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The Great Book of Amber (The Chronicles of Amber #1-10 )

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  20,083 Ratings  ·  769 Reviews
“Fantasy of a superior order.”
Washington Post Book World

“A storyteller without peer. He created worlds as colorful and exotic and memorable as any our genre has ever seen.”
—George R.R. Martin

One of the most revered names in sf and fantasy, the incomparable Roger Zelazny was honored with numerous prizes—including six Hugo and three Nebula Awards—over the course of his lege
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Paperback, 1264 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Harper Voyager (first published December 1st 1999)
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KiSea I believe this is includes all 10 of the book's in one

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lasairfiona Smith
Aug 16, 2007 Lasairfiona Smith rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those interested in an epic story that doesn't feel dry
I adore this series. I have read and re-read this book since high school. What can I say? It captured my imagination and has kept ahold of it for years. This was the work that Zelazny worked on through his career. I think it is what he wrote for fun. It isn't complicated but it is epic.

Imagine that there is only one true world and it casts "shadows" that make up the rest of the worlds. All are variations of that true world, Amber. Or are they? Another order vs chaos though this story focuses mor
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Whitaker
Mar 10, 2011 Whitaker rated it did not like it
Update (Please read this first before complaining about my rating)

People keep complaining that my 1 star is unfair because some books were better than others. Here's how I see this work. I don't see it as different books the way one would read say an Agatha Christie novel. Each Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple mystery is a stand alone even if characters recur from book to book. They are meant to be read as stand alone novels and should be treated as such.

This book, on the other hand, is clearly a
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Evgeny
Jul 27, 2012 Evgeny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
This book has a special place on my bookshelf. It was the second fantasy series I read after LotR. These two are the reasons I love fantasy genre. Since that time no other books forced me to use my imagination to the same extent as Amber. Each book (there are 10) completely changed how I thought Amber world works. Some people feel the last five books are weaker than the first five, but they are still very entertaining (my feeling - Corwin is better storyteller than Merlin).

For those curious how
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Jim
Dec 19, 2007 Jim rated it really liked it
This is all 10 books of the Amber series, but is not complete. It is nice to have them all in one place, but the book is a paperback & a bit delicate due to the size. Unless you're extremely careful, you'll only get a few reads out of this & it's a doorstop to put most others to shame. I prefer the smaller paperbacks for normal reading.

The biggest lack in this book is it doesn't have the prologue to Trumps of Doom, but only the HB issued by the book club had that, I think. It's also in
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Nikola S. Pavlovic
Feb 18, 2016 Nikola S. Pavlovic rated it it was amazing
Perverzija!
Da, cista perverzija za onoga ko uziva u fantastici, posebno Epskoj (mada ova knjiga poseduje i elemente naucne fantastike u sebi).
Zelaznijev stil pisanja je neponovljiv, covek ima svoje "atribute" he he
Delo mu je jako koliko i prezime.
Ni za zivu glavu ne propustajte ovaj serijal, krucijalno je vazno da ga procitate kako bi mogli da gradite misljenje o tome sta je dobra, sta vanserijska a sta osrednje napisana fantastika.
Samo cu jos reci da mi Amber u polici stoji pored Hiperiona i
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Kat  Hooper
Mar 31, 2009 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Roger Zelazny's Amber series is one of the best sci-fi/fantasy epics ever written. Not only was it highly imaginative and original when it was published (in the 70s and 80s), but it remains so -- there's nothing else like it.

Corwin and his brothers and sisters are clever, sophisticated, sarcastic, and extremely ambitious. They constantly scheme and plot to outmaneuver each other as they vie for political power. If you knew these people in real life, you'd
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Graeme Rodaughan
Jun 01, 2016 Graeme Rodaughan rated it it was amazing
I'm, not sure if I have read Roger Zelazny's masterwork of fantasy (or is it really science fiction) three of four times. It may be five.

Yes, I enjoyed it that much. I wish I could write as well as Roger Zelazny does - he's a personal writing hero of mine.

The Game of Thrones series has nothing on the family conflicts between the children of Oberon, King of Amber, and when their cousins in the Courts of Chaos make their fell appearance - well, all hell does indeed break loose.

Thoughtful, seductiv
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Danyell
Feb 23, 2008 Danyell rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with a pulse
Recommended to Danyell by: Barry the magnificent
I read this book during huricane Ivan, when three of my four homes (My dorm, My Parent's house, and my boyfriend's house) were pretty much falling down around me. A very awesome guy named Barry lent me his battered copy...and by battered I mean well loved. This book filled a lot of space that could have been spent in what Floridians know as a huricane coma. No lights, no Phone, no tv, just snuggling,reading and occasional looting!
I't will definately take you at least a week to read this bad ma
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Foomy
Feb 14, 2009 Foomy rated it it was ok
The name Zelazny is used in conjunction with words like "Classic" and "Quintessential" high fantasy. So I went into this dictionary-sized tome with high expectations of fantastic locations, rules, and characters. I got the first two.

