The Wounded Land by Stephen Donaldson
After Stephen Donaldson had completed the three books that made up The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant he had absolutely no intention whatsoever of writing any more stories featuring either the same character or setting.
"I had - and have - no interest in repeating myself. But I had an editor at the time (Lester del Rey) who believed in fungible fiction: create something worthwhile and then repeat the same thing forever - or until it stops selling, whichever comes first. He refused to accept my complete disinterest, so he bombarded me with plots for the books he wanted next: plots which were all either trite or ludicrous or both. Eventually he sent me a suggestion so bad that I thought, 'This is absurd. What I really ought to do is…' And before I could stop myself, I had come up with the ideas for both The Second Chronicles and The Last Chronicles," the author recounted in a 2012 interview.
And so I smiled when I opened The Wounded Land and saw a dedication which read, "For Lester. He made me do it." And I am very pleased that he did, for I was left wanting to learn more about the people, the Land and its history.
What I do not want - as a reader - from a series of books is for them to become repetitive. Not do I want to feel that the author and publishers are simply riding the gravy train for as long as it is financially beneficial. Thankfully Donaldson had both the skill and imagination necessary to keep the story as full of life and as compelling as it was in the original trilogy. He also has an obvious love for that which he has created and as such would never publish anything that would tarnish his earlier work.
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 Covenant, armed with his stunning white gold magic, must battle the evil forces and his own despair...
I believe the success of the Covenant books lie in their ability to make the reader care about what happens to the two principal characters: Thomas Covenant and the Land. If readers are like me in hoping that Covenant becomes more than he was when the series began, and hope that he may find peace, possibly even love and a cure for his leprosy, then they will find that this forms an essential element to the drive that keeps them reading, in the hope that this eventuality comes to pass. But there is also the Land with which our hearts are held as it is a thing of rare beauty which unfortunately becomes less so with each instalment. The Wounded Land finds it a pale shadow of the near utopia that Covenant first encountered forty centuries earlier, it is a land ravaged by the Sunbane, an evil deformation of the sun that inflicts harmful and extreme weather conditions upon everything its rays touch. And it is in Covenant's ability to remedy this ill that we pin our hopes, and it is this which keeps us reading and reading. Can Covenant find a way to restore the Land to its former glory and perhaps a morsel of happiness for himself.
All that those who read and enjoyed the first trilogy wanted for this new instalment was for the same high standards to be maintained. And The Wounded Land not only keeps the standard but lifts it a little higher. As I turned the last page I instantly reached for The One Tree, which promises to be a tale nautical in nature, which should prove to be a breath of fresh salt air for the series.
This The Wounded Land book review was written by Floresiensis
All reviews for: Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever
Lord Foul's Bane
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever: Book 1
He called himself Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever, because he dared not believe in the strange alternative world on which he suddenly found himself - the Land. But the Land...
The Illearth War
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever: Book 2
Thomas Covenant finds himself once again summoned to the Land. The Council of Lords needed him to move against Foul the Despiser who holds the Illearth Stone, ancient sourc...
The Power That Preserves
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever: Book 3
Twice before Thomas Covenant had been summoned to the strange other-world where magic worked. Twice before he had been forced to join with the Lords of Revelstone in their ...
The Wounded Land
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever: Book 4
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 Covenant, armed with his stu...
The One Tree
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever: Book 5
Thomas Covenant and Linden Avery begin their search for the One Tree that is to be the salvation of the Land. Only he could find the answer and forge a new Staff of Law - b...
White Gold Wielder
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever: Book 6
Thomas Covenant knew that despite his failure on the Isle of The One Tree, he had to return to the Land and fight. After a long and arduous journey, fighting all the way, h...
