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The Wounded Land

(The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  18,795 ratings  ·  247 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 June 1980)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  18,795 ratings  ·  247 reviews

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Start your review of The Wounded Land (The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, #1)
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 08, 2009 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
Feb 12, 2008 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
Graeme Rodaughan
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Anyone who thinks commercial success = Good.
This is me doing a drive by review of this series. Which I have read in full, once, and I bought all the books in hardcover, or trade paperback - and then subsequently passed them on to 2nd hand book shops - because I knew I'd only ever read them once.

It was a very sad time of my life such that I had far too much time on my hands, so I turned to the 2nd series of Thomas Covenant.

This was a period of my life when I was into self-punishment without understanding that was the case. Fortunately, I r
Branwen Sedai *of the Brown 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
Iain Coggins
Aug 02, 2014 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
Christopher Selmek
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
As the first book in the second trilogy of Thomas Covenant stories, it is time to fundamentally transform our understanding of The Land and all its residents. This is accomplished in three major ways, firstly by the introduction of a new character who can give us a glimpse of what Covenant looks like from the outside. Dr. Linden Avery feels like a well-developed character, which is impressive because she could have been dropped into the story with little explanation and it would have worked. Not ...more
Feb 20, 2012 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
Oct 04, 2011 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
Sep 01, 2012 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 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
Jason Olson
May 12, 2013 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
Feb 10, 2016 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
Marty Weghorn
Oct 15, 2012 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
Quinton Baran
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris Blood
Jul 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
My mind was bifurcated whilst reading this etiolated and egregious novel in the Thomas Covenant series. I remember reading this and thinking the writing narrative gravid and acerbic when I was younger and loved it, unfortunately now I found it querulous and egregious ... simply it hasn’t stood the test of time. With some intransigence I struggled to page 52 of this eldritch but anodyne tomb. I found myself in a near constant state of abeyance, timorously awaiting the next word to look up in the ...more
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
"The Wounded Land", in taking us back to The Land millennia after our last visit, brilliantly makes us experience the same loss that Covenant does when he returns. It seamlessly continues the story, although the second trilogy was not something Donaldson ever planned to write.

It's always a test for me of how much I come to care for the characters in any fictional work, and Donaldson does a marvelous job of developing empathy for characters that are flawed, incomplete, and/or incapacitated by the
Dec 14, 2011 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.
Sep 13, 2012 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!
Andy Wiesendanger
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a change from the ending of last trilogy. Feel such a lost for the Land. But keeps you interested in the story, great continuation of the Chronicles.
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is an entirely worthy successor to the first trilogy. It seems somewhat surprising that it was written at all, though it turns out to be a pleasant and gratifying surprise.

As I understand it, Donaldson never intended to write a follow-up series about Thomas Covenant. The story stood complete. However, his publisher very much wanted more Covenant from Donaldson. After reading the Second Chronicles, I can vaguely imagine what must have happened in Donaldson
Tony Calder
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Donaldson returns to his Thomas Covenant series with this, the first book of the second trilogy. Some things are different, some things are the same.

Some 4000 years have passed in The Land since the end of The Power That Preserves, so none of the supporting characters from the first series are still around. Thomas Covenant is no longer the complete arsehole that he was for most of the first trilogy, although he remains self-absorbed and often crippled by self-pity.

However, these changes, some of
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent book in this series.

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...
Crystal Brooks
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am currently almost done the entire second chronicles. I love how the land has changed in this set and there are so many interesting and creative things that they encounter in this set! I never thought I would be into reading about sea travel, but he certain kept it interesting!
Dan Young
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Thomas Covenant is propelled back into The Land 3,000+ years after his previous visit. Covenant continues to be a hard person to like, let alone even root for some times. Donaldson's writing can be somewhat stiff but the methodology and story is good.
Steven Meyers
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It may not be necessary to have read the first Thomas Covenant trilogy before starting the second trilogy. ‘The Wounded Land’ (published in 1980) does fill in important key points from Covenant’s previous forays into the Land but you will be missing out on a great story and colorful background information by skipping the first three books. While ten years have passed since Covenant saved the Land from evil Lord Foul, somewhere between three-to-four-thousand years have gone by in the magical land ...more
Jan 30, 2009 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
May 18, 2013 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
Brian Schwartz
Sep 16, 2012 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
May 19, 2011 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
Jun 28, 2010 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
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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

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The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (3 books)
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