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Date Posted: 13:27:46 11/14/03 Fri
Author: Syl
Subject: Cronicles

TITLE: The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever
and
The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever

AUTHOR: Stephen Donaldson

GENRE: Fantasy

These are actually two series of books, each has three books, the 1st book in the 1st series is Lord Foul's Bane, followed by The Illearth War and lastly The Power That Preserves.

The story begins by getting the reader acquainted with Thomas Covenant, a lonely man who had been a successful author and family man until he contracted Leprosy, at which point his life fell to pieces. Craving human company he takes a rare trip to town to pay his 'phone bill, and is knocked down by a police car, and finds himself in an alternate world, known as The Land.

In this world he is hailed as a Hero, a rescuer, come to free the peoples from the growing threat of Lord Bane, an ancient evil called the Despiser. He wears a ring of White Gold, his wedding ring, but in this land White Gold is not possible, and is thus thought to be a great magic. He has a resemblance to The Landís founder, Berek Half Hand and is so regarded as The Landís saviour. His leprosy is healed, and he finds himself on a journey to Revelstone, where the rulers of the land meet to deliver the warning and messages, which Lord Bane has given him.

This is a book of many journeys, both adventurous and internal. Covenant makes many wrong turns, and commits some terrible deeds whilst coming to terms with his new health and status. He is helped on his way by some loyal friends, and some who are not his friend at all, but who believe in his cause, which he himself has trouble coming to terms with (hence 'the Unbeliever').

To say too much more would be to give too much away, but there are other things I can tell you. The land is peopled with ordinary people, Giants, cave-wrights and elves and a wondrous race of intelligent horses. Having said that, this is not Lord of the Rings, it is very different (and not suitable for children.)

The 1st series is written as 3 separate books over a span of sometime, whilst the second chronicles are all one story split into three books, and take place at a later time in The Land. I found these books inspiring and absorbing, a colleague of mine who has also read them thought they were depressing, so I guess like all books, its a matter of taste.

One last thing, I have had to buy these through 2nd hand bookshops and e-bay to get the sets, they no longer appear to be available at Ottakars or WH Smith. They are available at the library though.

Note from Syl : Try amazon.co.uk and amazon.com. for these books. You may not manage to get them new, but they are available used.

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Replies:

[> I read this series about 15 years ago. It was so different from anything I had ever read...it thnk it was the first time I encountered such an "anti-hero". (how many heroes have leprosy?) I seem to remember the first three books as stronger than the second 3. I know I sought out a later series by Donaldson (can't remember title--but it was more sci-fi) that I really didn't like. -- FloraMac, 19:01:43 11/14/03 Fri


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[> I remember reading and really enjoying these books. It must of been about ten years ago and the only reason I haven't reread them is they were my brothers not mine(although I'm hankering for a reread now I've been reminded*G*). I think I prefered the first chronicle because he was an "unbeliever" whereas in the second chronicle he used his white gold like a comic book superhero. This as I remember it was the major difference between the chronicles, in the first he is the anti hero unaware of the power he possesed. In the second "the Land" has lost much, but he gained an awareness of his powers. I'm feeling the need for a reread! -- Nic, 15:04:52 11/15/03 Sat


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[> thomas covenant -- Lesley T, 13:17:24 11/24/03 Mon

I read these along long time ago on recommendation of my brother - must 've been 20+ yrs ago. I found them very absorbing and very memorable, a good story that you have to go on to the end with. I don't think I need to re read them as his experiences are something of a nightmare that you need to see the end of - does that make sense? For me a good read but only a one timer.


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[> [> Thanks for your comments ladies. -- Margy, 13:28:58 11/24/03 Mon


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[> I believe he also wrote a book called " Through a Glass Darkly," also a fantasy novel. I've always loved his books, and have them all in hard cover. -- Jody T., 10:34:07 12/02/03 Tue


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[> DH is reading The Illearth War now and says that this is a great series. -- Lynna B, 22:23:15 02/03/04 Tue


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