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The Courts of Chaos

(The Chronicles of Amber #5)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  18,813 ratings  ·  298 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
Mass Market Paperback, 189 pages
Published by Avon Books (first published 1978)
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Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This is the last book of Corwin saga. It has everything you would expect from a conclusion of an epic. Final confrontations, mad villains, good people dying heroic deaths - with Amber itself at the stake.
Basically this is the whole plot: the (still) sane members of royal Amber family desperately try to save their worlds from a total annihilation. All because somebody decided the current state of affairs is so bad it is better to wipe everything off and start from the scratch.

Corwin himself chan
Kristy G. Stewart
May 11, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
The final chapter in the original Amber series ties together all the story threads but leaves plenty of room for sequels. This book is probably the second best in the series (after the first one and perhaps tied with the second one) but won't be enjoyed as a stand-alone.
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Corwin gets a quest and heads to Chaos, and leprechauns and The World Tree, a fitting ending to the first arc of the Amber series, enjoyed all 5 of the novels, onto the second arc now.
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Back in the days before Mr. Fogerty inspired Mr. Jordan to expand on his observation that the big wheel keeps on turning, and before Mr. Martin went into the field of meteorology, Roger Zelazny produced this series of five terrific books and thereby offered the fantasy fiction field an alternative to Conan pastiches and Hobbit homages. Amber is the true, real, center of the universe, see, and it's a magical kingdom where the king has gone missing and the nine princes and a handful of princesses ...more
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
"Sometimes it's damned hard to tell the dancer from the dance."
- Roger Zelazny, Coruts of Chaos


So, this isn't the bottom of the first five books in the 'Chronicles of Amber'. Actually, of the five books that make up the Corwin cycle (Books 1-5), it might be my favorite (so 3.5 ✷?). I haven't been impressed by the five enough to rush soon into the Merlin cycle (Books 6-10). I'll probably get there. I own all ten (The Great Book of Amber), but other books from other favorite authors remain unread
Aug 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Kimberley doruyter
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
the battle, the journey and the sadness of passing.
this would seem the natural end of the series, i'm glad it isn't.
Apr 17, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Mike Jordan
Apr 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
"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
Rosava Doshchyk
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Остання частина першого підциклу нагадала мені про кінець "Гаррі Поттера". Там теж герої вешталися бозна-де і були заглиблені в свої роздуми, після чого нарешті зібралися з силами і прикінчили той нещасний основний конфлікт. Менше з тим.

Рефлексії Корвіна цього разу справді набувають небачених масштабів, але читати їх досить цікаво, якщо ви не квапитеся поринути в динаміку і дізнатися нарешті фінал. П'ята частина створена для тих, хто любить Желязни за алюзії — і тут ви знайдете їх чимало, подеку
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Erik Erickson
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, prose, scifi
"...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
Mary Catelli
This opens with Random demanding that Corwin open the door -- he brought food -- because Corwin is reacting badly to the revelation at the end of Hand, namely that (view spoiler)

More revelations ensue. Who is designated Oberon's heir. What Dara was up to, and who was the warrior who spared Corwin in the Courts of Chaos. What they are going to do about the black road. And the grand conclusion to this series.
Ioana Johansson
I have finished the Corwin arc and along the way I had the feeling that this must be what someone experiences on LSD but in written form:)
I've found the story compelling, juvenile, incomplete and strange all around but I have enjoyed it nonetheless.
Gia Jgarkava
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
მოულოდნელად ძალიანაც კარგი აღმოჩნდა კორვინის ციკლის ბოლო წიგნი! უბრალოდ, ბოლოსკენ წმინდა ფენტეზიში გადავარდა, თავისი ემოციური კონიუნქტურითა და პათეტიკით, თორემ ხუთიანსაც კი დაიმსახურებდა
Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Timothy Boyd
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent fantasy series by one of my top 5 favorite writers. The complex cast of characters and the fast pace of the story pulls you in and sweeps you along for a great read. Very recommended
M Hamed
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, fantasy
you can always count on Zelazny to deliver
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This copy is signed by Roger Zelazny.
Joe Kraus
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
I’ve been a little hard on the recent volumes of this series, but this one delivers. It’s not just that this one is the climax of the plotting and planning. Nor is it that, given the clear structure of a good-guy/bad-guy showdown, it avoids some of the loose narrative of the third and fourth volumes.

Instead it’s that this one culminates in a profound strangeness. It builds on the unsettling imagery and metaphysics of Amber, taking it to another level of experiential philosophy. This one doesn’t
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the story, the concepts, and the fast-paced of these books. I give the whole series (the Corwin Cycle) four stars. My main complaint is that there are these nine brothers who are all pretty much indistinguishable as characters. Unless you memorize their names and "colors" early on, there is not much to tell one from the other. They all smoke. They are all tempermental. They all want power. They are all good fighters. They all speak with the same mannerisms. (Even when an entire chapter ...more
Nadia Zeemeeuw
Well, it was quite a hellride! When I started my Amber marathon I was thinking I would make it through both cycles - Corwin’s and Merlin’s. But right now, after finishing Corwin’s cycle, I don’t feel like go farther for the time being. I definitely need a break. Nothing about this series felt like twenty years ago when I’d first read it. Then it was like true magic, something that didn’t let me go for a long while. But not this time. I’m getting old I guess because very little of that twenty yea ...more
Книжни Криле
Том втори от „Хрониките на Амбър” съдържа поредните четири романа (части от 4 до 7) от многотомната фентъзи сага на доайена Роджър Зелазни. Легендарната поредица е задължителна за феновете на жанра и съвсем с право е включена в колекцията на издателство „Бард” „Велики майстори на фентъзи и фантастика”. Прочетете ревюто на "Книжни Криле":
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
კარგი სერია იყო, უნდა ახლავე გავაგრძელო-მეთქი ვერ ვიტყვი, მაგრამ ალბათ შემდეგსაც წავიკითხავ ოდესმე

ფიონა <3
Kat  Hooper
Apr 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
audio re-read Originally posted at FanLit.

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
Gareth Otton
May 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Pam Baddeley
Nov 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
With this slender volume, the five book first Amber series comes to a close. Oberon, the king, and father of the narrator, Corwin, and his siblings, plans to repair the damaged pattern on which Amber and the universe of parallel worlds is based, aware that he is likely to die in the process. Corwin declines to take the throne after him, having matured over the series and found that, without the rivalry with his now deceased brother Eric, the attractions of ruling have paled. The backup plan if O ...more
Daniel Roy
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sf
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
Mar 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, z-2012
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Roger Zelazny's Chaos and Amber (The Dawn of Amber, #2)
  • The Vanishing Tower (The Elric Saga, #4)
  • Yendi (Vlad Taltos, #2)
  • Behind the Walls of Terra (World of Tiers, # 4)
  • Swords Against Wizardry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser #4)
  • The First Book of Swords (Books of Swords, #1)
  • The Sword of the Lictor (The Book of the New Sun, #3)
  • Saint Camber (The Legends of Camber of Culdi, #2)
  • The Eyes of the Overworld (The Dying Earth, #2)
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

Other books in the series

The Chronicles of Amber (10 books)
  • Nine Princes in Amber (The Chronicles of Amber #1)
  • 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)
  • 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)
“I saw my earlier selves as different people, acquaintances I had outgrown. I wondered how I could ever have been some of them.” 93 likes
“Good-bye and hello, as always.” 72 likes
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