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The One Tree Paperback – 1989

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Paperback, 1989
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Fontana (1989)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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

Lord Foul's Bane

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First Sentence
LINDEN AVERY walked beside Covenant down through the ways of Coercri. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ryan on 13 Sep 2001
Format: Paperback
Donaldson just appears to get better and better as he continues to write. This, the second book in the Second Chronicles follows Covenant as he leaves the Land in search of outside help, a disconcerting read at first as you leave the comforting vistas of the land, but the book soon benefits from the vastly increased setting and you begin to appreciate the genius in the world that donaldson has created outside of the known Land.
A must read for any Fantasy fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Dogmother on 23 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yet another gripping "can't put it down" epic for Thomas Covenant. Beautifully written so that you are fully immersed in the plot. The company of giants being as real for the reader as any normal experience. The echo of past events from the real world playing out as revenge in the Land is so natural to the plot that you'd be forgiven to miss them. The writer clearly understands human nature both at rest and under extreme pressure to be able to show us thoughts and feelings as witnessed through different characters.

If you have enjoyed the first chronicles, then you will also thoroughly enjoy this first book from the second chronicles. If you haven't read the first chronicles yet, make sure your not doing anything time critical when you start. These books keep you captivated.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M Sockel on 10 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback
Oh, Mr Donaldson, what are you doing to your previously wonderful series?

As ever, the writing of "The One Tree" is beautiful, the canvas upon which the author paints is both rich and vast.

So why only 3/5?

Firstly, for most of the book, the two principles characters hate themeselves.
Covenant hates what he is being forced to do and the power he must bear.
Linden hates herself for secretly wanting Covenant's power.

It is just getting tedious, and both of them need a good slap and told to pull themselves together.

Secondly, the author has given the ending of the whole trilogy away when The Quest enters the realm of Elohim and the natives are suprised that both Linden and Covenant exist because they had expected their respective powers to be consolidated into one being. Well what could that mean? Duuuh... either a birth or a death methinks? That has taken alot of dramatic tension out of this book for me.

Thirdly, the characters of Vain and Findail are vexing in the extreme. Vain I can kind of forgive, but as he is a perverse reflection of Findail I will take them both together. Findail is earthpower made flesh - bascially a god. However, instead of using his power, all he does is give cryptic warnings, but no answers or alternatives. Other than sitting on the fence, there is very little that he does (barring the Gaddhi)... but if he wanted to he could. It is just all so frustrating.

Finally, as with "The Wounded" Land, there is no resolution here. There is high adventure, death, betrayal... but, other than moving a few continents, neither the plot nor any of the subplots (perhaps with the exception of the romance) are any further forward.

Which means that this trilogy hangs entirely on "The White Gold Wielder".

All I can say is that is better be pretty amazing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 54 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By RMurray847 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
THE ONE TREE is in many ways Donaldson's most richly complex book from a psychological standpoint, up to this point in the series. THE WOUNDED LAND dealt primarily with the visceral shock Covenant experiences upon returning to said land and the physical reactions of Linden Avery. We met some new characters and marveled at the changes in the land. And that was enough.

In THE ONE TREE, the relationship between Covenant & Avery grows ever more complex at every turn. They push & pull at each other, struggling with urgent need and vastly divergent understandings of where their quest should take them. We also get to revisit the wonderful giants, briefly reintroduced at the end of THE WOUNDED LAND. In the previous trilogy, we had come to know and love Saltheart Foamfollower, probably the single greatest character ever created for a "quest" fantasy story. While the giants in THE ONE TREE are wonderfully rich and alive, they don't quite reach Foamfollower's status in our hearts. BUT, we get to understand their race more clearly and experience their unbelievable strength and character.

I don't want to rehash the plot...it's been done well enough previously. Some reviewers have complained that the book is too episodic, or that some of the events that take place are just there to fill out the book to proper length. To my mind, the hardships the characters endure serve to illustrate their strength of character and the parts of their psyches that are conflicted or downright torn. I love that. Also, some mention that Covenant isn't the focus of the book as much as Linden Avery...that's okay with me. Covenant, in many ways, is less interesting than most of the other characters. He has my sympathy and support, but he's not the REASON I love these books.

Donaldson makes some remarkable leaps of imagination, and the Bloodguard are very richly portrayed. As readers of past Covenant books know, Donaldson is often very ambiguous about good vs. evil. Yes, Lord Foul is the bad guy, no question about that. But it's the bad impulses in otherwise "heroic" characters that make the books so complex. If you like that element of these books, then you'll love THE ONE TREE. It's full of conflict within the "good" guys.

