28 June 2007

Book Banter -- Sign of Chaos

Title: Sign of Chaos (Amber Chronicles, book 8)
Author: Roger Zelazny
Length: 214 pages
Genre: fantasy/sci-fi
Plot Basics: When we last left Merlin Corey, son of Corwin a Prince of Amber, he had been whisked off to an unknown destination. As the book opens, he's stuck in a strange version of Alice in Wonderland, complete with Mad Hatter, jabberwock and snicker-snacking Vorpol Sword. Merlin figures out what's going on and frees himself from his Lewis Carroll-inspired troubles only to find himself back in the double-crossing politics of his families both in the Amber and the Courts of Chaos.
Banter Points: The beginning of this book with the jabberwocky is fantastic. Anybody who's ever read at least that poem if not all of Through the Looking Glass will highly enjoy the first couple chapters with the references to the hookah-smoking caterpillar, Humpty Dumpty and of course, the jabberwock. Being Zelazny, of course, he doesn't stop the plot once the weirdness is gone and the book contains some exciting action scenes and the normal dose of fantastical politics expected in an Amber book.
Bummer Points: This book could have used a bit better of a recap of what had gone before. It's been a couple months since Word Nerd last read one of the Amber Chronicles, and a short refresher would have been nice, like what Zelazny has done in some of his other books.
Word Nerd recommendation: If you've gotten into the series, keep going. Again, this is classic fantasy and if you like the genre and haven't ever read this, do yourself a favor and read one of the greats.

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