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Four thousand years have passed since Covenant first freed the Land from the devastating grip of Lord Foul and his minions. But he is back, and Convenant, armed with his stunning white gold magic, must battle the evil forces and his own despair...


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Four thousand years have passed since Covenant first freed the Land from the devastating grip of Lord Foul and his minions. But he is back, and Convenant, armed with his stunning white gold magic, must battle the evil forces and his own despair...

30 review for The Wounded Land

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    I started this book and found Thomas Covenant was himself, as we knew him in the first series..."woe is me! Life is unfair (to me), all is lost, there is no hope!" So I followed his example....I saved myself! Not again will I suffer through Thomas Covenant's eternal, endless self flagellation and self pity. I have traveled as far as I care to with the Unbeliever. Got through this one (or possibly suffered through this one [am I starting to sound like Thomas Covenant?] and went no farther. My adv I started this book and found Thomas Covenant was himself, as we knew him in the first series..."woe is me! Life is unfair (to me), all is lost, there is no hope!" So I followed his example....I saved myself! Not again will I suffer through Thomas Covenant's eternal, endless self flagellation and self pity. I have traveled as far as I care to with the Unbeliever. Got through this one (or possibly suffered through this one [am I starting to sound like Thomas Covenant?] and went no farther. My advice? RUN! Run far and run fast...flee! Save yourself! Get away, get away before it's too late! It could be like quicksand! Don't get sucked down! I'm not a fan of Thomas (the world is unfair to me so everybody owes me) Covenant. (Did you pick up on that?) I read the first trilogy and I'll never, never, ever be able to get those wasted hours from my life back...alas. LOOK AT THAT! I AM STARTING TO SOUND LIKE THOMAS COVENANT!!!! Yeah, I'm through, no more Thomas Covenant. Learn from my example, save yourself. (Before it's too late.) Did you get that I can't recommend this/these?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Swissmiss

    I just... can't believe I liked this so much as a teen. I gave this 4 stars originally, based on my recollection of my impressions from 25 years ago. I remember devouring these stories, and the images and ideas of a land being under the grip of a climate-changing blood curse were so impressive to me that I carried them with me throughout my life. That was the reason I was so excited when I came across this book in someone's give-away pile. I wanted to be impressed again and immerse myself in thi I just... can't believe I liked this so much as a teen. I gave this 4 stars originally, based on my recollection of my impressions from 25 years ago. I remember devouring these stories, and the images and ideas of a land being under the grip of a climate-changing blood curse were so impressive to me that I carried them with me throughout my life. That was the reason I was so excited when I came across this book in someone's give-away pile. I wanted to be impressed again and immerse myself in this fantasy. Reading it now, though, with more reading experience under my belt (and 4 years of college English courses as well as a Master's degree in Linguistics), I cannot say that I was able to duplicate my original experience. The worldbuilding is still impressive, the vast mythology carried over not only from the first trilogy but from the intricately worked-out history which goes back millenia and is, yes, reminiscent of Tolkien in its detail and depth. The author doesn't go the standard (and cliched) way of elves and dwarves, either, but has invented his own races and creatures, including Ravers, Demondim, and Coursers. But look at this: "The figure's eyes were like fangs, carious and yellow; and they raged venomously out of the flames. Their malignance cowed Linden like a personal assault on her sanity, her conception of life. They were rabid and deliberate, like a voluntary disease, telic corruption." (p. 60) That's two words that exist only in a thesaurus, and three similes in as many sentences. You don't even need to search for passages like this. Open up to any page, and there will be six words you've never heard before, minimum, and so many similes you begin to wonder if anything has any actual attributes, or only exists as a comparison to something else. That's point one that all but ruined the reading experience for me. Point two is, the utter uselessness and inertia of the main character, Thomas Covenant. I remember this bothering me the first time I read the books as well: Why doesn't he just do something? Why does he keep moaning about not being able to do anything? Why does he wander from one place to another, seemingly just to see the sights? It has something to do with him being a leper, and thus unable to take charge or have any influence on anything, because if he does, he will corrupt it. I never really understood this point, and it made the book feel like moving through molasses. "Covenant's legs quavered as if they could no longer bear the weight of who he was. But he braced himself on the rocks, remained erect like a witness and a demand." I just had to throw that out there, as it illustrates both Covenant's inaction and the omnipresence of those infernal similes. Finally, everyone has pretty much the same character traits: serious, dramatic, and grim. There's very little to differentiate anyone, other than their assigned role (guide, female with sensory overload, bodyguard). This means that the most interesting character, and the only one whose fate interested me, was the mute, black orc-like creature, Vain. He never spoke, and in (not) doing so, distinguished himself from all the pathetic speech-making of the other characters, who all spoke in the same urgent, impassioned voice, as if delivering their lines at a staging of Shakespeare-in-the-park. See, now he's got me doing it with the similes. All in all, a disappointing experience.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Graeme Rodaughan

