Merlin and Jurt continue on in the space between the shadows but Merlin starts to see things like a red Chevy, bits of shadows. Jurt guesses that it might be the Pattern trying to lure Merlin into one of them. Merlin goes through and is guided to the hiding place of the Jewel of Judgment which he removes and returns back to the land between shadows.
Where Borel is back and waiting for him. He says that if he is able to get the Jewel of Judgment and deliver it to the Logrus, he can become a real boy. Before they can fight, however, Benedict appears, or rather a Pattern-ghost of Benedict, and he takes on Borel urging Merlin onwards. Jurt mentions that Merlin appears to have allied with the Pattern and Merlin replies that Jurt has, too. Then they end up in a place that looks very much like where the Pattern is housed in Amber.
And Coral is unconscious or dead at its center in a circle of fire. The Jewel seems to indicate to Merlin that he must walk the Broken Pattern, repairing it with the use of the Jewel.
Before he does, though, the Pattern starts to derez Jurt until Merlin stops it. The Pattern seems to agree. Merlin then walks the Pattern, filling in the broken pieces by using the Jewel. Jurt follows him, as able to traverse the Pattern as Merlin is. Merlin faces himself, trying to call on sword techniques he learned after he walked the Logrus. But before he can truly defeat himself, Logrus-Jurt sacrifices himself to take Logrus-Merlin out.
What follows is perhaps the creepiest thing in the whole series. Merlin makes it to the center of the Pattern and Coral and tries to rouse her but she appears to be enchanted. Instead it sends him a message through the Jewel—it wants him to have sex with Coral in the center of the Pattern. Now there was certainly an attraction between Merlin and Coral, but Merlin balks, not wanting to be manipulated. So…he gives in, except that Coral is still pretty much asleep.
Utterly creepy and rapey. In the end, the Pattern seems to glow even brighter, apparently supercharged by the action at its center and then Coral and Merlin are sent first to the Pattern in Amber and then to his bedroom. Luckily for Coral, she never really liked her sister growing up and prefers the new version.
He also realizes that Frakir has lost her voice. There he questions Ghostwheel about Mandor and Jasra still apparently safe and Luke unknown. Before Merlin can go to Vialle, he discovers the dwarf who turns out to be Dworkin, patriarch of the whole Amber clan. Merlin invites him in and Dworkin asks for the full story of the repair of the Broken Pattern and, to aid in things, he summons up coffee. Merlin is about to give Dworkin the Jewel but Dworkin stops him saying that that would probably kill him. We then pick up with Merlin back in the blue crystal cave and for a moment he thinks that he never left, but he only sought its refuge because it was a faster time stream than Amber and because he would be protected from both Trumps and the interference maybe of the Pattern and Logrus.
Then Merlin attunes himself to the Jewel of Judgment.
This apparently inscribes him with a higher-order Pattern, something Dworkin had urged him to do. Ghostwheel transports Merlin back to Amber again and he sets about trying to get the Jewel back to its hiding spot. Merlin hears soft voices in the bedroom and not wanting to intrude, he hangs up Grayswandir and leaves. Merlin asks Ghostwheel to put the Jewel back but Ghostwheel is afraid to try it. But when Merlin removes the Jewel, nothing comes to attack him.
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He tries to Trump through to Luke but gets audio only. Luke is busy, about to lead a raid.
But not on Amber. Just then Merlin hears footsteps, knocking and someone entering a room nearby. He thinks the rooms are empty so he goes to investigate and finds Coral in his room. Mandor is alarmed by the fact that Merlin has the Jewel, and Nayda is excited by it.
She calls out to the Logrus which apparently frees her and she grabs the Jewel and runs off into the hallway. However, stealing the Jewel apparently takes precedence and frees her from the binding. The Logrus appears, and is about to spirit Nayda away until Mandor freezes her in the hallway.
Then the Pattern appears and they face off in the hallway. Then they begin to speak. It demands it back. The Pattern refuses. Dworkin also Trump messages Merlin to tell him not to let the Logrus get the Jewel. Oh, and Ghostwheel extends himself around Nayda. Dworkin tells Merlin that if he can get the Jewel he can keep it safe.
Ghostwheel then takes Nayda away and the Pattern and Logrus meet. Merlin and Mandor shield themselves but a huge destructive force is unleashed and Merlin falls. Dworkin has to save him, essentially Trumping Merlin into his room.
Coral is injured, though, so Random offers to help her. Mandor takes her to Vialle. Merlin Trumps to Ghostwheel asking for the Jewel back and Ghost mentions that he attuned himself to the Jewel as well. Ghostwheel returns it and Merlin gives it to Dworkin.
Ghostwheel says that he dropped Nayda at the blue crystal cave and left her there to wander. Then Random talks to Merlin about the Kashfa-Begma situation. Luke is about to be crowned Rinaldo I, King of Kashfa. As Merlin tries to get back to his room through the ruin of the palace, he accidentally lands in the Corridor of Mirrors, a corridor that shifts randomly through the palace. They are summoning Merlin which seems to work as he falls into the pentagram at their feet. Two of the figures reveal themselves as Julia and Coral.
They hold forks and knives in their hands. Then Jurt appears and attacks Merlin in wolf form until Corwin appears to knock him into a wall which collapses on him. Dara then lunges for Merlin but Corwin pulls Merlin away and his cloak melts her away to nothing. Corwin claims to have been the one who met Merlin in the place between shadows. Then another wall collapses and Corwin pushes Merlin away, but something strikes his head. Merlin wakes up in the Corridor of Mirrors. Merlin finds actual cuts on his body and holds in his hand a rectangular piece of stone.
Merlin changes into an outfit based on his old Berkeley colors. Merlin takes it, thinking to give it to Luke as a coronation present. It has extensions that he guesses lead off into shadow, each connecting to some power source for a spell. He also realizes he wants to keep the ring. As he returns to his own room, Merlin hears Random calling for him. Apparently the old man took Coral somewhere and took the Jewel as well, leaving Random only with the chain. Merlin is able to use the power of the ring to see where Dworkin and Coral went, displaying the image on a mirror for the others.
Random recognizes it as Kashfa. Merlin reopens the portal Dworkin used and goes through. Only a muffled woman who seems to be praying shares the church with them. He never wanted to be king in Kashfa. Luke thinks he may have to go through with the whole thing. Then Jurt appears, ready to kill Merlin.
Because hauling people out of the basement and burying them in holy ground usually takes a few minutes per person. His blood is on the wrong side of his face, and the buttons on his jacket are too. He is quite good, you know. Instead, Merlin pushes the Logrus at Oberon and dives out of the cave mouth. As he returns to his own room, Merlin hears Random calling for him.
He senses Werewindle, though, and seems interested in it. He teleports behind Luke and knocks him out, but before he can grab the blade, Merlin uses the power of the ring against him. The two brothers seem evenly matched, Jurt with the power of the Fount in him, Merlin with the ring. Luke recovers then and tells Jurt to release his wife.
He begins to jerk wildly. She turns her face to him and lifts her patch and a red light plays over Jurt, causing him to curl into a fetal position and shake. Merlin is worried, though. Jurt has grown more powerful. Something deadly. As Merlin turns back to Coral he sees that the Jewel of Judgment is now installed in her eye socket, beneath the patch. As mentioned, I think the idea of the broken Patterns makes sense, especially as shadow reflections tend to be imperfect, and are more so the further one gets from Amber.
That these could be used for power still makes sense because the Pattern is a potent object. But of course that leads into…. This always bothered me, to be honest.