Review of ROGER ZELAZNY'S THE DAWN OF AMBER by John Gregory Bethancourt
BOOK ONE OF THE NEW AMBER TRILOGY
ibooks, September 2002
Oberon is a soldier, nothing more, and he's fighting a losing and doomed war. At least he is until his long-lost 'uncle' appears to tell him that he is needed elsewhere. Oberon finds himself a part of a large and disputatious family--all princes of Chaos and capable of walking the shadows. Yet Oberon lacks the internal pattern that allows shadow walking--or at least, his pattern is different. Too different to allow him to use the magics available to the others. Which is too bad because the entire family is under attack and, without some major help, all will be destroyed.
THE DAWN OF AMBER is set in the late author Roger Zelazny's Amber universe (see BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Roger Zelazny) in the days before the creation of Amber and the shadow reflections that surround it. Author John Gregory Bethancourt does a good job conveying the feel that Zelazny created in his Amber novels. Oberon's family is disfunctional, constantly bickering amongst themselves, and powerful, just as Corwin's family is in the first Zelazny novel in the series.
Bethancourt's writing is highly approachable, making DAWN a quick read. I would have preferred, however, for more story to occur. To too large an extent, DAWN sets the stage for future activities, introducing the actors and developing the idea of Oberon's unique pattern. Fans of the Amber series (like me) will enjoy this detail. Even we, are likely to wish that more actually happened in the novel.
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