[[ Audible ]] Nine Princes in AmberAuthor Roger Zelazny – Sharkmotorcyclehelmets.co.uk

currently reading for the September 2009 read for the Zelazny group Wow It s still a fantastic read after all these years That s amazing.I re read this every 5 years or so It s the start to one of the best series I ve ever read Zelazny is a super writer this book started a series that has spawned a lot of other books There are 4 other books that follow this one with Corwin as the hero, then Zelazny did another 5 about Corwin s son, Merlin Gregory Betancourt is up to book 4 let s hope the last, 5, gets published since the publisher folded on Corwin s dad, Oberon Some don t like Betancourt s books, but I think he s done a great job A lot better than most of the novels others have finished for Zelazny He s kept to the story line a similar writing style Zelazny some others worked out the Visual Guide to Amber Zelazny wrote 6short stories that fill in some of the holes between the series I think all of them are in Manna from Heaven 4I like libraries It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadowsNine Princes in Amber is the first installment in a series of 10 rather shortish books They are divided into 2 arcs and the first one is told from Corwin s perspective, while the next set make his son s story the main event Although we see the happenings from this family line s POV, the real center of both arcs is the internal struggle of the family to deal with their inherited familial need to dominate the others of their bloodline by any means possible betrayal, treachery, backstabbing, all breaks of honor and what we consider human empathy in all circumstances, all in the battle to capture and keep their birthright, the Crown of Amber, once belonging to their father, Oberon, who is currently and has been for a very long time missing, presumed dead Whoever ends up with the crown will have to dodge the treachery of all his siblings and their allies, while ruling Amber and trying to protect its people from problems starting to emerge from the Shadows and the forces of Chaosthere is Shadow and there is Substance, and this is the root of all things Of Substance, there is only Amber, the real city, upon the real Earth, which contains everything Of Shadow, there is an infinitude of things Every possibility exists somewhere as a Shadow of the realIn this volume we are introduced to Corwin, who awakens in a hospital after an apparent car accident , heavily drugged and kept this way on purpose, with severe amnesia and no idea of who he is, where he is, and only with an insistent sense of danger and the knowledge he needs to get out of there In the beginning of the book he has to figure out who he is, find a way to go some place safe, discover who his enemies are, get some allies, play an obviously dangerous game by bluffing his way through it, and once he finds out not only who he is but also what he is, he has to make some martial decisions which would have sweeping consequences for many, many people But most of all, he has to confront his brother Eric and take the Crown Turns out, because of Eric and his mental influence, Corwin has been stuck on Earth for centuries, having a real life first hand knowledge of things like the plague, the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Napoleon, the life in concentration camps, and all the wars in between As he starts to remember, he discovers that he is one of the nine princes of Amber, the only World which is Real and True, while all other worlds, including our Earth, are just shadows thrown by it It is the only substance while all the rest are Shadows The opposite and opposing entity to Amber is Chaos And Chaos is starting an offensive on the g d like siblings of Amber Are they going to get to a point where they will put their in fighting to the side in order to protect the WorldI walked among Shadows, and found a race of furry creatures, dark and clawed and fanged, reasonably manlike, and about as intelligent as a freshman in the high school of your choice sorry, kids, but what I mean is they were loyal, devoted, honest, and too easily screwed by bastards like me and my brother I felt like the dee jay of your choiceYep, those Amber G ds sure are assholes The siblings are all gifted with what to us is like super powers, for them just part of their heritage In most of the Shadow Worlds they are looked upon and worshiped as a pantheon of g ds The ones of The Blood are capable of traveling between the worlds by manipulating matter, adding and subtracting in a formula meant to solve for the destination they desire I find this system absolutely fascinating and love the heck out of it It is different, it is imaginative and very original, having in mind that the first book was created in the late 60 s and published as a complete work in 71 It is a kind of a hybrid between Science Fiction and Fantasy and as every first work is not perfect, but it sure is entertaining He does have all the female siblings as a second thought and females are not very present in the story, but I hope we get there eventually What I love about this author the most is his ability to write in a minimalistic manner and short format, while packing