British Fantasy Award 1979. World Fantasy Award nominee 1978, Locus Award nominee 1978.
A wondrous world of magical adventure, as richly conceived and deeply engrossing as has ever been offered in a work of epic fantasy, awaits readers of this book, the opening volume of Stephen R. Donaldson's remarkable Covenant trilogy.
Here we meet Thomas Covenant, a man burdened with a terrible stigma that has deprived him of wife, friends, almost all human contact, perhaps even his sanity. In this state of moral isolation, he is suddenly shunted to a mysterious world known simply as "the Land" – a place of magical potency, acutely beautiful wherever it has recovered from the ravages of age-old, recurring wars. For the Land has an immortal enemy – Lord Foul the Despiser – whose unceasing intent is to lay it waste. He has been defeated in the past by the Council of Lords, servants of the Land and protectors of its arcane lore; but now the power of the Council has been reduced, and Lord Foul has found his perfect, unwitting tool – Thomas Covenant, the man who thinks the Land is a dream; who cannot accept its life-restoring powers for fear of confronting the terrible dilemma of his own existence; Covenant, the Unbeliever.
With irresistible narrative sweep, full of scenic grandeur, fabulous myth, and characters as memorable and fascinating as any in fantasy fiction, Stephen R. Donaldson has created a landmark of imaginative literature.
"I don't think that books like this come along more than a few times in a lifetime. I thought I was too old to be struck with wonder again. No, it doesn't happen often. With all my heart I'm delighted, excited." – Marion Zimmer Bradley
Stephen R. Donaldson (US, born 1947) is one of the most successful fantasy authors. Every volume of his epic fantasy The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, beginning with Lord Foul's Bane in 1977, has been an international bestseller. Donaldson returned to the series with The Runes of the Earth in 2004. He lives in New Mexico.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Written by Bluejay 2008-03-16
Prior to reading this book I searched for other reviews and noticed that people either loved or hated it. I ended up with rather mixed feelings after finishing the novel. Donaldson brings The Land alive with beautiful, metaphoric descriptions. That is the strength of his work. Personally, I didn't find the anti-hero protagonist Thomas Covenant as repulsive as many other people have, on the other hand I couldn't spare much sympathy for him either, but while bitter, angry and arrogant, he feels ... (more)