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

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  40,715 Ratings  ·  1,423 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, an ...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.

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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
Aug 13, 2014 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
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 too 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 r
Nov 14, 2014 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
Jun 04, 2013 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 Books Are Magic
Oct 06, 2016 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 anythi ...more
Dec 19, 2007 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
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
kompletan prvi dio Amberskih kronika je jedan stvarno izvrstan fantasy i tu nemam više riječi dodati osim da je Zelazny majstor majstora kada je u stanju napisati i izvrstan SF i izvrstan F.

opća kultura - pročitati obvezno!

(kad mi već GR nutka da ovo pročitam da mu napišem kako sam već i zaboravio :) )

Aug 07, 2015 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 ju ...more
Nandakishore Varma
There must be some bad chemistry between Roger Zelazny and I. I read his award-winning novel Lord of Light and was seriously underwhelmed. I explained why in my review, but still got pasted for bad-mouthing an American classic from an Indian viewpoint. Anyone interested in seeing the roasting I got can visit the comment thread on my review of that book.

I thought well, maybe I have been less than fair: this gentleman being one of the greats in the field of SF and fantasy, I should give him anothe
Kimberley doruyter
Feb 14, 2015 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 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)
May 20, 2012 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
Apr 28, 2011 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
One of my favorite stories, written & narrated by one of my favorite authors, so I thought I'd love it. Unfortunately, there is too much background noise. It's supposed to be sound effects to enhance the story, but they're too intrusive & soon just became overwhelmingly irritating. No thanks. I'll pull out my old Avon paperbacks next time.
Dec 29, 2011 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.
May 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
"If danger was the price of memory and risk the cost of opportunity, then so be it. I'd stay."
- Roger Zelazny, Nine Princes in Amber


Let me throw my biases out in front. I am not a fan of fantasy. I have a sister-in-law who reads a lot of fantasy and has shelves and shelves of elves and elves and I mock her almost to tears about it. I view a lot of the genre filled with derivative crap. But, I have found a couple gems. I loved Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, White's The Once and Future King, and
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
Dec 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a review of Les Trois Mousquetaires, where I argued that it was the spiritual father of the modern French trash novel. Since then, I've been having three parallel discussions with my wife, Jordan and notgettingenough about what it is that makes something into a trash novel. Three out of the four of us incline to the view that it's the quality of being mass-produced; a trash novel is one that has been hastily constructed according to an existing formula, with a min ...more
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Full Review at Tenacious Reader:

I was incredibly impressed by how well this book has aged. It is a portal fantasy, so parts of it are set in the “modern” day we know, but with the exception of the absence of current technology and a few references to hippies, I could not have told you when it was written. It still feels very modern even though its 40+ years old.

The story begins with Corwin, who has woken in a hospital and seems to be suffering from amnesi
Dec 11, 2013 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
Sep 24, 2015 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!
The Flooze
Feb 05, 2009 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
Aug 19, 2015 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
Feb 27, 2013 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 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 sto ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Suldrun's Garden (Lyonesse #1)
  • Roger Zelazny's The Dawn of Amber (Amber: The Oberon Cycle, #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
“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.” 457 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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