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message 1: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2670 comments This is our discussion of the novel...

The Courts of Chaos by Roger Zelazny

The fifth and final book in the Chronicles of Amber series. See The First Chronicles of Amber discussion hub for more info on the series and pointers to discussion of its other novels.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

This is the shortest book of the series (142 pages in my paperback.) That goes against the current trend of every book in the series getting longer. :)


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Chapter 1

This final volume doesn't have the recap the other books did.

Corwin is peeved that dad camouflaged his identity as Ganelon; mostly he seems mad that he liked Ganelon and didn't like dad. Random joins him in the recriminations. Dad has been giving orders, specifically to organize an imminent attack against the Courts of Chaos; then be wandered off again.

There's then a strange scene I didn't entirely understand, a vision in a room of the Amber palace with alt-future-Benedict in a sword fight with an invisible opponent (Corwin believes it is him, some sort of reflection of the fight Corwin & Benedict fought in Tir-na Nog'th.) Benedict is "disarmed" as a pun. Not sure how that relates to current Benedict.

Martin (Random's kid) has a set of Trumps that include some new people. Which brings us to Dara, setting up next chapter....

Chapter 1 ends with a gratuitous Maltese Falcon reverence.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) I finished this one yesterday. I thought it was good but the best book in the series is still the first one. Courts is probably tied with Guns of Avalon (#2) as the second best in the series. I won't say anything about the plot until everyone else has a chance to read it.


message 5: by Cat (new)

Cat | 343 comments I'm about 50% of the way through. Despite the fact that it's so short, I'm struggling because I keep reading it in bed and falling asleep, oops! Also, while I enjoy hell-rides and the descriptions of them. I think I'm a little over them.


message 6: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2670 comments G33z3r wrote: "There's then a strange scene I didn't entirely understand, a vision in a room of the Amber palace with alt-future-Benedict in a sword fight with an invisible opponent (Corwin believes it is him, some sort of reflection of the fight Corwin & Benedict fought in Tir-na Nog'th.)"

I guess it explains how he was able to retrieve a physical object from Tir-na-Nog'th, because in some way he didn't get it from there but rather he got it from the future. He took it from Benedict, so it could later (er...earlier) be given to him. It's the interesting time paradox where say you invent something today, but somehow manage to send that invention back to yourself in the past, now your past self was incapable of inventing it so it wouldn't exist if your future self didn't invent it, but why would you bother inventing it if it already existed (since your past self would have published or whatever the invention). I kinda like the loopiness of that part. In a way that arm doesn't exist before or after that loop, and in fact, no one had to build/create it either, it exists because it was taken from the future and given to the past.

That was an extra long hell-ride must admit, Zelazny really enjoys those. But at least this one is interrupted by Brand and a few other interesting adventures. Love the bit where he gets to fulfill scripture ;)

I see we left British mythology (maybe more on the Amber side?) and moved towards Norse mythology (is it more chaotic?) with Ygg and Huginn. I love it when ravens show up in these books (American Gods, Gunslinger), they're usually pretty snarky birds (and usually react badly to the mention of "Nevermore").

Without saying what happened, I have to disagree with Jim, I find it does have a pretty satisfying ending. Yes, there is one big new thing that I guess will drive the next 5 books, but I feel the story is pretty well complete and wrapped up here. Sure not all questions are answered, but that's life...plus not sure every weird event (like the one in Chapter 1) really has a real answer to be had.

Unlike some of Zelazny's other work that really don't feel finished (Jack of Shadows comes to mind).


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Andrea wrote: "G33z3r wrote: "There's then a strange scene I didn't entirely understand, a vision in a room of the Amber palace with alt-future-Benedict in a sword fight with an invisible opponent..."

I guess it explains how he was able to retrieve a physical object from Tir-na-Nog'th, because in some way he didn't get it from there but rather he got it from the future."


