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Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen R. Donaldson
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Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Un fantasy diverso al solito, dove l'ero è un anti-eroe. E' un essere umano moderno con tutti i suoi problemi, non ultimo l'essere affetto dalla lebbra. Può non piacere come storia, ma io me ne sono innamorato dalle prime pagine ( )
  cecca | Jul 31, 2017 |
One of my favorite books of all time...thanks to my High School Librarian and friend, Lori Kirtley, for recommending this author to me. Stephen Donaldson has provided me many, many happy hours of reading enjoyment! ( )
  blmyers | May 15, 2017 |
High fantasy has certainly come a long way since the 1980s. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
** spoiler alert **

I didn't hate this book. My thoughts on it almost all the way up were negative, but I didn't hate it. This is why:

I am a character writer, and by association, a character reader. Meaning that I am incredibly judgmental about the depth and quality of characters in the books I read. I loathed Thomas Convenant. He was - to me - the epitome of a despicable character. From a writer's perspective, though, I understand that he wasn't supposed to be likable. However, needing to follow him through the Land and listening to his constant whining became a tad intolerable for something who prefers her protagonists to be just a few steps away from Gary Stu (okay, maybe a couple bounding yards. But definitely not several miles). That said, here are my continuing thoughts on the book.

After this point, there will, inevitably, be a few spoilers. Not book-wrecker spoilers (I don't think) but read at your own risk.

Firstly, I was very well tolerating Covenant in his own world, although I thought he was whiny and his walk to town was impossibly long and draggy. It was the moment that his got hit by that car and summoned into the Land that his character clashed so heavily with all the good there. The first moments of his encounter with Drool and Lord Foul are just fine - good pacing, clear enough character: you know that this part is supposed to be foggy. But then we find Covenant on Kevin's Watch with the delightful Stonedowner, Lena. I like Lena. I thought she was charming, dreamy. Again, I do believe this is by design, because if you love Lena, then you really despise Covenant raping her.

It was the rape that unfairly set my mind against the book. I hate rape. Who doesn't? But even within the first hundred pages, it just wasn't classy.

And it is after the rape that I think Covenant becomes truly despicable. He lacks any element of empathy, a lack-of-trait which drives me mad. He spends the entirety of the next hundred pages whining about his condition and complaining about how this whole thing is a dream. For me, this would be tolerable except I find Atarian, his guide and Lena's mother, to be weak and depressing, therefore leaving us with two characters for just less than a quarter of the book whose woes take up more time than the beauty (and evil) in the surrounding Land.

As a reader, in this 100-page stint, I turned my attention to the Land. Donaldson has crafted his world beautifully, an accomplishment that I envy. I can imagine the changing scenery perfectly, and you can feel the impending shiver as evil stretches out and corrupts it.

Once Covenant is dropped with Saltheart Foamfollower, the pacing becomes a littler quicker (thank goodness!) and the characters around Covenant become much more interesting (even while Covenant himself remains intolerable). Foamfollower is a particular favourite of mine, because I felt his character was very well-rounded and he was a changing character; the developments you see around Foamfollower are slightly heartbreaking. He is the character with empathy, the one who tries so hard to make Covenant see.

Donaldson has crafted a few very interesting species in this story, as is expected in any epic. I particularly like the Bloodguard and Ranyhyn. Bannor's character (a Bloodguard) is wide open, yet shut tight. I think that paradox makes him a enigma, and an interesting character.

Once the Questers left the remnant of Woodhelven, I found myself enjoying the book, and wanting to read it. I won't spoil the ending, but I am happier, now, picking up the second book than I was in the first half of Lord Foul's Bane.

I will say that Donaldson's pacing bothers me a little - but I also have problems with that in The Lord of the Rings and therefore I am inclined to believe that it is my own problem with epic fantasy. The slows are very slow and the fasts are so quick, I needed to go back in and read them several times to understand what had just happened. ( )
  Morteana | Mar 20, 2016 |

Thomas Covenant is a young, best-selling author with a wife (Joan) and an infant son (Roger), whose world is turned upside-down when he's diagnosed with leprosy. After six months' treatment and counselling in a leprosarium, he returns home to find himself divorced, alone and an outcast in the community. On a rare trip into town, he's accosted by a beggar who makes a number of cryptic pronouncements, and refuses Covenant's white gold wedding band as a charity, leaving Covenant with the admonition to "be true." Confused and disturbed by the encounter, Covenant stumbles into the path of an oncoming police car and is rendered unconscious.

He wakes to find himself in The Land, a classic fantasy world. He first meets the evil Cavewight Drool Rockworm, wielding the magical power of the Staff of Law, who actually summoned him to the Land. Drool is guided (manipulated) by a malevolent, ethereal being who calls himself "Lord Foul the Despiser." Foul reproaches Drool for his arrogance and transports Covenant to Foul's demesne. Addressing Covenant as "groveler", Foul taunts him with a prophecy that he (Foul) will destroy the Land within 49 years; however, if Drool isn't stopped, this doom will come to pass much sooner. He tells Covenant to deliver this message to the rulers of the Land, the Council of Lords at Revelstone, so that they can make preparations to combat Drool Rockworm and recover the Staff of Law.

