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Nine Princes in Amber (The Chronicles of Amber #1)

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  37,036 Ratings  ·  1,210 Reviews
Amber, the one real world, wherein all others, including our own Earth, are but Shadows. Amber burns in Corwin's blood. Exiled on Shadow Earth for centuries, the prince is about to return to Amber to make a mad and desperate rush upon the throne. From Arden to the blood-slippery Stairway into the Sea, the air is electrified with the powers of Eric, Random, Bleys, Caine, ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 175 pages
Published March 1986 by Avon (first published 1970)
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Alex It is now! The estate finally got things worked out, and the money is going to the family.

Community Reviews

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No, it would be no problem at all! I'd be happy to respond to the first draft of your new fantasy novel.

Lets start with the good: I enjoyed your method of immersing the reader in your fantasy world. The protagonist's case of amnesia makes it so he must learn all the same things the reader needs to know. Protagonist Corwin regains his memory gradually, creating a sense of mystery throughout the first hundred pages that is quite entertaining.

Then. . . well, you lost me. I mean, it's so eso
Man, all the good stuff has been said to let me be brief:

OVERALL FEELING: One of my favorite fantasy pieces; sort of starts out as a PI man who lost his memory and has to figure out that he's the prince of another world.

CONCEPT: What if Gods who looked like people created this world and all the other worlds through their Godly thoughts? And what if their father disappeared and there was a fight for the throne which shook all the worlds? And what if this Godly war led to doorways being opened wh
May 12, 2016 Markus rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2016
All roads lead to Amber..

Nine brothers fight for the inheritance left behind by the disappearance of their father. The ultimate prize is the throne of Amber, the one real world, of which all other worlds are mere shadows and reflections.

Nine Princes of the Amber is an interesting fantasy introduction with an intriguing concept. I really enjoyed reading the early parts, where the prince Corwin wakes up in a hospital on Earth with no memory of his past. I expected a more traditional fantasy when p
Jun 06, 2013 Pietro rated it did not like it
What a weird, weird book.

Nine princes in Amber begins with the protagonist, Corwin, waking up in an hospital room, with no memories of himself or his past.
Soon after that he realizes he's been drugged for days and flees the building, meanwhile collecting bits of informations about his former life.
Within a few chapters he learns he's one of the nine living princes of Amber, the only true world (of which every other world is but a Shadow. Literally.) and that this makes him basically a god.
Ivana Split
Oct 06, 2016 Ivana Split rated it it was amazing
I remember, like it was yesterday, the moment I picked up this book in a library. Only it wasn't yesterday, it was about 15 years ago, but what is time when you're in love. I did fall in love with this series. Having read this book for the first time all that time ago, my initial reaction was a very favourable one. I thought this novel was absolutely mind-blowing. My thoughts today? They’re pretty much the same, in all honesty I can say that my original impression never really changed. If ...more
Sep 01, 2015 Daniel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
Kada citam neke od ovih starijih knjiga prosto mi je tesko da poverujem da za ovih 40 godina nisu ostavljeni u prasini i da su pojedine (mnoge) knjige bolje od danasnjih.

Ako uzmemo ovu knjizicu prosto je neverovatno da na svega 170tak strana imamu pricu dubine i tezine daleko vece nego mnoge epske knjige na 400 i vise strana. Mada sa druge strane moglo bi se reci da je minus sto imamo malo likova ali su barem svi odlicno razradjeni.

Ako niste citali obavezno overite, ako jeste vreme je za obnovu
Oct 21, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
currently reading for the September 2009 read for the Zelazny group. Wow! It's still a fantastic read after all these years. That's amazing.

I re-read this every 5 years or so. It's the start to one of the best series I've ever read. Zelazny is a super writer & this book started a series that has spawned a lot of other books. There are 4 other books that follow this one with Corwin as the hero, then Zelazny did another 5 about Corwin's son, Merlin. Gregory Betancourt is up to book 4 (let's ho
Mike (the Paladin)
See my review under the one volume (omnibus) of my favorite series. This is another classic that ought to be called a classic!


I read this one first...back when. It was in the 1970s. I have since grown a bit, aged quite a bit and...possibly even matured a little. I still love these books. I have also discovered audio books (this to happened some years ago and has been detailed elsewhere. My wife became very ill and was bed fast a long time, she also came to the point where she re
Sherwood Smith
I know, I know, I'm a tasteless Philistine. Believe me, I got many appalled looks over the decades when I'd admit that I found it boring, and I always assumed that it was because I, the visual reader, wouldn't know good writing if it bit me in the butt. But now I've a pretty fair grasp on the manifold problems inherent in defining "Good writing" and there were patches of it here and there--he'd slip into Shakespearean pastiche and out again fairly deftly, and some of his setting descriptions ...more
Aug 31, 2016 Amar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015, kindle

Ovakav fantasy još nisam pročitao . Orginalna priča sa dovoljnom dozom misterije , zanimljivim 'storytellingom' , odličnim razrađenim i zanimljivim likovima i to sve spakovano na 231 stranice , što je u današnje vrijeme izgleda nemoguće , a da knjiga nema jedno 600+ stranica .

