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The Second Chronicles of Amber by Roger…
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Please read the full review on Weighing A Pig


I’m disappointed to report that I agree with those who think this second part of The Great Book Of Amber doesn’t live up to the Corwin cycle. As it has been a couple of years since I’ve read that first cycle, it’s hard to compare the two in a detailed manner. I also can’t rule out that my tastes have shifted a bit, resulting in me simply liking these books a bit less than I would have if I’d just continued with the second series right after the first. Still, I don’t think this is a big determining factor in my dislike. I can put my finger on why I didn’t like The Second Chronicles quite easily, and as I remember it, the first books didn’t really suffer from these weaknesses. (I plan to reread the Corwin cycle, so I’ll report back on this issue somewhere in the future.)

Why didn’t this cycle click with me?


Finally, there’s the way this story is told: nearly all through expositionary dialogue. Or some character explains a new plot twist to Merlin, or Merlin guesses out loud what the twist is all about, and either way Merlin always summarizes the plot-so-far to the reader and/or yet another character in the next chapter. There are heaps and heaps of dialogue like this, and still the only plot device Zelazny uses to keep what’s happening mysterious is characters telling other characters:

a) “there is not enough time to fully explain” this or that plot element to you right now (after which they still eat together, or travel together, or do whatever activity for a couple of hours together)

b) “I cannot tell you about” this or that plot element because I am sworn to secrecy / you knowing it would harm your own cause / you knowing it would harm my own cause / I need to investigate the matter some more myself and I don’t even want to hear your opinion on the matter

It’s baffling really, a baffling tragedy.

(...) ( )
  bormgans | May 7, 2016 |
A conntiuation and resolves most of the conflicts from the first "Chronicles" ( )
  ck2935 | May 18, 2007 |
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