Yeah, I get that Benedict's mechanical arm was probably in a time-loop. But when that scene happened to Corwin on Tir-na Nog'th (in Sign of the Unicorn), Dara called herself Queen of Amber and Corwin dead for centuries. Yet here, in Courts of Chaos, it's happening to now-Dara (who is not Queen of Amber) and now-Benedict (who has scant reason to pick a fight with Corwin, and knows very well Corwin isn't dead.)

The only thing I could think of is that while Corwin got the mechanical arm from one alt-far-future, the scene here is from a different alt-near-future, and the arm is being passed around not just in time but in alt-realities.


message 8: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 11, 2018 06:11PM) (new)

Chapter 2

Dara claims to have orders for the boys (and, it seems, the girls) from Oberon himself! Obviously she's lying... or not. Once again we have events from the plot not "happen" in the now but happen off-stage and then told to us by someone in a conversation. This is a pattern in these books: jump ahead in time and then have someone tell us what happened while we were time-traveling.

Anyway, Dara and Oberon are now besties. Oberon has a plan, Dara says. Corwin goes to Oberon to confirm... then is uncharacteristically heroically self-sacrificing.

Interestingly, Oberon has the power to stop him.


message 9: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2670 comments G33z3r wrote: "The only thing I could think of is that while Corwin got the mechanical arm from one alt-far-future, the scene here is from a different alt-near-future, and the arm is being passed around not just in time but in alt-realities."

That just made my head hurt. Not sure if it solves the time paradox if we are dealing with alt-realities or if it makes it worse.

G33z3r wrote: "Interestingly, Oberon has the power to stop him."

Dworkin was there too. (view spoiler)


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Andrea wrote: "That just made my head hurt. Not sure if it solves the time paradox if we are dealing with alt-realities or if it makes it worse...."

I thought the chapter 2 scene resolve the time paradox (not that I think Zelazny really cared) by having the arm disappear again. Its existence they are is a closed loop, and it did leave Benedict motivated to get "another" one which could eventually seed the device into that loop. :)


The whole idea of where the mechanical arm came from got me thinking. If I were Benedict and wanted such a thing, I'd shadow walk into some future technological Shadow, one with flying cars and space travel and, most importantly, the ability to create custom prosthetic limbs.

That's essentially what Corwin did to get his gunpowder and guns, shift between technological Shadows.

Which reminded me that nobody does that (Shadowwalk into a Earth-future) in any of these books. The most technologically advanced Shadow anyone visits is our own. Since that's already more technologically advanced than Amber (except in matters of magic), it seems rather arbitrary limit.


message 11: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2228 comments Could it be a limit imposed by their own imaginations?


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Jim wrote: "Could it be a limit imposed by their own imaginations?"

Possibly. On the one hand we have Corwin's shadow Earth, which has guns, cars, planes, jets and rockets to the moon, none of which exist in Amber. However, that begs the question of how much of Shadow is the imagination of the Amberites, and how much Shadows create themselves. When Corwin first came to shadow-Earth, it was still the early Renaissance (and Corwin didn't imagine it, his exiler did.) So for half a dozen centuries, the Shadow was apparently on autopilot, inventing gunpowder, guns, etc. (In contrast, Corwin's shadow Avalon didn't seem to progress at all, but remain the same futile land he left.)

Anyway, in another hundred years Benedict can probably pick up his prosthesis from shadow-Earth (or maybe 130 years, given the time difference with Amber.) Or, he may regrow his own arm, given the regenerative powers of the Blood. When you're immortal, you can be patient.


message 13: by Kivrin (new)

Kivrin | 460 comments RJ wrote: "I finished this one yesterday. I thought it was good but the best book in the series is still the first one. Courts is probably tied with Guns of Avalon (#2) as the second best in the series. I won..."

I agree about the first one, but I think I'd rate "The Hand of Oberon" as my second fave.


message 14: by Cat (new)

Cat | 343 comments Finished! Overall I enjoyed this one although the hell ride got a bit tedious even with random little events thrown in. Definitely had a Norse feel to it for a bit of variety. Maybe it's because the idea of the last battle in Norse mythology (can't remember the name of it off the top of my head) fits well with this story?

