The Chronicles of Amber, by Roger Zelazny

From time to time, I go back and read some of the most memorable and influential books I read while growing up — this set of 5 books: Nine Princes in Amber, The Guns of Avalon, Sign of the Unicorn, The Hand of Oberon, and The Courts of Chaos — were hugely important to me. They told about an interesting, edgier type of universe than The Lord of the Rings, and I was pretty captivated by them.

I’d been wanting to read them again, but they’re not available in Kindle editions, so I’d been sort of dragging my feet. But I happened to be near a used bookstore the other day and found a volume with all 5 books in it — and devoured it over the course of about 10 days.

Really fun to read, really fun to remember. And there were a couple of twists that I remembered being totally shocked by when I read them as a teenager — they obviously weren’t as surprising to me this time around, but I really enjoyed remembering the feeling.

Anyway, not all books hold up 25 years later, but for me, these did for sure.


  1. I recommend a re-read of Lord of Light (, which is still easily my favorite by him.

    I’m not sure what’s up with older authors and the lack of ebook versions of backstock. I was looking for Pohl’s “Gateway” the other day after recommending it to my wife and it isn’t available either.

  2. Aw man, I loved the Chronicles when I was a kid. I have them now in the “whole series in one entirely unwieldy volume” format, but it’s a beast.

    Another very influential series for me was Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea Trilogy, of which I still own my original second-hand paperbacks 🙂 And the Belgariad, of course, but I suspect I’m not alone in that one.

    Amber! Too fun.

  3. The amber books were pretty awesome for a young teenager. You’re totally right. It was a bit more edgy than most of the other fantasy and sci-fi I was reading at the time.