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The Chronicles of Amber - Roger Zelazny This edition collects what was originally a series of five books into a single volume.

Looking at the other reviews of this book, I am surprised at how many people have reviewed each book separately. That really is a pointless exercise; in my opinion these books should be read as a whole or not at all. They do not stand alone and there is no point in reading any of them individually or out-of-order. It is one continuous story arc.

I have also noticed that many reviewers have included details of the actual story which I try to avoid at the best of times and this is one instance in which it is really much better if you know nothing about what it is about or going to happen.

This is not one of those books in which you need to read several chapters before beginning to become engrossed. There is no period of scene setting in which the characters are established. The action and excitement begin right away and you as the reader are as in the dark as the protagonist is who begins by awakening in hospital with no memory of who he is or how he got there. You are drawn into the story as you discover things about the protagonist and his world through his eyes as he rediscovers them and gets his memory back. This is an excellent way to introduce the reader to the complexity of this fantastic world and the intrigue that might otherwise threaten to overwhelm if a more conventional introduction technique were employed.

I normally like to break up a series by reading other books in between even when they are collected in a single volume but I found I just couldn't in this case. I was gripped and had to read on to the finish. An absolute classic that every fantasy reader should find time for.