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Khoram
11-10-2010, 12:14 PM
Well, I figured, since there doesn't appear to be any thread on The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, and subsequent Chronicles (Second Chronicles and Last Chronicles), I figured I'd start one.

I started reading Stephen R. Donaldson's books before WoT, and I must say, at the time, they were my favourite fantasy series (then I picked up tEotW, and the story ends there ;)).

Just recently (actually, on the 29th of October), I picked up the most recent book from the Last Chronicles (I'd been waiting for it longer than any of the aMoL books) and I've been reading it since.

It isn't long (far shorter than ToM) but I'm still enjoying it. Reading this book reminds me of the first time I picked up a Stephen R. Donaldson book, and it reminded me how much I enjoy reading his books.

The only downside to the book is the constant angst of the main character in this newer series. It really grates on me. But I'm managing to get through it, and hope to finish the book within the next few days (school and work permitting).

Anywho, just figured I should mention the books (Against All Things Ending, the newest book, came out on the 19th of October). Has anybody else read Donaldson's books? Or any others by him? If so, did you like/dislike/couldn't care less for them?

GonzoTheGreat
11-10-2010, 12:46 PM
I have read most of his books, though I still have to read some from the Last Chronicles.
Some of his short stories are also good (some less so; he's not really a master of shortness). The Mordant's Need series is quite good, though short. The Gap series is rather good science fiction.

Khoram
11-10-2010, 01:02 PM
I remember reading Mordant's Need and really enjoying it. I also really enjoyed The Regal Daughter (or something like that). I have a collection of his short stories at home, somewhere.

GonzoTheGreat
11-10-2010, 01:10 PM
Daughter of Regals. That's the best one of his short stories, in my opinion. It is also the title of that bundle of short stories.
I think I'll reread it, now that I finished ToM.

Khoram
11-10-2010, 01:51 PM
That's it! Thank you.

I think I'll reread them as well. At least as soon as I'm able to. *grumbles under breath* Stupid papers and reading for school...

But yeah, and I think one of the most terrifying short stories not by Stephen King I've ever read was the one about the Worm, in that collection. I got scared reading it (especially considering I was reading it at night, before going to sleep :$).

Belazamon
11-10-2010, 02:17 PM
Yep, I've been a Covenant follower for the last... fifteen years? The Last Chronicles is one of the few series I've been buying on the release date these days. :D

Not quite sure how I felt about Against All Things Ending, though. The Runes of the Earth really felt like classic Covenant to me, and seemed to flow very naturally from the first two trilogies, and I enjoyed Fatal Revenant quite a lot as well. But, and keeping things vague since you seem to have not finished, the latest book seems to have a lot more stress on aspects of the Land and the world at large that I don't think were ever mentioned in previous series - I think it really hurt the organic feel of the continuity from the previous series. We shall have to see how it all ties up in the end.

That said - I also finally got around to reading the Gap series last year, and I loved it. Mordant's Need left me kind of cold, though - despite being written after the first Covenant books, it felt to me like a much earlier effort. Maybe Donaldson wrote it first, but it got published after the success of the Covenant books?

Khoram
11-10-2010, 02:28 PM
I'm currently past She Who Must Not Be Named. I agree that it doesn't feel as true to the series(es?) Even in Runes of the Earth, I found it odd, but that's because we were reading from Linden's pov, which hadn't really happened prior to Covenant's death in the Second Chronicles.

Nevertheless, I am enjoying it, just because of the nostalgia that it is giving me (well, not ONLY the nostalgia ;)).

I'm hoping that it'll all tie up in the end. So far, it seems that nothing's really happened in the book. I know, where I'm at now, only a day has passed, but still, there's more of Linden feeling sorry for herself than anything of real import (in my opinion) occurring.

Belazamon
11-10-2010, 02:57 PM
If you're that far, I'll also mention the Insequent. The couple we saw in the first two books were alright, but this one just kicked off with too much focus on them for my tastes.

Khoram
11-10-2010, 03:30 PM
The only Insequent I really remember from the past books was the Mahdoubt. Of course, I haven't read them in a while, so maybe I should have read them before reading AATE. Still, the Insequent, right now, I find play too big a role in the book. So far.

Belazamon
11-10-2010, 03:42 PM
The only Insequent I really remember from the past books was the Mahdoubt. Of course, I haven't read them in a while, so maybe I should have read them before reading AATE. Still, the Insequent, right now, I find play too big a role in the book. So far.
Well, in Fatal Revenant, ~ the Harrow shows up and eats the Demondim outside Revelstone, tries to steal Linden's soul, and then shows up in Andelain at the end
~ Linden, Jeremiah, and Covenant meet and travel with the Theomach, who ends up running off with Berek Halfhand and eventually becoming the Guardian of the One Tree
~ the Vizard is mentioned several times as an Insequent who wanted to use Jeremiah's powers to trap the Elohim for all time
So yeah, they keep cropping up. ;)

Khoram
11-10-2010, 05:55 PM
Ah, I remember the Theomach and said adventure.

