Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Amber 02: The Guns of Avalon (Zelazny)--Full review

Rating: 5
Year: 1972
Genre: Fantasy
Read again? Yes

Prince Corwin makes his way to Avalon, intent on taking the throne of Amber away from his brother Eric. On the way, he finds himself in a land called Lorraine, where he helps to defeat some bad things that live in a blackened circle of land. Afterward, the people of Lorraine fear him, for in their folklore the evil Lord Corwin ruled the land without mercy. He doesn't bother trying to explain that this was not him--and it doesn't matter anyway, since he's still got to go to Avalon.

He and an old friend named Ganelon travel for several days, Corwin manipulating Shadow to bring them closer to the land they once knew and loved: for the "true" Avalon is long since fallen. They reach one of Avalon's reflections--much the same, but not theirs, for this Avalon's tales remember him unkindly, too.

They reach an Avalon mopping up after its own victory in battle with the forces of darkness. Avalon's "Protector" turns out to be one of Corwin's brothers, Prince Benedict.

Can Corwin complete his business in Avalon without Benedict learning of his plans?

Ahhhh, more good reading. Once again, Zelazny gets us into the action quickly. He keeps his narrative and dialogue simple, using only what's needed. Corwin tells us what he saw and felt at the time, and it feels plausible. More than any other fantasy series, "Amber" is the one in which I wish I could live, where all I need do is walk, changing my surroundings, until I reached my own Amber.

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