Damm's Reviews > The Great Book of Amber

The Great Book of Amber by Roger Zelazny
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's review
Apr 08, 2011

it was amazing
Read in May, 1985

The greatest sci-fi series ever written in my opinion. Zelazny uses vivid uber-specific detail to paint graphically tedious worlds while pacing perfectly an intricate tale of family intrigue and subterfuge worthy of Agatha Christie. Prince Corwin and the other royals are each distinct and real. This is a bucket list book.
The story revolves around Corwin of Amber, the one true world of Order on one end and the Courts of Chaos on the other which all others are "shadows" including our own, and his struggles for ascendency to the throne. In Book 1: Nine Princes in Amber we join Corwin waking up in a lock down hospital on present day earth with no memory. From there its a non-stop but really intricately detailed rush to fill his memory gap. He notices he is unusually strong and dexterous, as all royals of Amber we come to find out are. There are 10 books and far to many to go into here but basically you do not ever know who to trust, if they are family they are plotting.
Royals also have the ability to walk through "shadows" by manipulations of scenery with their minds. In these "shadows" time flows differently and different laws of physics work in each according to the walker's whimsy. The back and forth banter of real to life family conversations mixed with the never knowing who is your friend or enemy makes this book like heroin, so put aside long blocks of time.
The fact this book series is written in the first person by two characters, (the second cycle features Corwin's son Merlin who is looking for his father and the family member that tries to kill him every year) make it especially engaging making the reader the character.

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