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The Chronicles of Amber: "Nine Princes in Amber", "The Guns of Avalon", "Sign of the Unicorn", "The Hand of Oberon", "The Courts of Chaos" (Fantasy Masterworks) Paperback – June 15, 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Roger Zelazny (1937-1995) studied Elizabethan and Jacobean drama at Columbia University before bursting on to the science fiction scene while still in his mid-twenties. Among his many books are Four for Tomorrow, The Dream Master, A Rose for Ecclesiastes and the many titles in the Chronicle of Amber.
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Product Details

  • Series: Fantasy Masterworks
  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (June 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857987268
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857987263
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #947,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I know people who say they like to read books because it takes them places. When you think of, say, Lord of the Rings, there's many awesome battles, but people also remember the sights themselves, from the quaint peaceful realms of Hobbiton, to the great city of Minas Tirith, to Sauron's tower rising out from a blackened land. Of course, it takes a lot of time to travel between them (and plenty of people are fond of complaining about it, too).

In Amber, characters travel between these majestic locations like you and I might walk from one street block to the next. Zelazny is willing to show you -anything- he can dream up, and his imagination alone is worthy of deeming this collection a classic.

Almost as important is his reach. He's not telling a story of a kingdom surviving the attack of an enemy. Oh no. That isn't big enough. Imagine a million alternate worlds, and then run a black road through them all, spreading destruction as it grows to encompass every world, every city, every creature imaginable. In the center of all these alternate worlds is Amber, sort of like the pillar holding everything together. Should it fall, so does all else. Tolkien wanted to show the battle for one single Middle Earth. Zelazny wants to show a war to save billions.

The main narrator is Corwin (yes, it is first person, but don't worry, the writing is a masterful combination of beauty and down-to-earth jokes and grumblings). He wakes up in a hospital, with no memory of who he is, what happened, but my isn't it peculiar how his broken legs are healed so quickly? From there he encounters his family person by person. They backstab, deal, threaten, switch sides a hundred times, and all can walk through shadows to whatever realm they wish. I loved every second of it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the first of a two volume set containing that part of Zelazny's Amber series which deals with Corwin, one of the princes of Amber. This volume contains the first two of the series, "Nine Princes in Amber" and "Guns of Avalon". It's nice to have both in hardback, but there is a new edition which has all 10 of the Amber novels written by Zelazny, so I would recommend that instead.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a really great piece of fantasy. The only problem is there are a lot of typos in this book. That's why I only gave it a 4 star rating instead of 5. Someone should have proof read this first. There is a lot of action. Never a dull moment.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just as great the umpteenth reading as they were the first - lovely set, well made, great price. If you love sci-fantasy, this is a set you should most definitely buy.
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Format: Paperback
The Amber Series was, I think, the first fantasy I ever got into, and it is still one of my favorites. Corwin awakens in a hospital with amnesia but the leg in a cast seems unbroken (though the doctor insists this is impossible). He makes short work of an attendant with a hypodermic, and follows a string of clues to find a series of family members, some seeking alliances, some seeking to kill him on sight, each who gives him a different story of what is going on. And all have the power to walk between parallel universes. But Amber is the one true world, and all others are only shadows of it.
The overall concept is brilliant. The characters are rounded and layered. Each plot twist reveals that the truth has yet another dimension you didn't expect. All seamlessly woven. Not everything Zelazny wrote is this good, but this is a master at his prime. It makes the majority of fantasy out there today look pretty lame. A must-read for any fan of fantasy.
Unfortunately his story "Damnation Alley" was made into a really awful movie, and Zelazny swore he wouldn't let anything else of his be made into a movie, because this would have made a great movie series.
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