Nadine Jones's Reviews > The Guns of Avalon

The Guns of Avalon by Roger Zelazny
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Jan 26, 2012

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bookshelves: fantasy-and-sci-fi, x2016-reading-challenges, re-read, alternate-planes-and-histories, arthur
Read from April 23 to May 01, 2016

I found this book to be rather flat and much duller than Nine Princes in Amber; this definitely suffers from "second book syndrome." In the first book, so many crazy things are happening, and we learn so much and meet so many characters! In this book, Corwin ... gets some explosive powder and thinks about returning to Amber. It's very much a transition piece, there to get Corwin from Point A to Point B. I actually skimmed some parts with needlessly detailed passages of Corwin moving through Shadows, pages of it! Most of the things he does weren't even necessary to his plan to get back to Amber. The last 15 pages of this book (it was 15 pages in my edition, the Omnibus - probably more in the original copy) kick ASS, suddenly everything comes together, shit is HAPPENING, plot twists jump up at you, and it was edge-of-your-seat reading.

It's been several years now (well, four years) since I last read the first book in this series, "Nine Princes in Amber", and I had forgotten a few key details (in particular, what was Corwin's death curse?) so I was a little bit confused now and then. I'll try not to let so much time pass before I move on to the third book, Sign of the Unicorn.

If you like Zelazny, this series is a Must Read. If you don't care for his style, you'll probably find yourself frustrated. For me, coming back to Zelazny is like coming home to eat mom's cooking again. Some of this may feel dated, and his portrayals of women are not always what they could be, but I fell in love with Zelazny a long time ago, back when those things didn't matter to me, so I can look past it.

Part of what I love about this series is that Prince Corwin is the protagonist, and the hero, but he's also kind of an asshole. And he knows he's kind of an asshole. It's refreshing.

And the other thing that is especially wonderful is how very Arthurian it all is. Corwin even meets a Sir Lancelot.

This book fulfills the "a book you haven't read since high school" prompt in the 2016 Popsugar Ultimate Reading Challenge.
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