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

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  12,182 ratings  ·  139 reviews
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 reshape the universe. To save Amber, Corwin, prince of the bl...more
Mass Market Paperback, 142 pages
Published September 1979 by Avon (first published January 1st 1978)
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Jackie
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...more
Mike Jordan
"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...more
Erik Erickson
"...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 o...more
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...more
Cameron
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...more
Olethros
-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...more
Petya
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
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...more
Traummachine
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...more
Daniel Roy
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...more
Brad
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...more
Andreas
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...more
Peter
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
Jim
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...more
Gumps
The Corwin Cycle is finished, and I have to say unfortunately this was not my favorite book of the series. Too much time was spent describing the journey through shadow or through the various patterns. We have experienced it multiple times already, but in this book we had to go through the lengthy descriptions many more times. At these points there is nothing progressing the story or the characters, it is just page after page of changing environment.

It was nice seeing all outstanding questions...more
Alex Hurst
"Do we make the Shadow worlds? Or are they there, independent of us, awaiting our footfalls?" ––Corwin, Prince of Amber, Prince of Chaos

The Courts of Chaos, the final book in the Corwin Cycle of The Book of Amber, is a sojourn into the philosophical, the religious; more inward looks than outward journeys, all leading to an under-stated finality of resolutions, repentance, and regret.

A short read that ultimately is more of a backwards epilogue, The Courts of Chaos departs from the intrigue and ac...more
Vira Motorko
Уух, краса! Мені подобається :-)
В одному з відгуків помітила фразку: "І оце називають класикою фентезі?!" Правду кажучи, у мене теж така думка була, але я її пояснюю своєю необізнаністю в жанрах і типахх -- чи то фентезі, чи то не фентезі, по суті, не так і важливо. Головне, що книга цікава :-)
Події, люди, хід сюжету, відносини між персонажами... Ще раз зауважу красу викладу історії від першої особи: вміло. І відносини: діалоги, гіпотези, прогнози дій інших -- подобаються теж.
Коли читала описи м...more
Pamela Deters
As the final book in the Corwin cycle of the Amber series it is nearly impossible to rate this book on its own terms.

In comparison to the other books of the series it picks up pace as we come to the end since now we seem to be in possession of the facts. There are some new faces as we meet Corwin's son Merlin and Dara has a dalliance with switching sides. Unfortunately, there is no time to flesh out the characters before the end of the book. And is it really necessary to spend half the book sha...more
Daniel
I recently promised myself that I would reread some of the books I loved as a high-school kid to see if they still stood up. These do. They aren’t Great Novels, they aren’t High and Serious Literature, but they will remind you of the times you waited to get home from school to read something that you wanted to read and that, for the life of you, you couldn’t understand why you couldn’t read in school. I distinctly remember plowing through A Man for All Seasons at full speed, just so I could say...more
Mike
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.
Lauren
I don't know the author's background, how many books he's written, or what this series represented to him. However, it seems as though this series were written by a novice. The writing itself was a bit simplistic and the author took liberties with his lack of ability for the simple fact that the story is set in the fantasy realm. What makes fantasy so fantastic is an author's ability to make the reader feel as if the fantasy is rooted in reality and therefore tangible (and perhaps somewhat possi...more
John
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
Trish
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.
Erin Hartshorn
And so the books of Corwin come to an end. I don't remember reading this one before; perhaps the library didn't have it when I was young. I loved the mix of mythologies, and the resolution was apt for all the books leading to this point. The hell ride might have been a touch overdone, but the descriptions are vivid and (mostly) entertaining and the characters believable in their larger-than-life human frailties.

I may go years again before picking these up to reread, but I'm glad I read them now.
Iain
It's hard to really sum up a book you're not entirely sure as to its position within a mythos. Did the author intend this as a final book and later returned to his world, or was this just a brief stop over along the way?

Courts of Chaos is unique, an interesting book full of rarely repeated plot ideas and a loose narrative that goes at a pace entirely up to its own devices. As a book intended to be a 'final chapter' it's an absolute failure, with the climax bizarre, the main antagonist a confusin...more
Books-treasureortrash
The First Chronicles of Amber, includes books 1 - 5

An interesting and compelling concept for a fantasy book and a very different kind of fantasy. Some elements of the story take place in modern times and some elements take place in medieval times. I found the writing to be imaginative and quite deep.

Amber is the only real place upon the real Earth. It is the substance from which all other realities are but a shadow, including the world that we now live in and there are unlimited numbers of shado...more
Sara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark
My understanding is I have read the portion of the Chronicles that are told from Corwin's point of view, and after about 600 pages of that I don't feel like I have any grip of the motivations of any character other than Corwin. It's tough to call them characters at all, as they are more like names that come and go from the narrative. The more time they spend around Corwin, the more development they get, but that's only a handful, like Random and Ganelon.

The sparse style that doesn't really expl...more
Lee Tracy
I read the Corwin cycle of the Amber Chronicles for the first time over the past weeks, and now that I am done with book 5, I think I'll do the same as some other reviewers and put down my feelings here for the first five books.

Sometimes the writing and the dialogue are a bit hackneyed, but that manages to never get in the way of a really grand and gorgeously realized multiverse, one that begs to be explored and more fully understood. And Zelazny does a good job of telling the entire series of...more
Kat  Hooper
audio re-read Originally posted at FanLit. http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

The Courts of Chaos is the very short last installment of the CORWIN CYCLE of THE CHRONICLES OF AMBER and the fifth volume of the entire series. If you haven’t read the previous books, you’ve got no business here — go away. I don’t want to ruin it for you. Go read the first book, Nine Princes in Amber, and continue on from there.

OK. So Oberon is back and we learn that he’s been manipulating events all along. Now h...more
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  • Roger Zelazny's to Rule in Amber (Dawn of Amber Trilogy, #3)
  • The Vanishing Tower (Elric, #4)
  • The First Book of Swords (Books of Swords, #1)
  • Swords Against Death (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #2)
  • Phoenix (Vlad Taltos, #5)
  • Harpist in the Wind (Riddle-Master, #3)
  • The Sword of the Lictor (The Book of the New Sun #3)
  • Shadow Games (The Chronicle of the Black Company, #4)
  • Myth Conceptions (Myth Adventures, #2)
3619
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, which share the inve...more
More about Roger Zelazny...
Nine Princes in Amber (Amber Chronicles, #1) The Great Book of Amber (The Chronicles of Amber, #1-10) Lord of Light The Guns of Avalon (Amber Chronicles, #2) The Hand of Oberon (Amber Chronicles, #4)

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“Good-bye and hello, as always.” 42 likes
“I saw my earlier selves as different people, acquaintances I had outgrown. I wondered how I could ever have been some of them.” 30 likes
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