Prince of Chaos

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Well, that was unpleasant.

I dearly loved Roger Zelazny's Nine Princes in Amber when I first devoured it back in the 1970s. I eagerly consumed the following four books in the series, the tale of how Corwin, an exiled, amnesiac prince of the True Realm of Amber (of which our Earth is a mere Shadow) fights and inveigles his way back into his rightful place. Some fantasy, mostly intrigue and mystery.

The second set of five books followed Corwin's son, Merlin. And started out equally promising: he's a computer guy on our Shadow Earth, only problem is someone keeps trying to kill him on his birthday, April 30.

Hey, that's my birthday too.

But Zelazny seemed to be playing to the suckers here. The books' characters multiply into the dozens, maybe hundreds. Impossible for my aging brain to keep track of their shifting motives and allegiances, especially when weeks and months elapse between my reading the books. Worse: some characters are "ghosts", magically created duplicates of the actual people. Locations similarly abound. Also the magical powers used by allies and enemies… seem kind of ad hoc.

Things liven up a bit when Corwin finally is found, after hundreds of pages of Merlin's search for him. Which keeps getting distracted.

Oh well. I can't claim to have kept track of all that was going on, I can't believe anyone else did either. I looked at every page, though. Glad it's over.