Thursday, February 9, 2006

The Courts Of Chaos, Roger Zelazny

Title: The Courts Of Chaos
Author: Roger Zelazny
Rating: Good

We finally come to the end of the first Amber Chronicles with The Courts of Chaos. In it, we learn a fair number of things, and Corwin struggles to do the right thing by his dad. Most of the loose ends are tied up and we have a pause before Corwin's son - Merlin - becomes the hero of the next five books.

The question of he succession is handled well, and that is important since the family has been fighting over it for the entire set of books.

The overall story of these books is really good. There is a lot of complexity here, and the underlying theme is that the characters change over time. Corwin undergoes some significant changes, as do his brothers and sisters. I won't claim this is great literature, but I think it is better than much fantasy and science fiction in that the characters seem more real to me, and that they matter more - both to the story and the reader - than is often the case in those genres.

Of my previous complaint that there were some misogynist comments in an earlier volume, I must say I didn't note any others in these first five books. I hope they were an aberration, but only my review of the next five will confirm that to my satisfaction.

So I guess the summation of the first five books is "go read them!" Just don't buy The Great Book of Amber as it is full of typos. Instead, go to a used bookstore and buy copies of all five original volumes. Then come back and review them here, so we can compare notes.

I'll take a brief pause here, and then go on to the next five books. Cheers!
  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