YMMV / The Chronicles of Amber

  • Angst Dissonance: Corwin is a moody antihero out of something by Byron or Richard Wagner. Merlin is something out of a Linkin Park video.
  • Author Existence Failure: The end of the Merlin books are a good stop, but there was a lot more that could be written before his death, to the point others have hamfistedly tried to extend it.
  • Critical Research Failure: The author of the RPG draws some questionable inferences and flat-out contradicts plainly stated material from the source. Even factoring in Unreliable Narrator. Some of his conclusions have gone on to become Fanon.
  • Cry for the Devil: When the Courts of Chaos are first introduced, they appear to be a traditional Always Chaotic Evil faction out to annihilate Amber (and, consequently, most of Shadow.) As the series goes on, sympathetic characters aligned with Chaos are introduced, and by the sixth book the two opposing "poles of reality" seem more alike than they are different, barring a few extremists on both sides.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The numerous clues foreshadowing Random's leadership role.
  • Fridge Horror: Some of the Early Installment Weirdness (the apparently greater violence and psychopathy of the Amberites in the earlier installments) may be due to Corwin being an Unreliable Narrator: as Corwin becomes an accepted "insider" again and the narrator shifts to someone with little experience outside the system (Merlin), everyone becomes increasingly logical and reasonable. If the original interpretation is closer to the truth, even minor gaps and comments in the later works become ominous.
    • There's a lot of Fridge Horror in the very notion of Shadow. No matter how bad a thing you can imagine, somewhere out there is a world where it's true. The hallucinogenic incident that Luke goes through really calls some of the worst possibilities to your attention.
    • That moment in Knight of Shadows when the Pattern forces Merlin to basically rape barely-conscious Coral. And here we were thinking that Pattern and Amber are the good guys. Which only goes to show how far outside human understanding the Pattern is.
  • Fridge Logic: Dara is responsible for setting in motion Brand's plans to obliterate the Pattern. Brand is responsible for setting in motion the invasion of Avalon by Lintra, who bears a child by Benedict who becomes Dara's grandmother. May be justified in that either a.) Chaos time is non-linear, or b.) Dara is a big fat liar.
    • Possibly Dara's faction was responsible - she does use the pronoun "we" a bit. Possibly she's a time traveller - about the only thing that doesn't happen in the series. Sadly, we'll never know.
    • Dara's conversation with the Logrus in the tenth book essentially states that she was in cahoots with the Logrus - and therefore presumably an adult - before Brand ever went to the Courts. Which means that the hellmaids' first emergence into Avalon predates the marring of the Pattern - Dara's existence being the consequence of the first while Brand's corruption or manipulation is the consequence of the second. The construction of the Black Road had apparently been going on for much, much longer than Corwin always assumed. Either Dara was an adult before she was conceived, or - and this is more likely - the invasion of Avalon was part of some earlier scheme in Chaos and the Dara-Brand connection was an attempt to exploit the success of that earlier established foothold.
    • The Merlin series pretty much establishes that Dara is a big fat liar who lies. The simplest explanation is that she lied to Corwin and to Benedict about her origins and she's much older than she seemed in those books. (It's unlikely that Oberon would be fooled about her intentions.) Her walking the Pattern could easily be explained by Corwin being mistaken about the requirements, assuming she doesn't have Amberite lineage through some convoluted means. We know that Dworkin and probably Oberon had to forsake the Logrus to gain the power of the Pattern; Dara could have done this as well and then defected back when she forsook Amber. Another trip through the Logrus could help explain her extra helping of crazy when Merlin runs afoul of her.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Oberon, and several of his children try to match him in this. To the point where Corwin deduces Oberon's presence simply because no one else could pull off a Gambit Roulette that well.
  • Mary Tzu: Some might regard Benedict's proclaimed abilities as... over the top. Or at least regard Corwin's opinion of him as evidence that Benedict has his brother(s) completely psyched out.
    • The RPG takes this Up to Eleven, crediting Benedict with abilities that are flat-out impossible for any conventional fighter or general, no matter how talented. Like the ability to automatically parry attacks from invisible, intangible ambushers based solely on instinct.
  • Outlived Its Creator: An attempt was made to keep the Chronicles going after Zelazny's death. It was poorly received.

Alternative Title(s): Book Of Amber