Nine Princes in Amber is the first of the 10 books that are The Chronicles of Amber; an epic fantasy series written by six-time Hugo Award winning and three-time Nebula Award winning author, Roger Zelazny.
The ten books that make up the series are told in two story arcs: The Corwin Cycle and the Merlin Cycle.
The Audible audio rendition of this classic sci-fi/fantasy series is kicked off by 2012 Audie Award nominee, Alessandro Juliani, who reads the first five books that make up the Corwin Cycle and whose narration vividly brings the world of Amber to life.
Amber is the one real world, of which all others including our own Earth are but Shadows. Amber burns in Corwin's blood. Exiled on Shadow Earth for centuries, the prince is about to return to Amber to make a mad and desperate rush upon the throne.
From Arden to the Pattern deep in Castle Amber which defines the very structure of Reality, Corwin must contend with the powers of his eight immortal brothers, all Princes of Amber. His savage path is blocked and guarded by eerie structures beyond imagining impossible realities forged by demonic assassins and staggering Forces that challenge the might of Corwin's superhuman fury.
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Great performance, if you like this type of thing
There's nothing so much wrong with the book, per se, so much as it is not what I'd been expecting.
This is an action-packed, all-swords-blazing fantasy romp.
It's solidly put together, if a little guilty of falling into cliche.
It's a story about a bunch of aristocrats who all want to be King. They're all a little bland, and act alike, even though one is labelled the Hero and one is labelled the Tyrant.
The characters speak in fairly standard Fantasy Language - a weird admixture of Thee-Thou-ing and modern slang.
The story is simple and linear, and the plot is propelled by the hero being revealed to have more and more special powers over time.
It could be great fun escapism if you like this type of thing, but it's not especially inventive. It does show its age.
People who are already fans of the Amber series should definitely go ahead and get this, the performance of Juliani is really good; a nice pace, with enough modulation in tone and diversity in characterisation to keep things interesting without becoming distracting.