Saturday, January 30, 2010

Amber 05: The Courts of Chaos (Zelazny)

Rating: 5/5
Year: 1978
Genre: Fantasy
Read again? Yes

The closing book in Zelazny's first "Amber" series.

At the end of "The Hand of Oberon," Corwin and his brother Benedict had recovered the Jewel of Judgement from their power-hungry brother Brand--and King Oberon (long thought missing and possibly dead) showed himself.

Now Oberon intends to repair the damage Brand did to the Pattern--and the attempt will kill him, whether he succeeds or not.

He also intends Corwin to be his successor. But with the death of his hated brother Eric, briefly King of Amber, Corwin has realized that he is unfit to rule, and that he only wanted the Throne because Eric had it.

Oberon gives him a mission: Ride. Leave Amber and ride as far and as quickly as he can. Oberon will transport the Jewel to him when his work with the Pattern is done. Then Corwin is to take the Jewel to the Courts of Chaos, to join the rest of the family in a preemptive attack.

Brand is still out there, somewhere--and he still wants the Jewel, to remake things in his own image.

Good finish! I thought for several reasons that this book was going to drag (I seem to remember the ending taking forever), but it doesn't. In the end, our kind-of dark prince realizes that he loves his family, the realm has a new King, and Corwin finds out that he has a son, Merlin.

It's a good bittersweet ending, leaving me wanting more. That's how you do it.

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