Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Courts of Chaos” as Want to Read:
The Courts of Chaos
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Courts of Chaos (The Chronicles of Amber #5)

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  17,132 Ratings  ·  249 Reviews
Alternate cover art for ISBN 0380471752 / 9780380471751

Amber, the one real world of which all others – including our own Earth – are but Shadows...

For untold millennia, the cosmic Pattern sustained order in Amber and all the known worlds. But now the forces of Chaos have succeeded in disrupting the Pattern, unleashing destructive forces beyond measure... forces meant to re
Mass Market Paperback, 142 pages
Published June 1990 by Avon Books (first published January 1st 1978)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Courts of Chaos, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Courts of Chaos

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kristy G. Stewart
Here is where I'll put my opinion on the first five books. As a series, the worldbuilding is amazing, the characters intriguing, and the format is fast-paced. It's interesting to see a book where there are few characters that can claim clean hands, and it makes for a complex storyline.

That said, I sometimes feel like there's a bit too much explaining going on (though the first book does a good job of making the explaining organic). I can't remember how many times the reader hears about the polit
Mar 30, 2017 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Corwin gets a quest and heads to Chaos, and leprechauns and The World Tree, a fitting ending to the first arc of the Amber series, enjoyed all 5 of the novels, onto the second arc now.
Mike Jordan
Apr 24, 2010 Mike Jordan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Sad. It would have been nice to go out with opera - in a big Wagnerian finale beneath strange skies, against worthy opponents - not scrabbling about in a foggy wasteland."

That quote, an excerpt from Chapter 7 in this novel, sums up my thoughts on the final novel in the "Corwin-cycle" of the Chronicles of Amber. Zelazny ventures into a philosphical self-analysis of Corwin's character and motivations as he travels to the Courts of Chaos, but it seems a bit long-winded at times. The transitions th
Aug 26, 2009 Jackie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In some ways, I enjoyed this one, the fifth in the Amber series, the most. The momentum built, the suspense, the twists and turns, the revealing of character traits, truth from lies.

The way Zelazny tells this story is incredibly unique in the manner in which you learn the story, piece by piece, one more part of the puzzle. He kept me interested the whole time, and wanting more. He knows just when to give me more to keep me from getting frustrated and holding back just enough to keep my interest
I'm going to write some general remarks that can serve for books 1-5(the Corwin books) and then break down my thoughts book by book.

Likes: Zelazny is a great world builder... vivid imagery combined with his poetic writing leads to some pretty amazing visuals and really immersed me into these books. He has somewhat of a 70s, intellectual vibe to his prose which I really liked. It was a good combination for me, though I could see how this would irk some readers. There is plenty of political intri
Erik Erickson
Sep 10, 2012 Erik Erickson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, prose, scifi, fantasy
"...the Courts of Chaos, a grossly non-Euclidean realm..."

A satisfying and touching finish, despite its uneven start. This last chapter was the best, being a final adventure filled with wonderfully surreal encounters and phenomena. 

Some details were probably inspired or borrowed from better-known predecessors. But like King did with The Dark Tower, they are woven together to create a new entity, unique in its own right. And Zelazny's epic must have provided things that became the basis for many
Mary Catelli
This opens with Random demanding that Corwin open the door -- he brought food -- because Corwin is reacting badly to the revelation at the end of Hand, namely that (view spoiler)

More revelations ensue. Who is designated Oberon's heir. What Dara was up to, and who was the warrior who spared Corwin in the Courts of Chaos. What they are going to do about the black road. And the grand conclusion to this series.
Kimberley doruyter
the battle, the journey and the sadness of passing.
this would seem the natural end of the series, i'm glad it isn't.
Ioana Johansson
I have finished the Corwin arc and along the way I had the feeling that this must be what someone experiences on LSD but in written form:)
I've found the story compelling, juvenile, incomplete and strange all around but I have enjoyed it nonetheless.
M Hamed
Jun 07, 2015 M Hamed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, fantasy
you can always count on Zelazny to deliver
Книжни Криле
Том втори от „Хрониките на Амбър” съдържа поредните четири романа (части от 4 до 7) от многотомната фентъзи сага на доайена Роджър Зелазни. Легендарната поредица е задължителна за феновете на жанра и съвсем с право е включена в колекцията на издателство „Бард” „Велики майстори на фентъзи и фантастика”. Прочетете ревюто на "Книжни Криле":
Gareth Otton
The Courts of Chaos is the somewhat anticlimactic and disappointing 5th book in this ongoing series and though I am loathe to admit it as I have enjoyed the earlier books, this one was a chore to read.

