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Guns Of Avalon Paperback – 1 January 1988
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- Publisher : Orbit (1 January 1988)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 204 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0722194404
- ISBN-13 : 978-0722194409
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This book takes up the story immediately from where the first book in the series ended. In that book Corwin, the narrator and protagonist, recovered his memory and identity as a Prince of Amber. Amber, the true world, is a sort of archetypal medieval or renaissance sword-and-sorcery world; and there are a host of “Shadow” worlds, with various aspects of the true world. These include contemporary Earth, where the amnesiac Corwin has been living for a long period. Having escaped the consequences of an unsuccessful attempt to take the throne of Amber from his hated brother Eric, this book follows Corwin as he implements a plan to take revenge and take Amber. In that world gunpowder is inert so firearms are useless. However Corwin has discovered that in the shadow world of Avalon, another medieval sword-and-sorcery world, there is a substance that will function as gunpowder in Amber; and this is the basis of his plan. What follows is fast-paced adventure across worlds and the emergence of a demoniac threat to the shadow worlds and Amber itself.
The book has many of the characteristics of its predecessor. First it is much shorter than most modern fantasy. However it is fast paced, though perhaps not quite as hectically so as the first book (and allowing Corwin some more reflective moments); and the style is quite spare. Therefore much happens in a relatively small space. Some readers may even find the quality a refreshing change from bloated contemporary fantasy novels. The style itself will strike many readers used to other fantasy literature as unusual. Besides the thriller-paced writing, with witty, hardboiled-type dialogue, Zelazny mixes in some bits of archaic language and vocabulary, which is quite jarring but also gives a texture which is appropriate to his strange world setting. One of the more negative features in contrast to much contemporary fantasy of the first book is that the female characters are very secondary and passive. The current book has two more central female characters, one who looks to be likely to be an important antagonist later in the series. Nevertheless, the treatment of neither character in the novel can be described as positive. Overall I found the novel to be, like the first novel in the series, original, intriguing and a page turner. I certainly intend to continue reading the series.
The mysterious ability of the Princes and Princesses of Amber to travel between worlds is explained further.
A thought provoking, almost poetic short novel.