Now I had to find a place, a place resembling another place one which no longer existed I located the path I took itRoger Zelazny, The Guns of AvalonA missing father, siblings that aren t very filial, a dark road, dark circles, a contested thrown, faceless figures, flying daemons, etc This book has a lot of action and a pretty clear arc The protagonist has been cast low and is now fighting to regain what he lost besides just weight AND gain what he feels is his right and not just the crown The positives of this book is the ambiguity of the characters Even the focal point of the book Prince Corwin is an ambiguous character At times, the reader feels he isn t much better than half of his siblings He has also made situations a lot worse for EVERYBODY because of his own sufferings Think of it as the inverse of Jesus Instead of suffering for the sins of the world, Corwin, through his sufferings subjects the worlds to a multitude of evil and sins And now, he has to deal with the mess he made.Again, like the first in this series, this isn t GREAT literature but it is entertaining enough and does have a compelling narrative drive to it They are little trashy treats 120 page pulp bites It is nice to throw a couple of these in between longer, dense and serious reads They are entertaining. This was the first volume of this series I read The Amber seriesone of fantasy s best I stumbled on this not knowing it was a series Then It was years before I found the first volume Nine Princes in Amber Also, this book ends in a somewhat cliffhangerish way and it was years before I got the next volumeHappily for you, the entire series is there waiting for you Enjoy. Across The Worlds Of Shadow, Corwin, Prince Of Blood Royal, Heir To The Throne Of Amber, Gathers His Forces For An Assault That Will Yield Up To Him The Crown That Is Rightfully His But, A Growing Darkness Of His Own Doing Threatens His Plans, An Evil That Stretches To The Heart Of The Perfect Kingdom Itself Where The Demonic Forces Of Chaos Mass To Annihilate Amber And All Who Would Rule ThereOne Of The Most Revered Names In Sf And Fantasy, The Incomparable Roger Zelazny Was Honored With Numerous Prizes Including Six Hugo And Three Nebula Awards Over The Course Of His Legendary Career Among His Than Fifty Books, Arguably Zelazny S Most Popular Literary Creations Were His Extraordinary Amber Novels The Guns Of Avalon Is The Second Book Of The Chronicles Of Amber Corwin escapes after four years of blindness and imprisonment at the hand of his brother Eric who usurped the throne in Amber His search for vengeance and restoration takes him on a journey through the Shadows that at last brings him to his former homeworld of Avalon, and makes him cross paths with a former servant who hates him with a burning passion and a brother thought long lost The Guns of Avalon is in many aspects a massive improvement on Nine Princes in Amber Zelazny apparently learnt how to write, and while the book retains some of the issues that plagued the first book, that certainly makes it far better However, harshly critical as it may be, I m unable to give it a higher rating, simply because the series is just not on that level The book as a whole was pretty enjoyable, but still not particularly remarkable or memorable But there are mysteries enough hidden in Amber and its Shadows that I am determined to keep reading. Sheer GeniusRoger Zelazny simply speaks to every aspect of what I want in a story He nails it, he just nails it I m gobsmacked.This review is brief, because I do not have the words to honor what I ve read.I had to make a new shelf sheer genius, just for this book. Picks up right where the first novel ended and is just as fast moving You learn a lot about Amber, and Corwin s family Dropping it halfway through not my cup of tea I enjoyed the first book of the series, Nine Princes in Amber, in a lukewarm sort of way, and decided to try this in case the story picked up speed Around page 100 or So, I decided I couldn t care less.Still, it s not badly written hence the two stars. The universe is made of an infinite number of worlds, covering the entire spectrum of probability, but all such worlds are merely shadows of the only true world Amber.Princes of Amber are gods in the shadow worlds they re immortal, strong, fast, clever and capable of creating everything they wish out of sheer will.Corwin, the protagonist of the chronicles of Amber, is one of those Princes.What unimaginable intelligence must such a being possess What bits of infinite wisdom might he gift to us mere mortals What sacred words might he utter to open a grand Epic like The guns of Avalon Good by, butterfly Really He s a friggin god, one who lived countless human lives in worlds than mortal mind might count and THAT is the kind of stuff he comes up with That s atmosphere murder and it should be illegal.I was SO hoping for this book to be better than Nine Princes in Amber, but right from the start it was made quite clear that I was wrong, Oh so