31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Restoring your belief in a tired genre,
This review is from: The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever: "Lord Foul's Bane", "Illearth War" and "Power That Preserves" (Paperback)
Disillusioned with all those doorstep tomes with helpful maps, countless characters with tongue twisting names, plots and sub-plots that go nowhere, and no sign of a resolution by book 10?
Here's the antidote. Adult, intelligent and gripping, Donaldson's novels have the page turning compulsion of the tightest thrillers with characters and dilemmas that convince and compel, and an imagination that soars.
Thomas Covenant is a writer struck down by leprosy that he fails to spot in time. As the disease progresses, his wife leaves him taking their son, and he becomes a pariah. Walking into town to pay his 'phone bill in person to reassert his dignity, he's hit by a speeding Police car, just after an old beggar warns him to "be true." He wakes in "The Land," a world in plight through the machinations of Lord Foul. Foul has called Covenant to deliver a message of Doom to the Lords of the Land. Though he is convinced that he in a fever dream, Covenant is compelled to follow his quest.
This tension between Covenant's unbelief and the Land around him is the dilemma on which these magnificent tales turn.
The borrowing from Middle Earth is obvious and undisguised, but Donaldson's "Land" is his own. Donaldson seems to be saying that Tolkien started this genre, and his references are homage. That he gets away with it is down to his power as writer and storyteller.
Read Donaldson's 'Unbeliever' saga and be as enthralled and hooked as you can be by Fantasy fiction.
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Initial post: 15 Aug 2009 04:15:05 BDT
Stewart M says:
I think what you say about this book being an antidote to the mass of computer written fantasy book that now crowd the shelves may be true - let's not forget that the first of these book was published in 1977! What these books really do is show how little progress has been made in this style of book over the last 20 years! The Chronicles are wonderful (I was there at a book shop on the day White Gold Wielder was published and did not emerge from The Land for a number of days!) and they really do stand as a challenge to current authors to do better.
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