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The Wounded Land (The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant #1)

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,352 Ratings  ·  171 Reviews
Four thousand years have passed since Covenant first freed the Land from the devastating grip of Lord Foul and his minions. But he is back, and Convenant, armed with his stunning white gold magic, must battle the evil forces and his own despair...
Paperback, 498 pages
Published June 23rd 1997 by Del Rey (first published 1979)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Jan 21, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I started this book and found Thomas Covenant was himself, as we knew him in the first series..."woe is me! Life is unfair (to me), all is lost, there is no hope!" So I followed his example....I saved myself! Not again will I suffer through Thomas Covenant's eternal, endless self flagellation and self pity. I have traveled as far as I care to with the Unbeliever. Got through this one (or possibly suffered through this one [am I starting to sound like Thomas Covenant?] and went no farther.

My adv
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
"I was wrong. As long as you have some idea of what's happening to you, 'real' or 'unreal' doesn't matter. You have to stand up for what you care about; if you don't, you lose control of who you are."

In this book, Covenant is transported once more to the Land, to find that 4,000 years have passed and Lord Foul holds the Earth in his grasp. Alongside Linden Avery, a doctor from his world, he struggles to find some semblance of the world he once knew and set things right.

This is the first book in
Feb 12, 2008 Swissmiss rated it it was ok
I just... can't believe I liked this so much as a teen. I gave this 4 stars originally, based on my recollection of my impressions from 25 years ago. I remember devouring these stories, and the images and ideas of a land being under the grip of a climate-changing blood curse were so impressive to me that I carried them with me throughout my life. That was the reason I was so excited when I came across this book in someone's give-away pile. I wanted to be impressed again and immerse myself in thi ...more
Jubilation Lee
Imagine a series of books that reads like a car crash, where the main character has leprosy and whines all the time and manages to get all the semi-likable characters killed, and you'll have some understanding of what the Thomas Covenant books are all about.
Iain Coggins
Sep 14, 2014 Iain Coggins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have an odd relationship with this series. I read the first trilogy at the end of the '90s and really loved it. Now, so many years and changes later, I decided to jump into the second trilogy. I plan on finishing the series, but I'm not in a hurry; this is both a result of Donaldson's daunting vocabulary and his lumbering narrative style. Actually, I wouldn't say it is his narrative style that is drawn out and plodding, but his character Thomas Covenant. I can't stand Covenant. He is the cente ...more
Sep 01, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Read in the depths of time... (not quite four thousand years ago, though.)

As I wrote in my brief notes about the 3rd book of the original trilogy, when Donaldson decided to continue writing about the Land and Thomas Covenant, he (and his publisher) were very upfront about it: "The Second Chronicles" bit doesn't try to slip one by you.)

As for the book, at first it was a surprise to see the deterioration of both the protagonist and the Land. The tone of this book (indeed all of the 2nd trilogy) is
Melissa Erickson
Jan 06, 2016 Melissa Erickson rated it it was amazing
Adore, always have... I read this series when in high school. Mostly because my brother told my mom about it while I was listening, and when I said I was going to read it, he told me it was way above my head and even he had to keep a dictionary nearby to understand the vocabulary. I fell in love with the characters, and spent many a week eating up this series like dark chocolate brownies with homemade fudge buttercream icing. I don't know that I've ever loved characters as much, since. This set ...more
Nov 24, 2014 Andrei rated it did not like it
God, this book is so wrong. Ironically, I put this off for years now, waiting for a drought, because I was CERTAIN it'd be good so I left it for when I really needed it. Woe is me.

Now I've read the original trilogy, and I have to say, I rather enjoyed it. Yes, Thomas was a bitch at times and he did a lot of horrible things, but this was constantly juxtaposed with everyone else in the Land, so that it was, well... under control.
This time around it's entirely different because not only is Avery
Marty Weghorn
Oct 15, 2012 Marty Weghorn rated it really liked it
I read the first and second trilogies back in the 80s and reread them when I recently discovered yet a third trilogy at the library. "The Wounded Land" is the first entry of the Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant trilogy. In the series, a leper, Thomas Covenant, is magically transported to The Land on several occasions to save it from the evil Lord Foul. Covenant's wedding ring is made of white gold, which doesn't exist in the Land, and so holds supreme magical power...power that could save th ...more
Feb 20, 2012 Zane rated it it was amazing
Yet again, a review of the whole trilogy rather than each individual book. No spoilers of the story variety. The gist, for those who want to skip the lengthy review: these three books are more action-packed and immediately engaging than the previous trilogy, and Donaldson continued to hold true to the strengths that made the first novels a pleasure to read.

