Monday, February 26, 2018

Sign of the Unicorn by Roger Zelazny

(hb; 1975: third novelette in The Chronicles of Amber quintology)

From the back cover

"He who rules Amber rules the one true world. He who thwarts Amber invites the wrath of Amber betrayed.

"An unseen enemy of immense strength has seized a Prince of the Blood, and now threatens the perfect kingdom by striking at the very core of its power - the secret knowledge of Shadow.

"When Corwin summons forces to defend the throne, he finds himself challenged by royal conspirators, hideous demons, supernatural patterns and the ominous unknown that suddenly transcends all he ever suspected about the true nature of Amber.

"One of the most revered names in sf and fantasy, the incomparable Roger Zelazny was honored with numerous prizes—including six Hugo and three Nebula Awards—over the course of his legendary career. Among his more than fifty books, arguably Zelazny’s most popular literary creations were his extraordinary Amber novels."


Review

Sign, like its prequel, The Guns of Avalon, picks up shortly after the last book left off. Corwin’s unexpected, easy victory during the finale of Guns has translated into an uneasy reign. Scheming siblings still eye the throne upon which he sits, a situation worsened when Caine ─ one of said family members ─ is murdered. What follows is a chatty, fantasy-themed murder mystery where Corwin tries to suss out who the killer is, before more bodies, including his own, drop. Sign is a good read if you do not mind a lot of verbal interaction between many people, less action than usual for a fantasy novel, and an abrupt ending that births new mysteries as it resolves others. Followed by The Hand of Oberon.

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