I read a story like 15 years ago (I was very young, maybe too young for this story). I can remember very few things about it but I want to find it because there are still a couple things about the story that stay with me and I still sometimes think about.

The first thing I remember is that someone comes to get the main character from our world and convinces them to come back to this other world with him/her. I think the main character needs to save a family member maybe a brother. They get to this other world by just driving a car until they run out of gas then walking and poof they are in the other world.

The second thing I remember is that the person that needs to be saved was being tortured but with a twist. The person was kept in a dungeon of some kind (maybe a tower) and once a year the powers that be came and did terrible things to them. The one I really remember was that they blinded him/her. But this person for whatever reason could heal from this torture and regain their sight throughout the year between tortures.

Now that I think about it, I believe the person being tortured was the prince and he was overthrown. Maybe they are keeping him alive to sign a confession or something.

I hope this all makes sense and someone can help me find this lost story. THANKS!

Note: I'm not even sure if it's a book/short story/story in a mag.

  • 3
    You have a few of the details off a bit (no surprise, if you read it 15 years ago), but enough of it to confirm -- it's Nine Princes in Amber, as Organic Marble has indicated. The travel in the car (until they reach a reality where internal combustion doesn't work) with the hero's brother 'Random', the blinding, regrowing of the eyes and annual visit (although it was just to attend an celebration for the person that imprisoned the hero), as well as the fact that it was a 'Prince' (Prince Corwin of Amber), all taken together, are pretty conclusive. – K-H-W Sep 2 '15 at 21:50
  • see more expansive question and answer about the series at scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/157562/… – Otis Apr 30 '17 at 15:27

I believe you are describing Nine Princes in Amber or one of the other Amber books by Roger Zelazny.

The elements you describe of driving through alternate worlds and the main character being imprisoned, blinded, and then regaining his sight are present in these books. Many of the characters are members of a large family, some of whom are brothers or half-brothers (the "nine princes").

You can check out the various printings and editions here. It looks like printings of this book 15 years ago were mostly in omnibus editions, but before that there have been several standalone paperback printings. My favorite covers are the matching Ron Walotksy ones from the 1970s, like this one.

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