I particularly liked the ending. While there are always going to be question marks, and 'what next?', I thought it was quite satisfying. To the point that I don't feel the need to go and read the next 5, I'm perfectly happy just leaving it there.

I quite liked the time loop and that it can't be explained. I think I like the fact that there are things that even these long lived characters don't know/can't explain. I did, however, get a bit confused by the whole Dara thing in general. I'm really not sure what she was about!

Back in the earlier books we talked about the fact that the female characters were a bit lacking and dismissed by Corwin/male characters. I did like that by the end of the series, some of them did actually develop some personality/backbones. (view spoiler)


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Chapter 3

Well, I agree with previous comments that I'm pretty much over the descriptions of Hell Rides. A bush with blue flowers, a rock shaped like a triangle, an old guy fallen asleep over a paperback book,...

Oberon demonstrates another new Amber-power ( or Jewel of Judgement power); he extracts some blood from Corwin and turns it into a inter-shadow delivery drone. OK.

Brand demonstrates another new power, too, though whether it comes from Amber or Chaos, we don't know. But he can in some way hinder Corwin from shifting Shadow. Corwin figures out a solution pretty quickly.

I wonder if Corwin will run into the guy he met two books ago in his previous trip to Chaos, the one he said he would remember. It would be a pretty wasted set up if he didn't. :)


message 16: by Cat (new)

Cat | 343 comments There seems to be quite some variation in peoples second favourite book, Sign of the Unicorn was mine after the Nine Princes.


message 17: by Kivrin (last edited Dec 14, 2018 01:26PM) (new)

Kivrin | 460 comments My favorite part of this book was the last few chapters starting with how Corwin handled Borel (Dara's teacher?). I laughed out loud! He was like...I just went through all this, and you want to duel? Really?


message 18: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2228 comments Kivrin wrote: "My favorite part of this book was the last few chapters starting with how Corwin handled Borel (Dara's teacher?). I laughed out loud! He was like...I just went through all this, and you want to due..."

Kind of reminds me of Mal in Firefly. Great stuff.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Chapter 4

Brand wants to talk. His pitch is: Oberon failed to restore the Pattern. Brand will make a new Pattern (with himself as king) if Corwin will give him the Jewel. Corwin calls Brand a liar and rejects the offer.

Q: Why doesn't Corwin pull out some of his Trumps and contact one of his siblings in Amber to try to confirm or refute Brand's story? Hey, he's got a magical, inter-shadow cell phone, why not use it?


message 20: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2670 comments G33z3r wrote: "Q: Why doesn't Corwin pull out some of his Trumps and contact one of his siblings in Amber to try to confirm or refute Brand's story? Hey, he's got a magical, inter-shadow cell phone, why not use it?"

For the same reason he didn't Trump straight to Chaos in the first place. Because the time differential is so huge, when you reach out to someone and they spend say 5 minutes trying to contact you, you only feel the contact for 5 seconds so the person in the slower time would have to hold the contact for hours to pull you through...something along those lines anyway.

So as he gets further from Amber it gets harder and harder to contact them, though why he didn't use the Trumps to jump to Chaos as he got closer to them is perhaps not explained.

Also, if Oberon failed, Amber would have been wiped out so no one to contact anyway


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Andrea wrote: "G33z3r wrote: "Q: Why doesn't Corwin pull out some of his Trumps and contact one of his siblings in Amber to try to confirm or refute Brand's story? Hey, he's got a magical, inter-shadow cell phone..."

I thought Oberon's reason for not doing that was Corwin would have to rendezvous with the blood bird & Jewel along the way (since the bird couldn't go all the way to Chaos because <mumble>.

Which-re-opens the question of why, one Corwin had the Jewel, he didn't just have someone Trump him to Chaos.



Andrea wrote: "Also, if Oberon failed, Amber would have been wiped out so no one to contact anyway ..."

