Taylor asked:

So... My mom recommended this book to me, and the concept seems incredibly interesting, but I'm wondering if in today's world it just doesn't cut it? It sounds like those that have read it in the 80s love it, but those who are used to the more fast paced books hate it. If I start reading this, would that be a good mind set to be in?

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Kenneth Hindle-May It's not a fast book by any means. Donaldson is never an easy author to read - he makes the reader work pretty damn hard before the payoff. That has its benefits, but it's a style that's fallen out of fashion with modern readers accustomed to more accessible writing.

This particular book is a slow burner. I came to it as a big Donaldson fan having read the Gap Series and Thomas Covenant books, but I remember really struggling with it. I laboured my way through it and then, about 75% of the way through, the story just takes off like a rocket and proceeds at pace through the entire second book. I'd say the main plot really demands this, though, and wouldn't work any other way.

So in summary, it is a slow burner so just enjoy the nice world and really original magical concepts safe in the knowledge that it does eventually pick up!
Donna Davis Really strong fiction transcends time. The main problem most sci fi novels hold is believability. Thomas Covenant, the flawed hero of the series, is utterly believable. I still have to remind myself sometimes that he isn't real.

That said, it is true that this is not a wild page turner; this is the type of story you sink into until you forget where you are and what time it is. If nonstop action is part of your requirement for enjoyment, this is probably not the book for you. However, you say you like sci fi, and besides Vonnegut, I can't think of a better sci fi writer.
Michael I still believe this is one of the best fantasies I've ever read. A lot of people give credit to GRRM for writing fantasy fiction in a flawed violent world. Donaldson's world is diseased by that which makes it wonderous: imagery. Also I know of no other flawed heroic characters better done than Teresa, Geraden, The King, Havelock, etc show that Donaldson's mastery is unequaled.

I'll cherish this story forever. It's brilliant.

Also, the magic system (with the mirrors) is unique.
Steven Van It isn't about the period, in the 80s there were enough books with fast pace, most of them justly forgotten. It's just about if you like character development or just want an easy story.
Donaldsons stories aren't easy, but that makes my mind work and gives me more insights and more lasting pleasure.
Craig I read this in the late 90s and I still loved it. It definitely didn't come off as "old fashioned" or slow like Thomas Covenant did when I read that at around the same time.
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