Many middle books in trilogies have the problem of dangling a little at both ends. They're picking up from a thread of the first book and leaving one behind for the final book. THE ONE TREE has some of that, but the intensity of the final scenes and the resolution of some of the characters is richly satisfying, so rather than feeling let down at the end, you just want to immediately grab the next book. And thank goodness you can...unlike Donaldson's current Covenant books, which are planned to have three year gaps in between.

So, if you've like the Covenant books up until now, you'll love THE ONE TREE. It's more action-packed than THE WOUNDED LAND and more rewarding. If you haven't enjoyed the books (but for some strange reason have read up to this point), your mind won't be changed. And obviously, if you haven't read them but would like to, you MUST go back to the beginning. Do not hope to start reading at this point and just "pick it up as you go along." You'll completely miss 95% of what's going on.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing 1 Jun 2013
By Jlty45 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved the First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant! This first book of the Secont Chronicles has it's moments but not enough for me to like it. Way too much self loathing in the book for me.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The story continues 24 May 2005
By Dan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In The Wounded Land Covenant confronted the Clave, strange governing body of The Land that has replaced the council of Lords, and learned the truth about Lord Foul's role in the desecration of The Land. Covenant decides the best course of action is to leave The Land to search for the Isle of the One Tree. Centuries before, Berek Halfhand had forged the Staff of Law from a branch of the One Tree. Covenant feels the only hope of redemption for The Land is to forge a new staff and restore the laws of nature that were broken when the original staff was destroyed. Accompanied by Linden Avery and a ship full of giants they depart The Land. Since no one knows where the One Tree is located, the giants suggest that the company seek the help of the Elohim. The Elohim are a fairy people that appear to be earthpower incarnate. But the Elohim have their own plans for Covenant and the white gold.

A great deal of this book explores the character of Linden Avery. She has terrible secrets in her past that she must explore and confront to overcome her feelings of helplessness. Her confrontation with the leader of the Clave in The Wounded Land left her doubting herself and feeling that she is inherently evil. She must work through her feelings and find a way to help Covenant on his quest to redeem The Land. The giants are all terrific characters, which add to the enjoyment of this book. There is a great deal of action in this book, which flows exceptionally well and never drags.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Plot twists galore 21 Mar 2003
By D. Pachal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The One Tree does not fail to dissapoint if you are a fan of Thomas Covenant. In an effort to return the Earthpower to the Land: Thomas, Linden, and some newly met Giants (along with Vain and some new companions) go on a desperate search for the powerful One Tree. In the first Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Staff of Law was destroyed, and Covenant plans to make another one from the wood of the one tree.
Many things happen in this book. Though, it is the slowest book in the series. But, the action scenes to make up for the lulls. Covenant must endure with the sake of the Land at stake. With his friends, (old and new) he must go on a trek that seems almost impossible.
Donaldson fails to dissapoint with this book. It is filled with some of his best work and moves the story ahead to finish in the wonderful 3rd book of the series. The One Tree is a book full of plot twists, intrigue, action, and adventure. Be sure to check it out.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
More first-class fantasy 20 July 2003
By Ritesh Laud - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This one ranks right up there with The Illearth War, the second book of the first trilogy. Thomas Covenant and his companions sail deep into the Sunbirth Sea on a quest for the One Tree, from which Covenant hopes to fashion a new Staff of Law. Much of the novel (perhaps half) takes place aboard the huge Giantship Starfare's Gem. During this time the major characters have nothing to do but walk around on the boat or help with chores, so the pace of the book is clearly slower than that of the others in the series. Aside from a couple moments of excitement, Donaldson spends the bulk of the ocean sequences in developing the characters. We learn a lot more about Linden and she begins to understand her capabilities. Some of the Giants acquire distinct personalities as we spend days with them at sea. Vain is more perplexing than ever before, especially as we see how he interacts with Findail (a new character in the series). It becomes evident that these two will play some major role in the sequel "White Gold Wielder".
The story heats up in the second half, when Starfare's Gem is forced to make landfall at a fascinating but sinister port town called Bhrathairain. Here a plot unfolds to get Covenant to give up his white gold ring. We also encounter a deadly Sandgorgon, which I'm hoping will make a re-appearance in the sequel. This part of the story was my favorite. Also, the climactic events that occur at the objective of the party's quest are exciting and revealing. We learn why Lord Foul tainted Covenant with venom and get hints of the awesome might of the creature that formed the Earth.
The One Tree also has the most deaths of major characters so far in the series. So there are several tragic moments in the novel, which in my opinion gives it an element of realism and poignancy that the other novels lacked. This combined with the very good character development during the ocean sequences and the moving backstory related by the Elohim make The One Tree the deepest of the novels in the series up to this point.
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