Monday, November 28, 2011

Prince of Chaos by Roger Zelazny

This is the final chapter in the saga of Amber, if you don't count several later books written by other authors, probably by permission of Zelazny's estate. Merlin learns that Swayvill has finally passed, and journeys back to the Courts of Chaos to join in the funeral proceedings. He finally gets the chance to interrogate his mother, Dara, and elder brother, Mandor, about some of the mysterious events surrounding him through the pentalogy.

It appears that Dara and Mandor may have been behind a number of the assassinations that have taken place in the Courts, all aimed at placing Merlin in the position of heir to the throne. They believe that both through their close connection to him, and through the use of some enchantments they've placed on a magical artifact left for him to find and wear, they will be able to control his actions and be the puppet masters in the realm.

In the meantime, the Logrus and the Pattern are both trying to get Merlin to choose sides in their eternal struggle. Merlin goes on some literal journeys as well as those of the more metaphoric type, trying to find out what's been going on, discover the whereabouts of his father, Corwin, and determine where he will stand and for what.

I've long whined about authors who, as they age, run out of new stories to tell, rehashing old characters and storylines without really telling a good tale. I'm afraid that this was penned at this point for Zelazny. A few puzzles are solved, but nothing of import is really resolved. Read it for completeness sake, but that's all.

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