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    Review of ROGER ZELAZNY'S CHAOS AND AMBER by John Gregory Bethancourt


    ibooks, September 2003

    After escaping an attack that nearly destroyed his family, Oberon wakes up in a near-shadow to Chaos. By the time he has fully recovered consciousness, his father has left for an audience with the king of Chaos and Oberon is left in the care of his brother, Aber. Oberon's magical talents are still developing but he knows that he has to do something--before the evil mage who holds one of his brothers captive destroys their family and all of their dreams.

    Hunkered down together in a family palace, Oberon and Aber discuss family, demons, responses to the threat, and a bit of the history of Chaos and Shadows. Because the shadows are a relatively recent event. Although Chaos always cast shadows, these had been few and faint until a strange storm hit Chaos--and Oberon's father has been implicated in the storm and in the creation of shadows. Since the shadows appear to drain much of the magical energy from Chaos, Oberon's father is a distinctly unpopular man.

    Roger Zelazny's original Amber series, especially the opening book, NINE PRINCES IN AMBER (buy the entire series, cheap from is a classic and author John Gregory Bethancourt's prequel series is an enjoyable addition to the universe which Zelazny created. But although Bethancourt introduces plenty of information and tells the story of leading to the creation of the great maze of Amber itself, for my tastes, CHAOS AND AMBER was too much talking and not enough action. More than half the book took place in a family palace inhabited by Oberon, Aber, assorted servants, and a door. In the second half, when things actually started to happen, Oberon was too much an observer rather than an actor.

    True Amber fans will want to add this to their collection. If you aren't an Amber fan, you'll definitely want to start with the Zelazny originals.

    See more reviews of novels by John Gregory Bethancourt.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 6/27/04

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