I have heard great reviews about Zelazny's Amber series, especially from fellow science fiction and fantasy fans online, so I was excited to see this first installment in the series in my Christmas stocking. The story starts out with the main character and one of the princes of Amber, Corwin, suffering from amnesia in a shady hospital on the mundane world of earth. The novel begins as a rather standard potboiler thriller, but becomes more interesting as it shifted into introducing the idea that a certain special family of people have the ability to shift from world to world (and perhaps and create their own "shadow worlds"). The complex political machinations in the family and the question about how Corwin fits (or doesn't fit in) with them after living on earth for so long is the most interesting part of the book to me. While the concept of world shifting is very familiar to us now, one has to remember what Gardner Dozois has said--that Zelazny's Amber series has been often imitated and is highly influential on the genre. By the end of the novel, I was sucked in and ready to reach for another book in the series to discover more about the world of Amber and the inhabitants in it.