By Roger Zelazny
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
For me, The Amber Chronicles started getting really good with the third novel, Sign of the Unicorn. The Hand of Oberon was easily just as good.
The story to this point has been full of deception and misdirection, but that didn’t become apparent until the previous book. Now, with more (but definitely not all) of the cards on the table, it’s interesting to see how Corwin handles an ever degrading situation in Amber, especially when he doesn’t know who he can trust.
I think one of the things that really makes this series special is Corwin. He’s a great character. Unlike many fantasy protagonists, he’s not inherently good. Instead, he’s more pragmatic. He thinks things through and tries to be logical about his decisions. He has unique personality and intangible qualities that make him likable character.
This novel also had one hell of a surprise ending. I won’t reveal the details, but I was completely shocked and it compelled me to immediately move onto the next in the series.
My only real complaint are the hellrides. After the first couple of times, the novelty wore off and they simply became tedious. I ended up just skimming them, because the details didn’t really matter, just the outcome.
Overall, I really liked this novel and The Amber Chronicles are quickly becoming one of my favorite fantasy series. If you haven’t read this one, I recommend it, but make sure you start at the beginning of the series.