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Sign of the Unicorn (The Chronicles of Amber #3)

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,172 Ratings  ·  204 Reviews
Accepting the responsibilities as ruler to the world of Amber, Corwin finds himself the target of sibling treachery, and must seek guidance in a land of visions, where a sinister prediction foretells his doom. Reissue.
Mass Market Paperback, 12th printing, 192 pages
Published November 1986 by Avon Books (first published January 1st 1975)
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3.5 stars. Good, solid installment to the excellent Amber series by Zelazny. I didn't like this one quite as much as the first two installments mainly because, until the very end, nothing really new happened that added significantly to the storyline begun in the first two. Still, a fun and fast read with Zelazny's typical elegant prose.
Nov 29, 2007 Ken rated it really liked it
With Sign of the Unicorn, the third entry in the Amber series, Zelazny's creation truly begins to get off the ground. I thought that the first book was mediocre, and the second held more promise but still wasn't compelling. Finally, here, Zelazny writes with authority and a sense of clarity about the characters he portrays. We have a lot of people to keep track of, with Corwin and his brothers and sisters involved in an intricate series of shifting alliances, schemes, and deceptions. We must rel ...more
Apr 10, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, print-copy
Let me start by saying that I enjoyed the first two novels of the Amber Chronicles. They were imaginatively written and entertaining. They had rich characters of noble birth if not entirely honorable dispositions. Perhaps best of all was the setting. Despite all that, I considered them to be 4 star novels.

As good as those novel were, Sign of the Unicorn was that much better. This is the novel were things get really good. This is the novel that hooked me in and didn't let go. This is the novel th
May 18, 2014 Nita rated it liked it
This book is a lot different to the previous 2 in the series. Sign of the Unicorn reads more as a mystery, 'whodunit' novel. The overall plot for the series builds very little until nearer to the end and so the book felt somewhat like a filler. I'm not quite sure that there was much point to a lot that happened. (view spoiler) ...more
Apr 11, 2009 Timmy rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-f, fantasy
This one took a turn for the awesome. It started pretty slow - Random took a chapter as narrator that seemed to drag. Things got bogged down right away with a lot of expository discussion early on without any real suspense to keep the momentum going. In fact, I'd say the first 50 pages may have been the dullest of the series to this point.

Then it kicked it up a notch like Emeril baking with hallucinogens. Not only did the story get a lot more compelling and suspenseful, (the whole family is ass
May 19, 2010 Dan rated it it was amazing
Quite simply, this series is getting good.

In Sign of the Unicorn, Zelazny continues the story of Corwin and his struggles to secure Amber. While I definitely enjoyed the first two books, in SOTU I could hardly put the thing down (at right around 150 pages, it's rather light in the hand too - or would be, if I wasn't reading books 3-5 in one volume). The action continues at the same breakneck pace as the first two books, but for some reason I found it just a little more enthralling. The other sib
Erik Erickson
Aug 23, 2012 Erik Erickson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prose, scifi, fantasy
The story of this time-traveling, in-fighting and incestuous family dressed in anachronistic medieval attire really hit its stride in this volume. The pacing and political intrigue are tight and complex, yet comprehendible. The things revealed by twists are unforeseen and captivating. If you've read the first book or two and wondered what all the hoopla was about (the series has appeared on many Best Of awards lists and name-checked as an influence by a healthy number of talented writers, Neil G ...more
Apr 23, 2014 Petya rated it it was amazing
Страхотно продължава да ми харесва да се потапям в света, изграден от Зелазни! Екшънът е в супер темпо. Никакви излишни думи, всичко е изпипано. Харесва ми как авторът води темпото и забавя, за да увеличи удоволствието точно, когато е изострил до краен предел любопитството ми.:) Много ми е интересно как навързва нещата и обстоятелствата, и изникват нови и нови неща, които човек не е предполагал:) Това вроятно е основното, с което се характеризира жанра фентъзи и ако е така, то определено е голям ...more
Nov 21, 2012 Palmyrah rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Putting this book down for about a week to attend to others, I found, when I returned to it, that I could not remember much of the action, and still less of the action and outcomes of the two novels preceding it, which I finished (for the first time) less than two months ago.

It was my intention to read all nine Amber books, but I think I'll just give up now. There's nothing, as far as I can see, to keep me reading. Every book is a parade of fantastic but ultimately meaningless and indistinguisha
Kat  Hooper
Oct 12, 2012 Kat Hooper rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 re-read on audio

Originally posted at

Sign of the Unicorn is the third novel in Roger Zelazny’s CHRONICLES OF AMBER. At the end of the previous novel, The Guns of Avalon, Corwin finally got what he wanted: Eric off the throne. Corwin is now the regent of Amber by legitimate claim and he holds the Jewel of Judgment which has powers over the weather and, as Corwin learns, other powers that may be dangerous to its owner.