Well, a complete "no contact" would say something, too. But if Brand was lying as Çorwin (wanted to) believe, he would have had an answer.


message 22: by Cat (new)

Cat | 343 comments G33z3r wrote: "Q: Why doesn't Corwin pull out some of his Trumps and contact one of his siblings in Amber to try to confirm or refute Brand's story? Hey, he's got a magical, inter-shadow cell phone, why not use it?..."

Wasn't there a brief comment by Oberon about how the re-doing of the pattern would interrupt the Trumps? I may just be making that up, but that's what my impression was. I think as with a few things in this series, the reason why gets some handwaving. Which is fine, just tests your suspension of disbelief and tendency towards logic lol!


message 23: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2228 comments Corwin actually said he could just trump through, but Oberon said that when he attempted to redraw/fix the Pattern, there would be a time when the trumps wouldn't work. He also said the bird couldn't carry the jewel all the way to Chaos in time. Also, a lot of other people wanted it & he wasn't sure he'd survive even if he did fix the Pattern.

I don't recall if Brand told Corwin in this book or if it came up later, but the Jewel is actually (view spoiler)


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Cat wrote: "Wasn't there a brief comment by Oberon about how the re-doing of the pattern would interrupt the Trumps?..."

i didn't remember that, but you're right. Corwin proposed exactly what I did, and Oberon shot it down with "the Trumps will be inoperative for a time."


message 25: by Cat (new)

Cat | 343 comments Jim wrote: "Corwin actually said he could just trump through, but Oberon said that when he attempted to redraw/fix the Pattern, there would be a time when the trumps wouldn't work. He also said the bird couldn..."

That spoiler must be for later books (which I don't plan on reading, so didn't worry me about reading the comment). Very interesting though!

I know some authors have whole book series planned out in detail with the mythology etc prior to writing, do you think Zelanzy did that? Or did he just make it up as he was going along? Because that could account for some of the inconsistencies/tendency to handwave


message 26: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2228 comments Zelazny had an idea of where he wanted this to go, but had planned on a trilogy, I believe. He made a lot of this up as he went along & Eric's parentage between books 1 & 2 was a goof, but most others only seem inconsistent or as a 'handwave'. They aren't. Reread the books sometime & you'll find that a lot becomes more clear with the information gained at the end of this book.

There's a lot more going on than Corwin knows which should be obvious. No one should ever take anything Zelazny writes at face value. He's often hiding things in plain sight. For instance, most readers seem to think Corwin is both a reliable narrator & very knowledgeable in the workings of Amber. I don't understand why. Sure, he's a fairly heroic figure, but we find out he's a guy telling his new found son his version of the story in these books. That puts a different spin on everything you just read, doesn't it? Just how honest would he be in such a situation?

How complete could his story be? He's completely ignorant of the deeper workings of Chaos & the Pattern. Remember, he didn't even know Chaos existed while most of his siblings did. There was a lot more going on between them than he knew & several had powers he didn't even think could exist. (view spoiler) & explanation should have made any reader reevaluate a lot of what happened in a new light.

The next 5 books feature Merlin, Corwin's son, & follow his adventures after this mess. Merlin was raised in the Courts of Chaos & knows a lot more about how the 'magic' works, but even he finds there is more to it than he knew. His story fills in some gaps in this one, too. There's also a handful of short stories that tie up some other loose ends, but Zelazny never fully explained it all. He never does. He said that people never know why or how everything happens in their lives, so he didn't think his characters should be any different.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Chapter 5

A shadow for the Sidhe Court? Seems a strange diversion. They have "scripture" about Corwin, though as Corwin observes, it's vague and not very useful.


message 28: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2670 comments Jim wrote: "most readers seem to think Corwin is both a reliable narrator & very knowledgeable in the workings of Amber."

On the contrary, I never thought him to be reliable. I found he basically had no idea what was going on in Amber, between having amnesia, being away for centuries, and having to sort through the truths and lies that his siblings tell him througout the books, he was basically as clueless as the rest of us. He is the classic unreliable narrator, where the reader has to remember we're getting everything filtered through a single character's POV and know nothing of what's going on in the heads of the other characters aside from what they tell our narrator.

