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The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever: Lord Foul's Bane, the Illearth War, the Power That Preserves Paperback – 1990


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Paperback, 1990
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Fontana (1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006152392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006152392
  • ASIN: B0056MWR8U
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 9.6 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,194,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Donaldson lived in India for 13 years with his father, a medical missionary, who worked extensively with lepers; it was here that he conceived the character of Thomas Covenant.
He was awarded the John W. Campbell Award as Best Writer of the Year for The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever, which, with the sequel trilogy, became instant bestsellers.
He is also the author of the fantasy duology 'Mordant's Need', the SF epic quintet 'The Gap', and a number of mysteries written under the pseudonym Reed Stephens. He won the World Fantasy Award in 2000.

Product Description

3 book collectors box set. Box excellent with mild bumping, small rip to side top. Books well read, strong. The fantastic 3 book fantasy series that proves that Donaldson is comparable to Tolkien st his best. An irresistible epic, and a remarkable achievement, a true fantasy classic. (fic)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Jun. 2000
Format: Paperback
I can't remember what made me buy this book, but I am eternally grateful to whoever recommended it to me. As some of the other reviewers here have said, I found it difficult to get into at first. This is because alot of things need to be explained about Covenant and the Land, but stick with it! It's MORE than worth it.
After the first three or four chapters you find yourself completely immersed in the rich, beautiful world Stephen Donaldson has created. This is one of the few series of books you can really lose yourself in. You become part of the story, and from then on, you can't put it down.
I will be buying all the other books in the series and any others I can find by Mr. Donalsdon.
"A trilogy of remarkable scope and sophistication."
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83 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. Keen on 28 May 2004
Format: Paperback
If you're up for reading another book (or six), may I heartily, enthusiastically and any other adverb infinitive you can think of, recommend "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" by Stephen Donaldson. Donaldson is a great American author, who I would put in the class of "story-teller" rather than just "author". The comparisons between Donaldson and Tolkien are many, but like JRR, he tends to paint images with words rather than describe events. He uses words in a way that transcends mere language and like I believe any good book should do, you are there amongst the action, not merely reading descriptive passages.
"Thomas Covenant" also adds another dimension to story telling that challenges the reader. You do care about Covenant in these stories, but the reader's first reaction to him is to dislike, even loathe him. Donaldson then takes all the typical actions of a fantasy hero and turns them on their head. Where as Lira threw herself in to the action (rightly or wrongly - and I liked that treatment), Harry Potter rises to the challenge of being a hero, as does Frodo, or Aragorn standing tall and proud and fighting his cause come-what-may; Thomas Covenant does all he can to get away from his situation. Many times he has the opportunity to change the course of events, and when things look like they couldn't get much worse; he does a damn good job of making things sink to a new dismal low!
Sounds depressing? Actually, it is at a surface level, but somehow Donaldson manages to make you "care" about Covenant, so the reality is that despite wanting to throw the book at something very breakable in frustration, the reader is driven on to find out what the hell happens next.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
Of the many fantasy novels that have appeared since Tolkien, the two trilogies by Donaldson are perhaps the best. Tad Williams or David Eddings may clutter up the shelves in bookshops, but this is the real thinking-person's fantasy series. It is, dare I say it, fantasy for grown-ups.
The setting is The Land, a mythical world which of course resembles Middle-earth in many ways. Like Tolkien, Donaldson depicts a largely rural, agrarian society, but unlike Tolkien the inhabitants are mostly humans (the creatures of folklore, while present, are slightly thin on the ground - not a criticism by the way). The threat to the Land comes from without, but Donaldson seems most interested in the interior landscape of his protagonist, the leper Thomas Covenant.
This is the thing that elevates the novels above the bulk of fantasy fiction: a bitter, self-pitying main character who, being shunned by human society, has lost in faith in the goodness of people. His despair is the subject of the book; when he is transported from our own world into an idyllic world where he is not just accepted but needed, he cannot believe in its verity and so cannot be the saviour the people so desperately call for. The Land is the exact opposite of the uncaring world he has known, and his despair makes him reject the friendship and kindness he meets with, selfishly spurning those who offer friendship, causing pain to those who put their trust in him. Covenant is interesting because he has psychological depth. As a hero he is flawed, all too human, and the plot centres around his painfully slow acceptance of his role in a world he does not really believe in: to be its saviour, to offer its people the very things that have always been denied him: friendship, faith and love.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Conlin on 7 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
It was so many years ago that I first read and became hooked on the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. I had a hard-back version of the first trilogy which actually fell apart after what must have been the tenth or so read. The second trilogy was all paper-backs and they went the same way. There was also an out-take called Koric's tale which I had, but which for some reason, seems to have ceased to exist. I'm on the end of Fatal Revenant, the second book of the last chronicles now, and I've ordered the first two trilogies again. They are superb novels, and once you get past Donaldson's penchant for obscure words, (actually, sometimes I wonder if he makes some of them up) the books truly are a cracking read. The characters bounce out of the pages, larger than life; the giants especially, and while Covenant plays the total anti-hero, he comes back with the goods, making the supreme sacrifice in order to do so.
I love good fantasy - and this series rates among the best.
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