May 5, 2010

Sign of the Unicorn

Sign of the Unicorn (Amber Novels)Title : Sign of the Unicorn
Author : Roger Zelazny
Reading Dates : 3 May -  5 May 2010

The Chronicles of Amber Series. Sign of the Unicorn is the 3rd 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 Sign of the Unicorn.
With the help of his own private army, Prince Corwin has saved Amber from her monstrous invaders. But he has by no means secured his throne despite the timely death of the incumbent king, Eric. His father, King Oberon, is still missing but most definitely not dead. One brother, Bleys, has been missing since his failed attempt at wresting the throne from Eric while another, Brand, is being held prisoner by unknown enemies. The mysterious Dara has also promised Amber's destruction. With this among many problems faced by Corwin, what he does not need is to become the prime suspect for the murder of another brother. Still, someone has taken the pains to frame him for Caine's death and he has now the extra burden of finding the true killer.

Corwin's proposal to use their family's special powers to rescue Brand is carried out successfully. However, the attempt also provides proof positive of a traitor amongst their midst. Someone else attempts to assassinate Brand and the perpetrator can only be one amongst the family.

Then, Corwin is faced with an assassination attempt of his own. He survives to hear Brand accuse Fiona of attempting to silence him. Brand had once been a part of a triumvirate with Fiona and Bleys to remove Eric from the throne. When Brand balked at their proposal of an alliance with Amber's enemy, they turned on him and imprisoned him to keep him out of the way.

While pondering Brand's claims and waiting for his wounds to heal, Corwin encounters a unicorn. Possibility the very same unicorn his father once claimed to have seen. The mythical creatures leads Corwin and his comparions, Random and Ganelon, to the real Amber. For the first time, Corwin realizes that their Amber is itself a shadow, the first reflection of the true Amber.

Book Review of Sign of the Unicorn.
Reading of Corwin's difficulties and his family's suspicions, it is not too difficult to imagine that the Corwin they remember and the Corwin he now is are no longer the same person. While the Corwin who narrates the story can be ruthless and devious, he also lets us glimpse surprisingly honourable beliefs at times. Since we are privy to his innermost thoughts, it is hard to belief Corwin would murder his own brother in cold blood when he has so little to gain. Corwin might kill his brother in a duel or if he deems him to be a threat. Yet Corwin's family members, both allies and enemies, find it difficult to believe in his innocence. This more than anything goes to show that the Corwin we first met must be very different from who he was before. This and Corwin's continued attempts to unravel the mysteries about him makes for an absorbing tale. 

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1 comment:

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