Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Chronicles of Amber books 6 through 10, the Merlin Cycle, by Roger Zelazny

There would be no point for reviewing the individual books, since, like with Corwin, it is one big story spanning five books. Eight years after the first five disappointing books in the series were published, Roger Zelazny comes back with a little more writing skill, a more interesting plot and a different character. That's the good news. The bad news is that it is pretty much like the Corwin cycle, only with a guy that uses magic instead of a stupid sword. His name is Merlin and he is Corwin's and Dara's son, inheriting both Amber and Chaotic blood. Somehow he still gets his ass kicked by his father, though.

The characters are again, like something from a high school teen movie set in the middle ages. People are mortal enemies and then make conversation, make up and help each other against another mortal enemy, who will probably help them both sometimes later. Arrogant nobility behavior mixes with a general ineptitude to use any knowledge from the "shadow lands" even if a lot of the characters gain their education on Earth. The only interesting thing seems to be an AI that Merlin created... which then calls him dad and acts just like every other generic character in the books. And everybody is just so amazingly and mind stunningly stupid! I couldn't take another book in this crappy series.

Bottom line: The Amber Chronicles was a total waste of my time, the only advantage it has being that its writer ended both cycles and then died, making any sequels improbable. I kid you not, Eragon was way better and it was written by a 19 year old!