Now that I think about it, the only reason I really remembered the Mahdoubt was because of the name - and I'm pretty sure she's the first Insequent we meet. I'm probably wrong, but that's what I remember.

Belazamon
11-11-2010, 01:09 AM
Now that I think about it, the only reason I really remembered the Mahdoubt was because of the name - and I'm pretty sure she's the first Insequent we meet. I'm probably wrong, but that's what I remember.
No, that's correct. The question is, if the Insequent are so bloody interested in the world at large, why didn't we see any of them in the first two series? Answer: Donaldson hadn't invented them yet. Just not very satisfying from a storytelling perspective, is all.

Khoram
11-11-2010, 08:47 AM
Very true. You'd think that, seeing as the series are doing so well, Donaldson wouldn't risk presenting new characters in the Land (even though it's obvious we haven't seen absolutely everybody in the Land, no matter how much time is spent there).

Well, it's too late now. The Ardent's gone now, left the company to go back to the other Insequent for his "punishment".

Zaela Sedai
11-11-2010, 09:44 AM
My mother loves the series... I liked the first book, but couldnt handle it after that, that being said it was almost 10 years ago so maybe I'll give it another shot. I just ordered the new book for mom for Xmas

Khoram
11-11-2010, 11:16 AM
My mother loves the series... I liked the first book, but couldnt handle it after that, that being said it was almost 10 years ago so maybe I'll give it another shot. I just ordered the new book for mom for Xmas

I found the first book the heaviest - there was a reason my dad hadn't let me read the books until later in my life (by later I mean when I was 13 - I wanted to read them earlier, like at the age of 10).

Oh, and I'd just like to mention a great big thank you to any soldiers out there who happen to be watching - thank you for all that you have done for us, and I hope people are remembering to remember you on Rememberance/Veterans' Day (wow, that's a lot of "Remembers" up there).

Daekyras
11-11-2010, 05:30 PM
i read thomas covenant when i was 13. I have to admit i wasn't old or mature enough to deal with some of the issues raised.

I re_read it later on; maybe 5 years later and enjoyed it. i must admit that certain thimgs the main character does are unforgivable and i know some people who can't read it to this day.

I recommend the books but be prepared to really hate your main protaagonist!

Khoram
11-11-2010, 05:48 PM
Oh definitely. I think that I was also still too immature at 13 to have read (at least Lord Foul's Bane) and fully comprehend what was going on and the reasoning behind it. Now that I'm older, I can appreciate the way that Donaldson wrote the books, even though some of the scenes are still difficult to get through.
i.e. the rape scene in Lord Foul's Bane.

Oh! And now I have reached here:

Covenant is now drowning Linden to evoke some sort of reawakening in her. I just got to her point of view.

Belazamon
11-11-2010, 06:20 PM
I recommend the books but be prepared to really hate your main protaagonist!
At least in the beginning. Character development, thy name is Covenant.

Khoram
11-12-2010, 05:43 PM
I really liked how Donaldson developed Covenant over time.

Linden, not so much. As I continue the book, she gets more and more pathetic. Sure, she's human, but still...

Maybe I've just read too much RJ, and I'm expecting too much (which is why I never finished the Sword of Truth series, but I digress).

Belazamon
11-13-2010, 02:08 AM
I really liked how Donaldson developed Covenant over time.

Linden, not so much. As I continue the book, she gets more and more pathetic. Sure, she's human, but still...
I can definitely concur with that. It's my other main gripe with the most recent book.

Khoram
11-14-2010, 02:32 PM
You know what, now that I think of it, I picture the Bloodguard (going way back to The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbelieve)/Haruchai of the Westron Mountains/Masters of the Land and the Asha'man to be fairly similar in how they hold themselves (and add in some Aes Sedai serenity/coldness and voila! instant Bloodguard!) It just recently came to me, as I was reading how Donaldson was describing Stave in AATE, when Linden looks at him, comparing him to the Bloodguard of Covenant's/the Land's past. When I imagine the Bloodguard/Haruchai/Masters, I picture Asha'man personalities. Kinda.

Khoram
11-16-2010, 11:18 AM
So I can now say I'm nearly finished the book.

I've finished the epic fight scene near Liand's cairn (IT SUCKS THAT LIAND DIED!) and Galt and Anele, with Jeremiah being freed from the croyel. Linden is still as annoying as ever, and I feel really sorry for Stave.

Although, I wasn't at all surprised that Galt was Stave's son. I don't know why. Should I have been more surprised?

Nothing more of import has really happened. More talking and no making decisions. It's almost worse than an Elayne-in-the-Palace-scene!

Belazamon
11-16-2010, 10:37 PM
Heh, there's still a few things coming up.

Khoram
11-16-2010, 10:40 PM
Great. Now it's turning into a form of ToM, where a big event is saved for the very end of the book, isn't it?

*sigh* At least it's picking up a bit as it progresses.

Universum
11-21-2010, 05:40 PM
I am! Haven't had the time to finish the series, though, but might do so once I'm finished with WOT.

Khoram
11-22-2010, 08:39 AM
Which part of the Covenant series are you at? The first, middle, or last?

