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


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Should I Read The Sequels?

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Kristy Hunter So I just finished this book and I thought it started out kinda slow but quickly picked up pace. I think I want to read the sequels, so my question is how good are they? Better than Nine Princes? Not as good?

I thought it ended great. It wasn't a happy ending, but it has a lot of promise for the future. Does the story get better and better?


Bill Golden Read the first five. I have mixed feelings about The Second Chronicles of Amber, so I'll let someone else try to sell you on them.

Basically, without reading the entire series, you don't get the full effect of the story. Why was Corwin on Earth? What happened to Oberon or Dworkin? It's an intricate storyline that just can't be represented properly by reading only the first book.


Nyssa Bill is not the first I've heard say that! I can vouch for books 2 &3. I'm currently reading #4. I'll warn that there is a pretty detailed recap towards the beginning of #4, but the story picks up quickly from there on out.

I'm taking my time w/ them as I'm actually reading The Great Book of Amber (Chronicles of Amber, #1-10) by Roger Zelazny The Great Book of Amber which is the omnibus containing all 10 books.


Bill Golden Nyssa wrote: "I'm taking my time w/ them as I'm actually reading The Great Book of Amber (Chronicles of Amber, #1-10) which is the omnibus containing all 10 books. "

I have that, too. Hopefully, someone else who makes it through the Second Chronicles will weigh in... even after 2 trips through the entire series, I'm unsure on what happened with Merlin at the end.


message 5: by Gary (last edited Mar 09, 2013 08:41PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary Given the size of fantasy books these days, I think the first five Amber novels would probably be rolled into 1-2 books had it been written more recently. The Great Book of Amber would probably have been published in two installments.

Given that, yes, I think you should read the sequels, particularly for the rest of the Corwin cycle. I like the Merlin ones quite a bit too, so I'd recommend them also.

There is a bit of rehash in the books, because Zelazny assumed they would be published separately, so if you read them one after another you get several pages of "reminders" about previous plot events. Those sections are a little bothersome nowadays, but you can get through them pretty quickly.


Luke I liked all five books, If you like them then try reading Philip Jose Farmers World of Tiers series which is essentially what zelazny was trying to emulate and took his inspiration from.


Lesley Arrowsmith It's very cleverly done - every time Corwin gets a new piece of information from another member of his family, it changes just about everything he's known up until then.


Michael Pearce Definitely read the first series, and have a go at the second- I didn't enjoy it as much but I was never sorry that I'd read it.


Ruby Hollyberry I only liked the first two.


Jovan Read them all man,. . . Corwin and Merlin tales ! I was also a little sceptic about reading Zelazny but he blew my mind . . . . . .asolutley timeless storytelling x)


message 11: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill Golden Has anyone read the prequel novels, by the way? I've heard that they're bad, but any other opinions would be welcome (I might consider picking up the e-books, just because I like the Amber concept).


message 12: by David (last edited Mar 12, 2013 11:17AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Merrill Definitely read all the Corwin books (the first five). These are definite classics. The whole concept of Amber is wonderful. I liked the Merlin books, but not as much. They're still worth a read. I read the John Gregory Betancourt books too. They're pretty good and I think he channels Zelazny reasonably well. If you loved the Corwin books, I would read the Betancourt series just for the opportunity to revisit Amber, but, no, they aren't quite as good, but I certainly wouldn't call them bad.


message 13: by Neil (new) - rated it 5 stars

Neil My recommendation would be to read them all, but I'm biased as I revisit the entire omnibus every few years. I think reading them all gives a better understanding into not only the protagonists (Corwin for 1-5 and Merle for 5-10), but also to the supporting characters. Random's development and relationships with his family in the second cycle really stands out for me, and there are a couple reveals in the middle of each cycle that kinda knock your socks off.

Re: the Betancourt books. On the upside I have to agree, another opportunity to visit Amber was awesome, but they're not quite Zelazny. They tend to recycle themes from the originals, which keeps them familiar but without being fresh. Go in with moderate expectations to keep from being disappointed.


Thane Read 'em all! Well, the Zelazny ones.