every page with world building and action I have said before, he knows exactly the limits to keep us interested and never get bored I can t wait to return and see what happens with the familial MMA cage match that is The Princes of AmberWhat an enormous chutzpah you possess, I told him What makes you better than the rest of us, andfit to rule The fact that I was able to occupy the throne, he replied Try and take itNow I wish you All Happy Reading and may you always find what you Need in the pages of a Good Book Man, all the good stuff has been said to let me be brief OVERALL FEELING One of my favorite fantasy pieces sort of starts out as a PI man who lost his memory and has to figure out that he s the prince of another world CONCEPT What if Gods who looked like people created this world and all the other worlds through their Godly thoughts And what if their father disappeared and there was a fight for the throne which shook all the worlds And what if this Godly war led to doorways being opened which should not have opened which could kill off these Gods MARKETING APPEAL The Amber series is greatly loved I imagine that it sold well it took a first person point of view of a wise cracking PI type fantasy hero who discovered the realm of Amber a conflict of sibling gods who are out for dominance and then discover a great evil Superbly written image error Zelazny Freaks Regulars buddy read with my fellow Freaks Regulars Evgeny, Choko, Eilonwy, Elena and Lee Who Just Came Back from the Dead Pre review rating 3.33567458 stars Post review rating 3 stars Because I m barbarous like that.Okay, let s get something out of the way real quick yes, this is everyone and their barnacle s mostest favoritest fantasy series ever, and the one that, in most cases, introduced them to the genre, and the one that inspired countless fantasy writers It also happens to be the one I obviously very read wrong Yeah yeah yeah, I know, this is quite outrageous and stuff Hey, you might want to be careful with that finger of yours, you re going to end up spraining it if you don t stop wiggling it around like that Now please do try and refrain from playing Friendly Neighbourhood Troll FNT , and lecturing me on allllllllllllllllllll the glorious things I obviously missed while reading this book Why Because 1 I m in a most nefarious mood today, so you might want to take a step back before I unleash the crustaceans and stuff, 2 Sorry I slightly forgot what 2 was and 3 I already KNOW that this delightful tale is packed with dazzingly marvellous stuff How do I know, you ask Sigh With all due respect view spoiler hide spoiler See my review under the one volume omnibus setone of my favorite series This is another classic that ought to be called a classic Update I read this one firstback when It was in the 1970s I have since grown a bit, aged quite a bit andpossibly even matured a little I still love these books I have also discovered audio books this too happened some years ago and has been detailed elsewhere My wife became very ill and was bed fast a long time, she also came to the point where she really couldn t read, so I began tracking down audio books for her First I got books on cassette and later on CD Since I had the books anyway I listened to them in my work vehicle.Since that time I have found I really like audio books and have often bemoaned that these books, the Amber Series were never done in audio.Well now it has been and as soon as Audible offered the books I began downloading them The reader of the first series a voice actor named Allessandro Juliani does a good job and the story has drawn me in again as it did when I was young Plot driven yet with a main character painted in bright detail these are in my humble opinion exceptional books at least the first series and I am very happy they are finally available in audio.Recommended in any form you care to read them, print book, Ebook or audio book I think most fantasy fans will truly enjoy them. All roads lead to Amber..Nine brothers fight for the inheritance left behind by the disappearance of their father The ultimate prize is the throne of Amber, the one real world, of which all other worlds are mere shadows and reflections Nine Princes of the Amber is an interesting fantasy introduction with an intriguing concept I really enjoyed reading the early parts, where the prince Corwin wakes up in a hospital on Earth with no memory of his past I expected atraditional fantasy when picking up this book, but instead got a story of Corwin and his companions travelling between worlds and attempting to reach Amber while also struggling to regain his memory and understanding of what s going on.This combination of science fiction and fantasy was pretty interesting, and made evenso by the fact that the protagonist himself, as a result of his amnesia, holds as little information as the reader to begin with about the world of Amber and how it works Thus the reader is able to follow Corwin s journey and learn with him.Unfortunately, Zelazny s writing is not very good, at least not at this early stage It seems to blend many different styles of writing, which often ruins the atmosphere of the story and the setting, and also contains a number of