The idea of Amber, being the only "real" world, with countless other "shadow" worlds branching off (think alternate universes, but not quite), is a great concept. Unfortunately, I'm a big fan of strong characters and their growth, and I just didn't find that here.

Non
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Emily
agh, ten books 1200 pages i am obsessive and can't quit reading a book i have started even when i know it will be pointless to finish and i have already read 500 pages!
i do not know what these other people are talking about! the first i would say three books were pretty good, then it kind of lost its train of thought, hmmm really wish i had never started this epic tale i wouldnt have wasted three weeks (i mean three weeks!!!!) of my life. i could have read like six to twelve other books in the
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Brad
Apr 10, 2013 Brad rated it it was amazing
I was still new to fantasy, having been a hardcore horror and sci-fi fan, then going through all of Zelazny's other works, when I decided to sit down to these stories.
Seriously, I was impressed with the easy progression into a multi-universe view delineated between ultimate order and ultimate chaos. Gorgeous magic system where you follow mandalas, epic battles, and the almost requisite tripe of amnesia. (Oh, sorry, i meant trope.) I loved the first 5 books better than the second 5, but Merlin's
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Kimberley doruyter
Mar 13, 2014 Kimberley doruyter rated it it was amazing
as a whole this series is the most fantastical fantasy world i have as yet come across.
i did like the first five a little better then the last five.
i loved the character of corwin, he was wonderful and unlike most of the rest of his family he seemed to have more good then bad.
his son has much the as history.
i recommend this book to all how have read fantasy before, it is something different from the mainstream of the genre.
Chris
May 21, 2008 Chris rated it liked it
Well, it took about two months, but I finished the "Great Book of Amber." I feel a little better knowing that it was technically TEN books in one, but only moderately better. It was partially due to things going on in the "real world", but for some reason this book was a fairly slow read for me.

My initial reactions after the first "book" were that:
1) I enjoyed the world/characters
2) I thought the author was very imaginative and had some cool ideas
3) I didn't like the narrative voice
4) The copy-e
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Milo
The Great Book of Amber is trippy people! Roger Zelazny is unlike any other author I have ever read before. He is disinterested in details and gives cursory descriptions of areas and people. Instead he focuses more closely on plot and the thoughts of the main character. The plot always centers around the search for answers. The setting is quite unique and interesting to learn about. Zelazny never makes his reader go through info-dumps and I found it interesting to puzzle out the workings of his ...more
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
Nine Princes of Amber: It was an ok story. Not great, but not bad. I sort of got annoyed with the faux-medieval language towards the end, and I didn't care that much about the characters, but the cliff-hanger ending did leave me curious and wanting to read the next in the series.

I was a bit annoyed that none of the sisters are relevant characters.


The Guns of Avalon: I just finished this yesterday, and had to think a minute to recall what happened. It was anti-climactic in itself, and generally s
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Roger
Jul 14, 2011 Roger rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
4 stars is a misleading rating for this collection of 10 books. The first 5 (Corwin Books) deserve a full 5 stars. The Corwin books (1-5) are among my favorite fantasy books of all time. Thanks to fellow GoodReads member "I. Curmudgeon" for recommending them.

Books 6-10 (Merlin Books) deserve 4 stars each...not as good as their predecessors but still good books in their own right. Merlin, son of Corwin, is a much more sympathetic protagonist than his old man...and less interesting by consequence.
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Abigail
Feb 13, 2012 Abigail rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is in the top three of my favorite books (well the whole thing is how I read it) of all time! I LOVE LOVE LOVE these books, LOVE the world of Amber, LOVE everything about it. We are on copy number three in the house because we read it all the time, it is right next to my classics! The BEST epic fantasy novel(s) OUT THERE!Zelazny is one of my heros!~
Lori
Mar 28, 2010 Lori rated it it was amazing
As a collected series on the whole, this is a wonderful group of novels; however, several are standouts, including the first three. Remember to try to pace yourself :)
Mayim De Vries
Feb 02, 2017 Mayim De Vries rated it it was amazing
Please note: this review applies only to the Corwin Cycle as I have never particularly liked Dara or cared about Merlin.

Can you imagine a world without fantasy books? Can you remember your world before you had read your first one?*

I can.

