Book Review – “Sign of the Unicorn”

This is the third book in the original five book
Amber series.

General Information

Title: Sign of the Unicorn

Author: Roger Zelazny

Original Publication Date: 1975

ISBN: 0380809060 (single volume of ten books)

Cover Price: $22.95 US for the complete series

Buy from:
or Amazon


It seems that a member of Amber’s Royal Family is
collaborating with
those who would destroy it.

High Point

Now that’s a cliff-hanger ending!

Low Point

The attempts to resolve the last book’s cliff-hanger
aren’t as active
as I’d expect from this group.

The Scores

This book strikes out in new directions, doing some
different and
original things when compared to the first
two. The focus on
family politics is much stronger, and a lot more time
is spent digging
into the nature of Amber and its shadows. Also,
there’s a fairly
lengthy chunk (chapter 2) in which Corwin is not the
narrator. I give
it 5 out of 6.

The imagery is much like the second novel:
great descriptions
of the areas, but less figurative language than the
first. I give it
5 out of 6.

The story is starting to pick up. This is
about more than a
grab for the crown now, and the other events are
brought to the
forefront. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization hasn’t changed:
everyone’s clear, but
nobody’s deep. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response this produces is
stronger than the
second book, particularly in some of the
conversations Corwin has with
his family. I give it 5 out of 6.

The editing is, again, much like the first
two: there are a
few typographical errors in there, but the
arrangement of events and
information is very well done. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a strong entry in a strong
series. I still
recommend reading them all. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total Sign of the Unicorn receives 33 out
of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

If you’d like to refresh your memory, you can find
reviews of Nine Princes
in Amber
The Guns
of Avalon
the archives.