Ninth in the Amber fantasy series (most recently Sign of Chaos, not seen), a mega-yarn so hypercomplicated that Zelazny spends the first 50 pages here explaining--not always convincingly--who's been doing what to whom, and why. The preliminaries over, a straightforward story emerges. Merle, whose heritage includes both Amber and Chaos, becomes unwillingly involved in a strange magical tussle: seems that the Logrus, source of magic at the Courts of Chaos, is sentient, as is the Pattern that supplies Amber with its magic; and, for unknown reasons, the two magical abstracts have engaged in one-upmanship and are determined to force Merle to participate--indeed, to choose sides--which he steadfastly refuses to do. All this is packed with incident and handsomely embroidered, though the scenery owes more to computer graphics than genuine imagination. For the rest--well, by now Amber fans know what to expect. Others will view the whole overextended Amber series--once so fresh, magnetic, and enjoyable--as increasingly detached and irrelevant.