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.
Zelasny writes a fun tale full of colorful details, and the narrator brings the story to life. The narration is nuanced, riveting , and full of surprises. Excellent !
A fantastic reading of a classic story that is still enjoyable decades later. A story that grabs your attention early and keeps you interested until the very ... near... end!
Rich fantasy story with vivid images and characters. Action filled and fully realized if a bit sexist in the way a 60's James Bond movie seems today. Good narration if not great.
I've heard the talking book version and liked it alot. This is better and well worth the price. I still wish there was a movie series.
The characters are flimsy, and the dialogue is dreadful. If I didnt know better, I would expect that it was written by a high school student. I can only surmise that you cant read this book out of the context of when it was written (1970) and how it fit in to the development of the genre.
Very strong start with the narrator waking to amnesia and bluffing his way through a cast of vivid characters. Later morphs into an action-fantasy. And quite funny.
I am a lover of fantasy novels with exciting action, complex plots, and unforgettable characters.
I gave this book three stars, which isn't quite fair. I would have given it three and a half stars if I could. It just wasn't a four star listen to me, but it wasn't a three star either. The story was good if not a little odd. I liked the clever plot motifs that were used, they were if anything unique. I also liked the action scenes, their portrayal was very different than I am use to. They were drawn with an almost detached skill, told with an elegant prose, that is hard to dislike. I also liked the characters which were multi faceted and complex. The problem with this book was the writing itself. It was not bad writing but it was archaic. The entire book in fact was archaic. The way it was written and told was very alien to me and it kind of put me off. I would put this novel under the category of not aging well. It just doesn't live up to some of the great books that we read today. The final small issue I had with this book was its length. It was so short I had a hard time spending a credit on it. The narrator did a good if unremarkable job. As a whole, this book really didn't do much for me, it just didn't leave much of an impression, but it wasn't a bad book.
Although I felt that the narrator did as well as he could with the material, the story was not worth his effort. The author's description of people and events read like a thirdhand synopsis. I never had a feeling of presence or a connection with the characters. I have no desire to read the follow ups or recommend the book to others.
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.
"Great performance, if you like this type of thing"
There's nothing so much wrong with the book, per se, so much as it is not what I'd been expecting.
This is an action-packed, all-swords-blazing fantasy romp.
It's solidly put together, if a little guilty of falling into cliche.
It's a story about a bunch of aristocrats who all want to be King. They're all a little bland, and act alike, even though one is labelled the Hero and one is labelled the Tyrant.
The characters speak in fairly standard Fantasy Language - a weird admixture of Thee-Thou-ing and modern slang.
The story is simple and linear, and the plot is propelled by the hero being revealed to have more and more special powers over time.
It could be great fun escapism if you like this type of thing, but it's not especially inventive. It does show its age.
People who are already fans of the Amber series should definitely go ahead and get this, the performance of Juliani is really good; a nice pace, with enough modulation in tone and diversity in characterisation to keep things interesting without becoming distracting.
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
"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.
"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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