I snatched the Nine Princes in Amber from My father’s shelf and read it during one afternoon. Then I returned to him – seated in his usual armchair – and asked him breathlessly: “Dad, are there more books like this one?” When he nodded, I knew my world is about
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Ross Kitson
Jan 14, 2012 Ross Kitson rated it really liked it
I’ll readily confess that I’ve dipped in and out of Roger Zelazny’s Great Book of Amber for many months, partly because other books intruded, partly because of the natural break half way through the tome, and partly because no work since George RR Martin’s ongoing Song of Fire and Ice has generated such conflicting emotion within me.
Zelazny’s most famous work is a ten book series, which is divided into two five book story arcs. The first was released in the Seventies, and follows a Prince of Amb
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J. McClain
Jun 27, 2012 J. McClain rated it it was amazing
I'd read the first series many years ago, that is to say the first five novels comprising the exploits of Corwin of Amber, and adored it. Much later I found out that he'd written a second set of five novels about Amber and Chaos, so I went ahead and bought The Great Book of Amber: The Complete Amber Chronicles, 1-10. The first time around, in re-reading the first five and reading the second five for the first time, I felt somewhat disappointed in the latter half. I'm guessing part of it is becau ...more
Arthur
Mar 10, 2009 Arthur rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved, re-read, fantasy
A masterpiece
Clearly one of the best series I have read.

I read the first 5 books about 10 years ago (1995), however, I didn't like them.
A few month ago, I gave it another try and I just could not put the book down. I guess I was not ready for the The Great Book of Amber 10 years ago. Some of my friends kept on telling me that only the first 5 are interesting and then only the first 2 books, the rest are boring, especially the 5 last books. I must totally disagree with them. I enjoyed equally thr
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Vicky
Dec 16, 2012 Vicky rated it really liked it
FINALLY finished this Goliath. Huge tome and was a little slow in parts. Overall it kept my interest and was a pretty good read. Didn't really care for the ending because after 1158 pages it was not solid and could have continued on lol. Won't be reading it again that is for sure!
Josh Bisker
Apr 06, 2011 Josh Bisker is currently reading it
The start of this series is great, but jeezum crow, what was HarperCollins thinking with the format of this edition? They went through all the trouble of getting the rights and printing the thing, but the fifteen-pound tome is physically difficult to read, laughably inconvenient to transport, and inexcusably devoid of any kind of supportive structural writing--like an introduction, a foreword, an about the author, an about the series, or even a table of contents!

Wikipedia tells us that the Great
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Deborah Cannon
Jul 14, 2010 Deborah Cannon rated it it was amazing
An amazing book. Or should I say books. This collection was originally published as ten volumes but really is two separate stories--the story of Corwin, prince of Amber and his son Merlin, half-breed prince of Chaos. The world created by Roger Zelazny is one of he most original, intriguing and fantastic visions of the universe that I have ever experienced. In his creation, the universe has parallel worlds called Shadows, which includes our Earth, and these exist in different dimensions of time a ...more
Soo
Feb 28, 2011 Soo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, reviewed
When I bought this book, I had no idea who Roger Zelazny was or a clue about Amber. I only picked it up because I couldn't find any new releases by Tad Williams, Michelle West, or Janny Wurts. The book was huge and the synopsis piqued my interest. I devoured the book in a handful of days and fell in love with Zelazny. I've read this series so often that I'm on my third copy of the book.

The story is about a powerful family who have the skills to travel between alternate realities. Of all worlds,
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Sid Fallon
May 27, 2009 Sid Fallon rated it it was amazing
Hooked from page one. Definitely in the top 5.

Roger Zelazny has the incredible gift of ignoring genre. Classify it if you must, but the lines between sci-fi and fantasy or more than blurred. He took that line, flossed his teeth with it, and threw it away.

Reality is skewed and anchored to the city of Amber, the origin of all worlds, everything a parallel or "shadow" of Amber and it's counter-part, the realm of Chaos.

Traveling all realities, the ruling families of Amber and Chaos play, plot and sc
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Arnaud
May 16, 2015 Arnaud rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I'll rate the volume a solid 4.5 stars, knowing that I read all 10 books back to back in this edition. It was quite interesting to observe the author's style changing along each volumes to get to a point the story gets you hooked. Changing from the father to the son's story halfway through was a nice twist that really spiked up my interest. it would have been a 5 star rating if it were not for the first 3 somewhat slow and boring books; and a slightly open ended finish. Great story nonetheless!
Trista DiGiuseppi
Oct 21, 2011 Trista DiGiuseppi rated it it was amazing
Oh man. This book (books?) is jam-packed with everything. Zelazny does not hold back from one of the best example of epic storytelling. I loved the concept of various dimensions, and the drama of family turmoil (ROYAL family turmoil no less). And it's still for adults. There's gritty stuff in it like sex and other such references. It's not squeaky clean - I respect that. Great collection! Definitely read it if you love, love, love fantasy!
Sarah
Nov 24, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-fiction
The Amber series is one that I try to read at least every couple if years, meaning this is probably my tenth time through. It's very telling that I wish very much that Zelazny was around to finish what apparently was meant to be a trilogy. I love the premise of walking and manipulating the shadows, I love the characters and I really enjoyed the development of Ghostwheel. Even after ten readings, I still find this fantasy world to be unique and compelling.
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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)
  • Sign of Chaos (The Chronicles of Amber #8)
  • Knight of Shadows (The Chronicles of Amber #9)
  • Prince of Chaos (The Chronicles of Amber #10)

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