Review of Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny

SFFaudio Review

Fantasy Audiobook - Nine Princes in Amber by Roger ZelaznyNine Princes in Amber
By Roger Zelazny; Read by Alessandro Juliani
5.5 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: 2012
Themes: / Fantasy / Siblings / Royalty / Swordplay / Magic /

Before Joss Whedon, there was Roger Zelazny. I thought this at some point during this time through Nine Princes in Amber, a book I revisit now and then. Zelazny’s dialogue is snarky and the story quick and interesting. Figure out how to depict the road to Amber, and the Amber novels would make an excellent television series. If Joss wrote this, though, the women in the story would have stronger roles.

My reason for re-reading this was the publication of a new unabridged audio version from Audible Frontiers. Alessandro Juliani narrates, and makes the story even better. Before this, the only unabridged recording that existed was read by Zelazny himself. I’ll definitely keep those audiobooks – Zelazny has a very distinctive voice – but Juliani’s reading fleshes out the character of Corwin so well that it makes the book more entertaining.

The novel is told in first person from Corwin’s point of view. At the opening, Corwin wakes up in a hospital bed with memory loss. As he figures things out, so do we. He learns that he’s a quick healer, that he’s got some skills, and that he has a sister. Further along he realizes more – he’s part of a royal family of Amber, the only true world. There’s magic and intrigue, there’s trumps and travels to Amber, there are creatures and mean princes. It’s wonderful. And it’s a short listen, coming in at only 5 1/2 hours.

If you like this one, listen to the other four in the series, all available on Audible. They are all great fun. After that, there are another five books. It’s excellent to see that Audible Frontiers is alert enough to change the narrator for those. Alessandro Juliani narrates the first five books, then Wil Wheaton takes over for the next five because those books are from another character’s point of view. Well done, Audible!

Posted by Scott D. Danielson