Knight of Shadows

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Number nine in Roger Zelazny's ten-book Amber series. And no relation to the new Jackie Chan movie.

I must confess that I've lost track of much of the series' continuity at this point. Every new book seems to introduce new characters, revealing and exploring new facets of the universe in which our protagonist, Merlin, is merely trying to survive. So there's not only Amber, but also Chaos. Amber has its Pattern, but Chaos has its Logrus. Both sides have Powers behind the scenes. Then there are the Shadow worlds (hey, that's us!). But there are also (I think I got this right) worlds between Shadows, not accessible by the usual Amberite legerdemain.

When you read the novels over the space of many months, it's tough to remember the characters and the rules of the universe (which seem to change from book to book anyway).

Frankly, it's kind of tedious. There are occasional flashes of humor, very welcome. But it's mostly Merlin speculating (usually ineffectively) about what's going on, broken up by occasional duels with swords and spells. He does make what is clearly a Bad Jewelry Mistake near the end of this section of the tale, but the denouement will have to wait until the final book. Assuming I get to that one in this lifetime, I will read it more with relief than anticipation.