Friday, February 10, 2006

Blood of Amber, Roger Zelazny

Title: Blood of Amber
Author: Roger Zelazny
Rating: Great!

In my review of the previous book - Trumps of Doom - I said something stupid. Specifically, it was:
As with all Amber books, there is a backdrop of a huge and complex family, full of plots and intrigue, combined with a larger scale set of affairs that the hero is trying to understand. To my mind, Zelazny pulls it off at least as well here as he did in the first series, though perhaps some of the pieces come together sooner this time around.
I was wrong. Having now finished the second volume of the second Amber series - Blood Of Amber - I can tell you that the plot is at least as thick and complex as it was in the first series, and perhaps more so. Merlin has more enemies, and friends that might be enemies, and enemies that might be friends, than I can keep easily track of at this point. If it gets much worse, I may have to start taking notes to keep it all straight. And it's really cool.

This book is just plain fun. It's a romp through that part of a larger story in which the main character is figuring out how little he really knows, and how much effort it is going to take to actually come to grips with it all.

Merlin continues to grow on me. Zelazny has given him a dash of showmanship and a take-it-on-alone attitude that I find really appealing. Yes, he's brash, and yes he does some stupid things at times, but that's the point of the character. It works.

And Zelazny continues to develop his description of magic, how it works, what it takes, who can do it, etc. It's thick and it's real and it makes sense in context.

This is a very good book - the best of the first seven in my opinion.
  1. Nine Princes In Amber
  2. The Guns of Avalon
  3. Sign of the Unicorn
  4. The Hand of Oberon
  5. The Courts of Chaos
  6. Trumps of Doom
  7. Blood of Amber
  8. Sign of Chaos
  9. Knight of Shadows
  10. Prince of Chaos