As the end of a five book story arc I was hoping there to be much more pace in this novel so that it might attain some of the brilliance of the first book in the series. In that book I was amazed that an author could portray so much information and story in such a small amount of words and yet mai
It took 5 chapters to start Corwin smoking this time :)

The first five books in the Amber series come to a conclusion with this book before Amber is continued with Merlin as the main protagonist. Corwin's boy isn't really introduced here but gets a soft hand-over to his own cycle by bringing him in in several scenes. It is a little bit artificial, but on the other hand it is good that he doesn't appear in a flash in the next book.

The narrative is slower than the previous books, lots of psychedeli
Pam Baddeley
Nov 04, 2016 Pam Baddeley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
With this slender volume, the five book first Amber series comes to a close. Oberon, the king, and father of the narrator, Corwin, and his siblings, plans to repair the damaged pattern on which Amber and the universe of parallel worlds is based, aware that he is likely to die in the process. Corwin declines to take the throne after him, having matured over the series and found that, without the rivalry with his now deceased brother Eric, the attractions of ruling have paled. The backup plan if O ...more
Daniel Roy
Oct 30, 2012 Daniel Roy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sf
And so it comes, the end of the fabulous Amber series. On the merits of this final book alone, I'm tempted to rate it three stars; but I cannot avoid putting it in the context of the greater story coming to an end.

The Amber series has been an odd beast. It's simultaneously slow-paced and kind of rambling, but each entry in the series built up a really epic and engaging story.

The characters are all interesting, and the characterization shines—from Corwin himself, to Brand, Benedict, Oberon; they
Mar 23, 2012 Brad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, z-2012
Not as good as book 4, but better than the first book in the series. Corwin and his family are faced with the end of the world, and the only way to stop it is to fix the Pattern.

Not as much intrigue or fighting as previous books. More of a long horse ride with a few interactions with random folks. An adequate ending to the Corwin cycle.

I'll probably comment on this again at the end of the Merlin cycle (in 5 more books), but as of right now I probably won't recommend this series to anyone. There
May 11, 2015 Joel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Siblings are at each other's throats, as they try to discover the true culprit in all of the deceptions and plotting. Meanwhile, a force is moving upon Amber, threatening their very existence. Dun dun dunnnnn

The Courts of Chaos was a fast paced, but information dense novel that very neatly and satisfactorally wrapped up the first half of the Chronicles of Amber. I blasted through these novels, and loved every minute of them - I loved the shorter novels, the breakneck pace they brought, the uniqu
Mar 30, 2012 Traummachine rated it liked it
3.5 stars:

I was a little disappointed in the conclusion to this series. It was very short (140 pgs), and could have easily been tacked onto the end of Hand of Oberon. My main gripe was that, for the first time since Nine Princes in Amber, Zelazny used (or over-used) his brief snippets of world after world to give you the feeling that a lot of changes were going on as Corwin traveled between shadow versions of Amber. Seriously, I don't need 5+ pages straight of these snippets of landscape, rinse
Feb 09, 2014 John rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I'm not sure why these books were ever once considered good. Essentially, this series drifts from scene to scene, in a more and more disjointed way as the series progresses (random 'hellrides' with pages of surrealist drivel to random shadows (alternate worlds) that don't hold any special meaning, making their purpose ultimately useless). No rationale is ever given for why Amber is worth preserving. None of the characters are compelling to read about, and they never gain any real depth -- this d ...more
-Remate a la primera serie relacionada con Ámbar.-

Género. Narrativa Fantástica.

