The second book of Amber finds our narrator Corwin plotting to get his vengeance on his brother Eric and take his ‘rightful place’ the one true city. In order to do so, he’s trying to get to Avalon, a Shadow world he once shaped. The action picks up pretty much right after the events of the previous book.
Zelazny spins a strange yarn. As you might expect from the book’s title, there are shades of Arthurian myth woven into this tale. Yet it doesn’t simply fall into expected patterns. Corwin’s plan to retake Amber is a strange one. And there are some new characters that add definite spice to things. The whole Dara situation is…interesting. No doubt there will be echoes of these events through the series. We also meet a couple more of Corwin’s brothers, particularly Ganelon, who plays a major role in events.
The growth of whatever black evil is infecting the various Shadows of Amber is like an oncoming doom. And there are new hints of the truth behind it. I’m definitely curious where that’s going to go, especially seeing the name of the fifth book.
It’s a bit weird reviewing a book that’s clearly a chapter in a much larger story. It would not, I think, be a good place to start. My guess is that this is a series you’ve got to read from the beginning. Too much builds and there are too many strange threads to just hop on half way in. I read this as part of The Great Book of Amber, which collects all ten novels and is probably the way to go with it.
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