Roger Zelazny – Blood Of Amber

Blood Of Amber (1986) by Roger Zelazny was actually the first Amber book I read. It was combined with the third book of the second series, Blood Of Amber being the second, in a mini-omnibus edition. I got it at the library and they had no other books about Amber there so that is forced me to buy the other books. This was nowhere annoying as it was this omnibus that got me hooked to Amber.

One would expect me to praise this book greatly nowadays. The odd thing is, after I read the series and now that I’ve reread the whole series my opinion has changed after the more than 15 years since I first read this book.

Blood Of Amber contains the many twists and turns and ideas that were typical in Trumps Of Doom, the first book of the second series, and made it so good. What is not so good is that there is a lot of explaining going on which mainly is a rehash of earlier events. This also happened a bit in Trumps Of Doom, but the main character keeps doing so in this book too. Perhaps it is useful for the readers so they can keep up with what has been going on, but if you do know, it is not that interesting. As I read this book the first time without having read Trumps Of Doom this was not a bother but actually helpful, but it is not the case the other way around.

On its own Blood Of Amber is stronger than when read immediately after Trumps Of Doom. As written before the feeling of lack of direction in the actions of the main character is still there in Blood Of Amber. Of course this is usually not much of an issue, but when you read so for two books in a row the effect becomes stronger and you wonder where the main character is going. There is no clear quest, just a number of pseudo-adversaries against whom he never really gets head on seriously.

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