May 6, 2010

Hand of Oberon

The Hand of OberonTitle : The Hand of Oberon
Author : Roger Zelazny
Reading Dates : 5 May - 6 May 2010

The Chronicles of Amber Series. The Hand of Oberon is the 4th book in Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber series. The first 5 novels in the series, known as the Corwin Cycle, tells the story of Prince Corwin from his viewpoint :
  • Nine Princes in Amber
  • The Guns of Avalon
  • Sign of the Unicorn
  • The Hand of Oberon
  • The Courts of Chaos

Book Summary of The Hand of Oberon.
With Ganelon's help, Prince Corwin figures out that the black road which cuts through different shadows and leads from the Courts of Chaos to Amber corresponds to the damaged area in the Primal Pattern. They even work out that the saboteur used blood from the royal line, possibly murdering Random's son Martin, to inflict the damage. Concerned Random decides to attempt to seek out Martin with Benedict's help.

Meanwhile, Corwin meets again with the mad Dworkin in order to learn more about the pattern. He discovers that the old man is in fact imprisoned within the true Amber, is in fact their grand-sire and his madness can be attributed to the damaged Primal Pattern. Their only hope is to attempt to repair the damage using the Jewel of Judgement. Before Corwin can recover the Jewel from where he had hidden it, Brand steals it.

At this time, Fiona finally contacts Corwin and admits to attempting to kill Brand earlier. She confirms that both she and Bleys did work together with Brand earlier to gain the throne. But instead of Brand being the one to back out, it was they who did once they realized what Brand intended. They had imprisoned Brand hoping to get him to reveal how to undo the damage he had cause to no avail. Now that Brand has the Jewel, they must prevent his becoming attuned to the Jewel and using it to destroy the Primal Pattern completely.

Working together with the rest of the family according to the plan Ganelon suggests, they succeed in recovering the Jewel of Judgement as well as killing Brand. Working on a hunch, Corwin then attempts to contact their father, Oberon. Oberon reveals himself as Ganelon in disguise.

Book Review of The Hand of Oberon.
There is more a sense of urgency about the Hand of Oberon. First there is Corwin's hell ride in an attempt to beat Brand to the Jewel of Judgement once he becomes aware of Brand's intent. Then, once he realizes that Brand has the Jewel, there is the rush to ensure his family sets up guards around the 4 locations where the Pattern exist. They succeed but not without some near misses. This is certainly a more exciting read than the earlier books.

Aside from this, Corwin's family is also coming to realize that he is not the man they remember. That he has changed from before. This understanding is slow in coming, but serves to slowly bring the family together in working against a common enemy instead of the usual plotting and counter-plotting. And for Corwin, the greatest surprise comes from becoming aware that what he does, he does out of a sense of duty towards Amber and his missing father, Oberon. That he would be willing to give up his life to preserve Amber. This is certainly an unexpected development. Our so far non-heroic hero, now decides to behave like one.

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1 comment:

  1. This is a great review that brings out the purpose and intent of the book very well. I like books like this but I have to be careful as they make addictive reading and I have too much to do as it is.


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