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Lord Foul's Bane, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by Stephen Donaldson
Review by Stepbasin
Some people like a book in which the hero gets the girl, good always triumphs over evil and everybody lives happily ever after. Its mind numbing, repetitive, obvious and short. If you are that person you should love most of what is on TV.
Once in a while though even the most hardcore fantasy/sci fi reader just wants to pick up a random Star Trek novel and enter the world of Captain James T. Kirk and the heroic crew of the Enterprise. Here you can escape into a world in which everything gets wrapped up nicely by the last 20 pages, life is good and everything makes sense. Like I said, sometimes this is all you want.
But sometimes you want more. . .
Occasionally you want to be pulled heart and soul into a book. They kind where you don't read about the characters grief you share it, no, you live it. His cries echo in your throat and the horrors he sees wrenches your heart. You pity him and his world, yet you rise at his joys, fall with him when he fails and invest yourself in his travails till the very end. And by the time you are finished you are emotionally drained from the reading. There is no other feeling like and I love it. And now, on to the review.
Thomas Covenant is a mildly successful writer living in rural America in the late 1970's. He has a wife, a child and a normal life. Then he finds out he has leprosey. His life is shattered. His wife leaves him taking their son, the people of his small town shun him and his illness prevents him from doing anything more than just surviving. And then one day in town he steps into the street just before a car comes speeding towards him. He is about to die when everything goes black.
Awakening soon after he finds himself in "The Land". It is here that the meets the enemy of "The Land" who calls himself the Gray Slayer, Lord Foul, the Despiser. He tells Covenant to take a message to the Lords at Revelstone concerning their deaths and the doom of the Land. Mockingly he tells Covenant that he is the only one who could forstall him but he doesn't know how and by the time he understands his power, it will be too late. And with that Thomas Covenant begins his journey into the Land and experiences all of its joys and terrors as he seeks to save a world he does not believe in from a threat that can't be real.
Oh, he also has a magic white gold ring which is the most powerful magic in the world (unfortunately he doesn't understand how to use it). And there are giants, cave trolls, healing soil, Earth power, magic trees, burning stones, living forest, powerful Lords, magic staves, Ur Viles, griffens, and of course the immortal, sleepless Bloodgaurd sworn protects of the Lords who have lived 3,000 years since the dawn of that age.
This book, which is the first book in the 10 book series, is wonderful. It is very entertaining and wonderfully rich in new and unique magics. I loved the world and all of its inhabitants. One of my all time favorite books, period.
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