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Publisher's Summary

The Courts of Chaos is the fifth book of 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.

In book five, 2012 Audie Award nominee Alessandro Juliani completes his reading of the Corwin Cycle, expertly narrating the first five novels of the series and bringing the world of Amber to life.

As the first cycle is brought to a close, Corwin finds his world dissolving around him when his father Oberon, disguised as Corwin's friend, steals the Jewel of Judgment so that he may defeat the evil Brand.

©1978 Roger Zelazny (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 08-11-17

The dancer and the dance.

"Sometimes it's damned hard to tell the dancer from the dance."
- Roger Zelazny, Coruts of Chaos

So, this isn't the bottom of the first five books in the 'Chronicles of Amber'. Actually, of the five books that make up the Corwin cycle (Books 1-5), it might be my favorite (so 3.5 ✷?). I haven't been impressed by the five enough to rush soon into the Merlin cycle (Books 6-10). I'll probably get there. I own all ten (The Great Book of Amber), but other books from other favorite authors remain unread and unless there is a sign, symbol, or signal somewhere that suggest that these later books will suddenly jump higher in my esteem, I'm finished for 2017 with Zelazny.

The Courts of Chaos did produce a couple items I did enjoy, sort of:

1. A Zen, futilitarianst crow saying such things as: "You see, we are hatched and we drift on the surface of events. Sometimes, we feel like we actually influence things, and this gives rise to striving. This is a big mistake, because it creates desires and builds up a false ego when just being should be enough." Da FA?

2. Courtly dancers, treading to the slow measures of invisible musicians, that appear to be an allusion to the painting Dance to the Music of Time by Nicolas Poussin: "They dance to celebrate your passage. They are not mortals but the spirits of Time. They began this foolish show when you entered the valley." Um, OK?

Anyway, the things I just gently mocked above are also probably WHY I give this an extra 1/2 ✷. That might make sense, or may not. I'm not going to strive to hard to explain.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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great series

the use of falsetto for female voices is not recommended. but this is done in many books. has to be a better way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The best of the first five

Kinda reminds me of someone I once knew. I love the whole series and wish someone had the wherewithal to make movies based upon them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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lackluster

I enjoyed some of the characters, can't say much for the storyline or development overall. Glad to have read it though.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

AMBER

The first five books have withstood the test of time.
The saga of Amber reads/listens just as well as it did in the '70s when I first read them. This series is worth the time.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent as always

A long time favourite series read many times, book narration was excellent bringing book to life

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Fizzled out

Now I recall why I have no memory of this final installment to an otherwise memorable series: this could have been condensed to10 pages and been appended to The Hand of Oberon. Literally nothing revealed or added to further the story. I still have my original copies of all 5 books! So much great material: trumps, shadow, Amber, Pattern, political intrigue, twists and turns.

Save your money, when done with Oberon, just ask, and I will tell you in under a minute how it ends!

Narrator was great!

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The Satisfying Conclusion

Don't start here! Go back and read the first book, Nine Princes in Amber. This is not the kind of series you can start in the middle. All the books are short reads though! So they go down like delicious, addictive popcorn. I still don't like the narrator for these. (See my review of Nine Princes.)

The balance of Chaos and Order (Amber) is at risk as Oberon attempts to repair the pattern and Corwin rides to the Courts of Chaos to aid in the final battle. Along the way, though he is caught up in a reality storm. What will he do to keep Chaos from refashioning all of the shadow realms and reality itself?

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loved it very very much

I am deeply entangled by the narrator's voice. the author is terrific that capturing Vivid Seats Exquisite words is catching myself as I was actually in the book myself I am I'm sad and I have not read this book before as to why I am very engrossed with it now

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  • Hyrum
  • Orem, UT, United States
  • 07-24-15

one of my all-time favorites

An all time science fiction classic. Narrator is very good.
Last book in his first Amber series, it ties everything together and even provides a few surprises

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  • Ross Hughes
  • 08-01-18

Good oldie

Finally we get to the crux of things here and you realise that the other books have been about character growth rather than action

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  • Christopher
  • 06-10-15

I loved it!


Story – 5/5

A great ending to the Corwin cycle of books. A very imaginative, complex and absorbing world was created here, and is not like anything I have come across before. This book is action packed, fast paced and full of brilliant conclusions to the overall story arc of saving Amber.

It was enough of an ending for me not to rush into the latter 5 books in the series (which are based on Corwin’s son; Merlin), but I will definitely be returning to complete the series very soon.

The stories may seem very short, and therefore not worth the credits, but I personally found them worth it. You will probably make your own decision on it, but if you are on the fence like I was, give the first one a try – you can always return it if you didn’t feel it was worth it.


Performance – 5/5

These are an extremely well narrated series of books, and you can tell a lot of effort has gone into it to create the best experience for the listener. The first person voice suited Corwin’s character perfectly and the other characters all had distinctive and suitably acted voices too. Alessandro’s fast reading style added to the pace and excitement of the story very nicely.


Overall – 5/5

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  • Eileen
  • 05-14-13

FANTASTIC FANTASY

I can only reiterate my review of Nine Princes in Amber. This is part of a quintology and, I feel, needs to be read or heard as one book as the story arc starts with Book 1 and finishes with Book 5. 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.