Roger Zelazny discussion

Amber > 2 - The Guns of Avalon - Spoilers

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message 1: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments For discussing the second book of the Amber series, The Guns of Avalon, by Roger Zelazny. Spoilers are fine

message 2: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments I finished this last night. Corwin has attained what he wanted & was very slick about it too.

I loved the line where he finds the note from Eric & laughs at his request, asking '...what did he think curses were for?' Corwin seems like such a nice guy most of the time, but he's pretty ruthless. He's not sadistic, but he certainly doesn't care much about collateral damage.

message 3: by Jackie (last edited Sep 10, 2009 09:55AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) I finished it too.

That was a great line!
My favorite line was: Nobody steals books but your friends.

This second book has really advanced the story, I am so into it.

Was anyone else fooled by Dara? I was, I didn't see that coming at all!

I've meant to ask you Jim, why does Corwin feel his claim on the throne was more valid than Eric's if Eric was the elder? I know it doesn't matter now, but I'd still like to know, if you know the answer.

Corwin has a limited compassion, but he is driven, and as long as it doesn't interfere with his plans, he can afford to be compassionate. But watch out if you're in his way! He justifies his lack of care for collateral damage, like his army. I guess if he is to be King, he has to be ruthless to a degree, he can't afford personal feelings or he may not do what's right for Amber.

Moving on to Unicorn.

message 4: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments I loved that line about the books.

You'll find out the full answer on the succession close to the end of "Sign of the Unicorn", so I won't answer you here. Note that Benedict is older that both Eric & Corwin, who are actually full brothers.

I believe I was completely fooled by Dara as well, but it's been a long time since I first read it. She is one of the more disappointing characters in some ways. She's never really developed well, just appears as needed throughout the books, although we get to know here somewhat better in the Merlin series.

message 5: by Dan, Jack of Shadows (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) | 55 comments Dara fooled me as well. If she's in the Merlin books, maybe I'll end up reading the second set of books when the group gets to them.

message 6: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) So the Merlin series is the Second Chronicles of Amber?

OK, about the answer, Jim. I don't mind waiting, as long as I get an answer eventually.

I can't find my list for free books from sci fi book club, I wanted to add Second Chronicles to it. Now I'll have to start over. I forgot whick books I got the order numbers for. Ahh, I drive myself cazy!

message 7: by Jackie (last edited Sep 10, 2009 01:18PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) It appears that the scifi book club doesn't have it anymore. Jim, can you give me the names of all five titles, in order, so I can order them from the library. No rush, I still have First Chronicles to finish.

message 8: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Here they all are along with their original publication date, which might help. This is from Fantastic Fiction.

The Chronicles of Amber (Corwin)
1. Nine Princes in Amber (1970)
2. The Guns of Avalon (1972)
3. The Sign of the Unicorn (1975)
4. The Hand of Oberon (1976)
5. The Courts of Chaos (1978)

Second Chronicles (Merlin)
6. Trumps of Doom (1985)
7. Blood of Amber (1986)
8. Sign of Chaos (1987)
9. Knight of Shadows (1989)
10. Prince of Chaos (1991)

message 9: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Dan, if you like the series & are curious about the universe, I don't see how you can avoid the second chronicles & the short stories. While not AS good as the first 5, they're still very good.

message 10: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) Thanks Jim, now I'll be able to order them from the library when I'm ready for them.

message 11: by Erich (new)

Erich Franz Linner-Guzmann (erichfranzlinnerguzmann) | 22 comments I just finished "The Guns of Avalon" and wow! I love how they explain the shadows better. I somewhat know the concepts of parallel universes but Zelazny does an amazing job describing the travels between shadows. My imagination is working full force to the point that I can actually see it. And for Corwin, I wouldn't say he is a good guy; well I can't really tell yet. I consider myself a good guy but with God-Like strengths and powers, I have no idea the kind of person I would be. So, I still have mixed feelings about that, but I would definitely want to be on his side of the fight. As for Dara, she completely fooled me! But cute strong, witty girls seem to have that over me….

message 12: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Glad you liked it, Erich. Isn't it cool how the world unfolds?

message 13: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) LOVE IT!

message 14: by Grimward (new)