Once again, Covenant is somehow transported and wakes on Kevin's Watch, a tall finger of rock attached to a mountain overlooking the Land's southernmost region. He meets Lena, a young girl who uses a special mud called hurtloam to heal some minor cuts caused by his fall. To his astonishment, Covenant discovers (albeit somewhat later on) that the hurtloam has also cured his leprosy. This is only the first example Covenant will see of the Earthpower: a rich source of healing energy present throughout the Land. Covenant's loss of two fingers on his right hand (a consequence of the failure to promptly diagnose his leprosy) causes him to be identified by Lena as the reincarnation of Berek Halfhand, an ancient Lord who saved the Land from Lord Foul during a war which occurred in the Land's distant past. His special identity is seemingly confirmed when Lena's mother Atiaran identifies Covenant's white gold ring - in his world a plain wedding band, which he had been emotionally unable to discard notwithstanding the breaking of his marriage - as a token of great power in the Land.

Believing that he is unconscious from his collision with the police car, and therefore experiencing a fantastical dream or delusion, Covenant refuses to accept the reality of the Land. Appalled and indignant at the expectations the people of the Land have for him as their new-found savior, he gives himself the title of "Unbeliever."

He is also unprepared for the sudden restoration of his health, which cures the impotence brought on by his leprosy. His mental turmoil over the reality he feels but does not believe, and the sudden curing of his impotence, drives him into a frenzy, causing him to rape Lena, an act which will be pivotal to all that follows. When Lena's friends and family learn of what happened to her, they are barely able to comprehend the enormity of or reasons behind this crime, but the Oath of Peace to which they are sworn forbids them from taking vengeance.

Atiaran, with great chagrin, guides Covenant to the Hills of Andelain, a region of the land where the Earthpower is especially strong. There she entrusts Covenant to the care of Saltheart Foamfollower, one of the Unhomed Giants, who are allies of the people of the Land. The Giants, a seafaring people who live on the eastern coast of the Land, have a strong understanding of the Earthpower, especially as it relates to the Sea and other waters. Foamfollower is able to sail his stone boat up one of the great rivers of the land to Revelstone, the Lords' mountain fortress. There Covenant is invited into their council as an Ur-Lord because of his connection to Berek, and his white gold ring, which the Lords recognize as having the power to unleash the "wild magic" which may be the key to defeating Lord Foul.

Covenant delivers the message of Lord Foul. Despite the obvious danger, the Lords decide to make an effort to wrest the powerful Staff of Law from Drool's evil grasp. Rather than waging an all-out war, the Council sends four Lords and a band of forty warriors to attempt to infiltrate Drool's base at Mount Thunder.

Led by High Lord Prothall, and accompanied by the Lords' sleepless and ageless protectors the Bloodguard, and the Giant Foamfollower, the Lords' party sets out eastward. Covenant joins them in the hope that the recovery of the Staff of Law will somehow assist in his return to his "real" world. Along the way, Covenant attempts to come to terms with whether or not to believe in the reality of the Land. He also attempts to redeem himself for his outrage against Lena by commanding one of the Ranyhyn, the wild, free and intelligent horses of the eastern Plains of Ra, to do homage to her yearly. The Ramen, a tribe of humans who dedicate their lives to care and protection of the Ranyhyn, though repulsed to see their equine companions under Covenant's compulsion, agree to assist the quest on the last leg of its journey.

In the end, at the cost of the deaths of many of their companions, the Lords succeed in penetrating Mount Thunder and seizing the Staff, temporarily securing peace for the Land. Covenant destroys Drool Rockworm and saves the surviving members of the party by using the wild magic of his ring to summon the Fire-lions of Mount Thunder, although he does not fully control or even understand his power.

After the death of Drool, who had used the Staff of Law to summon Covenant to the Land, Covenant feels his physical body fading away, loses consciousness, and wakes up in his own world, a leper once more.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donaldson, Stephen R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Herring, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tate, Janice C.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyeth, S. C.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Something there is in beauty
For James R. Donaldson, M.D., whose life expressed compassion and commitment more eloquently than any words
First words
She came out of the store just in time to see her young son playing on the sidewalk directly in the path of the gray, gaunt man who strode down the center of the walk like a mechanical derelict.
A real man - real in all the ways that we recognise as real - finds himself suddenly abstracted from the world and deposited in a physical situation which could not possibly exist~: sounds have aroma, smells have colour and depth, sights have texture, touches have pitch and timbre. There he is informed by a disembodied voice that he has been brought to that place as a champion for his world. He must fight to the death in single combat against a champion from another world. If he is defeated, he will die, and his world – the real world – will be destroyed because it lacks the inner strength to survive.
The man refuses to believe that what he is told is true. He asserts that he is either dreaming or hallucinating, and declines to be put in the false position of fighting to the death where no ‘real’ danger exists. He is implacable in his determination to disbelieve his apparent situation, and does not defend himself when he is attacked by the champion of the other world.
Question: Is the man’s behaviour courageous or cowardly? This is the fundamental question of ethics.

He could not bear the alternative. If he were dreaming, he might still be able to save his sanity, survive, endure. But if the Land were real, actual – ah, then the long anguish of his leprosy was a dream, and he was mad already, beyond hope
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345348656, Mass Market Paperback)

The first book in one of the most remarkable epic fantasies ever written, the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever.
He called himself Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever because he dared not believe in the strange alternate world in which he suddenly found himself. Yet he was tempted to believe, to fight for the Land, to be the reincarnation of its greatest hero....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:08 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

He called himself Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever because he dared not believe in the strange alternate world in which he suddenly found himself. Yet he was tempted to believe, to fight for the Land, to be the reincarnation of its greatest hero...

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