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Nine Princes in Amber (Thorndike Press Large Print Science Fiction Series) Hardcover – Large Print, March, 1998

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Editorial Reviews


Some fans of Zelazny's dense, brilliant writings from the '60s have been dismayed at the time and effort he has invested in his Amber series during the past 16 years. If these fantasy adventures are simple and formulaic compared with his best work, they have earned him a whole new audience by virtue of their elegance, humor, literacy, vivid action and lightly applied but complex background of tarot, alternate worlds, Olympian gods, and a magic so neat and clear that computers can learn it. In this seventh installment, the sorcerer Merlin of Amber -- aka Merle Corey of San Francisco -- learns the identities of two would-be assassins but makes a truce with one to pursue the greater, more dangerous power beyond them. Once again, the limited plot is enlivened by Zelazny's irony, his bravura sequences (particularly a harbor visit that turns nasty in Death Alley) and his laconic sense of the incongruous (are magicians the ultimate surrealist artists?). Paperback rights to Avon; Science Fiction Book Club main selection. (September 25) --Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Roger Zelazny HUGO & 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. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Thorndike Press Large Print Science Fiction Series
  • Hardcover: 254 pages
  • Publisher: G K Hall & Co; Lrg edition (March 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0783884257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0783884257
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,365,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By T. Bolenbaugh on January 13, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nine Princes in Amber is the first of the original five books in the Amber series. I have reread this series several times and each time it recaptures my imagination like few stories ever have. The unique nature of the universe Zelazny created, the twisting plots, the engaging noir/fantasy characters and the sweeping scope are guaranteed to impress any fan of fantasy or Sci-Fi.

You will come to know the members of the royal family of Amber in great detail and you will love and hate them. The story will keep you guessing and the action is well paced. Zelazny is a tight writer and keeps things moving.

These days I hear the Amber series described as a ten book series. This isn't accurate, it is composed of two five book series and the less said about the later five books the better. The first five books dealing with Corwin are a complete story that simply must be read.

You owe it to yourself to read the five books of the original Amber series.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 22, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Every series has to start somewhere, but I doubt that Roger Zelazny anticipated that the Amber series would run to 10 volumes when he sent Nine Princes In Amber to print. But for us readers, it was clear that Zelazny's story of Amber, the reality that lies behind all the phantom worlds we inhabit, had something special in the way of plot, concept, and characters. Examined carefully, there is nothing here that is deafeningly original but, as usual, Zelazny's magic is in taking a fresh look at the possibilities and making the result fascinating to the reader.

Corwin is a typical Zelazny main character. Long lived (possibly eternal), provided with special powers, and a wry outlook that keeps the drama from becoming maudlin. Corwin awakes in a hospital with almost no clue of his identity, spends the first half of the book working out the details of his identity, and the second half trying to get even. He is a prince one of an almost countless number of Oberon's children who have a penchant for plotting, backstabbing, and power plays. With Oberon gone missing, brother Eric has moved on the throne and after 400 years of exile Corwin feels compelled to become the opposition.

Zelazny has an instinctive feel for the dynamics of a story based on the ability to navigate, and perhaps create unreal worlds by 'remembering' where you want to be, step by step. The effects on character attitudes and activities like war waging is significant, and Zelazny avoids the feel of magic spell work, instead treating what Oberon's children can do as just another talent, for all its fantastic nature. In fact, one of Zelazny's traits is his matter of fact approach to what most of us would consider miracle working. As a result we never feel like we are suspending out disbelief.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Its been nearly 20 years since I read the Amber series by Roger Zelazny (RIP good man.) The warning above regards the money your gonna spend (immediately) on the rest of the Amber series and how you will spend your time the rest of the week after you have finished Nine Princes of Amber. In fact, you'll wish there was a 24 hour bookstore nearby after reading Nine Princes of Amber get the next book NOW. Folks, this is a Classic (Fantasy and Science Fiction) in every sense of the word, as you may gather from the reviews on this page. Many of the excited reviews from readers are not exaggerations (including my own). I have only one piece of advice for you potential first time readers of Zelazny (particulary this book). Zelazny will put you immediately in his story so be patient. He dispatches with the spoon-feeding of his stories to the neophytes or the uninterested (godbless him). He treats his readers as a "literary adults". If you want a "Once upon a time" book, the Children,s Books section is over to the right, second aisle... 'Nuff said. This book is written in the first person, and the main character wakes up clueless, as will you be (for a while). You will learn as he does the complicated circumstance of his past, present, and future. Reading the reviews gave me goosebumps all over again. Well enough of my babblings, I'm gonna dust off that series again for another read. I suggest you do the same.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 5, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Roger Zelazny was--and still is--renowned as a literary master of speculative fiction. It's easy to see why with this book, which is *not*, believe it or not, considered to be best of his works...only the most popular.
Zelazny stretches the use of words to the maximum. You will encounter flowery, formal dialogue, complete with "thee"'s; you will encounter the contemplative thoughts of a cynical, hard-boiled detective; you will encounter the direct, concise summary of actions taken in quick succession. And they meld together without any objection, submitting to Zelazny's hand to reside in a flawless whole before the reader.
The protagonist, Corwin, begins the story with amnesia. Yes, the typical help-I've-lost-my-memory-I'd-better-go-recover-it setup. But there's nothing to worry about; the plot has been solidly constructed from the beginning of this book to the end of the last in the series, and a diabolically intricate mesh of intrigue and adventure unfolds.
All this takes place in not only an original world, but in an original universe. Earth is part of it, a welcome familiar setting, but the premise behind why our planet is only a part of the cosmos is novel and integrated closely with the story.
Lastly, although the cast of characters is huge--nine princes in Amber, along with a handful of princesses and countless minor characters--each one is distinct and deftly described. The reader is able to reach out to each one and understand them all.
What is there to lose? And there's so much to gain. I strongly recommend this novel as well as those following it in the series, and I can guarantee an absolute lack of disappointment.
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