Amber is the one real world, casting infinite reflections of itself - Shadow worlds that can be manipulated by those of royal Amberite blood. The CHRONICLES begin in a hospital on the Shadow Earth, where a man is recovering from a freak auto accident. Since he is also suffering from amnesia, and has been for some time, he has no idea that he's Prince Corwin of Amber - until his memory receives a succession of jolts: He meets a sister who speaks in riddles of plots and counterplots... and a brother who abruptly involves him in a life-and-death battle against pursuers from a fearful Shadow world. He discovers a deck of tarot-like cards, with himself, his sister, and strangers whom he guesses to be other relatives, pictures on their faces. Then comes the most shattering jolt of all... Corwin's confrontation with an intricate design created by a master manipulator of reality - the Pattern. As Corwin sets foot upon that coldly glowing inscription, memories come flooding back to him... more and more with each step. And finally, knowing his true identity, he acknowledges his true ambition - and resolves that the crown of Amber will be his. But unknown to Corwin, there are dark forces massing against Amber ... and before too long he will discover just how great a burden a king's crown can be....