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.
I was looking for a good series of books to listen to on car trips that are about 5-6 hours long and this series seemed perfect. Since it is a long series of books in a genre I love with pretty good reviews I picked up the first 2 books during one of Audible's promotions.
Now after having listened to the first book I regret owning the second. Unlike many of the positive reviews I read on this site I did not read the book long ago so my impression is not warped by nostalgia.
The characters have little depth, large events are rushed through, and the narration by Alessandro Juliani is mediocre at best. I found myself with no attachment to the main character Corwin and his other family members are equally uninteresting. Not enough information was ever given about Amber itself for me to care about who rules it so the story arc of Corwin trying to retake it held no suspense for me. Battles were rushed through with little detail and in the end I found myself just wanting the book to be over so I could spend my time listening to something better.
Alessandro Juliani wasn't horrible and he does do a variety of voices, but his narration as the main character Corwin is stiff and boring. It made it seem like Corwin cared as little about the outcome of the story as I did. I wouldn't shy away from other Juliani narrations though because I could tell that he has the talent to do a better job with different material.
So my advice would be to steer clear unless you have fond memories from having already read the book as those reviewers seem to be very satisfied with this offering.
Yes, I really liked the book a lot. I would like to finish the series; however, there are a lot of short books. When you have to buy 10 short books for the full price of 10 books the price is bad.
Great book, but for my book dollar I will move somewhere else.
I've read the stories years ago, and love them. But the narrator in this book is horrible. He is forcing accents on characters that don't have them, with little thought of how they match the characters. A high pitched nasal whine for Random, a British aristocrat for Ganelon, an inconsistent souther accent for Dara, and most bizarre of all a Texan accent for Benedict.
avid audiobook listener, sociopath, nerd.
I loved this story. It was snarky and action packed. I'll definitely be listening to the next book!
Alessandro Juliani, who narrated the first half of the series, from Corwin's pov, did a really good job of capturing the tone and attitude of Zelazny's writing.
Wil Wheaton, narrating the books from the pov of Merlin, son of Corwin, pick that up and also does a great job. I never have trouble distinguishing which character is speaking at any given moment, he remembers inflections and accents that he gives bit parts and keeps them consistent.
Zelzany's writing is always an interesting mix of whimsical, edgy, and inventive. Sometimes the descriptions of landscapes go on and on, but by and large this is a very enjoyable and original series.
In audio at last Alessandro Juliani reading is very good,let you known who talking thouthout the story!
Hear about this series many year ago just never got round to it first book is very good.
It had been a long time since I had read the book, and it was fun revisiting it through the eyes of someone else.
Corwin. He is the protagonist, and the story revolves around him.
This is probably my all time favorite fantasy series that I read in book form previously. Nine Princes is the perfect first book for the series. The narrator did a good job but would have like to had Wil Wheaton to all 10 books of Amber. The story shines through though. Loved it.
Zelazny crafted a very orginal take on the Fantasy genre and the dialogue is great
I loved the ending of the story and the promise it holds for more
Get this, it's definitely worth the credit
I do things!
The though of manipulating "shadows" is a great story idea
His meter and delivery with his own voices makes this book come to life with an edge I had not realized when I read the series 30+ years ago.
Walk the pattern
Listening made this book new again. Thank you!
I read this book and also the subsequent four books years ago and was totally enthralled by them. I've been waiting a long time to get them on audio. The story is still brilliant but feel the performance could be improved upon. Alessandro Juliani does a good job but I feel audio books would really benefit from having a narrator and a different actors for the different characters. There is a limit to what one person can do by way of changing voices and it is sometimes difficult for a male to replicate a female voice and vice versa. However, having said the above, I really enjoyed the experience of Nine Princes in Amber and the subsequent four books of the quintology in audio.
"Not What I Expected"
Story - 5/5
Having had recommendations for this series for some time now, it sounded like it was going to be quite hard going and complex. After finally taking the plunge, I was surprised about how smooth and easy to follow it was. It starts with Corwin waking up with amnesia, so we learn gradually as he remembers things. I loved this style personally and it made for a very humorous story.
Roger Zelazny's prose is very concise and to-the-point, so although this is quite a short audiobook, you do still get a complete story out of it. The story is a halfway house between Sci-fi and fantasy, and is nothing like I have ever come across before. A very obscure concept, but I found it very intriguing.
The characterisation is very strong. It allows the reader to get a very quick grasp of what everyone is about, and their part in the world of Amber. All characters are likeable, and the exchanges they have are very witty.
A very strong first book, and I will definitely be purchasing the rest in the series
Performance - 4.5/5
Alessandro Juliani was superb in my opinion. I thought his narration and voice acting added to the humour and excitement of the story very nicely. I thought he was the perfect fit for Corwin's personality, and all character's voices were distinctly recognisable and well portrayed. I was shocked to see a review that didn't like him actually
He reads the story very quickly, which I personally quite liked, but others may not. Another narrator may have added 1-1.5 hours onto the length of this audiobook. Listen to the sample if you are unsure, but you can always slow it down on the audible app if necessary.
Overall - 5/5
"Never gets old"
Rich characters and background.
I have read and listened to the Nine Princes of Amber several times over the years and still enjoy it as much today as when I first read it.
Beautiful, magical!, visual, exciting, intriguing - I could go on and on with superlatives for his well crafted story which carries the listener breathtakingly fast forward through unknowingness and recovering memory, different world's and battles in quest of the throne of Amber, the one true reality. I'm not often a fan of fantasy but this is sublime, Zelazny supreme. And all read to perfection by Alessandro Juliani.
A wonderful book.
Now, please excuse me as I start listening to book two - can't wait.
Big fan of Zelazny, great to be able to listen now my eyesight has begun to decay. Read in a great manner keeping the story alive
"Had to give up."
The narrator could have made the characters more believable.
I didn't get to the end as the narrator and story was so irritating.
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