Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Guns of Avalon by Roger Zelazny

(hb; 1972: second novelette in The Chronicles of Amber quintology)

From the inside

"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 there."


The first follow-up to Nine Princes in Amber picks up shortly after the ending of the first book. Corwin seeks to consolidate his seizing of the throne held by his cruel brother (Eric), with help from Ganelon (an exiled traitor-turned-minor-monarch). Along the way, he encounters two of his friendlier siblings, Benedict (who gives him temporary shelter) and Gérard (who reluctantly places faith in Corwin’s word), as well as Dara, Benedict’s curious, mysterious and seductive niece.

Like Nine, Guns is a fast-moving, action-packed urban fantasy, with its blink-it-and-miss-it transitions and explanations. Readers used to detailed, spell-it-out writing may be confused by and put off by Zelazny’s lightning-swift editing and character shifts. For the rest of us, the Amber quintology is a breath of fresh air, one worth owning. Followed by Sign of the Unicorn.

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