Thursday, October 9, 2008

Amber 01: Nine Princes in Amber (Zelazny)--no spoilers

Rating: 5/5
Date: 1970
Genre: Fantasy
Read again? Absolutely.

This is the first of the original five Amber novels by Roger Zelazny. All of these are written from Corwin's point of view, in a conversational style, as if you're sitting with this Lord of Amber in the castle library (a favorite haunt of his) over drinks.

The book opens with Corwin waking up in a private hospital room. Both legs are in casts, and he remembers a car wreck...but he can't remember who he is. He is certain, however, that it's time he left, though he's not sure why. Broken legs, internal injuries, a head injury--all close to healed, and it's only been two weeks, according to the hospital administrator.

What follows is a chess game between Corwin and a sister he barely remembers, where each move and countermove reveals a tiny piece of the puzzle surrounding him--family names, shared memories.

Who is Corwin? What is Amber? Who caused the wreck that sent him to that hospital--and who arranged to keep him prisoner there?

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