    This is me doing a drive by review of this series. Which I have read in full, once, and I bought all the books in hardcover, or trade paperback - and then subsequently passed them on to 2nd hand book shops - because I knew I'd only ever read them once. It was a very sad time of my life such that I had far too much time on my hands, so I turned to the 2nd series of Thomas Covenant. This was a period of my life when I was into self-punishment without understanding that was the case. Fortunately, I r This is me doing a drive by review of this series. Which I have read in full, once, and I bought all the books in hardcover, or trade paperback - and then subsequently passed them on to 2nd hand book shops - because I knew I'd only ever read them once. It was a very sad time of my life such that I had far too much time on my hands, so I turned to the 2nd series of Thomas Covenant. This was a period of my life when I was into self-punishment without understanding that was the case. Fortunately, I recovered, which is why I only read this book once.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*

    "I was wrong. As long as you have some idea of what's happening to you, 'real' or 'unreal' doesn't matter. You have to stand up for what you care about; if you don't, you lose control of who you are." In this book, Covenant is transported once more to the Land, to find that 4,000 years have passed and Lord Foul holds the Earth in his grasp. Alongside Linden Avery, a doctor from his world, he struggles to find some semblance of the world he once knew and set things right. This is the first book in "I was wrong. As long as you have some idea of what's happening to you, 'real' or 'unreal' doesn't matter. You have to stand up for what you care about; if you don't, you lose control of who you are." In this book, Covenant is transported once more to the Land, to find that 4,000 years have passed and Lord Foul holds the Earth in his grasp. Alongside Linden Avery, a doctor from his world, he struggles to find some semblance of the world he once knew and set things right. This is the first book in the second Thomas Covenant trilogy and in every way it surpasses the last series! Not only was the story fantastic and creepy and thrilling! But even better than that are the characters and their development. Covenant has grown and changed so much as a character it was the most unbelievable transition to see, and so very rewarding as well. He has recognized his mistakes and weaknesses from the past and strives to do what is right this time around. Even though he is still not entirely likable, he is someone you can identify with because he is human and has his flaws. "A man may be fated to die, but no fate can determine whether he will die in courage or cowardice." Linden Avery completely blew my expectations away with how much I liked her right off the bat. Elena and Lena, the main female characters from the first trilogy, were deplorable. But Linden is strong, smart, and does what needs to be done. She obviously has feelings for Covenant, but she doesn't fawn all over him like her predecessors. I can't wait to see how she progresses as a character in the following books. But the way she had lived her life had given her something more than lonliness and a liability to black moods. It had taught her to believe in her own strengths. So overall, this book was great and instilled in me much hope for the remaining books in the Covenant series. Even though the first three books were not fantastic, the series just keeps getting better and better. He did not intend to die. He was more than a leper. No abjections could force him to abide his doom. No. There were other answers to guilt. If he could not find them, he would create them out of the raw stuff of his being. He was going to fight. Now.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Read in the depths of time... (not quite four thousand years ago, though.) As I wrote in my brief notes about the 3rd book of the original trilogy, when Donaldson decided to continue writing about the Land and Thomas Covenant, he (and his publisher) were very upfront about it: "The Second Chronicles" bit doesn't try to slip one by you.) As for the book, at first it was a surprise to see the deterioration of both the protagonist and the Land. The tone of this book (indeed all of the 2nd trilogy) is Read in the depths of time... (not quite four thousand years ago, though.) As I wrote in my brief notes about the 3rd book of the original trilogy, when Donaldson decided to continue writing about the Land and Thomas Covenant, he (and his publisher) were very upfront about it: "The Second Chronicles" bit doesn't try to slip one by you.) As for the book, at first it was a surprise to see the deterioration of both the protagonist and the Land. The tone of this book (indeed all of the 2nd trilogy) is a bit "faster" with more action and immediacy. It also carries more "despair" (if that is possible) for the condition that the Land is in. It increases the drive of the books. I liked the character of the Doctor from the start. A nice addition to the story line (and another thing that helps keep things moving along.)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Iain Coggins