Have you read The Wounded Land?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Wounded Land reader reviews
Peter Healy from Huddersfield, England
I agree with Brien. The placing of this book as the highest of the covenant series at number 58 is laughable. I read and lived through Tolkien's works at the precocious age of 13. I felt saddened that 'the journey' had ended and looked around for something comparable to fill the gap. Virtually all the books I tried were of the type rated so highly on this site - embellished swords and sorcery pulp - written and read by shy introverts of limited literary ability and na´ve ignorance of basic human characterisation depth. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant broke through those limited 'fantasy' conventions with such invention and audacity that I suspect the average fantasy reader was left far behind. Perhaps a rating of 58 from such reviewers is a back-handed compliment of the highest order. If you've not read the works of Homer, Shakespeare's tragedies & anything by a woman called Bronte. then of what value is your opinion?
Brien from Wichita, KS
The Thomas Covenant books should be rated a lot higher than how this website is rating them. These books are literary masterpieces and should be treated as such. I do agree, however, that these are not for the faint of heart. That is what makes them so great! You would be hard pressed to find an anti hero like Thomas Covenant in any other Fantasy works.Great series, if your an adult who can get into some dark fantasy, give these a shot!
8.9/10 from 3 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Dark Tower series
Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner, on a spellbinding journey into good and evil, in a desolate world which frighteningly echoes our ow...
Aden awakens naked in a bath tub, knowing only that he is dead. His new world is Nightfall, a place filled with characters bizarre, grotesque and magical: Julius the duke, ...
City of Stairs
Robert Jackson Bennett
You've got to be careful when you're chasing a murderer through Bulikov, for the world is not as it should be in that city. When the gods were destroyed and all wor...
WHAT IF you could go back in time and change the course of history? WHAT IF the watershed moment you could change was the JFK assassination? 11/22/63, the date that Kennedy...
Take a trip in a stranger's head. Travel rain-shot streets with a gang of hip malcontents, hooked on the most powerful drug you can imagine. Yet Vurt feathers are not f...
Babylon Steel, ex-sword-for-hire, ex-other things, runs the best brothel in Scalentine; city of many portals, two moons, and a wide variety of races, were-creatures, and re...
The Four Realms
Half-vampire Darwin stumbles across a corpse on the streets of London, and in a pocket discovers a notebook in a mysterious language. Divided between human ethics and vampi...
Weaveworld is an epic adventure of the imagination. It begins with a carpet in which a world of rapture and enchantment is hiding; a world which comes to life, alerting the...
The Portable Door
Starting a new job is always stressful, but when Paul Carpenter arrives at the office of J.W. Wells he has no idea what trouble lies in store. Because he is about to discov...
The Silent Land
A young couple are caught in an avalanche during a ski-ing holiday in the French Alps. They struggle back to the village and find it deserted. As the days go by they wait f...
The Lazarus Gate
Mark A Latham
London, 1890. Captain John Hardwick, an embittered army veteran and opium addict, is released from captivity in Burma and returns home, only to be recruited by a mysterious...
Between Two Thorns
Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath's secret mirror city. The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, i...
A serial killer is on the loose in Ostend, Belgium. Nicknamed The Stuffer, the mysterious killer fills his victims full of sand and poses them as public art installations -...
The Chronicles of Amber
Amber is one real world, casting infinite reflections of itself - shadow worlds, which can be manipulated by those of royal Amberite blood. But the royal family is torn apa...
The Man Who Crossed Worlds
All freelance Tunneler Miles Franco wants is a bit of freedom and a couple of bucks to rub together. So when the cops haul him downtown for illegally smuggling the natives ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
A small group of commuters and tube workers witness a fiery apocalypse overtaking London. They make their escape through a service tunnel. Reaching a door they step through......
Paternus: Rise of Gods
Even myths have legends. And not all legends are myth. When a local hospital is attacked by strange and frightening men, Fiona Patterson and Zeke Prisco save a catatonic old m...
It is for the entities known as Sleepwalkers to cross the doors between dreams, and hunt the nightmares that haunt sleeping minds. Theirs is a world of impossible vistas, wher...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her alone. Garbled warnings from bizarre creatures keep her up at night. And there’s a time portal in the keg room of the bar where she works. Soon, Hallie is tumbling through...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...