ook two from the 1970’s classic series, the Nine Princes in Amber, The Guns of Avalon. As I mentioned in the first review, nine princes scrabble for the throne of the primary realm in a sea of shadow possibilities after the king goes missing. Our protagonist, Corwin, just made an attempt to seize the throne from his brother Eric, leading a massive army in a truly epic series of battles that I remembered some forty years later. Corwin loses and is thrown into a dungeon with his eyes burned out of his skull. But the princes of Amber are of strong constitution, so strong that they grow back. And thus Corwin escapes and we find him alone, fleeing Amber yet plotting his next attempt.
His attempt involves the realm of Avalon, which produces a jewellery polishing power that Corwin discovered acts as gunpowder while in Amber (where gunpowder acts as dirt). Now with trained riflemen, Corwin launches another attempt. However, things are complicated by the fact that a curse Corwin bellowed while losing the first time has taken root, in the form of a long black stripe across the land, a stripe along which dark things move, gathering for their own attempt at Amber. And so Corwin has a tough choice to make – overthrow Eric during this great moment of peril for the kingdom, of serve him with his wondrous rifles.
Book two of this old series is still going strong. There are interesting characters, evil monsters and all sorts of gamesmanship between the brothers. I really enjoyed this tale and look forward to book three, soon to slip off the shelf and into my hands.