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The Courts of Chaos (Doubleday Science Fiction) Hardcover – September, 1978


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Roger Zelazny HUGO and NEBULA AWARD-WINNING author Roger burst onto the SF scene in the early 1960s with a series of dazzling and groundbreaking short stories. He won his first of six Hugo Awards for Lord of Light, and soon after produced the first book of his enormously popular Amber series, Nine Princes in Amber. In addition to his Hugos, he went on to win three Nebula Awards over the course of a long and distinguished career. He died on June 14, 1995. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Doubleday Science Fiction
  • Hardcover: 183 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (September 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385136854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385136853
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,094,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
46%
4 star
38%
3 star
0%
2 star
15%
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See all 13 customer reviews
I just wish that a good author wrote this series.
LF
The Courts of Chaos is really the best of the series that had a great start and then wobbled a bit in the middle.
Marc Ruby™
The characters were weak at best, and abhorrent at worst.
Brian Carpenter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brent Butler TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Zelazny's Amber series is really one long book published in five installments. None of them can really stand on its own. The continuing story is too complex, and the events in each of the last four books would be very frustrating to try to understand without knowing what had transpired in preceding volumes. The mysteries are so complex that they are a bit hard to keep up with even after reading every word in a short span of time! LOL

"The Courts of Chaos" wraps up our story, and to me was the least satisfying of the books. It was essential, because after the investment of the reader in the first four books, you must find out the remaining answers and discover the resolution of the main plot focus. However, much of the book involves a solo journey by Corwin, involving a string of (sometimes) allegorical episodes, most of which are completely unrelated to the story we've followed for four books.

We do discover with certainty who the real villain is, but surprisingly we do NOT learn with any certainty the resolution of the damaged Pattern. In fact, you don't really get the answer to that plot thread until well into the second set of five Amber books, involving Corwin's son.

While I still found the book to be a page turner, these disappointments caused me to dock it a star. However, I regard the series as a whole to be nothing short of brilliant, and for the most part a very original take of the heroic fantasy genre.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 20, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Finally, the end is in sight. With the fifth volume in the Amber series Zelazny brings the first cycle to a close. Oberon has returned to the throne, Brand has been revealed as the real traitor, and the Courts of Chaos await the final battle for Amber's existence. Corwin finds his sudden relegation to second fiddle irksome, especially since Oberon's offhand manner hasn't changed in the least, but he knows his duty and the family pulls together for the final struggle.

The key order of business is to repair the damage to the pattern and close down the threat of the black road. Oberon's final decision, to remake the pattern is one that will likely kill him, whether he succeeds or fails, and Corwin suddenly discovers that his irritation with his father is only skin deep. It is with a heavy heart that Corwin follows his father's command and starts his hell ride for the courts.

And runs straight into Brand, who has no intention of allowing Corwin and Oberon to undo his plotting and return things to normal. Corwin is delayed by one conflict after another. Not only is the final outcome in doubt, but the reader must cope with the possibility of two endings at once.

It was no mean feat in the 1970's to turn out a five volume series that could keep reader interest at a high level. As the volumes progress, the writing develops, and it is interesting to compare this book, which consists of one long and detailed hell ride to other efforts in the series to capture traveling through the shadows. The Courts of Chaos find Zelazny a much stronger writer than he was when the series started out. He not only sets a compelling pace, but Corwin's character blooms as a several thousand year old man suddenly matures before out eyes.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By frumiousb VINE VOICE on February 1, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The battle of Brand and Corwin reaches its climax as everyone tries to create a new pattern in the battle with Chaos itself.

Courts of Chaos has all the usual twists and turns of an Amber novel. It is an absolutely wonderful series and it probably goes without saying that you should begin at the beginning, and not here.
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Format: Paperback
The fifth entry in the Amber Chronicles, this is the best so far. Zelazny wraps up loose ends and brings the first Amber series to a close. But unlike the final entries in some other series, this doesn't suffer from anticlimactic unraveling. Instead, the action reaches a climactic point -- no more of the overlong exposition here -- and we're truly in suspense awaiting the fate of Corwin, and Amber. Zelazny's psychedelic renderings as Corwin passes through alternate realities have improved since early on and are, well, a trip!

Satisfying. I'm so glad I stayed with Amber despite not liking the first book. I'm looking forward to finding out where Zelazny takes things in the second series. I'm already awaiting my copy of Trumps of Doom (Chronicles of Amber)!

(Incidentally, the Amber novels are now in print only as a single large anthology: The Great Book of Amber: The Complete Amber Chronicles, 1-10 (Chronicles of Amber). Since I don't want to lug that around, I'm reading old copies of the paperbacks instead.)
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The conclusion of the first of the Amber series. If you have 'read' the previous four books, you'll get this one as well and you will not be disappointing. This book has some of the best action and the most detailed sword fights, balanced by some discussions of philosophy. But the primary purpose of this story is to wrap up the story laid out in the the first four books. In the end, we learn who is the subject is telling the story too and why.

Mr. Zelazny did a good job reading the story he wrote, although it is sometimes hard to distinguish which character is speaking as he reads. The sound quality on these disks are much better than they were on the 4th book of the series; with very little noise and consistent sound levels. Having heard Mr. Zelazny read part of one of his books in person, it has been somewhat eerie listening to him after his death. Few series hold together as well as these 5 books do. I will listen to these again and again.
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