    I have an odd relationship with this series. I read the first trilogy at the end of the '90s and really loved it. Now, so many years and changes later, I decided to jump into the second trilogy. I plan on finishing the series, but I'm not in a hurry; this is both a result of Donaldson's daunting vocabulary and his lumbering narrative style. Actually, I wouldn't say it is his narrative style that is drawn out and plodding, but his character Thomas Covenant. I can't stand Covenant. He is the cente I have an odd relationship with this series. I read the first trilogy at the end of the '90s and really loved it. Now, so many years and changes later, I decided to jump into the second trilogy. I plan on finishing the series, but I'm not in a hurry; this is both a result of Donaldson's daunting vocabulary and his lumbering narrative style. Actually, I wouldn't say it is his narrative style that is drawn out and plodding, but his character Thomas Covenant. I can't stand Covenant. He is the center of the entire story, and yet a detestable, miserable, guilt-ridden bastard, for lack of a more polite description. Here is the original Philoctetes, complaining interminably because of his disease, a physical manifestation of his damned soul. He is riven by doubt, non-committal, hostile, manic and insufferably self-slanderous; hence his designation, "Unbeliever". And yet, I can't let him go. I care about him, deplorable as he is, and I must know what happens next. The question so often in my mind is whether it is Covenant's story, or the The Land itself to which I am most attracted. These books are not for everyone. Donaldson is not presenting a clever story set in a magical world that is entertaining for its own sake. Rather he presents a tortured psycho-drama that employs a magical world as its backdrop. It has been a long time since I read the first trilogy, so it wouldn't be fair to compare this first book in the Second Chronicles to them. I can say, though, that The Wounded Land is as slow and tortured as its main character, and his internal stultification is tedious to the point of exhaustion. Nevertheless, Donaldson keeps the reader moving, even if at the pace of a sur-jeherrin traversing a mire, and fleshes out the very original world of The Land such that one cares about what is happening. In a way, a reader's experience can be likened that of Covenant's, one who never asked to be transported into this bizarre world, but once there can do little but make his way as best he can.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Selmek

