Nine Princes in Amber Audio CD – Abridged, Jun 2003
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|Audio CD, Abridged, Jun 2003||
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This Audie-Award-winning first episode of the Amber Series guides us seductively from our world to the one "real world" of Amber through the eyes of Corwin, one of the nine princes mentioned in the title. Roger Zelazny plays Corwin like Bogart's Thin Man in a Mervyn Peake fantasy. The details of our memory-challenged narrator's life sprinkle slowly into view as Corwin bluffs his way back into his embattled, fiercely competitive family and Amber. Raging battles and a chess game of deceit and conquest within the clan, all accompanied by paranormal powers and fierce pride, flesh out the story. Fine use of music and sound effects, and Zelazny comports himself well. D.J.B. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
A man wakes up in a hospital and strong-arms his way out -- he doesn't know who he is or where he came from. But then he finds a woman, Flora, who says she's his sister, and the reluctant amnesiac starts to piece together his past -- his name is Corwin, he has several siblings (most of whom he has a not-so-pleasant relationship with). And the word "Amber" -- it brings something to mind, but he can't quite remember what.
Corwin gets a bit of help from his brother Random, after he saves Random from a bunch of Shadow creatures. Their cruel elder brother Eric is crowning himself king of Amber after the disappearance of their father, but all the siblings are catfighting for the throne and the power of the one true world of Amber. Corwin and a few of his allied brothers band together with their armies and navies, determined to stop Eric -- but with disastrous results.
The Amber series is more like two long novels than ten short ones, and the big blinking "To Be Continued" at the end of "Nine Princes in Amber" is proof enough of that. It doesn't finish the story, but just stops. Even though that's frustrating, it stops in a fairly satisfying place -- there's no cliffhanger, just the question of what Corwin will do next in his quest against his treacherous brother and his other siblings. And how, of course.
Zelazny is known for having spare, snappy writing. And he's in peak form in "Nine Princes.Read more ›
If you are coming to this series for the first time, I highly recommend both this and the second in the series, Guns of Avalon. The rest you could take or leave.
Zelazny never wrote a boring or unoriginal book, and even at his worst his writing combines the beauty of poetry with the suspence of a thriller. But I found my appreciation of the series dropping off as the backstory got more and more convoluted and, in order to top each time what came before, the stakes raised higher and higher from an individual's fight for his inheritance to that stalwart of the fantasy genre, saving the universe's very existance from the forces of darkness (in this case, Chaos). I got the distinct impression that Zelazny had become a hostage of the popularity of the series, and in spinning out the story changed his own mind several times about the plot, resulting in inconsistencies from the earlier to the later books.
If reading time is limited, my best recommendation is to get the first two in this series, then move on to some of Zelazny's other great books like Jack of Shadows (fantasy) and Doorways in the Sand (sci fi).
Corwin, the narrator and protagonist, is one of these ruling individuals. He is one of the Nine Princes in the book's title, and he is a leading contender for the succession. His brother Eric, however, has his own designs. Corwin works to recover his memory and is embroiled in a conflict for the throne of Amber. There are many mystical aspects to the realm of Amber and the royal family. And considering how darn many there are, he does a great job of personifying them all.
Told in the first person, Zelazny of old did a wonderful writing job in this novel. Excellent exposition, great fight scenes, good atmosphere, wonderful descriptions. Easily among the top notch of his novels. The ending is not as grim as the action right after the climax, which is a good respite. Suffice to say that Zelazny does not always leave the heroes to be the grand saviors with all enemies falling before them.
adventure involving sword fights, battling armies, monsters, the real Earth and possibly an infinite number of false ones, the real King and a pretender, a city under the sea...and it just goes on and on and on. A nifty little novel, even though it's over 30 years old (which is why, before the days of PC, everyone smokes on nearly every page). Even though it's not up to the level of Zelazny's classis _Lord of Light,_ this is still an engrossing book, which nearly everyone will enjoy.
Most recent customer reviews
Corwin is one of the titular nine princes who vie for the throne of Amber, the one true city, of which the Earth we know and countless other realities are mere reflections. Read morePublished on Feb. 15 2004 by David Bonesteel
Roger Zelazny is a superb writer who draws you in from the begining when you find Corwin in the hospital. Read morePublished on Oct. 12 2003