You’d think that things might now be easy for Corwi
Oct 18, 2013 Olethros rated it liked it
-La familia que conspira unida, permanece unida.-

Género. Narrativa Fantástica.

Lo que nos cuenta. Ha pasado menos de una semana en el trono y Corwin ya ha tenido que enterrar a un nuevo hermano, asesinado en una trampa que le implica también a él. Hablando con su hermano Random del asunto, el primero de ellos al que le cuenta lo sucedido, este recuerda cuando Brand contactó con él para pedirle ayuda para liberarse de un lugar no identificado, cómo fracasó y cómo acabó hablando por teléfono con C
Paul Darcy
Jan 09, 2012 Paul Darcy rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
by Roger Zelazny, published in 1975.

This, the third Amber novel, is a bit different than the previous two. It’s more cerebral and less action packed, much more a murder mystery than an action adventure.

But that is a good thing, and we do learn a whole lot more about the Amberites and where their loyalties lie.

“Sign of the Unicorn” starts out with a murder. One of the royal Amberites is dead (won’t spoil it for you with a name if you aren’t there yet) and the usual suspects are the remaining roya
Jul 04, 2013 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: epic-fantasy
I like how this series seems to keep picking up pace and I read this book in just two days. I did sometimes find the characters confusing; keeping track of all the siblings, distinguishing Flora and Fiona, whose names look so similar on the page, etc. But it was an exciting ride.

I did find Chapter Two a little disconcerting - it took me a few pages to understand it was being told from Random's perspective and not Corwin's. It begins by mentioning a few favorite things says, "With me, Corwin, it’
Jason Edwards
Sep 16, 2013 Jason Edwards rated it it was amazing
Exposition! But not in a bad way. One of the things that I love about The Chronicles of Amber is how rich and deep Zelazny has built this Amberverse so far. Amber itself, its shadows, and the reflections Rebma and Tir-na Nóg'th, the Jewel of Judgment, the Trumps, the Pattern.. and hints of The Courts of Chaos; it’s all so involved, one can easily fantasize see oneself roaming about, having adventures. But then there’s the politics too, the back story, equally as rich. In the first two books we h ...more
Feb 17, 2015 Frank rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shameless trashy SF-fantasy for sheer pleasure. I discovered Zelazny's Princes in Amber series in my teens. Ran across this one which I've never read before in a free books pile at Ballard Farmers Market and couldn't resist picking it up. Great books to read when you're sick in bed or incapable of focusing on serious stuff. Conniving royal siblings, magical Trumps, mysterious Shadow...etc.
May 13, 2015 Joel rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
This novel was a lot slower than it's predecessor, The Guns of Avalon. A lot more interfamily politics, slow-paced arguments and conversations, and very little actual adventuring until the end. This isn't necessarily a problem - there was a ton of great history and information relayed in the book, a lot about Corwin's past and history, and a lot about their family history. But, after the breakneck action of Guns of Avalon, it was almost jarring how much the series skidded to a halt.

The writing
Mike Jordan
Dec 20, 2009 Mike Jordan rated it it was amazing
The Amber series truly turns political in this book. The family finally gets a face-to-face feud as all the brothers and sisters come together, trying to bring back one of their lost siblings. This sets the stage for the characterization of some of the siblings that we've seldom or never heard from, and we start getting a sense of who's naughty and who's nice. It's amazing that Zelazny can juggle such a large cast list and succeed in giving each one something unique, so that when their name is m ...more
Feb 15, 2015 Krbo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
dobro se sjećam kako sam nestrpljivo iščekivao svaki nastavak tih godina

Kimberley doruyter
Feb 16, 2015 Kimberley doruyter rated it it was amazing
holy cliffhanger BATMAN!
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
This is the third book of the Chronicles of Amber which feature Corwin as the hero. It was excellent. The Amber universe is further revealed, mysteries abound & deepen. The book does end on a cliff hanger. If you get this far into the 5 book series, you simply have to finish it out now.

The writing style is still the same & Corwin is still a most likable hero. He's not perfect, but he is tough & pragmatic. He's facing a lot of tough decisions, but takes them in stride. Can't wait to r
Alex Hurst
Feb 13, 2014 Alex Hurst rated it really liked it
The world as we know it is a mere shadow of the true kingdom of Amber, a land bereft of shadow, and home to several princes and princesses vying for the empty throne that rules over all. A metaphysical fantasy with complex magical systems, an intriguing back story, and a clever mix of a multitude of genres, the Chronicles of Amber is well-regarded as one of the most influential series of its kind––and with the master wordsmith and philosophical Zelazny at the helm, the series promises much to it ...more
Stephen Brooke
Nov 30, 2015 Stephen Brooke rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
No matter how escapist Zelazny's work sometimes appears to be, there are always philosophical elements. Here, questions of the nature of reality and the responsibilities of the artist/creator – among others – are tucked in under the action.

