Free meat and brotherly love

I’m still working my way through the second Amber book and Dickson’s Mission to Universe. The sequel to Nine Princes in Amber is thus far kind of reinforcing the point that BD made not too long ago, about the sons of Oberon being kind of morally ambiguous. They’re not sociopaths. They have consciences and care for one another (and others) to varying to degrees.  Spoiler warning here.

Corwin deciding to spare Benedict when he could have easily finished him off and cleared a potential obstacle from his path earned an approving nod (reminiscent of when he spared Julian, though he cares much less for that particular brother) . It was also refreshing to see Gerard’s relief and touch of happiness at seeing Corwin alive and healed. Although you wouldn’t know it from his inaction when Eric had him blinded and thrown in prison to rot. Oh well, I guess we can still only expect so much loyalty and compassion from these guys.

The story is also reinforcing the whole #ShadowLivesMatter thing for me.

We learn that Oberon has had a number of brides from the shadow. From thus came his children. So the princes and princesses are at least *part* shadow? Similarly Dara is possessed of the family gifts; she can shadow shift and eventually will be able to walk the Pattern, presumably. And yet her blood is even thinner – she’s the great, great granddaughter (give or take a “great”) of one of the princes, born outside of Amber. And yet she is Substance, I suppose? Much is unclear.

Furthermore, we get to the point where Benedict races after Corwin to avenge his slaughtered servants. I don’t have all the info yet; perhaps they were concealed family members similar to Dara, and that’s why this is such a biggie to him. But if not, is it reasonable that a prince of Amber (and one of the more honorable ones, we’re told) would kill one of his brothers over a few not-quite-people?

Again, it just feels like “shadow people” are actually just people. And it feels like Corwin and at least some of his kin realize this on some level.

As for my current scifi read, two thoughts so far – when your captain tells you not to get off the ship because it could be dangerous, you should probably listen to him. Also, when you’re running low on food and the first life-supporting planet you happily encounter just happens to be a peaceful “park planet” seemingly populated entirely by walking pork chops…yeah, proceed with caution. So good on General Ben, there.

I’m really itching to get back to some Vance and maybe some Burroughs when I’m through with these, but my curiosity about Leigh Brackett may win out. I’ve also been eyeing those super short H Beam Piper, Saberhagen, and Fritz Leiber books I’ve got stacked in my room. Decisions, decisions.



4 thoughts on “Free meat and brotherly love

    1. Ah, yeah I can certainly see him not being to everyone’s taste. I like Amber overall so far. Lord of Light is his magnum opus from what I hear, but the premise doesn’t really sound like my kind of story. Still, I will probably give it a whirl sometime since I bought it.

      As for Saberhagen I’ve got the first Berserker book, though I’m told (maybe it was by Alex?) that the series picks up after that first installment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I gave up on the berserker series after reading the first book. So maybe it does pick up. I stuck with his Swords books, as his Fantasy is more to my taste than his SF


  1. Glad you agree :)
    Not liking Zelazny! Unpossible!

    Well, not really. De gustibus and all that, tho’ I have to say I reserve Cultural Literacy reading for stuff like Tristram Shandy (now that was a slog*) not scifi/fantasy, that’s my fun reading.

    ps: Just want to say that one should watch out for those all in one Amber editions: Some of the earlier ones are very poorly copy edited–I wish I remebered which ones tho’!

    *Glad I read TS; a funny book but it got LOOOOONG

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s