That's why I appreciated the recap in the previous book, it reminded me of all the stuff he'd sorted out that far, and then the fourth book went ahead and pointed out half of what Corwin thought he knew was wrong!

And yeah, I guess he probably would try to make himself look better than he really was :) I guess that would explain why he sometimes seems to be the good guy (see how bad he felt about losing his fleet? Nice guy right?) and other times completely uncaring about what happened to people around him as long as he got his goals (which was after all to kill his brother even above and beyond saving Amber).

When we discussed the first couple books we were talking about how much we actually didn't like Corwin. I attributed that to him being immortal and thus views the world differently from the rest of us (the lives of others must wink out so fast they don't have value, plus they are all creations of his mind as he manipulates Shadows, etc) rather than the fact he was "telling" the story to someone and trying to make himself look better :)


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Chapter 6

The end of the world approaches, in the form of a great storm, and Corwin rides before it (like a horseman of the apocalypse.)

Another odd encounte along the wayr: Corwin meets a lovely lady, all alone, bearing a loaf of bread and a jug of wine. Of course he stops. The whole scene seems inspired by Keat's "La Belle Dame Sans Merci".

Then Brand pops up again.


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Chapter 7

Halfway point, I think.

As Corwin continues his way toward Chaos, he keeps bumping into new & weird "people". As Andrea mentioned earlier, we've strayed into Norse mythology now. (interesting idea, Amber is British, Chaos is Norse.)

Ygg (short for Yggdrasill, I presume) is a talking tree, planted by Oberon. Hugi (Huggin) is a talking raven (so far he hasn't said "nevermore".) Hugi joins Corwin for some travel (Ygg is literally rooted to the spot.)

We meet "the head", a guy up to his shoulders in quicksand who disdains rescue but prefers an end to all things. I guess some some just want to watch the world burn.

At the very end of the chapter we meet another critter,...


Chapter 8

...who is a talking jackal (who doesn't give his name.)


These last few chapters are beginning to feel like a Tolkien trek, with unusual critters around every bend in the trail.

Also, I notice Corwin's trek has become just that, a hike. He's walking through valleys and up mountains, not shifting Shadow anymore. (Not that I'm eager for another Shadowwalk.)


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Jim wrote: "Zelazny had an idea of where he wanted this to go, but had planned on a trilogy, I believe. He made a lot of this up as he went along..."

Is that so? At the time of its original publication, I had the impression Nine Princes in Amber was meant to be a stand-alone (and was followed by sequels because it was popular.) I have no particular evidence to justify that impression, however. The title suggested Zelazny's characters were forever trapped in amber (uncapitalized), forever feuding but making no progress. At the end of 9PiA things are pretty much back where we started, with Eric in charge and Corwin in exile, so i thought the story complete.


message 32: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2228 comments That's a really great take on it. I like it! It really makes sense, too. That's exactly how I'd think he'd write something, but I don't think that's what happened.

My old memory isn't that reliable, but I believe he started that way with Corwin waking up in the hospital with amnesia & then just let the character do his thing. As he wrote the first book he decided to do a trilogy. That was in 1967, although the book wasn't published until 1970. Then it got panned by the critics. Well, it's better to let Chris tell it.

... was panned by other fans who bemoaned that Zelazny had abandoned the experimental creativity and craft of his short fiction and the novels Lord of Light and Creatures of Light and Darkness. Critics generally considered it an entertaining adventure that lacked literary substance. James Blish described it more favorably as “Zelazny’s version of sword-and-sorcery, but not for addicts only. Zelazny has not borrowed the standard apparatus for this sort of thing, but has invented his own, and the result is an adventure story with real originality and zest” (39). In a letter to Doubleday editor Marc Haefele, Zelazny admitted that “I meant it to be something a bit lighter than my usual fare, sort of sword-and-sorcery and something which I would have fun writing.” But although he’d intended to write a trilogy, he was uncertain as to the finished novel’s merits and declined to send it to Doubleday editor Larry Ashmead when requested. The manuscript gathered dust on a shelf for more than a year until Samuel Delany mentioned the novel to Haefele, who purchased it (Kovacs 559). The hardcover was mistakenly pulped shortly after its release, and so it wasn’t until the 1971 paperback that Nine Princes in Amber really began to gather its wide readership.