That action continues the story of the first two Amber novels. Again, it would be wise to read them before tackling “Sign of the Unicorn.” This Amber novel follows much in the same vein as the first two, but seems more sure of itself, more willing to just let
Feb 22, 2014 Gumps rated it liked it
This is a tough one to review. I enjoyed the book, though I really shouldn't have. Without a doubt, you can tell that this book is the middle book of a series.

What I enjoyed about the book. First and foremost, we saw much more of the greater Amber picture, with a significantly increased focus on ALL of the family, not just Corwin and Eric. The reader also gets caught up with everything that has happened in the first two books, from the view point of all of the various characters, as well as some
Julie Defilippi
Mar 24, 2015 Julie Defilippi rated it really liked it
These are my comments on the first 5 books in the Amber series (Corwin). I find the world he builds and the exploration of self, society and relationships to be utterly fascinating. The plot twists and motives are a little overdone and complex in my opinion. I also found the shadow hell rides to get rather long and the descriptions very hallucinatory. Those minor faults aside, I found the journey/adventure of Corwin to be wonderful. There was so much self realization and personal growth without ...more
Jan 12, 2015 Chris rated it liked it
Every now and then, a lengthy series will take a bit of a break so as to reset itself back to a neutral point. When things get to that point of white-knuckled overstimulation for a couple books running, the reader is probably due a bit of a lull in the following book.

"Break" books are kind of an interesting phenomenon in that they're somewhat necessary, but frustrating, tedious, and a little boring. But again, they're sort of necessary - you need that break in order to be at all titillated ever
Jan 21, 2015 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Book 3 of the Amber cycle is very much a middle volume. There's still some story build based on the first two books, but it doesn't have the same levels of climax contained in the first two books.

But Zelazny does take this opportunity to set up a few more things in the world, and best of all you start to get to know quite a bit more about Corwin's brothers and sisters (mostly brothers). Brand is given a real introduction, you get much more about Random and Gerard, and there's a bit more insight
A classic political mystery in fantasy form. Lots of twists and turns that make sense in hindsight. I tend to skim a few long pages of battle/fight descriptions and a few sections of fantastical travel were not interesting to me. But overall still a great tale and step in series. Surprisingly not dated even after more than 30 years.
Jan 20, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it
The third installment in the Amber series feels like a British locked-room mystery, except for the fact that the suspects can teleport in and out of the room at will. (I know, I know--then it's not a locked room mystery!) The way it truly feels like a British mystery is the multitude of characters, all with motives and means to commit the crimes. This is the best in the series so far: the action is tight, the time span is short (a few days, maybe) and the plot moves quickly. As other reviewers h ...more
Jun 15, 2015 Scott rated it it was amazing
The strangeness continues, but the allure only deepens! While I can recognize the themes in the book(s) as being quite "stock" or fairly straight-forward, somehow I cannot seem to put these books down! Their charm is ever-present and they're undeniably fun to read.

I think my final rating of the series is going to be a solid 4/5 (he says on book three of ten), but this one gets 5/5 since it had the most amazing portion of dialogue. It did not come from one of the many "Amberites" nor even from a
May 09, 2014 Tulpa rated it really liked it
Delightful pulp, the Amber series finally feels like it picks up steam in this novel. The first in the series really concerned with patching up many of the holes in the first two books, the Sign of the Unicorn is a high fantasy pair of locked-room mysteries. One of Corwin's brothers was murdered by an inexplicable creature that appeared once before, so Corwin interrogates his brother and sets out to solve this and another mystery. A limited cast of characters and extremely constrained setting al ...more
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  • Roger Zelazny's Chaos and Amber (Dawn of Amber Trilogy, #2)
  • Phoenix (Vlad Taltos, #5)
  • The Bane of the Black Sword (The Elric Saga, #5)
  • The Eyes of the Overworld (The Dying Earth, #2)
  • A Private Cosmos (World of Tiers #3)
  • Swords in the Mist (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #3)
  • The Sword of the Lictor (The Book of the New Sun #3)
  • The Third Book of Swords (Books of Swords, #3)
  • The Silver Spike (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #3.5)
  • With Morning Comes Mistfall
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)
  • Nine Princes in Amber
  • The Guns of Avalon
  • The Hand of Oberon
  • The Courts of Chaos
  • Trumps of Doom (The Chronicles of Amber, #6)
  • Blood of Amber
  • Sign of Chaos
  • Knight of Shadows
  • Prince of Chaos
  • Manna from Heaven

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