This trilogy was the better written, for me. More action packed, more events-driven and easier to get into. The horrors being wrought on the
Jason Olson
May 12, 2013 Jason Olson rated it it was amazing
This is the first book of the 2nd trilogy. If you could only read one of the books of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, I would suggest this one.

In the first trilogy, Covenant is at his most dispicable. This series takes place 10 years after his last ordeal, and he has changed quite a bit.

So has the land itself, 4000 years have passed here, and the world is drastically different. I would say the soul of the Thomas Covenant series is the land itself. It is alive, and the people who serve it ar
Oct 04, 2011 Lumiens rated it did not like it
I've read thousands of books in English and Spanish and I put this book down after reading all but 80 pages and I refuse to pick it up again. Why? The self loathing that the characters express got old fast.

In the first trilogy, I understand it. Main character has a sickness that stains his soul, causing him to feel unworthy, causing him to deny feelings. Then, when he is transported to an alternate reality where his feelings overwhelm him he acts like a complete SOB.

But to continue such loathin
Feb 25, 2016 Layne added it
The Thomas Covenant books are great yet distressing.
Why are they great? Because I love a never ending story. I love to know the history of each character and how they were introduced and what they contributed to the story. I love the generational progression. That is fascinating. The writer has quite the imagination and style. I have to refer to the glossary often to remind me of the references throughout the series (I ordered the ebooks).

This is why this series distressing? The author pulls yo
Feb 17, 2016 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More than anything that has gone before, the fourth installment of Donaldson's psycho-fantasy can be read and enjoyed in two ways - a dark, violent fantasy adventure or the frightening dreams of a man filled with guilt and illness trying to work through his nightmares with heroic effort. Covenant, by now, has accepted the Land as real in so far that he loves and cares for it and wants to save it. Set thousands of years after his showdown with alter-ego Lord Foul, Covenant returns to find all tha ...more
Philip Provencher
Feb 17, 2016 Philip Provencher rated it liked it
I was surprised to find that Donaldson could refresh this series so well. I had somewhat low expectations. I didn't really know what he could do in a second series, especially so since this is just a continuation of the previous books. I like how he has totally reframed the land and thus Covenant's place in it, while still maintaining his recalcitrance and a sense of unbelief. I also like the new characters: Sunder, Hollian and Linden all show more character development and credibility than prev ...more
Aug 21, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
As I got into this one something that caused me to raise my eyebrows a bit in the previous one got to me: why was it necessary for Mr. Donaldson to use such an unnecessarily latinate vocabulary? I started to keep track of the particularly unusual words after I found three oddities in two succeeding pages. If I could deduce a meaning from the context or break down the sections to analyze reasonably easily I didn't note it but hear are a few examples of ones with which I had difficulty: (Rats, I'v ...more
Oct 01, 2012 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, probably the most compelling so far (out of these first 4 books). While the main character still struggles with the fear of his power and the necessity of using it, he seems to be coming to terms with it. WOUNDED LAND does a good job of tying in with the events in the previous books, and keeping the reader's interest in where it's all leading.
Quinton Baran
Jun 08, 2014 Quinton Baran rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 30, 2014 John rated it liked it
First of an epic 1970s style Dungeons and Dragons / M.U.D. / Adventure style trilogy, dead in period in the play by mail / play by card style, focussing on character development rather than story telling.

Thomas Covenant is a contemporary leper in USA visited by a woman doctor. He is transported to another universe where Lord Foul has reft the land with Sunbane, an evil force which relies on human sacrifice to renew the land.

Donaldson has swallowed a dictionary (a *very* big one) in this rich fa
Sep 13, 2012 Harold rated it it was amazing
The second chronicles of Thomas Covenent, book one! This continuation of the beautifully magical tale returns Thomas Covenent to "The Land" but it's been harshly altered. Still a GREAT story and writing that always VASTLY expands your vocabulary!
Dragan Nanic
Aug 28, 2014 Dragan Nanic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Return to the Land marked amazing experience - Donaldson moved from the Tolkien lookalike and let himself use all of the possibilities open by first trilogy and to the full extent, too.
Here is Covenant, but in doubt whether he is a main protagonist, more powerful than before, yet even more sick and doubtful of using that power. Yet the most memorable thing is Land itself - the shock of returning to the once beautiful and peaceful Land, in accordance with Earthpower, now ravaged beyond belief, t
Andrew Borgelin
Jan 23, 2015 Andrew Borgelin rated it it was amazing
I last read this book in the mid 1980's and didn't enjoy it as much as the previous books in the Chronicles series. I didn't take to the fact that so much had changed and all my reference points had gone. I felt bereft! Still it is a masterful work. This time around I got so much more out of it and really loved re-reading it after all these years. I also felt that I he'd changed too and this it was a pleasure to go back to it. I had forgotten just how good Stephen Donaldson can be, his language, ...more
Stephen Hayes
Jul 04, 2009 Stephen Hayes rated it liked it
Shelves: our-books, fantasy
Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever is back for another trilogy. Donaldson writes a good story, which manages to hold one's interest, perhaps because of the mcguffin of different suns, so that for the first half of the book one wonders what is going to happen next. When it seems that one is at last going to get an explanation, however, it turns out to be disappointing, and as bewildering as if there has been no explanation at all.