    As the first book in the second trilogy of Thomas Covenant stories, it is time to fundamentally transform our understanding of The Land and all its residents. This is accomplished in three major ways, firstly by the introduction of a new character who can give us a glimpse of what Covenant looks like from the outside. Dr. Linden Avery feels like a well-developed character, which is impressive because she could have been dropped into the story with little explanation and it would have worked. Not As the first book in the second trilogy of Thomas Covenant stories, it is time to fundamentally transform our understanding of The Land and all its residents. This is accomplished in three major ways, firstly by the introduction of a new character who can give us a glimpse of what Covenant looks like from the outside. Dr. Linden Avery feels like a well-developed character, which is impressive because she could have been dropped into the story with little explanation and it would have worked. Not only does she become privy to the relationship between Covenant and his wife, but she seems to have some trauma of her own that we don’t get to find out much about. The presence of Covenant’s wife is another major departure from the previous novels, particularly because she turns up possessed by Lord Foul. The first three books keep our world and The Land completely separated, and even at the end there is a lingering question that Covenant may have dreamed the whole thing. Now, suddenly, there are cultists serving Lord Foul in our world, and even opening transition points. The possibility that Lord Foul might be able to affect our own world is something that could have dramatic implications later. Finally, the nature of The Land itself has changed, although after three centuries have passed we might have expected some new developments. The residents of The Land now use iron nails instead of manipulating wood and stone by magic. The previously sage guardians of The Land have become evil, and there is something altering the sun. Also, for some reason Covenant is no longer able to see the magic potency of The Land, but Linden can. This last bit is not really explained, but the missing history is filled in and carries over directly into the next book. Whatever happens next is bound to be new, but it is impossible to say where this is going.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Z

    Yet again, a review of the whole trilogy rather than each individual book. No spoilers of the story variety. The gist, for those who want to skip the lengthy review: these three books are more action-packed and immediately engaging than the previous trilogy, and Donaldson continued to hold true to the strengths that made the first novels a pleasure to read. This trilogy was the better written, for me. More action packed, more events-driven and easier to get into. The horrors being wrought on the Yet again, a review of the whole trilogy rather than each individual book. No spoilers of the story variety. The gist, for those who want to skip the lengthy review: these three books are more action-packed and immediately engaging than the previous trilogy, and Donaldson continued to hold true to the strengths that made the first novels a pleasure to read. This trilogy was the better written, for me. More action packed, more events-driven and easier to get into. The horrors being wrought on the Land are a testament to Donaldson's originality, and seem worse than anything that came before. The scope of the World beyond the Land's borders is also greatly widened, introducing exotic new locales, people and races. Yet again, the wonders of the author's imagination are a pleasure to behold. Thomas Covenant is accompanied by a new protagonist, Linden Avery. Yet again, their inner conflicts have an effect on the world around them. Resolving their demons is paramount to saving the world they love.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lumiens

    I've read thousands of books in English and Spanish and I put this book down after reading all but 80 pages and I refuse to pick it up again. Why? The self loathing that the characters express got old fast. In the first trilogy, I understand it. Main character has a sickness that stains his soul, causing him to feel unworthy, causing him to deny feelings. Then, when he is transported to an alternate reality where his feelings overwhelm him he acts like a complete SOB. But to continue such loathin I've read thousands of books in English and Spanish and I put this book down after reading all but 80 pages and I refuse to pick it up again. Why? The self loathing that the characters express got old fast. In the first trilogy, I understand it. Main character has a sickness that stains his soul, causing him to feel unworthy, causing him to deny feelings. Then, when he is transported to an alternate reality where his feelings overwhelm him he acts like a complete SOB. But to continue such loathing for another trilogy is just too much. The writing lacks any dynamics. It's just, "I hate myself I'm going to hurt people" "I'm not worthy of love I always kill those that are stupid enough to love me" Every single paragraph is just filled with attempts to synthesize and regurgitate new words to describe the same old self loathing. Not worth your time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Erickson

    Adore, always have... I read this series when in high school. Mostly because my brother told my mom about it while I was listening, and when I said I was going to read it, he told me it was way above my head and even he had to keep a dictionary nearby to understand the vocabulary. I fell in love with the characters, and spent many a week eating up this series like dark chocolate brownies with homemade fudge buttercream icing. I don't know that I've ever loved characters as much, since. This set Adore, always have... I read this series when in high school. Mostly because my brother told my mom about it while I was listening, and when I said I was going to read it, he told me it was way above my head and even he had to keep a dictionary nearby to understand the vocabulary. I fell in love with the characters, and spent many a week eating up this series like dark chocolate brownies with homemade fudge buttercream icing. I don't know that I've ever loved characters as much, since. This set the bar for me when I was young, in terms of beautiful, descriptive, rich storytelling.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jason Olson

