"Gilden Fire" is a must-read if you are a fan of the Thomas Covenant series. Having just finished the "Last Dark", the tenth and last book in the series, this was my last opportunity to appreciate "The Land" and its unforgettable characters.
I just re-read this short story, which is actually an excerpt from Stephen Donaldon's early drafts of Covenant #2 "The Illearth War." He did not include it in the final book for various reasons, but for fans of the Covenant series it is a must-read. It is particularly interesting for the details it provides of the origins of the Bloodguard, who are an essential part of Donaldson's creation. It deserves a 5 star rating, like the rest of the Covenant works.
I read this so I could take a break from what I just realised was a 900+ page book (book 8 of the Covenant series). Since this was just a part of a whole book, things happened pretty fast and I actually wanted to get back into that story. Also, it didn't really end, which was predictable.
The missing episode from Illearth War - so only read this after finishing the First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. (Although it would seem good to read it before finishing the Last Chronicles as the story feeds into some of the issues between the Haruchai and Linden.
This is like an excerpt from the Thomas Covenant stories that was not originally published in the books. It's all right, well written, but is mostly for those who are just really big fans of the Covenant series.
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.
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION:
Stephen R. Donaldson was born May 13, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, James, was a medical missionary and his mother, Ruth, a prosthetiStephen 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.
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION:
Stephen R. Donaldson was born May 13, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, James, was a medical missionary and his mother, Ruth, a prosthetist (a person skilled in making or fitting prosthetic devices). Donaldson spent the years between the ages of 3 and 16 living in India, where his father was working as an orthopaedic surgeon. Donaldson earned his bachelor's degree from The College of Wooster and master's degree from Kent State University.
Donaldson's work is heavily influenced by other fantasy authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Roger Zelazny, Joseph Conrad, Henry James, and William Faulkner. The writers he most admires are Patricia A. McKillip, Steven Erikson, and Tim Powers.
It is believed that a speech his father made on leprosy (whilst working with lepers in India) led to Donaldson's creation of Thomas Covenant, the anti-hero of his most famous work (Thomas Covenant). The first book in that series, Lord Foul's Bane, received 47 rejections before a publisher agreed to publish it.
PROMINENT WORK: Stephen Donaldson came to prominence in 1977 with the The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, which is centred around a leper shunned by society and his trials and tribulations as his destiny unfolds. These books established Donaldson as one of the most important figures in modern fantasy fiction.
PERSONAL LIFE: He currently resides in New Mexico.