But Donaldson's style grates even more after three long books, with Co
May 31, 2009 Saga rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I've become strangely attracted to this series. Fine, it seemingly started as another Tolkien rip-off with magic rings, faux-Mordor (Mount Thunder... bleh), vargs, a wannabe-Sauron with his hordes of ugly monsters and other tosh, but it soon took its own path. And it didn't turn out bad. I'm too busy to write a novel-length review, but here are some points I enjoy:

1. The main character is an anti-hero. This makes the plot awesomely unpredictable, as the reader cannot be certain whether he'll mes
Jul 23, 2010 Henry rated it liked it
I didn't like this series as much as first, although it is definitely better written, better developed, and better plotted. The fantasy world is more complex and challenging, the characters explore more of it, and the plot contains some mysteries that make you eager to keep reading.

However, it made me realize that a fundamental strength of the first series was its focus on the emotional and philosophical level of the struggle. This focus was aided by the generic nature of the plot and setting,
The Wounded Land by Stephen R. Donaldson is a very good book if you’re a fan of fiction. The book explains the characters well and explains the surroundings of the characters well too. Sometimes the book is hard to follow with all of the strange words for the Land and all of the different events happening.
The majority of this book is set in a place called the Land which is kind of an alternate reality. The Land was a beautiful place that was full of life. Lord Foul has tried many times taking ov
Jun 28, 2010 Mykl rated it really liked it
Went back and forth on whether to give three or four stars. Portions of the book did lag and I skimmed sections which I rarely do without feeling as though I lost out on the story. Character of Vain did not add much to the story but I will give Donaldson a chance to further develop that particular story line in future books ( If not this would be a significant flaw in the story)

I do appreciate that Donaldson did not take the easy way out and did transform the culture of the Land with a viable ex
Brian Schwartz
Mar 25, 2013 Brian Schwartz rated it really liked it
Donaldson gives us a whole new Land with this second trilogy. Juxtaposed against the Land as we knew it in the first trilogy, this is a vile place. Blood is shed to commit even small acts of survival. The weak are killed and bled so that their friends and neighbors can survive. Hostages are taken to Revelstone – once an icon of love of earthlore – to be bled to feed the Sunbane.

While Donaldson wrote from a few points of view in the first trilogy, it was clear that Covenant was the focal point of
Mathew Bridle
Jul 04, 2011 Mathew Bridle rated it really liked it
Having enjoyed the first Chronicles of Thomas Covenant so much I could not resist diving straight into the second. Within a few pages you soon discover that this chronicles has been written as single story instead of three connected ones. How so? Well, this book does not come to a satisfying conclusion as all three previous did. There is a significant event near to the end of the book but it is not conclusive – no closure.
Thomas Covenant is still rages against himself while still learning to con
May 18, 2013 Dave rated it really liked it
*For those who read my reviews, I am re-using the same review for each of the Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. I will include thoughts on all three novels in the one review. Cheers*

People say, all the time, how the second installment in a trilogy is usually the best or the darkest of the three. Donaldson did the "darker" bit in The Illearth War (Book 2 of the first Chronicles). But his second trilogy managed the same thing. Everything that was awesome about The Land in the first trilogy is
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Stephen Reeder Donaldson is an American fantasy, science fiction, and mystery novelist; in the United Kingdom he is usually called "Stephen Donaldson" (without the "R"). He has also written non-fiction under the pen name Reed Stephens.


Stephen R. Donaldson was born May 13, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, James, was a medical missionary and his mother, Ruth, a prostheti
More about Stephen R. Donaldson...

Other Books in the Series

The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (3 books)
  • The One Tree (The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, #2)
  • White Gold Wielder (The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, #3)

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“This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken.” 14 likes
“This you have to understand. There’s only one way to hurt a man who’s lost everything. Give him back something broken.” 1 likes
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