NINE PRINCES IN AMBER
Book 1 of "Amber : The Corwin Cycle"
ISBN - 9780380014309
FIRST PUBLISHED - 1977
PAGES - 175
GENRE - Fantasy
BINDING - Paperback
AUTHOR - Roger Zelazny
SYNOPSIS - Amber, the one real world, wherein 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 blood-slippery Stairway into the Sea, the air is electrified with the powers of Eric, Random, Bleys, Caine, and all the princes of Amber whom Corwin must overcome. Yet, his savage path is blocked and guarded by eerie structures beyond imagining; impossible realities forged by demonic assassins and staggering horrors to challenge the might of Corwin's superhuman fury.
FL Speak - I picked up Roger Zelazny as the author of the month for my own fantasy challenge at Goodreads. Roger Zelazny's Amber Chronicles are marked as classics and it wouldn't be fair to my conscience if I never read him. There is always that feeling in your gut when you pick up a new author. New doesn't mean a recently-turned author, new here means someone you've never read before, no matter how many people orgasm at his works.
Nine Princes in Amber didn't disappoint. Before you fantasy maniacs go into hyperventilation, let me just clear it out. No, it isn't huge. There won't be a million words crammed inside the paperback. And no, there aren't multiple POV's like the one's you loved at ASoIaF, WOT and Malazan. There isn't any complex magical system like those of Sanderson and Weeks, although whatever this book has is good, even mind boggling at parts.
So as you can see, its a fairly simple book, with a single POV, a single, straight storyline, with less than 200 pages and some simply awesome writing. Corwin is a Prince of Amber. What the hell is Amber, no one knows, not even Corwin, atleast till the first few pages. Corwin wakes up with amnesia after a crash and follows leads to wherever he could find. He wakes up in a hospital somewhere in the middle of London. Luck and craftiness brings him to the doors of the woman who admitted him to the hospital. A woman like no other, a woman whose best interests lies with the one with power, in this case, the person who tried to kill Corwin. The woman is Corwin's sister.
As memories slowly fill the gap in his mind, Corwin realizes who he is. There is a war coming and everyone wants to rule Amber. And Roger Zelazny hits the sweet spot when he shows that you cannot trust your relatives. But sometimes alliances are necessary. Corwin manages to persuade two of his brothers to ally with him against Eric, the brother who is determined to rule Amber, the brother who tried to kill Corwin. But every one of them has their own wishes, own desires and no one wants the other to succeed to the throne.
What is Amber, you might ask. Amber is the one true city. Sprawling buildings, magnificent structures and powerful people, Amber is the only real city. Everything else is a shadow world, a faint and partial reflection of Amber, including our dear old Earth. All roads leads to Amber. For the blood, i.e the Princes and Princesses of Amber, travelling to the one true city is not too hard. I honestly cannot explain it here, its all in my head and only I can make sense to myself.
So yeah, that's the deal. Corwin and his brother, Bleys attack Eric. What follows is a nightmare.
My Rating - 4/5 stars
P.S| for just above 1000 INR, you can get the entire 10 book saga. Go for it.