|Plot Summary of The Great Book of Amber|
|"This is a collection of ten short novels. In the first five, Lord Corwin, prince of Amber (the one true World, of which all others, including our own, are mere shadows) searches to regain his identity and to reign in Amber. In the next five, Corwin's son, Merlin, Lord of Chaos and Amber, fights to free himself from the pursuit of a mysterious assailant, to rescue his missing father, and to bring a balance between both sides of his heritage."
Megan Rocker, Resident Scholar
|"Corwin, one of the 9 Princes of Amber, awakes without knowing who he is or what has befallen him. He escapes his prediciment with natural guile and cunning, using the same to bluff his way to the full recovery of his memories - upon which, he vows vengeance against his brother Eric, who has usurped the crown that would otherwise be Corwin's by right of succession. Thus begins the family intrigues, the plotting, the bold fronts and the battles - all for naught, as Corwin is eventually captured and humiliated, made to witness the coronation of his hated brother...before being blinded and thrown into the dungeon. There, Corwin ponders and reflects in misery, nursing a single, fragile hope that allows him to retain sanity.
The Royal Blood of Amber holds regenetive abilities - as well as the power of terrible death-curses - and Corwin discovers the extent of his gifts in both respects. A chance visitor, unexpected, leads Corwin to his freedom and to the grand confrontation with forces larger than any met before - the very forces of Chaos. Such is the price of Corwin's curse. Eric's rule was troubled, but at the threat of Amber's very existence. Now, Corwin must find a way to undo that which was wrought in fury, before the land he was destined to rule is destroyed forever.
Eric dies in battle against the forces of Chaos, and Corwin takes rule to find he no longer desires it...
Yet there are others who seek not only the throne of Amber, but it's complete downfall. One of these is Brand, another of the 9 princes, who has allied himself with the powers of Chaos and seeks Amber's destruction in his madness. Brand needs only the Jewel of Judgement to complete his designs of conquest, the same Jewel that Eric handed to Corwin on the battlefield with bloodied, dying hands...
No motives, perhaps, are more subtle and driving than those of Dara, daughter of a Chaos hellmaid who seduces Corwin and bears his son. She reveals her true form and purpose at the very heart of Amber's power, standing victorious at the crest of the mystical Pattern, vowing the destruction of the immortal city. Corwin has no way of knowing that she seeks this destruction through his own blood, mingled with the fires of Chaos...
...And so Corwin's son, Merlin, is raised as a Lord of Chaos, unknown to his father until the fateful day when they meet in conflict...
What peace is known between them is sundered by seperation. The battle between Amber and the Courts of Chaos has not long ended, when Corwin disappears, and his son Merlin begins his own passage through the mysteries of Order and Chaos, becoming an unwitting player in the duel of powers between the Pattern and the Logrus. These opposing forces each seek Merlin as their champion against each other, compelling a choice to be made, for the balance of power to be tipped...
Merlin, like his father Corwin, is no willing pawn. The Great Book of Amber is the complete telling of the Chroniciles of Amber, along with the sequel novels, Trumps of Doom, Blood of Amber, Sign of Chaos, Knight of Shadows, and Prince of Chaos. "
Frakir, Resident Scholar
|"Nine Princes Of Amber: Suffering from amnesia, Corwin eventually learns that he is a Prince of some place known as Amber.
The Guns Of Avalon: Enter A key player...Ganelon. After a grand battle, Corwin thinks he's got the means of exacting revenge upon Eric and gaining the throne of Amber.
Sign of The Unicorn: Caine, one of the Princes of Amber, is found dead. Corwin confronts his youngest brother, Random about an earlier strange meeting they had had. And the story of Brand's imprisonment is told for the first time. Corwin learns the truth behind his earlier amnesia...and has a tiff with yet another brother.
Hand Of Oberon: Here, the men discover that someone had been trying to erase the Pattern. The black road is strengthening once more for another attack. Corwin now resolves to repair the damage to the Pattern and save Amber.
Courts of Chaos: Corwin meets his son, Merlin. Amber starts the Patternfall War with Chaos... And Oberon goes off to try to save the Pattern of Amber.
Trumps of Doom: Enter Merlin, son of Dara and Corwin. Many attempts are made on Merlin's life as he struggles to learn the truth about who is behind it. He is imprisoned by his friend Luke at the end of this book.
Blood Of Amber: The basic gist of this book is that Merlin escapes his prison...helps Luke save his mother from a strange sorceror named Mask...and Learns that there is an entity following him through the multiverse by invading bodies as it goes. He finds himself in a demented version of Wonderland with Luke at the end of this book.
Sign Of Chaos: After escaping Wonderland, Merlin learns from Mandor...his step-brother, that Jurt may be trying to kill him to gain the throne of Chaos...now that King Swayvill is dying. Luke and Dalt are preparing an attack on Amber...
Knight Of Shadows: After Jasra has reagined control over the Keep of the Four Winds, with Merlin and Mandor's aid....she reveals that she trained Julia [also known as the Mask] to be Merlin's assassin. Merlin later attempts to trump Coral, and finds her stuck in the middle of a broken Pattern, asleep. After a brief scuffle, Merlin is tossed out into shadow by his own condtruct, Ghostwheel....gets stuck in a place called Underworld, where he is forced to choose betwen the Pattern and the Logrus through a series of tests.
Prince of Chaos: The final novellet in the Great Book of Amber. Basically, Merlin finally unravels all of the mysteries surrounding his circumstances. He learns that his mother, Dara...and his step brother, Mandor had successfully plotted to put Merlin on the throne of Chaos. Merlin is crowned King in the end of this book..."
Tannin, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of The Great Book of Amber|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
Descript. of chases or violence - 30%
planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 30%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 20%
Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places - 20%
Tone of book
- cynical or dry-wit
FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?
- fantasy world/fantasy past
Political power play
- factions fight within govt for control
Mental/magical powers focus
- clash between evenly matched magical power(s) (fantasy)
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
- long lived adults
Has magical/special powers?
How sensitive is this character?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Cynical sense of humor
- Smarter than most other characters
- very athletic
- an organization
- long-lived adults
Has magical powers?
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- an average amount
A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:
- humans in a primitive/fantasy society
- humans in a contemporary society
Takes place on Earth?
Planet outside solar system?
- mostly 1st
How much dialogue?
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog