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
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
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
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
My issues with part one were that the main character was fundamentally unlikeable and his attitude/ world-view remained unchanged throughout the book. Coupled with a horrific sexual attack - which he appears to never be brought to justice for - made me leary of the second installment.
How wrong was I? Thomas Covenant is sucked back into realm of The Land where 40 years have passed in a...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
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 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 book started out quite nicely, with Covenant reminiscing about the Land. But when he does get back to the Land, the POV switches to Hile Troy, and does so till almost the end of the book! First of all, no matter how much of an asshole Covenant is, he's the asshole I got to like after the previous book. Troy was someone I couldn't even have sympathy for. When it switches back to Covenant in the end, I breathed a sigh of relief. Too late...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
The novels may seem dark and depressing, but Donaldson has weaved a remarkable alternate world that bears only passing similarities to generic high fantasy in Tolkien's vein.
The inner and outer conflicts surrounding Thomas Covenant, the protagonist, are engaging and thought-provoking. By being a leper, he has to deny the validity of a magical world he falls in love with in order t...more
It was a lot bleaker than the first one too, which I think is to the book's benefit.
My biggest complaint is that a large portion of the book is told from a different character's perspective, and I felt that interfered with suspension of disbelief. When the entire story is told from Covenant's perspective, the...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
Pros: Vivid fantasy land with wondrous scenery and (usually) rich, compelling story.
Cons: The protagonists are hard to care about. Thomas Covenant is crazed most of the time and Linden Avery, well, let's just say she needs to be slapped upside the head. Donaldson tends use too many $10 words that throw the reader out of the story. He also tends to beat us over the head with emotion. Okay, we get that Linden is upset. We don't really need to wall...more
The only real complaint I have is Donaldson's exceptionally dense vocabulary. Words like "lambent" and "roynish" are as plentiful as they are obscure. It belittles the author to obfuscate his story with such verbiage ... or, in plain en...more
In ILLEARTH WAR we encounter some characters from the first book, though much time has elapsed between Covenant's visits to the world. Some mysteries are ex...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
Interesting knowing the author was a conscientous objector and the role of the Oath of Peace in the story. Who is to define when it is time to resort to violence, whether to maim or kill?
The destruction of the Giants was a surprise and I do like that cause and effect take place consistently in terms of choices/actio...more
I'll probably read through this trilogy too thinking the same thing as be...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
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