This was a great short fun adventure fantasy. I particularly enjoyed the dialogue in the first half of the book. The banter was witty and quick and full of laughs. I thought it was an interesting world complete with an interesting family and set of characters. I very much liked the protagonist and was rooting for him even when he didn't know what he was trying to do. There were lots of surprises which I always appreciate. I'm not sure I see where the next books are going and I'm not sure I'll ...more
Kimberley doruyter
Feb 24, 2016 Kimberley doruyter rated it it was amazing
wow, i don't think anyone ever regrets picking this book up.
it's just so good
Sep 28, 2011 Logan rated it did not like it
Shelves: books-i-hate
I hate, hate, HATED this book. I hate this series, but at least the other books are better than this horrendous beginning.

Nothing in this book makes any sense. The system of magic (if there is one) has no parameters or rules--one minute the prince can travel between worlds in a car that he can also change around at will, the next he can't do anything, the next he's walking through doors drawn in the walls, the next he's doing something else weird and nonsensical.

The only motive anyone has in th
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Oct 12, 2014 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: Scott D.
Add this to the list of fantasy series and authors I had never read. I picked up a volume that includes this book and the next one, from a used book store in Georgetown, SC that has since burned down along with most of the downtown.

Luckily, I had rescued this book by purchasing it from the obscure science fiction and fantasy corner in the attic, along with a Catherynne Valente. It has a child's bookplate with a unicorn in the inside front cover, and this really made it feel like a living book!

Kat  Hooper
Sep 19, 2012 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Originally Posted at FanLit.

“I’d get what I needed and take what I wanted and I’d remember those who helped me and step on the rest. For this, I knew, was the law by which our family lived, and I was a true son of my father.”

When Corwin wakes up in a private hospital after driving his car over a cliff, he has no idea who he is. When he realizes that he has healed too fast and that he’s being drugged so he’ll stay unconscious, he decides that he better find out what’s going on.
The truth is strang
TL;DR Review

Fine, whatever. 3 stars because it wasn't a total disappointment as I predicted when I first started.

More reviews @ The Bibliosanctum

Longer Review

Narrator: Alessandro Juliani | Length: 5 hrs and 31 mins | Audiobook Publisher: Audible Studios (July 31, 2013) | Whispersync Ready: No

\The 70s and 80s must’ve been a time to be alive if you were SFF author. Despite how I may feel about the books that came from that era, a unique crop of stories emerged from that time. Thanks to a recent Au
“Besides, I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.”

Nine Princes in Amber is the first book in the Chronicles of Amber series. My initial reaction to the novel is a positive one, as it reflects upon the better aspects of pulp fantasy fiction from the 1970s and beyond. In many ways I feel that this novel is what Michael Moorcock was aimin
Oct 20, 2014 terpkristin rated it really liked it
A relatively short book, Nine Princes in Amber proves why Zelazny is a master of the craft. The book started with a scene I've definitely read before in some other book--only in that book, the doctor holding the patient against their will was a female, and I half-wondered if I'd actually read this book before and just didn't remember. But as the story went on, setting up a world, Amber, and its reverse, Rebma, I realized that I'd definitely never been there before. This book doesn't have the tra ...more
Jan 04, 2012 Adam rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
Zelazny may just become a new favorite of mine. A while ago I read some of his short stories and I thought it was excellent. I saw some reviews on here and decided to give this story a read. I loved it. Great characters and really cool SF elements that make for an exciting read. Plus Zelazny's writing is interesting without being overly flowery so he doesn't waste words telling the story. There is very little filler. A great book.
Sep 28, 2015 Nathan rated it really liked it
A quick read that gives an introduction into the intriguing world of Amber. A friend has wanted me to read this series for a while now and he is super happy that I got into it. And I have to say I am too. Each book looks to be a quick read, but I think the author does a nice job (at least in the first one) providing details about the world while still leaving a lot left to be learned. Looking forward to reading more about Corwin and his quest!
Mar 01, 2013 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans looking for something strangely familiar... yet totally different
After reading Lord of Light, I thought I knew what to expect from Roger Zelazny. I was very wrong. That was in the third person, this was in the first; that was in a distant fictional world, this starts in our world and expands to a multiverse of worlds; that was a story told in a single volume, this is part of a lengthy series. I wouldn't have even guessed it was the same author had I not known he wrote both books.

As for this book, the plot reminded me of three other books* -- The set-up of the
4.o stars. Excellent novel that, despite its age, retains much of its originality and all of its fun. A pioneer among the novels involving the "multiverse," this story portrarys multiple dimensions (or multiuple realities) in fantasy rather than science fiction terms.

