Corwin wakes in a hospital bed. He can't remember anything, he just knows he needs to leave.
In this way, Roger Zelazny begins creating the world and characters of Amber, which will carry us through 10 volumes.
In this first installment, Corwin begins to learn he's a prince of Amber. And the earth he has been exiled is but a shadow of the true world. We learn there are many shadows, and those born of royal blood are able to move among the shadows. But they all strive for the same goal, to rule in Amber.
After discovering some siblings and an ally, and the start of a plot to acquire the thrown, Corwin is told how he can recover his memory. But to do so he has to walk the pattern. A path of mysticism and challenge placed in Amber by the founders of existence.
This is a well written and very entertaining novel. Highly recommended.