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Trumps of Doom (The Chronicles of Amber #6)

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,264 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
Alternate cover for ISBN 0380896354 / 9780380896356

Merle Corey is a brilliant young computer designer in San Francisco, but, he is also Merlin, son of Corwin, vanished prince of Amber, and heir to his father's wonderous powers. And, someone is determined to kill him. Now he will begin a desperate race through Shadow, not only to escape the mysterious force that threatens h
Paperback, 184 pages
Published August 1995 by Avon Books (first published May 1985)
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The Final Empire by Brandon SandersonThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Way of Kings by Brandon SandersonThe Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Most Interesting Magic System
498th out of 1,638 books — 6,031 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Feb 16, 2011 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it
Shelves: zelazny
Merle Corey's got several problems. He's secretly Merlin, a Prince of Amber. His father Corwin has been missing for years. Oh, and someone tries to kill him every April 30th for reasons unknown. The story starts with Merle getting ready to leave Shadow Earth behind and devote himself to working on his Ghostwheel when an old girlfriend he goes to say goodbye to winds up dead. The trail leads Merle to a conjurer and then back to Amber, where he learns he isn't the only Amberite whose had attempts ...more
I almost gave this four stars, but it falls short of the Corwin books in the series, so I can't quite give it the same rating.

But that being said, Trumps was an enjoyable return to Amber. Merlin's tale is intriguing, and I think I'll be more into it by the end. I don't find myself being engaged as much as with the first set of Amber books, and I don't find Merlin himself as interesting as Corwin. For one thing, Corwin was enjoyable as a smartass and his arrogance helped the character. Merlin is
Nov 16, 2009 Miriam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For some reason the person who wrote the GR blurb for this made it sound like an entry in the "ordinary guy/gal discovers they are special" genre -- this is not the case. Merlin, the main character, knows perfectly well who his parents are and what powers his family has. He is just hanging out being a computer geek and doing some experiments for fun. The mysterious part is why someone attacks him on the same day every year.

This is the beginning of the second cycle in the Chronicles of Amber. It
Jan 05, 2008 Ken rated it really liked it
I've been reading the Chronicles of Amber straight through, and this book, number 6, is the best yet. I haven't read Zelazny's other work, but I get the feeling that he really grew as a writer over the years from the beginning of the Amber novels. Trumps of Doom, the beginning of the second series within the Chronicles, takes us on a new path, as we follow the son of Corwin, the narrator of the earlier books. As with the original series, we begin in our own Earth, and the first half of the book ...more
Dec 10, 2009 Cathy rated it really liked it
Very much a reflection of Nine Princes In Amber, but I liked the more modern tone and I think it held the pace and suspense even better.
May 26, 2015 Joel rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Honestly, my least favorite of the Amber books thus far. A whole bunch of nothing happened, and it felt like a bit of rehash from previous books (namely, I believe, #3), wherein people are being attacked, and they all convene in Amber for some reason, chat amongst themselves, then leave and make a dramatic discovery right at the end.

The book was a definite tone change from the first five, partially due to the change of protagonist, and partially just due to being...different. Not bad, just diff
This is copy number 38 of 400 signed numbered copies.
Alex Hurst
Mar 15, 2014 Alex Hurst rated it did not like it
The Cycle of Corwin has ended. Now come the adventures of his son, Merlin, born of Dara, holy terror of the Courts of Chaos. You might remember her as the demon that disguised herself as Corwin's grand-niece, in order to learn how to walk the Pattern and gain enough power to destroy Amber. Yeah, her. I didn't like Dara, but maybe this book would have been more interesting if she'd been the main antagonist, because the book certainly needed one.

A sorcerer, artist, warrior, athlete, and technologi
Jan 24, 2011 Jason rated it it was amazing
The first time I read this, I remember being so disappointed that this second series set in the Amber universe featured a different protagonist from the first series. I also remember being told that the second series didn't really hold up compared to the first and that the critics viewed it far less favorably. Despite that, I still absolutely love this book.

The first series focused on Order and was much more about that protagonist's single-minded journey toward capturing a throne that he felt wa
Eloise Stone
Jun 07, 2014 Eloise Stone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peamiselt meeldis mulle see, et üldiselt liikusid asjad üpris tempokalt ja kogu aeg säilis soov lugeda natuke veel, et teada saada, mis edasi juhtub.