mistakes throughout the book Additionally the simplicity of the plot and the shallowness of characterisation made the quality suffer slightly However, these are all negatives that can be easily corrected in sequels, and I m ready to give dear Roger the benefit of doubt because of how intriguing the concept is.Overall, this is a very short and enjoyable introduction to one of the great fantasy series of the previous century. What a weird, weird book.Nine princes in Amber begins with the protagonist, Corwin, waking up in an hospital room, with no memories of himself or his past Soon after that he realizes he s been drugged for days and flees the building, meanwhile collecting bits of informations about his former life.Within a few chapters he learns he s one of the nine living princes of Amber, the only true world of which every other world is but a Shadow Literally and that this makes him basically a god.These princes can, in fact, modify Shadow worlds with just a minor effort of will but not Amber itself , travel freely between universes and do a number of other nifty things.The rest of the book covers,or less, his struggles to regain his memories and win the throne of Amber itself, now held by Eric, one of his brothers.Too bad that, while having a great premise and being full of good ideas, the book fails quite badly to deliver.Its first and most obvious fault is that it s so very hasty Corwin goes from I wake up without knowing who I am to I single handedly wage war to decide the fate of all the universes in about 30 pages It never takes time to build pathos or put some meat on the characters, and the result is that after a flying start the narration falls flat.The whole second half of the book is made almost entirely of battles resolved in one line sentences.Just imagine a few dozen pages full of something like We went there to fight A Three hundred died Then we fought B Then C came and we fled Then we fought C and a two thousand died Another big point is that this book does a lousy job of explaining things Don t get me wrong I love books where you have to figure out things yourself, but here there s just a lot of random stuff thrown at you that you re supposed to take as a given.Why are the princes so powerful What allows them to change reality Why can they change some things and not others Why on Earth do they all want Amber s throne since they could create an infinite number of worlds perfectly identical to it by simply wishing it Why doesn t gunpowder burn in Amber while matches work perfectly instead The list could go on and on and on At times you are given pathetic explanations on the lines of Princes of Amber can change reality because they can Why thank you very much, Mr Zelazny.Plot resolutions are often plain ridiculous and lack any logic At some point in the book there s a battle on this loooong and narrow staircase climbing a mountain These stairs are so narrow that only the two soldiers on the front can fight, and everyone else we re talking a few thousands on each side just stands there watching.No one takes a bow, nor throws a fucking rock for that matter.I d writeabout such plot holes but I don t want to make spoilers and I think I made my point already anyway Last but not least, the language is a mix of archaic English and 70s slang If ever there were any doubts that the two are not meant to go together, Nine princes in Amber wiped them away.Apart from being very VERY annoying, this quaint for want of a better and non offensive word linguistc mix makes absolutely no sense.Just think about it our Earth is but one of an infinite number of Shadow world of which most characters which, remember, are immortal gods barely suspect the existence. why the hell would they use American Idioms A couple times is mentioned how they are actually speaking Amber s language. and I must say I m really, really curious as to how does I dig thy stuff, brother translate in Amberian can t remeber the actual name.The language is not the only part pervaded with random elements of American culture the princes, for example,just can t help smoking about 20 packs of branded cigarettes per page Where do they get them No idea.I was constantly reminded of an uber cheesy sci fi movie from the 70s.It s not an entirely terrible book and it holds some very cool concepts, but I hardly find it deserving all the praise it gets. I remember, like it was yesterday, the moment I picked up this book in a library Only it wasn t yesterday, it was about 15 years ago, but what is time when you re in love I did fall in love with this series Having read this book for the first time all that time ago, my initial reaction was a very favourable one I thought this novel was absolutely mind blowing My thoughts today They re pretty much the same, in all honesty I can say that my original impression never really changed If anything, I ve grown to love this novel evenWhile I was reading Nine Princes in Amber for the first time, I felt like something life changing has just happened to me Perhaps I was not mistaken I remember telling everyone at some high school part how cool this book is They all seemed to agree with me as far as the coldness of the whole concept of shadowy words goes I m