Blood of Amber

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

The book begins with the hero, Merlin Corey, reflecting on the circumstances that led to his present predicament: He has been trapped in a crystal cave by his best friend, Luke. This device provides a quick synopsis of the first book in the trilogy, TRUMPS OF DOOM.

Through trickery, Merlin escapes, trapping Luke in his place, then begins his travels back to his home in Amber. Using the powers given to him through his membership in the House of Amber, and its opposite, the Courts of Chaos, Merlin travels from world to world via the “Shadows” between. Along the way he encounters a woman who has repeatedly saved his life; because she can change bodies at will, he has no idea who she really is.

Luke manages to escape and offers Merlin information, important to the future of Amber, in exchange for help in rescuing his mother, a deadly enemy. The story ends with Merlin close to his goal, but once again, trapped.

BLOOD OF AMBER is a science fiction novel with many fantasy elements. It is sophisticated, stylish, and has flashes of wit, but under the basic story line there is no great depth, and its cliff-hanger ending may prove a disappointment. The reader would be advised to wait until all three books have been released and read them as a single story.