Trumps of Doom by Roger Zelazny
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Prior to starting Trumps of Doom, I was a little concerned that it may not live up to the grandeur of the preceding five novels which followed Corwin, a prince of Amber. Starting with Trumps of Doom, the rest of the series follow’s Corwin’s son Merlin, who is half of Amber blood and half of Chaos.
Despite my trepidation, I was immediately appeased by the opening sentence:
“It was a pain in the ass waiting around for someone to try to kill you.”
That line pretty much sold me.
It is also a wonderful little caricature of Zelazny’s writing style in general. I love the way Zelazny writes. He gets to the point and doesn’t waste words. He’s also a great world builder. Amber is such a fantastic setting, but I also really enjoy when the story moves to other shadows like our own version of Earth.
Perhaps his greatest strength is his ability to write imaginative and compelling stories with rich, believable characters that you can somehow relate to despite their totally fantastic lifestyles. The man truly amazes me and he’s definitely working his way into my list of favorite authors.
So anyways, Trumps of Doom was really good. I really liked Merlin as a character. He reminded me of Corwin (which I think is good), but he was also he own unique person.
I also loved the setup. The fact that the story starts off with Merlin trying to avoid a murder attempt means that, right out of the gates, we’ve got action, suspense, and mystery. And it really sets the stage for the rest of the novel, because it never really slows down. For every answer Merlin uncovers, a new question emerges.
I kind of want to rank Trumps of Doom against the previous novels in the series, but I really can’t. It was really good, but so were the other novels.
If you haven’t read the first five novels, I think there’s a possibility that you could start here without too much confusion, but, personally, I would go back and read the other novels first. Either way, I highly recommend Trumps of Doom.