Stephen R. Donaldson’s The Tales of Thomas Covenant was my initiation into the world of Fantasy/Science Fiction many years ago when the best-selling six book series was published. Since that time I have enjoyed a number of different books within that genre, and I have Stephen R. Donaldson to thank for it. I was excited a few years ago, when I discovered that Donaldson had decided to write a sequel series – The Last Tales of Thomas Covenant – but as with most books I’d like to read, it takes me awhile to get around to reading them. Now is the time for Donaldson’s sequel.
I will say I enjoyed this first novel, but there were a few issues. The most difficult hurdle was this: it has been 26 years since I read the first series. Quite frankly, the only characters I actually remembered were Thomas Covenant and Lord Foul. And there were many, many characters in this book. It took me quite a while to get them all straight. Thank goodness for the first part of the book, which takes place in the land we are familiar with (good old planet earth), and the story line here was easy to follow and gripping. It kept me going when Donaldson moved his characters into The Land and kept me grounded as that narrative wove it’s way into the fantasy world. But it was tough going for awhile. The trick is to keep reading the books more closely to each other so you don’t forget who the characters are and what the plot is. Thank goodness I intend doing just that this summer, and reading the remaining three books.
It was fun to reacquaint myself with this beloved series and I look forward to continuing the literary journey in the weeks to come.
3 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2004