Saturday, October 8, 2016

Nine Princes in Amber, Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Corey makes his way to New York City and readies himself for his meeting with Evelyn.  He hopes that she will jog his memories.  However, when we meets his sister, Corey hides his amnesia behind bluff and non-committal statements.  He manages to alleviate Evelyn's suspicions while navigating through a mire of family intrigue without knowing the lay of the land or the players involved.

Carl Corey is actually Corwin, a major piece in the chess game played by his family.  One one side of the board is Eric, who is gathering support among the family, including Evelyn's.  Corwin weaves his way through her conversational raps, suggesting that he might first support and then challenge Eric.  Evelyn shifts her support to Corwin, revealing her name to be Florimel.

Woven throughout the conversation is talk of Amber, a land whose mention has an electric effect on Corwin.


I find it interesting that Florimel and Corwin are so trusting even as they verbally bluff and riposte. Corwin has little choice, as his memories are gone, but he gives Flora a measure of unearned trust. After all, she is the sister that kept him in Greenwood to be sedated.  Additionally, Corwin is not liked by much of his family, which pleases him even in his amnesiatic state. Flora, however, is opportunistic, willing to toss aside her support to Eric if a better option presents itself.  Given the intrigues of the children of Amber, she must suspect a trap.

Also odd is that Corwin shrugs off the simple fact that the car accident that sent him to Greenwood occurred only 15 or so days before.  Broken legs can take six weeks to months to heal.  His swift recovery is unremarkable to him, even without his memories.


Like many works prior to the fantasy explosion of 1977, the Chronicles of Amber does not sit easily in any one genre.  Fortunately, in The Hand of Oberon, a self-inserted Roger Zelazney states that he is "...writing a philosophical romance shot through with elements of horror and morbidity."

Odd that for the naked intent of the author, philosophical examinations of the Chronicles of Amber are rare.  I was only able to find one article seriously addressing philosophy, in the New York Review of Science Fiction.  Perhaps John C. Wright, Michael Flynn, or one of their more philosophical fans might remedy this lack.


After many months of delay, the fourth book in the Chronicles of Amber, The Hand of Oberon, has finally been released on ebook.  Hopefully it will not take as long for The Courts of Chaos to be released, followed by the five book Merlin cycle.

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