Corwin, an immortal and powerful (think god-like) prince of Amber awakes in a hospital with no memories of who he is or how he got there. He quickly escapes and comes to learn that he is heir to the throne of Amber (the one true wo
Dec 29, 2008 John rated it really liked it
I read this many years ago and, by happenstance, re-read it (not for the first time) again recently. I absolutely love the way that Zelazny starts this novel and, by extension, this series. The challenge in fantasy is always to introduce the alternate reality, and Zelazny meets this challenge by starting his main character, Corwin, start with amnesia, so that he himself must discover the nature of reality along with the reader, even though he himself is centrally placed in this universe. The ...more
The Flooze
Feb 07, 2010 The Flooze rated it really liked it

I'm not one for strict fantasy novels. Or at least, I haven't been up to this point. Lately, I've wanted to give the genre another go, inspired by a huge tome that caught my eye every time I visited a bookstore: The Great Book of Amber.

Having now finished the first installment, I'm not sure how to rate it.

Nine Princes of Amber sets off at a gallop with a daring escape. A first person account characterised by swift plotting, it's riddled with questions our amnesiac narrator can't answer. U
Sep 07, 2015 Carly rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, high-fantasy
Between 3 and 3.5

I promise that I don't set out to be unimpressed by the spectacularly popular and beloved books that my GR friends all give five stars.
It just sort of happens.

All the same, Amber was an enjoyable read. I especially appreciated the games of snark in the beginning, when the protagonist has lost his memory and is desperately trying to figure out what's going on without letting anyone else realize how clueless he is. As things drifted more and more towards high fantasy, however, th
Aug 22, 2015 Nostalgebraist rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This starts out with a great premise -- a prince from a large, scheming royal family wakes up with amnesia, and after getting a vague sense of his situation he decides to pretend that he knows what's going on so none of his siblings can exploit him. This results in lots of great moments where the protagonist strings someone along with deftly chosen filler responses ("of course," "you know me," etc).

But then, halfway through, he regains his memories, and instantly everything loses all traction. H
How disappointing.

The first chapters were 4 stars awesome. I was hooked instantly and delightfully surprised. Seeing as this book was written in the 70's, I expected the usual LOTR fantasy style novel. Slow start, simple heroes, old-fashioned setting. Instead, I got a fast paced beginning with a modern unusual protagonist. At first, I enjoyed his aloof tone and the mystery.

However, as the mystery unraveled, really quickly I might add, the detached dialogue started getting on my nerves. The fast
Thomas Wagner
Jul 14, 2016 Thomas Wagner rated it really liked it
Part of going through my original website is looking at some old reviews I think need a refresh, and as I never finished reviewing the Amber series, I thought I'd jump back into the first one and get a revised review up on the new SFF180 site. I'm happy to report that, while I know the law of diminishing returns eventually does affect this series, this initial volume has lost none of its retro, pulpy appeal. So I should have my full-length review up on the new site by the weekend and I'll ...more
Jun 18, 2007 liza rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
i remember the summer i found this book. i didn't know what a graphic novel was then, but if i had, i would have claimed that this was just a graphic novel without the pictures! it felt like a comic book all the way through. i swear i could even hear the kerpow!s and poof!s and clanging of swords while i was reading. i went to the library to see if he'd written anything else and began my lifelong love of zelazny's works. i zipped straight through guns of avalon and waited for six or seven long ...more
Dec 25, 2009 Jon rated it liked it
The first few chapters grabbed me immediately. But the more I read, the less I cared about Corwin, his siblings or the reality that is Amber. I had trouble overcoming the psychedelic nature of the storyline and wanted to avoid flashbacks to the early 70s if at all possible.

Zelazny did not convince me that the prize of Amber was worth all the bloodshed and collateral damage. The selfishness of the Princes (and Princesses) of Amber galled me.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Suldrun's Garden (Lyonesse, #1)
  • Roger Zelazny's The Dawn of Amber (Dawn of Amber Trilogy, #1)
  • Jhereg (Vlad Taltos, #1)
  • The Broken Sword
  • Stormbringer (Elric, #6)
  • The Riddle-Master of Hed (Riddle-Master, #1)
  • Swords Against Death (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #2)
  • Deryni Rising (The Chronicles of the Deryni #1)
  • The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (Conan the Cimmerian, #1)
  • Black Sun Rising (The Coldfire Trilogy, #1)
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)
  • 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)
  • Manna from Heaven

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“I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.” 430 likes
“I walked among Shadows, and found a race of furry creatures, dark and clawed and fanged, reasonably manlike, and about as intelligent as a freshman in the high school of your choice-sorry, kids, but what I mean is they were loyal, devoted, honest, and too easily screwed by bastards like me and my brother. I felt like the dee-jay of your choice.” 17 likes
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