wrong.If anything it was worse, at least book 1 had a decent start.The plot a.k.a The Random Plot of Random Randomness involves Corwin running around doing completely pointless quests in the shadow worlds for no real reason and the amount of totally random plot elements just thrown in for their own sake is simply staggering The entire plot develops from a guess what random encounter Corwin makes on the road to nowhere in particular Want to know what s EVEN MORE random The wounded guy Corwin meets is Lancelot.An infinite number of worlds, and our protagoninst just stumbles upon the Round Table replica.MEH.From then on it only gets worse goatlike demons sprouting out of nowhere, demonic cats, a 2 pages long relationship with a camp follower and on and on and onThe I read of it, the Zelazny s prose feels like an army of tiny inky talons raking at my eyes with every word.He doesn t show, he doesn t tell he just lists facts.In a single page I counted a dozen sentences starting with then.Then I went there.Then I did this.Then I did that.Then insert random demonic being came.Then we fought.Then he died.Then I went away.Dialogues would be even worse if not for one reason they re faster to read.Characters reactions are completely fucked up, and there isn t one that makes sense in the entire book.To make the whole thing even unbearable, everyone speaks 70s American slang.I m afraid this is the last I ll see of the Chronicles of Amber and I m seriously regretting buying the omnibus. Zelazny Freaks Regulars buddy read with my fellow Freaks Regulars Evgeny, Choko, Eilonwy, Elena and Lee Actual rating 1.5 stars Disclaimer my copy of this book has obviously been tampered with Look at the average rating for this delightfully entertaining piece 4.15 stars and look at my rating 1.5 stars, just to rehash a little bit See what I mean It seems crystal clear to me that the Evil Russians have most viciously hacked into my bookshelves once again It s the only possible way to explain this slight difference in assessment Well it s either that or everyone but me read the book wrong Which do you think is the most likely explanation Evil Russian Shenanigans ERS , huh Funny, I thought you d say that.I don t intend to write a pit stop requiring non review for this one view spoiler hide spoiler 4.44Never trust a relative It is far worse than trusting strangersCorwin, the prince of Amber, is free and plotting Plotting is the past time of the family, but he has a bit of extra incentive, having been imprisoned and blinded for the last 4 5 years and living is squalor while getting better after his escape Eric, his eldest brother and currently holder of the throne, wants him dead, but at this moment he and the whole royal family are busy defending the realm and some of the Shadow Worlds against the forces of Chaos, who are currently attacking with unprecedented strength and tenacity It seems, the curse Corwin put on the realm when condemned by Eric, has come to real life with a vengeance and it doesn t seem he can do much about it The worlds are degenerating and rotting because of it, so Corwin s plan is to first, take over the throne, and only then figure out a way to fight the Chaos creaturesIn a fit of passion, compounded of rage, horror, and pain, I had unleashed this thing, and it was reflected in every earth in existence Such is the blood curse of a Prince of AmberCorwin picks up an old frenemy on his way and they travel the Shadows together, trying to keep alive, being attracted to anything in skirts, playing folks for fools and being played themselves, hoping that the math would eventually work in his favor There is plenty of traveling and running, and fighting, but overall, I enjoyed it exactly because of it I love Corwin s internal monologue and I like that he is not perfect at all, for a creature who is gifted with youthful longevity and superhuman strength I also prefer him ahead of any of his siblings, because the stay on the Shadow Earth which is our world, has made him look on things a bit humanely and the loss of his memory gives him a chance to rediscover and reform himself in a manner different than his family s mold At least I am hoping for an upgrade like thatWe fought A duel Nothing that formal A simultaneous decision to murder one another is like itWhat a wonderful example of a loving family we have in the Royals of Amber I love this series, but I do know it is not for everyone Roger Zelazny marches by his own drums, so he is an acquired taste, which I am lucky enough to enjoy personally I would recommend it to all fans of Science Fiction and Fantasy, give it a try and see if it is your cup of tea I am looking forward to the next book in the seriesTonight I will suck the marrow from your bones it said I will dry them and work them most cunningly into instruments of music Whenever I play upon them, your spirit will writhe in bodiless agony You burn prettily, I saidNow I wish you Happy Reading and may you find what you Need in the pages of a Good Book