Robert Wright Love, love, LOVE the Amber novels!!!

Hands down, my favorite fantasy series of all time. Read on, MacDuff, umm, Kristy.


Alexandra I actually started the Merlin sequence first, then went back & read the 5 Corwin books. So, that should demonstrate that they are not weaker - actually they remain my favourites.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Read the entire first set, yes. That's all one long story (Nine Princes, Guns of Avalon, Sign of the Unicorn, Hand of Oberon, Courts of Chaos). You won't really know what's going on until the end, and they are all wonderful.

I didn't like the second (Merle) series AT ALL. It detracted from the first set. I haven't read the Betancourt so I can't comment about that.

If you like the Amber series pick up Zelazny's Roadmarks as well. That's a wonderful book, similar in some ways to the Amber series but in a single volume.


message 18: by Edward (last edited Dec 15, 2013 02:50PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Edward M. I had a similar experience; I loved the Corwin books, but I couldn't get even half-way through the first Merlin book.

Agree on Roadmarks; I read it as a kid and recently found a used copy on ebay to read again, and parts feel very much like a half-formed Amber.


message 19: by Luke (new) - rated it 4 stars

Luke I agree with previous comments roadmarks is very good as well


Alexandra Luke wrote: "I agree with previous comments roadmarks is very good as well"

Why, Luke - don't you have any fondness for your namesake (Merlin's old friend...)?


message 21: by Luke (new) - rated it 4 stars

Luke Alexandra - I never did read the second installments. The first 5 were great although a little confusing at times so I didn't mind the repeating of the synopsis of the previous novels. On the subject of etymology Alexandra I should hope you would defend my point of view - Rinaldo :)


Alexandra Ah, Rinaldo... I always did have a soft spot for you! :)
I said that I liked the Merlin CYCLE, not necessarily the gentleman himself. Although Blood of Amber does have what is, in my opinion, the coolest scene in the entire sequence (I rate the ascent of Kolvir in The Guns of Avalon as the most inspiringly heroic).

Actually, I read the first two books of the Merlin cycle before discovering the Corwin ones, which may account for my perspective. The second cycle is more "urban fantasy" in tone, I suppose, whilst the first is "heroic fantasy". I originally thought references to Corwin's adventures were simply "heroic vistas", and was delighted to find that the books actually exist!

(view spoiler)


message 23: by Tess (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tess Luke wrote: "I liked all five books, If you like them then try reading Philip Jose Farmers World of Tiers series which is essentially what zelazny was trying to emulate and took his inspiration from."

Never heard this! I'll have to look for the World of Tiers books, then. I'm ridiculously hooked on the Amber books. I've lost count of how many times I've read them!


Cynthia If this is your only exposure to Zelazny, I would advise reading the first 5 and then pick some of his other books. I've read almost everything he wrote and there are many others that deserve your time before you start on #6 of this series.


Kimber I picked up The Great Book of Amber (books 1 - 10 combined) and read it straight through. I did tend to skim the recaps due to the all in one format but I loved the books overall. Thank you for the advice about the Betancourt prequels. I actually missed Amber when I finished and immediately started looking for anything else Amber-related. The prequels are on my reading list. I'll read them with your advice in mind.


David The books are relatively quick reads, and the universe itself is cleverly designed. I finished the first five recently and went straight on to the second Chronicles, and I'm enjoying them too. At the very least, you should finish the first five.


Nancy I very much like the first five Corwin books, although the second set, focused on Merlin, did not satisfy like the first. In the Merlin series, too many characters seemed to pop in out of nowhere and left too many unanswered questions.


Peter I've read all of them many times.

Imo the first five are far better. The second five seem to be a bit of a cash-in.

A lot of Zelazny's other works are better than 6-10. Lord of Light, This Immortal, Jack of Shadows, Today we choose faces, Roadmarks, A Night in the Lonesome October, the Sandow and Dilvish ones....


message 29: by Greg (new) - rated it 3 stars

Greg I have to agree with the consensus. Read the first five. I did read the 6th book, but it was disappointing.


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