The above can be found here:
https://www.nyrsf.com/2012/07/suspend...

Chris Kovaks is one of the editors of Zelazny's Collected Works & wrote the above. He's always setting me straight when I misremember something about Zelazny. You can PM him here on GR & ask or find him over in the Zelazny group. You might even find the answer there if you read through the Amber folder. I'd suggest asking the moderators, but they're a lazy, forgetful bunch.

Obviously 'Nine Princes' sold well & he suddenly went back to it, but it had been long enough that he said he should have reread it. He didn't. That's why Eric's mother changed between the first 2 books. I also think he kind of dashed out The Guns of Avalon & then took his time with the rest. He was writing a lot then. IIRC, "Jack of Shadows", "Today We Choose Faces", & some other standalones were published at the same time. I think he wanted to do more with Sandow too, but he never did much. Just 1 short story & 2 novels.

Another good source is Theodore Krulik's 8 essays about Zelazny. Krulik did the "Amber Sourcebook" & there is some discussion as to how accurate some of his information is, but it's always seemed OK to me. Maybe a few quibbles here & there. You can find them on his web site. Just scroll down a few posts.
https://www.tor.com/author/theodore-k...


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

Jim wrote that Kovaks wrote: "... was panned by other fans who bemoaned that Zelazny had abandoned the experimental creativity and craft of his short fiction and the novels Lord of Light and Creatures of Light and Darkness..."

That's interesting, too. From my PoV as a casual SF/F fan, I thought 9PiA was a good & original book; the whole Shadow thing was an unusual take on a multiverse.

It wasn't until the sequel(s) that I decided Zelazny had gone mainstream (aka "sold out". BTW, I have no problem with an author working to pay the mortgage and send the kids to college; that's what most adults do. The idea of the suffering, starving author would prove less romantic in reality. I was just a little disappointed there'd be fewer of his truly unique works while he spent his time revisiting Amber.)


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) Jim wrote: "My old memory isn't that reliable, but I believe he started that way with Corwin waking up in the hospital with amnesia & then just let the character do his thing...."

I'm currently reading The Dark World by Henry Kuttner The Dark World by Henry Kuttner, and there are many, many similarities to the Amber series. It seems to me that Zelazny started writing a story using Kuttner's idea as a jumping off point, using many ideas and plot points and even a certain name....

I would highly recommend The Dark World to anyone who enjoyed the Amber series and would like to read the book that Zelazny cited as a major inspiration for his story.


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Chapter 8 (addendum)

I forgot to say how much I liked the last paragraph of Chapter 8, as Hugi the talking crow makes a joke about eating crow.

"I reached out quickly and twisted his head off, wishing that I had time to build a fire. Though he made it look like a sacrifice, it is difficult to say to whom the more victory belonged, since I was planning on doing it anyway."


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Chapter 9

So, Corwin makes his own Pattern.

Did he consider what that would mean if Oberon succeeded in repairing Dworkin's Pattern?


message 37: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2670 comments G33z3r wrote: "Did he consider what that would mean if Oberon succeeded in repairing Dworkin's Pattern?"

I understand we get another 5 more books to explore the consequence of a new Pattern (whether or not the old one survived) :)


message 38: by Cat (new)

Cat | 343 comments G33z3r wrote: "Chapter 9

So, Corwin makes his own Pattern.

Did he consider what that would mean if Oberon succeeded in repairing Dworkin's Pattern?"


I feel like that would require deep consideration of metaphysics and consequences... which wouldn't be in keeping with Corwin's character! Corwin is more of an action guy...


message 39: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2670 comments Cat wrote: "I feel like that would require deep consideration of metaphysics and consequences...."

