Saturday, April 21, 2007

Reading: The Runes of Earth

As a much younger man I read and loved Stephen R. Donaldson's Thomas Covenant books, Lord Foul's Bane, The Illearth War, and the Power that Preserves. Even though I detested the main character, The Land that he found himself in was so full of wonderful characters and magic that I read those books over and over. (That is the classic D.K. Sweet cover to Lord Foul's Bane above.)

Later Donaldson wrote more books in the series, introducing Linden Avery. I found those books frustratingly dark but they eventually ended well and put Thomas Covenant to rest for ever. At least I thought so.

Now Donaldson has started a new series of Thomas Covenant books. He promises on the cover that it is the "Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant". I haven't finished the first of the "last" books yet, but I have a feeling it will not end well. Damn, you Donaldson and your darkness. I know you usually redeem your characters in the end, but you sure love to drag them and us through the crap in the mean time.

I am finding The Runes of Earth to be a hard read emotionally. So much pain and despair, and the characters aren't very likeable. But there are many pages to go yet, so I still have hope. I just hope there is still a recognizable Land left to hope for.

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