A must-listen for fans of classic fantasy. With expressive narration of Zelazny's poetic language, this one truly immerses you with epic struggles in exotic locales.
The ending hammered home for me that the protagonist is somewhat of a Larry Stu. It also makes it clear that this is the first part of a larger epic.
This book feels more like Part 1 than a complete work on its own. I haven't listened to the others yet, but if a collection ever gets released, maybe consider getting that.
The beginning was great but I struggle with the boring middle. I forced myself through it hoping it would get better. finally got better but it was at the very end. not getting the second book
This book was interesting until the main character got his memory back. Before that, the story was full of possibility. After that, it was clear that the characters would never stop being two dimensional. They have little enough personality that there is no reason to care who rules in Amber, or to see that it makes a difference at all.
The narrator is generally cool and nonchalant, which works well at the beginning when the main character is putting up a strong front to hide his amnesia. But after that, in the rare moments where something actually causes Corwin to experience emotion, the narration stays plain and clipped, adding to the two-dimensional nature of the story.
"To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” -- Somerset Maugham
This, the first book of the first Chronicles of Amber, is flawed. There's not doubt about it. It's thin in places you don't want it to be and a few of the fictional world's internal workings are suspiciously inconsistent. EVEN SO, I love this series. I've read it 5 or 6 times through since discovering it as a teen and, despite a critical adult eye, I still love them. They move quickly, have lots of twists, and are just good, escapist fun.
Now, regarding the narrator. Alessandro really overdoes it. He gives everyone a different voice, even a palace guard who will only ever speak two lines in the entire five books. And each voice seems more suited to a Saturday morning animated version of the story, rather than a serious reading. I thought it was going to totally ruin the reading for me, but I'll admit that I tuned it out after a while. And it is kind of useful to have all the characters sound different, as there are quite a few of them.
I would recommend the BOOK to any friend, but after listening to both, I recommend instead the reading performed by the original author, Roger Zelazny, which is sadly not available on Audible. It can be had on Speaking-Volumes, however
It's quite a trick to pull off the strange combination of 60's hip and high fantasy that Zelazny wrote in his heyday but Alessandro Juliani gets right to the heart of the matter. I really enjoyed his portrayal of the treacherous Amberites and their henchmen, his excellent characterization enhancing the sometimes preposterous Zelazny plot turns. Weird, silly and wonderful, a real pleasure for Zelazny fans.
this is the first book in the princes of Amber series, and is well worth attending to. it has Adventure in combat and swordplay, and a tiny sprinkling of magic. Have fun with it. My only detractor on this one, is it a little bit short.