not sure did I actually get anyone to read it, but it is never too late, right That is why almost two decades later, I m writing this review This is still one of my favourite fantasy series of all time.I love the genre mixing in this one, the way this novel opens as an attempted murder mystery and all of the sudden takes a turn towards fantasy is ingenious Our protagonist Carl who will later on discover his real name is Corwin wakes us in a hospital, having no recollection of himself His amnesia lasts for quite some time, making the events in the novelmysterious and interesting We re in there with him, struggling to make sense of things, trying to unravel the complexities of his situation Corwin escapes the hospital without much ado and having found the address of his sister, gets to her home shortly Corwin may have lost his memory but not his style He relies on his instincts to get as much information out of his nervous sister Flora as he can Corwin at the start of The Nine Princes in Amber reminds me on heroes of noir novel, he seems like a tough and resourceful kind of guy that, like a cat, always lands on his fit and lives to fight another day However, very early in the story Corwin gets his rug pulled under his feet and all it takes is one word Amber.I swear I could feel the hairs on my hands standing while I was reading about his initial reaction to this word and the funny thing is that in that this early in the story he and we as readers is totally clueless about what this word means, but as the mere mentioning of this word caused a storm in his head, he feels it must be an answer to all the questions he yet has to learn how to form All roads lead into Amber We won t learn what that means for a while Yet, I could sense it must be something big His strong reaction suggested as much and Corwin is depicted as someone whose instincts are right one He intuitively knows that he is not to trust his siblings and that they might in fact be trying to kill him Wasn t it a clever plot device to have a protagonist who is unaware of the fantasy elements in the story itself The realization of the complexity of his world is something that he comes in terms with step at a time and in this way, we as readers, are saved from reading long explanations and descriptions We re showed, rather than told and some say this is indicative of good writing While they might not always be the case, I dare say it is in this novel Anyhow, soon after Corwin s not so warm heart to heart talk with Flora, another character steps in the game Random, his younger brother, true to his name, arrives out of the blue and brings trouble with him The mystery of Amber is about to be told, but I won t speak about how it will happen, because I want to avoid spoilers If you re thinking of reading this book, don t go on and read some synopsis that reveals the plot Where is the fun in that I know there is a good change you ve heard about it before Even greater is the chance that having looked up the novel, you have had already came across the information, but just in case you didn t don t read it All you need to know is that you re in for a ride The Nine Princes In Amber starts up as a crime novel, but it ends up being an amazing fantasy one with an awe inspiring cast of characters So, who are the nine princes in Amber I won t tell you that Are they well portrayed They sure are Are they about to do fantastic things Yes, they will There you go, it s all you need to know as readers Instead of giving up too much information, let s just get back to talking about why and how this novel rocks First of all, I thought the premise of the book was absolutely brillant If I m not mistaken, at that particular point in time seventies , parallel universes weren t really the thing Sure, the parallel universes aren t something that is was unheard of in fantasy, but the way this novel explored it was and it still IS something quite original I m not sure that even today I can think of a novel that has managed to achieve something that feels this credible, this well plotted and constructed There is something almost psychological about the way it explains parallel universities and often in my life I did say it was life changing and you see I didn t lie , I ve wondered how much are we the creators of our own reality, how much of what we see is just our projection and just how much of the world gets changed with our projection Roger deserves to be praised for the power of his imagination The idea behind this series is really something and the way it gets developed is truly wonderful, but I m getting ahead of myself.The second thing that I really love about this novel is protagonist, Corwin His character development in this one is perfect It is not by any means drastic that is reserved for the sequels , in fact, it is so subtle you can almost miss it The way amnesia affected Corwin s personality is fascinating In a way he preserved his personality even when he lost his memory and old soul one might say and that was certainly showed in a convincing manner, yet this amnesia made him question not just everyone else but also first and foremost himself The way he acts is the way he always acted but there is a worm of a doubt