Read a sample of Lord Foul\'s Bane by Stephen Donaldson

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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 tempted him. As a leper, in his own world he had been an outcast, unclean, a pariah. Now he was regarded as a saviour, the reincarnation of the Land's greatest hero - Berek Halfhand. Only the mystic powers of the white gold he carried could protect the Lords of the Land from the ancient evil of the Despiser, Lord Foul. Yet Thomas Covenant had no idea how those powers could be tapped...

"Lord Foul's Bane is a very complex piece of work but at heart a good old-fashioned tale of epic fantasy. It can not be read without the reader's constant concentration, it is adult fantasy fiction and the casual fantasy reader may need a period of time in which to become accustomed to this - there are no lovable hobbits to ease you into the story, here you have a man that has lost everything, a man who is angry, bitter, an outcast from the life and the world he knew." logo logo

Reader reviews

from United States


I read this 30 years ago when in high school and it made an avid reader out of me. Donaldson\'so mastery of metaphor and overall style bring characters to life and give events a livid and almost tangible quality. Many will say that Thomas Covenant is an unlikable character; however, they miss this point. I missed it as a kid and only recognized in my reread as an adult...Covenant is like almost all of us. He is the epitome of throw away people (not that we are, too). Have you ever felt rejected? Have you ever faced discrimination? Have you ever been judged? In Covenant there is a character almost all can relate to on some level. He\'s repeatedly challenged with expectations from others which would be utterly unrealistic, fantastic to be exact, That\'s sobering that again, many readers have experienced to a degree. Donaldson\'s portrayal of his protagonist IS realistic. Sometimes when we fall into a pool of pity, when we adopt a victim attitude, we are unlikely too, but this allows us to relate to Covenant. The life of the Land and the rich character development that takes place in LFB are sure to lure the reader in and help you feel for the individuals and their plot lines. I think LFB, and the series overall, also deals with a very adult issue in a way that portrays it as the ugly and horrific act it is that deeply harms people\'s lives, and not just the immediate victim. It does not let you forget about it entirely. I\'d give LFB a 10, but Donaldson tends to be too pedantic and, if you\'re liker me, you\'ll be reaching for a dictionary/ thesaurus more often than you should be, and that\'s not due to a small vocabulary. As a kid I was happy for the challenge to expand my vocabulary. As an adult it\'s just an interruption in a fantastic read. Ok...9.5!

from UK


Epic quest, the search for the truth inside us all, characters that you love and hate in equal measures. Each gritty footstep taken in the land is felt keenly, ah the land who would not sell their soul to live there. And above all this, striding like a broken colossus is Covenant, a uniquely flawed man, a harbinger of hope and hell balanced on a knife edge. Sometimes you want to scoop his eyes out with a rusty spoon for not seeing what is so apparent, sometimes you weep for his abject loneliness, in the end you scramble to the book shelf to read the next installment of a unique and epic story. I have just finished the tenth volume of this series and yes it does have highs and lows but I am a better person for having been on this journey with the paradoxical TC.

from Australia


Thanks for the review and the comments. I have just started the first book and, to be honest, am struggling to enjoy it so far. (Having just finished Cormac McCarthy's The Road I probably should have picked something a bit lighter!) However I will persevere and see if I become a "love it" or "hate it". I will repost when (if?) I finish.

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