Lo que nos cuenta. Corwin está bastante furioso por los recientes acontecimientos y los cambios que han causado, además de sentirse engañado y por tanto dolido en su amor propio. Y las instrucciones de prepararse para una guerra en tan poco tiempo le preocupan, pero no todos sus hermanos comparten sus pensamientos ya que hay que enfrentarse a la gran amenaza. Quinto y último libro de la serie Crónicas de Ambar. Hay o
Jan 30, 2008 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
My expectations were very high for the last book in the series, since I had heard it was one of the best. I was, however, slightly disappointed. The introduction of the courts of chaos in the previous book wasn't really fully developed here, so it felt more like the introduction of a new world, rather than the resolution, or clarification of the world that we had inhabited throughout the series. I felt like a lot of the creatures and characters introduced to us in the book, also, were afterthoug ...more
May 27, 2014 Petya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Тази книга ми хареса най-много от петте до момента. Зелазни я е изградил много прецизно. Разпределил е уводната част, същинската и заключението просто перфектно. Видът е изключително завършен. Много въздействаща! Прочетох я буквално на един дъх! Коруин пътува към себе си в тази книга повече, отколкото в предишните. Особено интересен ми беше диалогът му с Хюги за егото. Прилича ми в голяма степен на разговора между лорд Кришна и Арджуна на бойното поле. Майсторки изпипана книга. Мога само да кажа ...more
A fantastic end to a the Corwin Cycle of the Amber books. The characters have deepened amazingly & so much is tied up, yet there is plenty of room for expansion. What a wonderful world. I'm so sorry he never got to fill it in better.

The first 5 books AKA The Corwin Cycle are followed by 5 books in the Merlin Cycle & then Betancourt wrote a prelude; a trilogy & the first book of a duology. IOW, it was supposed to be another 5 books. Unfortunately, the publisher folded after the first
Oct 14, 2015 Nathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have grown quite fond of Amber I have to say. This was a nice conclusion to the first five books, but definitely left more to be desired in further books. I really was not expecting the story to progress the way it did. This is excellent fantasy.
Mar 20, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fifth novel in the Amber Chronicles marks the conclusion of the Corwin arc. The story primarily follows Corwin as he makes his way to the Courts of Chaos to help stop Random from destroying Amber. I found it to be a very fitting finale and enjoyed it considerably.
Feb 18, 2015 Canavan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jul 30, 2012 Trish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I'd forgotten how bitty this last one in the series was. Still, overall they held up well and I'm glad I've reread them.
Dec 07, 2015 Karl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This copy is signed by Roger Zelazny.
Jun 13, 2017 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In all things, Zelazny has a flair for description. This fifth book in the Chronicles of Amber finds itself simultaneously overly described, with page upon page of etheral transitions through hellrides and walks in Shadow, but somehow still quant in it's drive to completion.

Lord Corwin's charcter arc comes full circle and drags along with it those of his brothers and sister. Several of these changes border on obscenely predictable, but that is the price one pays to read fiction born of a time o
Donna Beaugez
Very short book!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Roger Zelazny's Chaos and Amber (Dawn of Amber Trilogy, #2)
  • The Vanishing Tower (Elric, #4)
  • Yendi (Vlad Taltos, #2)
  • Behind the Walls of Terra (World of Tiers, # 4)
  • Swords Against Wizardry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #4)
  • The First Book of Swords (Books of Swords, #1)
  • The Sword of the Lictor (Volume Three of The Book of the New Sun)
  • Saint Camber (The Legends of Camber of Culdi, #2)
  • The Eyes of the Overworld (The Dying Earth, #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)
  • 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)
  • Manna from Heaven

Share This Book

“Good-bye and hello, as always.” 65 likes
“I saw my earlier selves as different people, acquaintances I had outgrown. I wondered how I could ever have been some of them.” 61 likes
More quotes…