Grimward | 20 comments I go back and forth on which series I like more. I definitely like the addition of Ghostwheel, though, and the balancing act between Logrus, Ghostwheel and native powers from Amber and Chaos is an interesting sub-plot to me. Merlin is far more of a sorceror than Corwin (wonder how long RZ struggled with trying to pick a less obvious name ;-) ).

message 15: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments I don't want to make any big spoilers, but I would like to have seen some words spent on Corwin ... Hmmm... I think we should discuss this in the series spoiler topic.

message 16: by Grimward (new)

Grimward | 20 comments Fair enough (kind of wondered about that, too, but am known for a heavy index finger on the mouse!).

I'd forgotten from my previous reads that Corwin and Dara, um, well, you Guns. Almost as surprising as the first time, Benedict NOT being someone to toy with....

message 17: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 84 comments I just finished it a few minutes ago. I liked Nine Princes better, but this is continuing a great story.

I was fooled by Dara, as she seemed to be what she said.

I have a question, speaking of Corwin and Eric being full brothers. I saw where it mentioned that, and that Benedict was older. But I seem to recall from Nine Princes that Random was Corwin's full brother too. Was that right, or did I remember that incorrectly?

message 18: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) I don't want to give spoilers but I can tell you it's explained in the next book of the series. I had the same question and Jim would only tell me it's coming up, LOL
Now, don't you just want to pick up Sign of the Unicorn this very minute?

message 19: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments What Jackie said, Chris.

message 20: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 84 comments Actually, I dived right in after posting that..

message 21: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments I see the birthing of a new generation of Amber nerds!


message 22: by Grimward (last edited Sep 27, 2009 01:01PM) (new)

Grimward | 20 comments And that's a good thing, of course!

Finished my re-read last night. Gonna have to read on, cuz I can't remember now where the other brothers who died previously are named! Who cursed me with this geas, anyway? ;-)

message 23: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Sign of the Unicorn straightens out the family tree to date, but not until the end.

message 24: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments In reading This Mortal Mountain - Volume 3 The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny, I learned a few things about this book that I thought were interesting. Zelazny never wrote with an outline, so the family tree does vary some between the first 3 books. The differences are explained by Corwin's faulty memory, but in reality, it was time & Zelazny's memory.

Tomorrow, I should be reading a scene that was deleted from Guns. It's a hot & heavy scene between Corwin & Dara. Zelazny apparently put it in as a joke & expected to have it cut out. Should be interesting.

message 25: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 84 comments That does sound interesting, Jim. I'd be interested in seeing if that scene is something us readers would be wanting to see. Sometimes deleted scenes are deleted for obvious reasons. Most DVD deleted scenes are such that I can see why they chose to scrap them.

And that's a cool explanation for the family tree differences. It's cool that Zelazny set up a story that can take the blame for his own mistakes and keep it making sense. I've seen Stephen King do that too.

JG (Introverted Reader) Was I the only one who was surprised when Eric died? I was expecting him to be the bad guy throughout all the books! And I was definitely expecting a big battle between him and Corwin!

I'll add that Dara surprised me completely too.

message 27: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments I don't recall any more, JG. Probably. When Zelazny kills off a major character like that, you just know you're in for complications since the obvious candidate is gone.

I really like the 'Black Road' idea. The descriptions of it vary in such an odd way. It is a circular area in a world, yet also a road that cuts through Shadow. It's so ambiguous. Well described in some ways, yet never explained. How he achieves that balance is pretty wild.

message 28: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 84 comments JG, I was surprised. I'm like you in that I thought Eric would be a pain in his ass for many volumes. At the very least, I thought Corwin would be the one to kill him.

It looks like Zelazny is a good read to break us of these fantasy trope expectations.

message 29: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) Eric dying, and not at Corwin's hands was quite unexpected.
I love the concepts of Shadows and the Black Road. Almost gave away a big spoiler for later books, all I can say then, is: very unique. Zelazny had me captivated. I like he way he describes the lands, and the changing from Shadow to Shadow. Very cool.

JG (Introverted Reader) Chris wrote: "It looks like Zelazny is a good read to break us of these fantasy trope expectations."

That is true!

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