Corwin is starting to question himself What will come of it If you re anything like me, by the time you finish this novel, you will surely be very eager to learn I don t think I have ever had a crush on a literary character, but this one really got under my skin He is still in there somewhere.Thirdly, the apple doesn t fall far from the tree If Corwin is a great character and he is masterfully developed and portrayed , then trust that his family might be a subject of interest On other words, leave it to his family to make the things a lotinteresting This is a highly dysfunctional and Machiavellian family, but what a joy to read about them Court and dagger sort of thing but done in Roger s style Every sibling was as fascinating as the next one and among much cruelty, there is also sincere respect They are who they are Who they are isn t always pretty most of the time, it is kind of disturbing There are no classical good guys in this one, not even the protagonist himself but if you re me, you ll see him in a good light.Finally, there is the language pure poetry This novel is absolutely lyrical The way that lyricism clashes with Machiavellian politics creates quite an interesting contrast The story is told from Corwin s point of view, so he as characters, thanks to his creator, sounds deviously charming and painfully eloquent pretty much all of the time Not that I think of it, it must be why he is so darn loveable, even when he is Well, read a see how that one might end The style of writing is absolutely perfect for this novel because it gives it both its dreamy quality and its credibility considering who Corwing is Roger wrote this one beautifully and the sequels are not any different.That s basically it, my favourite things about this novel are the setting the very idea and premise of this story , Corwin such an amazing character , Corwin s family basically all the important characters in the novel and the beautiful writing Yes, that sums it up nicely I m not sure why it took methan 1500 words to say that I guess I was feeling like elaborating a bit on it.You know, I m seriously thinking of writing a review for every book of this series Why not I did enjoy the whole series a great deal, so I might as well write about it. I will make it brief This series is the first of the two reasons 75% of the books I read are fantasy Howard s Conan was the second reason Thus the rating for this book and all following is 5 stars, period Do you really want the longer version Even if you do not here it is An unnamed guy woke up from drugged stupor in a hospital His mental abilities were good enough enough to realize he was kept under drugs He escaped and managed to acquire the address of a woman who placed him there supposedly his sister The sister bit was true by the way, but I am getting ahead of myself Trying to regain his memory the poor guy soon learned the true story is much deeper than he suspected and to get to the bottom of this he needed to visit a mysterious and fascinating place called Amber The only problem was, the place and all the roads leading to it were full of people literally dreaming of killing unlucky amnesiac What follows is the best world building in fantasy I am very serious when I say nothing comes even remotely close I tried to summarize it in my notes and realized that their length was not much shorter than the book itself less than 150 pages The latter also contained non stop action and occasional descriptions that made the places in question come alive This ability to write short and to the point is completely lost in modern literature Modern writers think endless descriptions of food, heraldic, and so on constitute world building In case any aspiring fantasy writer read this let me assure you these above constitute boredom If you bored the book feels longer, so I can only assume this is done on purpose This quote was written in Victorian Britain and still rings true Nothing is easier to write than scenery nothingdifficult and unnecessary to read Jerome K Jerome, Three Men on the BummelRoger Zelazny knew how to write an exciting book that makes your imagination to go full throttle in minimal number of pages Only true Masters possessed this ability It feels almost like blasphemy to make long talks about such short and brilliant book, so I will shut up Besides, I said everything I wanted about it. Amber, The One Real World, Wherein All Others, Including Our Own Earth, Are But Shadows Amber Burns In Corwin S Blood Exiled On Shadow Earth For Centuries, The Prince Is About To Return To Amber To Make A Mad And Desperate Rush Upon The Throne From Arden To The Blood Slippery Stairway Into The Sea, The Air Is Electrified With The Powers Of Eric, Random, Bleys, Caine, And All The Princes Of Amber Whom Corwin Must Overcome Yet, His Savage Path Is Blocked And Guarded By Eerie Structures Beyond Imagining Impossible Realities Forged By Demonic Assassins And Staggering Horrors To Challenge The Might Of Corwin S Superhuman Fury To Awakening In An Earth Hospital Unable To Remember Who He Is Or Where He Came From, Corwin Is Amazed To Learn That He Is One Of The Sons Of Oberon, King Of Amber, And Is The Rightful Successor To The Crown In A Parallel World