Tenth book of the series that commenced in 1970 with Nine Princes in Amber and proceeded to Knight of Shadows (1989), wherein wizard Merle Corey remains central to the power struggle between the two opposing, sentient poles of magic, Amber's Pattern and the Courts of Chaos's Logrus. As the King of Chaos, Swayvill, finally dies, Merle is third in succession to the throne. By then the two who precede Merle die in mysterious circumstances, and it emerges that Merle's mother Dara and brother Mander are conspiring to ensorcell Merle and place him on the throne of Chaos as their puppet. Usefully, Merle makes friends with a number of former foes, then discovers that his long-lost father Corwin is still alive, as Dara's prisoner. Meanwhile, since the Pattern is slightly stronger than the Logrus, the Logrus kidnaps and conceals Coral, keeper of the powerful Jewel of Judgment. Glum, talky, and threadbare. Even more depressing, Zelanzy seems to be clearing the way for yet more additions to this already absurdly and pointlessly overextended series.