cover image Knight of Shadows

Knight of Shadows

Roger Zelazny. William Morrow & Company, $14.95 (251pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08726-5

Depending on how you count, this is either the ninth book of Zelazny's Amber series, or the fourth book in the new Amber ``trilogy.'' Fans of the soap opera that Amber has become will welcome this new title. Readers who enjoyed the poetic writing, skilled plotting and crafted characterizations of the original Amber books will be disappointed again. Merlin, son of Corwin, who was the hero of the original series, narrates this sequence, and here continued to bumble through encounters with new powers that are completely incompatible with the original mythos. The good guys won't talk to each other, the bad guys somehow know everything, plot elements are left hanging and characters lack depth and motivation. Most of the important action happens offstage, and promised explanations never materialize. (Nov.)