January 8, 2017

Roger Zelazny's Sign of Chaos (1987)

Just finished Roger Zelazny's Sign of Chaos, the eighth book in the Amber Chronicles. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to book nine, Knight of Shadows. Sign of Chaos wasn't my favorite Amber novel (Nine Princes in Amber is). Its major flaw is the rambling plot. I get the impression Zelazny didn't revise significantly and probably made up the story as he drafted. It's strange, because this the labyrinthine nature of the plot is also a part of the unique pleasure and distinctiveness of the series. It's fun to try and figure out all of the subplots, the motivations behind the many characters, the alliances within the alliances, and so forth. One annoying element for me, though, is how the narrative necessitates that the protagonist be kept in a state of ignorance. So, the reader is kept in a state of ignorance. To an extent these Amber novels are equal parts mysteries and fantasies.