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Preview — The Illearth War by Stephen R. Donaldson
The Illearth War (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever #2)
The Council of Lords found their spells useless, now that Foul the Despiser held the Illearth Stone, ancient source of evil power, High Lord Elena turned in de...more
I’ll admit that book 2 is an improvement over book 1, but it’s a grudging admission. Having said that, Thomas Covenant is STILL an ass, but the improvement is that this installment isn...more
The good news is that around half of the book it is told from another person's POV which means we do not read about Thomas Covenant bei...more
Part of the problem with the first installment, 'Lord Foul's Bane', was that Covenant was so bitter and unsympathetic. This time Covenant is basically absent for the middle section of the book, giving th...more
This book is a lot easier to read than Lord Foul's Bane, and there's a lot more going on. Without all the introductory stuff you're more straight into the story. And in terms of the former, there wasn't quite as much spent in the head of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever/Idiot with some changes of POV in there too.
Though, to be fair to T.C., he didn't come across as as quite as much of an idiot in this book. Maybe also because we're not in hi...more
This is the second book in the Thomas Covenant series and takes place when Thomas is summoned once more to the Land. Even though it has only been a few months since he was last there, forty years have passed there. New Lords are in place yet the battle against the Despiser rages on. To aid them, Thomas must put aside his unbelieving nature and assist the High Lord Elena on a quest to find...more
In my reading of Donaldson’s works, I’ve found that his second installments are usually the weakest. There are several shortcomings in THE ILLEARTH WAR of three books.
First is the introduction o...more
As a fan of Stephen Donaldson’s trilogy ‘the second chronicles of Thomas Covenant’ I was naturally keen to also read the first trilogy that started it all, being ‘the chronicles of Thomas Covenant: the unbeliever’ with this book (the illearth war) being the second volume following on from Lord Foul’s bane. I am constantly overwhelmed by how similarly to renowned au...more
Tolkien was not my introduction to fantasy fiction (neither was Donaldson); my first experience with SFF was RA Salvatore's The Crystal Shard. However, I immediately jumped into Tolkien, and afterward, Donaldson.
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant are as different from Tolkien's world as...more
I strongly recomend reading the first book in the series (and spoilers of first book contained below).
The Illearth war has many of the weaknesses of a middle volume of a trilogy. In some ways it is clearly bridging between the introduction to the world and the climactic confrontation with Foul. It feels like it splits the narrative over too many protagonists. Covenants interactions with Elena make a point, but possibly go a bit too far.
Yet it has many strength...more
It was all very clear, yet unsatisfying. I read the book, and this time I fell into it. It was a different kind of fantasy, with allegoric hints that I still couldn't comprehend.
The story itself focuses upon the Lords' response to Lord Foul's great assault upon the Land, as his gigantic army, twisted and empowered by the Illearth Stone, marches to destroy them. The unfolding strategies and twists and turns of the conflict are fascinating to read. There are several side quests too, which enri...more
Once again, Covenant struggles with the reality of this alternate existence, initially not committing himself to help b...more
It has been years since I first read the book, so I enjoyed rediscovering the aspects of the quest. Somewhat depressing but it is about an evil and a war. Covenant needed to los...more
It's off to a good start and the build up to Covenants summoning and the transition from his world to the next sets a good foundation for the rest of the story.
It is a shame that the next 150 pages consists almost entirely of war council meetings, almost as if the writer was stalling to actually move the p...more
Firstly, I'd like to comment on the writing. The prose was clear and yet deliciously descriptive. I could visualise everything perfectly, and then some. I felt myself drawn to every moment. It had the same complex qualities as in t...more
This time it's personal, and he will lie, betray and damn in order to not have his leper's self-control eroded even further that it was after his first trip to The Land.
Here is where Donaldson hits his stride. Gone is the paper-thin premise of the first book. Here is a much more interesting one: It doesn't matter if The...more
The second volume in the epic Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever.
Thomas Covenant found himself once again summoned to the Land. The Council of Lords needed him to move against Foul the Despiser who held the Illearth Stone, ancient source of evil power. But although Thomas Covenant held the legendary ring, he didn't know how to use its strength, and risked losing everything....
'Something entirely out of the ordinary ! you'll want to go straight through Lord Foul's Bane, Th
Not that I object to the three basic premises of the whole series:
1)the true anti-hero, the utterly unvilling and despicable character being the focal point of the story. Pretty good idead that.
2) The inanely stereotypical names (Lord Foul, T. Covenant, Rockbrother, Seareach) and plot devices (the quest) - That c...more
This is the second book in the First Thomas Covenant trilogy and I must say that I enjoyed it far more than the first. I'm uncertain whether that was simply because I'm more used to Donaldson's distinct style, or because the book is simply more engaging.
In the book Covenant returns to the land to find forty years have passed and Lord Foul's armies are on the move. He reunites with the Lords (I won't spoil the twist but it was fairly easy to anticipate) and travels with them to ba...more
Well, no co-operation or commiseration from Covenant still. In fact, its worse! He's meaner, less participatory, and actively lies to the people of t...more
Stephen R. Donaldson was born on the 13th May 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, James, was a medical missionary and his mother, Ruth, a prosthetist (a person skilled i...more