happy to have finished this book. I think I picked it up two or three times over the last year or more and was never in the mood. This is also my first book by Zelazny.

The book started well enough but my interest began to flag when Flora was introduced. She was such a flat character that I really did not care what happened next. I was afraid to continue reading but decided to as the book is very short.

The story picked up when Random was introduced and the characters head for Amber. I wish
i remember the summer i found this book. i didn't know what a graphic novel was then, but if i had, i would have claimed that this was just a graphic novel without the pictures! it felt like a comic book all the way through. i swear i could even hear the kerpow!s and poof!s and clanging of swords while i was reading. i went to the library to see if he'd written anything else and began my lifelong love of zelazny's works. i zipped straight through guns of avalon and waited for six or seven long l ...more
The first few chapters grabbed me immediately. But the more I read, the less I cared about Corwin, his siblings or the reality that is Amber. I had trouble overcoming the psychedelic nature of the storyline and wanted to avoid flashbacks to the early 70s if at all possible.

Zelazny did not convince me that the prize of Amber was worth all the bloodshed and collateral damage. The selfishness of the Princes (and Princesses) of Amber galled me.
Много интересна идея! И чудесен стил на автора! На един дъх се чете:) Много ми е любопитно какво следва:) Нямам голям опит с жанра фентъзи, но определено "Хрониките на Амбър" ме интригува. Радвам се, че ми беше препоръчана. Намирам я за чудесно попадение:) Лично за мен Сенките преставляват аналог на паралелните реалности. Съществува и концепцията за силата на възнамеряването, за свързаността, за телепатията. За Истината в лицето на Амбър и за Недействителността на всичко, различно от Истината. З ...more
Scott D.
Before Joss Whedon, there was Roger Zelazny. I thought this at some point during this time through Nine Princes in Amber, a book I revisit now and then. Zelazny's dialogue is snarky and the story quick and interesting. If Joss wrote this, though, the women in the story would have stronger roles.

My reason for re-reading this was the publication of a new unabridged audio version from Audible Frontiers. Alessandro Juliani narrates. Before this, the only unabridged recording that existed was read by
Crystal Starr Light
Based on the review of N. Trachta (thanks, Nate), I decided to plunge ahead with this one (what made this choice even better was when I found all ten stories in one anthology at a used bookstore!).
A man wakes up in a hospital room, without memory of who he is or exactly how he got there. All he knows is that was badly injured and currently being drugged. After escaping the hospital, he discovers his sister, Flora, who tells him that his name is Corwin. He meets up with his brother, Random, who l
When I was a teenager (long ago in a country far, far away), I read Roger Zelazny's wonderful Amber series from start to finish in one huge gulp. Unfortunately, since then, the Amber books have only been in print as one big doorstop edition -- not the type of thing my 8th graders would pick up to read readily.

Imagine my eyes when my wife dragged me to an antique store here in Maine (OK, "junk" store) and I wandered into the used paperback books section and found 8 out of the 10 original paperbac
Paul Darcy
by Roger Zelazny, published in 1970.

If there ever there was a must-read-series of novels, the Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny is surely it. Now, I admit I am bias (I love all of his work), but I have not had much more pure enjoyment reading a book than reading Nine Princes in Amber.

It’s nothing new now, having been written decades ago, but if you never read Zelazny’s Amber chronicles you will kick yourself. Heck, if I find you have not read them I may kick you myself!

And if you don’t know
I think I was expecting more. The mixture of '70's slang and old poetic was interesting, as was the concept of magic trump cards, multiple "shadow worlds" and regenerating, super-human royalty. But so much of the book was our hero sitting around drinking with his siblings while calmly discussing that they will try to kill each other for the crown that I almost began to wish one of them would be killed just for some excitement. I was confused during the first part of the book, though that may ha ...more
Kimberley doruyter
wow, i don't think anyone ever regrets picking this book up.
it's so good i'm gonna read the next one right now!
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Shut Up & Read: Great Book of Amber 18 17 Feb 02, 2015 01:34PM  
Help Get The Series Digitized - Thanks 5 64 Apr 14, 2014 10:46AM  
Should I Read The Sequels? 29 191 Apr 05, 2014 06:44PM  
Fantasy Book Club...: Coming Soon (Also in June) the Chronicles of Amber Series Read 18 124 Nov 02, 2013 05:41AM  
Fantasy Book Club...: Nine Princes in Amber / Spoilers Ahead 18 57 Jul 19, 2013 02:16PM  
  • Jhereg (Vlad Taltos, #1)
  • The Broken Sword
  • Suldrun's Garden (Lyonesse, #1)
  • The Riddle-Master of Hed (Riddle-Master, #1)
  • Roger Zelazny's Chaos and Amber (Dawn of Amber Trilogy, #2)
  • Elric of Melniboné (Elric, #1)
  • Witch World (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #1)
  • Swords and Deviltry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #1)
  • Lord Valentine's Castle (Lord Valentine, #1)
  • Gate of Ivrel (Morgaine & Vanye, #1)
  • The Sword of the Lictor (The Book of the New Sun #3)
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 d ...more
More about Roger Zelazny...

Other Books in the Series

The Chronicles of Amber (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Guns of Avalon (Amber Chronicles, #2)
  • Sign of the Unicorn
  • The Hand of Oberon
  • The Courts of Chaos
  • Trumps of Doom
  • Blood of Amber
  • Sign of Chaos
  • Knight of Shadows
  • Prince of Chaos
  • Manna from Heaven
The Great Book of Amber (The Chronicles of Amber, #1-10) Lord of Light The Courts of Chaos The Guns of Avalon (Amber Chronicles, #2) The Hand of Oberon

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“I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.” 355 likes
“I walked among Shadows, and found a race of furry creatures, dark and clawed and fanged, reasonably manlike, and about as intelligent as a freshman in the high school of your choice-sorry, kids, but what I mean is they were loyal, devoted, honest, and too easily screwed by bastards like me and my brother. I felt like the dee-jay of your choice.” 14 likes
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