Agreed, and Corwin has already admitted not really knowing all that much about Shadow, not like Brand and Fiona. So he just made a decision on the spot, better to make an extra Pattern than to have no Pattern at all seemed to be his reasoning.


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Chapter 10

Well, one advantage of having your own Pattern is you get to teleport.

Welcome to the Courts of Chaos. There seems to be a battle in progress....


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

Chapter 11

Ambergeddon is a bit anticlimactic; or, Zelazny choose not to focus on the Big Battle. Somewhere Benedict is commanding the forces of Amber as the tide of battle ebbs & flows, but the novel focuses only on Brand vs. the Family (Fiona, Random, and Deirdre as a hostage. Also some Lords whose names I didn't recognize.)

Brand is killed,... and for some reason the battle dissipates.

Some denouement:

We have some exposition tying up the loose end of who killed Caine and stabbed Corwin.

Oberon is dead, and his funeral procession arrived at Chaos.

Corwin meditates on his relationship with his late father.

Chapter 13

Random gets to be King.

Corwin & Merlin have a father & son chat.

Chapter 14

Strangely elegiac Corwin narration, as if he's writing his final act (though he isn't.) We finally learn that Oberon succeeded in repairing the old Pattern; so Amber stands, and there are two Patterns, now.

I'm a little vague on what happened to all the Shadows as the storm, aka "wave of chaos", passed thought it. If Amber survived, what of them? Is there still an Avalon? A Earth? Or, did we kill trillions?


message 42: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2228 comments We're still here, so I assume the wave of Chaos was just some sort of reset that we've all forgotten. The mad author must have escaped the dungeons during the confusion, though.
;)


message 43: by RJ - Slayer of Trolls (last edited Dec 19, 2018 10:28AM) (new)

RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) G33z3r wrote: "Chapter 9

So, Corwin makes his own Pattern...."


I wonder why this happened when it's never really addressed again in the book. I think Chekhov would be upset.


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

RJ wrote: "G33z3r wrote: "Chapter: So, Corwin makes his own Pattern...."

I wonder why this happened when it's never really addressed again in the book. I think Chekhov would be upset."


At the very end, Corwin does say he wants to go back to visit the tree that grew from his walking stick (taken from Ygg), though.


message 45: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2670 comments RJ wrote: "G33z3r wrote: "Chapter 9

So, Corwin makes his own Pattern...."

I wonder why this happened when it's never really addressed again in the book. I think Chekhov would be upset."


I get the impression this will be addressed in the next 5 books?


message 46: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2228 comments To some extent. Don't get your hopes up too much on that score. It's a long trip & winds off into parts unknown. Many new parts unknown.


message 47: by Book Nerd (new)

Book Nerd (book_nerd_1) | 154 comments Yeah, I was assuming there would be a new reality with it's own shadows, just "next to" Amber. Multiverses aren't beyond the realm of possibility.


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Book Nerd wrote: "Yeah, I was assuming there would be a new reality with it's own shadows, just "next to" Amber. Multiverses aren't beyond the realm of possibility."

But that would be a multi-multiverse, since each Pattern is the hub of a multiverse! :)


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) Andrea wrote: "I get the impression this will be addressed in the next 5 books?"

Yeah, but when Zelazny wrote this he didn't know there were going to be five more books. I know he intentionally left a lot of questions unanswered but I wonder why he felt he needed to add this part to the story.


message 50: by Cat (new)

Cat | 343 comments G33z3r wrote: "Book Nerd wrote: "Yeah, I was assuming there would be a new reality with it's own shadows, just "next to" Amber. Multiverses aren't beyond the realm of possibility."

But that would be a multi-mult..."


Isn't there some description about there being multiverses could like soap bubbles? Some bubbles can be big (like our universe), but it can have little random soap bubble multiverses attached. And they can pop or if something happens new ones can form. I'm probably bastardizing someone's beautiful theory/description there, but the mental image of universes in soap bubbles always amused me.


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