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Ale, they called it, and it was the main thing I drank in all my time there; a weak homemade ale was the main thing everybody drank, from morning till night. You could say that the whole population of Elizabethan England was slightly buzzed all day long. I like Cooper's wit, as she writes passages like the above. I think that fans of time travel stories, fans of Shakespeare, and people interested in the theater, will enjoy this book.

Others will, too, because Susan Cooper is an excellent writer, with a nice turn of phrase, and a clear communication style. Personally, I do have a couple of issues with the book. I found the ending a bit unsatisfying. I know that it's hard to explain a time travel story without having loopholes or paradoxes. But, without giving anything away, this one seemed a bit contrived. I was expecting more. I also felt that Shakespeare was put up on a bit too much of a pedestal.

Nat continues to see him, not quite as God perhaps, but certainly like a Jesus savior-type figure. The God figure is actually someone else. But whenever Nat refers to Shakespeare as "him", I felt like it might as well have been capitalized. But perhaps I'm guilty of reading too critically, because I was reading for a book club. I think that other Susan Cooper fans will enjoy this book, too.


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All rights reserved. As a man over years-old, you would think Corwin would be a little better at controlling his urges. He also spends a lot of his time thinking about these women, which is why I think they might have some purpose later on — Dara especially. A man wakes up in a hospital, sure he is in danger, but unsure of just about anything else.

After escaping, he makes his way to the one place where he might find some answers, and ends up unraveling his past — which is decades longer than he imagined — and starts a daring adventure that could lead him to some interesting discoveries about his future. The books themselves are short — pages — but rich is description and plot, and fascinating in concept.

Oberon, the former lord of Amber, the one true city, has disappeared, and his many children are at odds about who should take the throne.

Corwin, one of 15 sons of Amber, has been missing for almost a millennium, but even memory loss and near-death experiences cannot prevent him from going after what he believes should be his. Below the stairs are a tiger-striped beach and the sea, and the cliff face is riddled with sea caves.

Out to sea and to the southeast of Amber lies first the City of Rebma, and then the Isle of Cabra, noted for its lighthouse. To the north of Amber lie various estates, farms, and small villages and communities, as well as a small port Balyesport. The great forest of Arden lies to the north, west and south of Kolvir.

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The Chronicles of Amber - Wikipedia

Also to the south is The Vale of Garnath. This is a lush forest, but "not so thickly or massively wooded as the Arden," and is where the River Oisen travels to the sea. It is also through Garnath that the forces of Chaos eventually come to attack Amber, using their Black Road. Another important southern location, within the Forest of Arden, is the Grove of the Unicorn. Since Amber "casts Shadow but is not of it," walking in Shadow was not possible in the immediate environs of the City or Kolvir.

It was necessary to gain some distance from these locations in order to walk in Shadow, traveling to or from other worlds. This usually meant traveling by sea, or through the Forest of Arden. This is why the sea patrols and Julian's force in Arden were effective. Amber has two reflections or counterparts. The city of Rebma Amber spelled backwards lies under the sea off the coast.

Markers on the beach point the way to an underwater stairway named Faiella-Bionin which descends to the city.


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The stairway and city are magical, allowing normal breathing, talking, etc. Leaving the areas of magic returns one to normal water, with the potential of drowning or being crushed by water pressure. Rebma is ruled by Queen Moire.

Tag: Shadow

Most inhabitants are a sea people, not shadows of Amberites, and are slightly different in form from humans. They can be resentful of Amber, particularly when strife in Amber causes ripples of trouble in their own home. In times of peace Amberites may visit freely. It was during one such time that Random seduced and abandoned Moire's daughter Morganthe, leading her to commit suicide after she bore his son, Martin. Rebma contains a copy of the Pattern, a mirror image of the one in Amber. On moonlit nights, the ghostly city of Tir-na Nog'th cf.

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It is an imperfect reflection of the Amber, with inhabitants that are shadows and ghosts of people, including those who once, might have, or never existed. Like Rebma, Tir-na Nog'th is reached by a stair, the bottom three steps of which are of stone rooted on Kolvir, with the rest of the stairs being of the same nature as the city itself. As long as the moon is not obscured, the stairway and the city are solid enough to stand on. Amberites visit the ghost city to seek insights and portents of the future.

The passage of time and spatial distances differ in Tir-na Nog'th, versus the world below. When doing visiting there, safety suggests staying in contact with someone via a Trump, since the city may disappear without warning if a cloud passes across the moon. Again like Rebma, Tir-na Nog'th also contains a complete copy of the Pattern but this copy isn't reversed, as is Rebma's. Tir-na Nog'th is visited by Corwin in a crucial development of his story.

Ultimately, Amber focuses on a dysfunctional family that is at the center of a cosmic war between many powers. Nine princes and four princesses of Amber, including Prince Corwin as narrator of the first book series, try to deal with the disappearance of Oberon, their father, and an apparent need for succession of the throne.

No one trusts anyone, everyone appears to be ready to backstab anyone else often literally , and everyone seems genuinely interested in only one thing: himself or herself. In this respect, the Amber series could perhaps be best described as a philosophical , metaphysical , magical , mystical , fantasy soap opera.

It has all those things, all wrapped around a cast of characters who are conniving, paranoid, dysfunctional, and often heartless. All of the princes and princesses of Amber have super-human strength and regenerative capabilities.

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For example, Random and Corwin are able to pick up a car that had become stuck on a soft shoulder and place it back on the road, and Corwin is able to regenerate his eyes after they are burned out, although it takes him almost five years. Corwin seems to have the fastest regenerative capabilities in the royal family, something he contemplates after his escape from the dungeons of Amber.

Each, when negotiated, gives a person the ability to walk in shadow—across the different possible universes. The Pattern is a single, intertwined curve, laid out in a twisting maze-like design, in size larger than a football field. The Logrus is described as a shifting, three-dimensional obstacle course. Amber's Pattern is located in caverns deep underneath the royal palace. Later, more become evident: e. These imperfect copies exist in shadows close to Amber, with the first three being the least dangerous to use, but with the danger increasing the further one is from the original.

Navigating Broken Patterns can give an individual some access to magical energies, but it is "foolish" to attempt to use for such purposes any Broken Pattern further than the ninth one from Amber.

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