Monday, August 27, 2012

Sign of the Unicorn by Roger Zelazny

Accepting the responsibilities as ruler to the world of Amber, Corwin finds himself the target of sibling treachery, and must seek guidance in a land of visions where a sinister prediction foretells his doom.

This is the book that made me a life long Zelazny fan.  I just started getting my first magazine subscription (Galaxy Science Fiction) when new editor Jim Baen introduced this as a new serial.  Fortunately, the summary at the beginning brought me up to speed since this is the third book in the series.  As soon as I finished reading the three parts of "Sign of the Unicorn" I immediately went in search of more by this amazing author.  Luckily, Avon had just issued reprints of the first two books in the series.  It did not take be long to devour them.  And when Zelazny released books four and five, I went back and re-read the previous books.  I have lost track of how many times I have read this series.  It is by far my favorite fantasy series.

"Sign of the Unicorn" is unique in that Zelazny makes it appear to be full of action.  The story flies by at a breakneck speed.  It was only after I finished it that I realized it is less action packed than the first two books.  This is one that contains more character work and discussions between the various persona.  In retrospect, Zelazny uses some of Asimov's techniques in making a conversation fascinating and moving the story forward at the same time.  It is a rare skill that few authors have demonstrated.

Without a doubt, I recommend reading the Amber series but start at the beginning with "Nine Princes of Amber".

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