Ed's Reviews > Nine Princes in Amber

Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny
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Apr 17, 11

bookshelves: fantasy
Read from April 13 to 17, 2011

I found this hard going, even for a pretty short novella. The prose was a weird hybrid of Shakespearean language and mid-20th Century American slang, which was more disconcerting than interesting. The gimmick of having a central character suffering from amnesia was never really explored or used to its full potential and was ditched about a third of the way through anyway. The dialogue was very stilted and wooden and the narrative too often fell into a wearying pattern of "I did this. Then I did that. Then I did this other thing. He said this to me. I replied. She decided to blah" etc etc.

However, having said that, I did find the central idea of an eternal war of accession across infinite parallel worlds fairly engaging and I got a sense that Zelazny was at least trying to do something quite different with the genre - at its best it was reminiscent of the sort of pulp fantasy that Michael Moorcock was exploring in his Elric stories during roughly the same period, but with an Urban edge.

At any rate, there were enough glimmers of something to justify plunging into the next novella.
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