    This is the first book of the 2nd trilogy. If you could only read one of the books of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, I would suggest this one. In the first trilogy, Covenant is at his most dispicable. This series takes place 10 years after his last ordeal, and he has changed quite a bit. So has the land itself, 4000 years have passed here, and the world is drastically different. I would say the soul of the Thomas Covenant series is the land itself. It is alive, and the people who serve it ar This is the first book of the 2nd trilogy. If you could only read one of the books of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, I would suggest this one. In the first trilogy, Covenant is at his most dispicable. This series takes place 10 years after his last ordeal, and he has changed quite a bit. So has the land itself, 4000 years have passed here, and the world is drastically different. I would say the soul of the Thomas Covenant series is the land itself. It is alive, and the people who serve it are both humbled and exhaulted by it. I think most people who really love this series do so because of the land and the people that dwell there. So, when we see what the world has become in the 2nd trilogy, I think we feel the ache of loss that Covenant feels with each new revelation. This land is now a pretty desolate place. There are no massive armies and lords to defend it. Practically all of its inhabitants serve Lord Foul one way or another. The natural beauty is all but destroyed by the Sun Bane, which is a great creation that never ceases to inspire dread. Donaldson is extremely clever here I think, the land is a character in it's own right in this series, in the 2nd trilogy he has given it another aspect that is equally interesting. More so I think, since the land seems to actively be causing harm to itself and its people, the antithesis of what it was before! One of the things I really liked about this trilogy was how Thomas Covenant is ready to step up and be a hero. The TC of the 1st series had his reasons for acting the way he did, and in the arc of the whole series it has its place, but if he had not grown as a person in time for the 2nd trilogy, I think it would have become too much to continue. This Thomas Covenant is still a strange bird, but much more acceptable for someone who would like a more typical hero. Even though Thomas Covenant is no long an anti-hero, I don't think any depth of character is lost. His depth of character never really depended on him being an anti-hero. He was an anti-hero because of the circumstances of his physical and mental condition. The events of the 1st trilogy changed him, and he's had 10 years to reflect on it and make peace with himself. All in all, it makes for a much more enjoyable read than the first trilogy. What can I say, it's more fun this way. He's not a muscle-bound sword wielding hero. But he does possess an awesome power and at last is not afraid to use it when he needs to. This book also introduces Linden Avery to the series, and in a way, Linden is destined to become an even bigger part of these books than Thomas Covenant is. Fortunately she is a good character with an interesting past. I can't say she is as interesting as TC, but they make a good team. I doubt anyone will read the blathering reviews I have been putting up here, but this is probably my last 5 star review for the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. The first trilogy was complete and pretty much perfect in my view. I can't really fault the writing, or the character names, or anything else I have heard criticised becuase those concerns meant so little to me. The 1st book of the second trilogy fits in just as perfectly, but the next books, The One Tree and White Gold Wielder are a different story. Still 5 stars for this one, it was awesome and I have probably read it more than any of the others.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    More than anything that has gone before, the fourth installment of Donaldson's psycho-fantasy can be read and enjoyed in two ways - a dark, violent fantasy adventure or the frightening dreams of a man filled with guilt and illness trying to work through his nightmares with heroic effort. Covenant, by now, has accepted the Land as real in so far that he loves and cares for it and wants to save it. Set thousands of years after his showdown with alter-ego Lord Foul, Covenant returns to find all tha More than anything that has gone before, the fourth installment of Donaldson's psycho-fantasy can be read and enjoyed in two ways - a dark, violent fantasy adventure or the frightening dreams of a man filled with guilt and illness trying to work through his nightmares with heroic effort. Covenant, by now, has accepted the Land as real in so far that he loves and cares for it and wants to save it. Set thousands of years after his showdown with alter-ego Lord Foul, Covenant returns to find all that he thought he'd acheived undone by Foul and the Land under the grusome spell of the Sunbane, an affliction that replaces weather with extreme, supernatural microclimatic changes, from extreme desert heat that dries the rivers in hours, to a sun of pestilence with rots everything in sight and throws up all manner of giant insects. Covenant's new companion, Linden Avery, is battling her own demons and regrets and, as a doctor, becomes the perfect counterbalance to Covenant the leper now that the Land itself is unable to heal him. She develops quickly at the start in an action packed summoning sequence involving Covenant's wife, but then fades a little, perhaps aptly as she suffers a kind of slow, crucifying torture because she can sense the disease in the Land. Her role as potential savior is part of Donaldson's cleverness. Covenant is cursed by Foul's predictions, doomed to place the wild magic into his hands but still strives to battle his fate. Linden is billed as the Chosen who can heal the Land but is wracked by doubts, more melancholy than Covenant's in the first three books, that put her reliability as a heroine in peril. As a dream sequence of two very troubled souls, The Wounded Land works brilliantly, perhaps even more so than the excruiciating crucifiction Covenant's went through in the previous book. Linden has to come to terms with the Covenant's past crimes and he himself has to face the dead as part of his grieving and retributive process. The cathartic ending in Coerci is an explosive release of all the tragedy that has gone before, a step towards redemption. Like the psychological progress of his characters, Donaldson's doesn't make the adventures easy either. They are often in such dire straits that it take almost magical authorial invention to get them out of it, but Covenant's powers are so intricately tied to his personal struggles and internal battles that it rarely seems forced. Vain, a shadow creation gifted to Covenant with mysterious purpose, is a fantastically intriguing plot device and his presence, tredding a fine line between spooky and ridiculous, drives and create some of the book's best dramatic moments. Sometimes the perils seem too great. There are hand sized mosquitos, mutants with snake arms, acid men, the return of the ravers (raving around as manifestations of Covenant's madness?) a monsterous Lurker and swarms of giant bees. But Donaldson's eloquent, wordy sometimes archaic style, his magical vocabulary, make it all seem real and important. The book closes with redemption still a long way away, vemon pulsing in Covenant's blood and a burning desire to keep reading their nightmare journey. 8

