Monday, September 11, 2017

The Courts of Chaos Book Review

by The Wanderer 

Author: Roger Zelazny
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Series: Chronicles of Amber Book Five
Pages: 189

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(Spoilers for the four previous Chronicles of Amber are below).

Corwin is in a bit of a depressed state after discovering he's been a pawn of his father Oberon, who had been masquerading as his best friend Ganelon. Oberon now begins to plan on fixing the Pattern, while Benedict calls upon all of brothers and sisters in an attempt to delay an attack from the Courts of Chaos. Corwin is tasked with bringing the Jewel of Judgment to change the tides of the battle, but to get there he must traverse the entire length of the multiverse all while his brother Brand hunts him and tries to steal the jewel.

There are a lot of return appearances in the Court of Chaos, as Zelazny begins to wrap all of his story threads together. One of the most notable of these is Dara, who was initially revealed as an ally and lover of Corwin's before turning into what appeared to be an enemy of Amber. Now as the mother of his child, she takes on the role becoming another unreliable and important relationship in Corwin's life. 

Ganelon really being Oberon was a nice twist, and now we get to see a bit more of the man who fathered such a dysfunctional family. As Corwin has admitted to learning a lot about himself, and his desire to not rule Amber, Oberon has also begun to learn that he didn't handle raising his children in the best manner either. As for the rest, Corwin's siblings continue to make appearances as needs be. 

After a couple of chapters of setup, the plot moves at a fairly frantic pace. With a cross-world journey, some epic pattern walks, one on one fights to the death, and of course a giant large scale battle, the feeling of an epic finale permeates everything happening in The Courts of Chaos

As the final book in Corwin's arc of the Amber books, this makes sense, as apparently his son Merlin is set to take over the five remaining books. A lot of loose ends are tied up, and some promise to bring more moral ambiguity to the characters and their relationships. But not everything has ended, which also promises for further adventures. 

Score: 7.1

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