Sorry, kuid minu jaoks natuke häirivaks jäi aga Merlini naiivsus ja lühinägelikkus :(. Mismõttes ta päris mitmes kohas tegi absurseid samme ja see egost või millest iganes tulenev kindlameelne keeldumine teistele teada anda, et tema endaga on toimumas kummalised asjad. Ma oleks juba 3 korda sel viimasel teekonnal Randomiga kasvõi mõtete ja info vahe
Apr 29, 2011 Legsoffury rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
sad to lose the lead character from the previous Amber series. The style of writing remains unchanged. I'm getting attached to Amber. This series is captivating, it kept my attention through every page, and that is saying something.
Jun 03, 2014 Petya rated it it was amazing
Зелазни е направил пауза от няколко години между петата книга от Хрониките на Амбър и шестата - "Козовете на съдбата". И този интервал му е дал възможност да подхване на съвсем нови обороти! Историята отново е динамична и интригуваща, а главният герой е от новото поколение - синът на Коруин. Новото поколение идва на сцената с всички свои особености - наивност и подценяване на някои обстоятелства, съчетани с висок технологичен профил. Зелазни не само е уловил, но е презентирал перфектно рисковете ...more
Kat  Hooper
Jun 02, 2015 Kat Hooper rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 re-read on audio
review to come soon at
Jun 26, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, print-copy
Prior to starting Trumps of Doom, I was a little concerned that it may not live up to the grandeur of the preceding five novels which followed Corwin, a prince of Amber. Starting with Trumps of Doom, the rest of the series follow's Corwin's son Merlin, who is half of Amber blood and half of Chaos.

Despite my trepidation, I was immediately appeased by the opening sentence:

"It was a pain in the ass waiting around for someone to try to kill you."

That line pretty much sold me.

It is also a wonderful l
Dec 17, 2009 Felix rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy

German edition - German review:

Der sechste Band des Amber-Zyklus ist dem ersten Band strukturell sehr ähnlich. Wie schon dort, steigt Zelazny hier in medias res ein und erzählt aus der Perspektive eines auf der Erde verweilenden Amberiten, ohne dessen Herkunft und seine damit verbundenen besonderen Fähigkeiten zu erwähnen. In diesem Fall handelt es sich um Merle Corey alias Merlin von Amber, den Sohn von Corwin, dessen Geschichte die ersten fünf Bände umfasste. Merle arbeitet in einer Computerfi
Jun 15, 2013 Dave rated it really liked it
As for the first five books, this review will cover the second five books for the Amber Chronicles, the Merlin Cycle. This series was written a little later and covers the adventures of Merlin, son of Corwin (main character from the first cycle). I had not read this cycle before.

The overall story is very good. I enjoyed the twists and turns as Merlin (who is in fact a sorcerer) travels through worlds, deals with plots, and searches for his father. As usual, I hate giving away too much of the plo
Oct 29, 2010 Aaron rated it it was amazing
At first, I was apprehensive about switching main characters in the second series of books, thus it took me a long time to finally pick up this one up. Corwin is one of my favorite characters of all time, but Merlin does a great job of filling Corwin's sizeable shoes. This book parrallels the first book's excellent sense of mystery that had me mercilessly hooked for the first series, while still dazzling me with its magic.

With intriguing new players in the Amber legacy, tons of new mysteries, a
ირაკლი სულაძე
გემრიელია. მივიწყებული ისტორიის კარგი გაგრძელებაა, კორვინის გაცნობის პირველი დღეების მსგავსი. თანაც, მამას ჰგავს ბიჭი.
Jan 15, 2016 Loreley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
წლების განმავლობაში ძალიან ბევრი ადამიანისგან (ძირითადად პარნასის კლიენტებისგან :დ) მესმოდა რომ კორვინის ციკლი კარგია - მერლინის არ ვარგა.
ხოდა - სულაც არა! (ბოლოში არ გავსულვარ ჯერ ოღონდ)
ჩემი რეკომენდაციაა, რომ ცოტა ხანი შუალედი გააკეთოთ - 2-3 წელი ჩემსავით ალბათ :)) კორვინის თავგადასავლების შემდეგ მაშინვე მაგის შვილზე რომ გადავსულიყავი ალბათ მეც მომბეზრდებოდა. საკმაოდ გავს მერლინი მამამისს...
Kimberley doruyter
Feb 18, 2015 Kimberley doruyter rated it it was amazing
oh dear god crazy runs in the family
Ian Banks
Sep 04, 2015 Ian Banks rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The second chronicles begin almost as a mirror of the first, with a character uncovering details about the world around him and discovering that he has more importance than he realised. Unlike Corwin, though, Merlin is quite happy to live in comparative obscurity. Apart from that person who wants to kill him every April 30...

This sequel series has attracted a lot of hate over the years and here I can see why: it's a bit too cozy, with Amber becoming a friendly, generic place where everybody plot

Aug 29, 2015 Yve rated it really liked it
Shelves: sff, 20th-century, 1980s
I was skeptical at first but I liked Trumps of Doom as much as any of the Corwin books. Merlin as a narrator is pretty similar to Corwin, but different enough, particularly by virtue of not being a prince in either Amber or Chaos, and thus not as deeply embroiled in family conflicts. I liked how this gave a different view of some of Corwin's siblings, especially Fiona who Corwin saw as enigmatic and dangerous but with whom Merlin has a much friendlier relationship. There were some issues in the ...more
Brian Allen
Sep 16, 2015 Brian Allen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Trumps of Doom shifts the focus from Corwin, a prince of Amber that has been the main character for the previous five books and shifts to Corwin and Dara's son, Merlin, a man of Amber and Chaos. Merlin has lived on the shadow Earth that his father lived in during exile, so that he may may understand his father better. While there he makes a life for himself and becomes friends with fellow student and competitor Luke. Unfortunately, every year on April 30th, an attempt on Merlin's life is made. A ...more
Jul 04, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The first five Amber novels are the the best fantasy novels I've ever read, along with Tolkein's Lord of the Rings and the harry Potter novels. Zelazny's writing style is the hippest of the three. This book is the first of a new series, starring Corwin's son Merlin. This series was probably encouraged by the success of the original five, but it is not as good. It starts off well enough with this novel, but I think he started running out of ideas after a while.
Dec 16, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2010
It took six books for Roger Zelazny to write the best in the Amber Chronicles. The events in the story flow much better and engage the reader much more. There is more tension, suspense, intrigue, and it keeps the reader turning the page.

Book 6 has a different protagonist than the previous 5. I'm assuming that the next five, including this one, will follow Corwin's son Merle. Corwin was the prince of Amber who was the main character in the previous five.
Garon Whited
Oct 28, 2015 Garon Whited rated it really liked it
Let me start off by saying that I love the way Zelazny writes, so anything negative I have to say is only by comparison.

Case in point: Merlin, son of Corwin.

Corwin's adventures in the Chronicles of Amber are epic in scale. He's a larger-than-life figure that, like a true Amberite, causes everything around him to fade into nothing but scenery.

Merlin, his son, is the guy three terminals over in my computer class. While Merlin still has to deal with the same enormous sense of scale that his family
Apr 15, 2014 Daniel rated it liked it
The only people who could conceivably pick up this book are those who read the first five books in the Amber series and want to see what happens in the second series (as the second five are called). I read this as a senior in high school and had forgotten everything save the Big Surprise at the End, which isn’t bad but also not as shocking as those in the first series.

If you enjoyed the first series, there’s good reason to believe you’ll enjoy the second. Again, we get the first-person narrator
Sep 09, 2015 Bob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading this when it first came out in the ol' Science Fiction Book Club. Man did it have a shitty cover, but you know what they say about judging a book by its cover.... I remember enjoying it, and the entire second series, back then but being a little disappointed or at the very least, not liking it/them as much as the original series. This time however, after re-reading the first Chronicles of Amber (again the SCIFI Book Club hardcover edition- with much better cover art by Boris V ...more
Mayank Agarwal
Nov 27, 2014 Mayank Agarwal rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-fiction
The book is unlike the other 5 books in the Amber series, first off it's about Merlin son of Corwin and Corwin doesn't even make a appearance. There is a lot more of magic and sorcery present, it's no more a exclusive club.

The start is amazing with the intrigue but ones the world making(Sorcerer)starts i felt disconnected, it didn't feel like an Amber book but still it was interesting. As the story continues realized Merlin is unique and dumb, he doesn't have the flair and the smartness to see
Geoff Sebesta
Dec 04, 2010 Geoff Sebesta rated it it was amazing
I liked this book a lot. The two best Amber novels were the first and the sixth. This one has it all -- magic, revenge, conspiracy, hyperdimensional computing homework. Zelazny always wrote great fight scenes too. The other books in the series did not deliver but that's not this book's fault. One of my favorites.
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Fantasy Book Club...: Trumps of Doom / spoilers 19 20 Sep 22, 2013 07:53AM  
Fantasy Book Club...: Trumps of Doom / Initial impressions / no spoilers 10 27 Sep 05, 2013 09:31AM  
  • Roger Zelazny's Chaos and Amber (Dawn of Amber Trilogy, #2)
  • The Vanishing Tower (Elric, #4)
  • Brittle Innings
  • Dragon (Vlad Taltos, #8)
  • The Sword of the Lictor (The Book of the New Sun #3)
  • Harpist in the Wind (Riddle-Master, #3)
  • Lord Valentine's Castle (Lord Valentine, #1)
  • The First Book of Swords (Books of Swords, #1)
  • The Green Pearl (Lyonesse, #2)
  • Earthquake Weather (Fault Lines, #3)
  • The Power That Preserves (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, #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)
  • Nine Princes in Amber
  • The Guns of Avalon
  • Sign of the Unicorn
  • The Hand of Oberon
  • The Courts of Chaos
  • Blood of Amber
  • Sign of Chaos
  • Knight of Shadows
  • Prince of Chaos
  • Manna from Heaven

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“It is a pain in the ass waiting around for someone to try to kill you.” 10 likes
“When inspiration is silent reason tires quickly.” 8 likes
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