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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 listeners say about The Courts of Chaos

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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 person found this helpful

  • 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!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Corwin manages to offload responsibliities

The Courts of Chaos is the fifth installment in Roger Zelazny's Chronicle in Amber series. Corwin begins conflicted about his, as well as, Amber's situation. While his father has returned, there is little he offers in terms of clearing things up and Amber itself is still a mess. Corwin ends up on a quest like journey where he continually encounters problems. He eventually manages to set things right in terms of the Pattern and Amber. Also in the end, he learns that he has a son as well. Random is left running the show.

Zelazny goes to great lengths to tie up all the loose ends and still manages to through in some oddball adventures, such as the horse stealing, murderous leprechauns. Corwin doesn't achieve closure so much, as he seems to clear off his desk before heading out for a well earned two week vacation. At least he'll be available for future adventures and not tied down with the responsibilities of running a kingdom.

The narration is the best part of the audiobook with excellent character distinction and brisk pacing for what is actually a short listen.

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Over Priced.

Great series. Pick up all 10 for 20$ total. But on audible they are 10$ a book… Way over priced, they are only 5-6 hours long each. So a 20$ paper back that contains all 10 books are about 100$ on here. Book 5 stars, audible pricing 0 stars

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A great ending

This was a great ending to an incredible series.
It is also a great beginning for the second half that was a great ending to an incredible story. It is also a wonderful starting point for the next five books!

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A Decent Ending

This was a good ending to the original half of the Amber Series. I look forward to the second half.

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Enjoyed all the books in the Chronicles of Amber

Fantastic! Just like all the other books in the series. The voice actors do a wonderful job as well

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it ends well

the story has a decent ending. I am glad I read through them and did enjoy them. it would be hard for me to recommend them with so many other 4 and 5 start books available.

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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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ross H
  • 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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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • DragonSlayer
  • 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.