Nine Princes in Amber is the first of the 10 books that are The Chronicles of Amber; an epic fantasy series written by six-time Hugo Award winning and three-time Nebula Award winning author, Roger Zelazny.
The ten books that make up the series are told in two story arcs: The Corwin Cycle and the Merlin Cycle.
The Audible audio rendition of this classic sci-fi/fantasy series is kicked off by 2012 Audie Award nominee, Alessandro Juliani, who reads the first five books that make up the Corwin Cycle and whose narration vividly brings the world of Amber to life.
Amber is the one real world, of which 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 Pattern deep in Castle Amber which defines the very structure of Reality, Corwin must contend with the powers of his eight immortal brothers, all Princes of Amber. His savage path is blocked and guarded by eerie structures beyond imagining impossible realities forged by demonic assassins and staggering Forces that challenge the might of Corwin's superhuman fury.
©1970 Roger Zelazny (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
It felt as though someone were explaining the plot of a series of books to me. Too much happened, and yet not enough. No characters were developed in detail, so that when tragedy befell them or they were saved from the brink of disaster, I did not feel anything for them. There was too much material for one book. I felt as though the author created a world without considering a storyline. I almost feel as though someone should rewrite this, and expand upon it extensively.
I will probably avoid Roger Zelazny's books in the future. I am not sure how he got the sequels to this book published.
The performance was actually quite good, but the book's plot jumped around so much that the narrator's talent was lost. A good book with a quality narrator is a priceless thing. If either of those qualities is missing, it's difficult to judge the other independently.
If I could rearrange the book as I wished, I would have separated everything into several novels. One book would be about the main character's adventures regaining his memory. There would be a much larger section in the sea world and a development of the hero's romance with its queen, culminating in the walk of the path and all of that mystical stuff. Next, I would write a prequel that would explain the history of the hero (instead of having him explain everything in the format of "I remembered..." which got tiresome pretty quickly). This prequel could contain flashbacks of pre-exile-to-Earth Amber, with the main story as the hero's experiences on Earth. This would build a foundation for the hero's relationship with his brothers, and add poignancy to his exile. The next book would be a fantasy war epic, concentrating on developing the hero's forces for an attack on his evil brother. This book would end with his imprisonment. The next book would contain his escape, and probably a lot of what happens in the second book of this series, which I will not find out the plot of because I don't intend to read it.
This book was extraordinarily creative, but it definitely lacked focus. A disappointment.
Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.
I have no idea what the raving about this book is. Non at all. It is immature, childish and inconsistent. I enjoy teenage scifi and fantasy (Harry Potter/Hunger Games/Divergent… even Twilight (errr.. sorry)!) This book is not like that. It is simply very badly written. The characters jump in their speech from “high fantasy English” to “ok, yeah”. Really? This is rated as – Wow by readers?
I guess there is something in the story, otherwise I would have asked for my money back. But it is just so badly written and it terrifies me that this is where literature is going. Read Brandon Sanderson, then you will understand what I am talking about. I was very disappointed, really looked forward to a new series that I could get into. I will not be getting the next book.
One last thing. The narrator did an awesome job. Shame it was such a book, but he was extremely heroic in his attempt to save it.
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