Universum
11-23-2010, 11:00 AM
I actually don't remember how far into the series I got. It's been a while since I read it, but I think that I am still at the first.

Khoram
11-23-2010, 11:07 AM
So I have now finished the book (finished it yesterday evening), and I am pleased with how it ended.

The best parts of the book were the Covenant storylines. I couldn't stand Linden, although her last scene in the book was touching.

However, Covenant took it away, and I think my favourite part was when Covenant put an end to Joan's suffering. I think that this was the greatest way for Covenant to show how much he cared for Joan (cause I'm assuming he still cared for Joan, just not as much as Linden).

So by the end of the book, it got better. The beginning, however, had too much of Linden feeling like she was worthless. I hated that part.

Belazamon
11-23-2010, 03:34 PM
I've been waiting for you to finish - I agree with you on all points. It just doesn't feel like enough happened in this book.

Khoram
11-23-2010, 08:17 PM
I've been waiting for you to finish - I agree with you on all points. It just doesn't feel like enough happened in this book.

Agreed. Wait, you agree with me, I agree with you... we're just going in circles...

And sorry for taking so long :D

Belazamon
11-23-2010, 10:31 PM
And sorry for taking so long :D
Man, you should be. I didn't have anything to do in life until you finished. I was sad.

This is my sad face.

Khoram
11-23-2010, 10:33 PM
Man, you should be. I didn't have anything to do in life until you finished. I was sad.

This is my sad face.

:( I'm sorry. *insert downcast smiley if possible...*

Well, now you have something to do, seeing as I'm done reading the book. :D

Belazamon
11-23-2010, 10:36 PM
:( I'm sorry. *insert downcast smiley if possible...*

Well, now you have something to do, seeing as I'm done reading the book. :D
Sweet!

I'm gonna go read a book.

Khoram
11-23-2010, 10:41 PM
Sweet!

I'm gonna go read a book.

LOL! I laughed really hard when I read this.

I must say, I didn't expect this.

Zombie Sammael
05-06-2012, 09:00 AM
Reading AATE right now. I didn't start on the series until I was 19 or 20, and then I was left thinking the end of the Second Chronicles was the end - I thought it was a pretty good ending, but I was interested to see what he'd do with a third Chronicle. Part of me is disappointed it's not going to be trilogy or trilogies because I enjoy symmetry, but I suppose there must be a good reason for another book.

I've just got as far as Esmer trapping the party in the Lost Deep. I have to say he is my favourite new character as every time he turns up it's a game changer. I don't mind the angst so much, as I enjoy Donaldson's use of language almost as much as the forward momentum of the plot.

Khoram
05-06-2012, 04:53 PM
Reading AATE right now. I didn't start on the series until I was 19 or 20, and then I was left thinking the end of the Second Chronicles was the end - I thought it was a pretty good ending, but I was interested to see what he'd do with a third Chronicle. Part of me is disappointed it's not going to be trilogy or trilogies because I enjoy symmetry, but I suppose there must be a good reason for another book.

I've just got as far as Esmer trapping the party in the Lost Deep. I have to say he is my favourite new character as every time he turns up it's a game changer. I don't mind the angst so much, as I enjoy Donaldson's use of language almost as much as the forward momentum of the plot.

Man, I haven't seen this thread in a while. I thought it had been archived. Apparently not.

The last book, The Last Dark, is supposed to come out in 2013.

Zombie Sammael
05-11-2012, 10:49 PM
So I finished the book this evening. I really enjoyed it, though the angst with both main characters was a little overblown. I thought the endings to both stories were good though, and the set up for the final part well-laid.

Even though Joan and the croyel are gone, there's still Roger, the worm, Kastenessen, and ultimately Foul himself to deal with.

And they actually do have to deal with Foul this time, though it seemed he'd been defeated at the end of the last series and the one before that as well. I have started to wonder if Donaldson might be going for a Narnia-esque ending, where the Land is destroyed in one sense but preserved in a heaven-like state in another. That would be sad but it seems like the way he's going. On the other hand, it does seem that if the Land is destroyed, the "real world" will at least experience some consequences, so perhaps not.

Excising Foul seems like the most insurmountable problem. Although initially it seemed he was a metaphor for Covenant's leprosy, it's gradually become clear he's actually a metaphor for despair which makes more sense. The various effects such as the Illearth Stone, the Sunbane, and Kevin's Dirt are the metaphors for the disease. Of course, it's not like leprosy is actually that difficult to deal with these days; in the Western world you could expect to be cured completely. I think Covenant was dead before the most recent leaps forward in medicine took place, though.

Anyway, just some thoughts while I'm suffering from neighbour-inflicted insomnia.

Khoram
05-11-2012, 10:58 PM
Anyway, just some thoughts while I'm suffering from neighbour-inflicted insomnia.

The best kind.

I should go back and read those books; it's been years since I read the Chronicles. Maybe I should do that on my way to Toronto tomorrow. Either that, or pick up where I left off about two years ago with my reread of WoT at LoC. I really should get back to that.