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marty Weghorn

    I read the first and second trilogies back in the 80s and reread them when I recently discovered yet a third trilogy at the library. "The Wounded Land" is the first entry of the Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant trilogy. In the series, a leper, Thomas Covenant, is magically transported to The Land on several occasions to save it from the evil Lord Foul. Covenant's wedding ring is made of white gold, which doesn't exist in the Land, and so holds supreme magical power...power that could save th I read the first and second trilogies back in the 80s and reread them when I recently discovered yet a third trilogy at the library. "The Wounded Land" is the first entry of the Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant trilogy. In the series, a leper, Thomas Covenant, is magically transported to The Land on several occasions to save it from the evil Lord Foul. Covenant's wedding ring is made of white gold, which doesn't exist in the Land, and so holds supreme magical power...power that could save the Land or destroy it. I really don't know what to say about them. The stories are obviously compelling or I wouldn't have muddled my way through both trilogies - or reread them... But Donaldson is someone you definitely want to read with a dictionary/thesaurus handy. Though often compared to J.R.R. Tolkien's work, this is a superficial analogy. The Thomas Covenant stories read like a noir detective novel compared to Tolkien's lyrical and mythic style. Covenant's leprosy and guilt are a central theme and plot device, endlessly repeated, which can get tedious. Still, I'm 2 books into the third trilogy - The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant - which is a confusing ride to say the least.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Quinton Baran

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was fully expecting to give this book less then 5 stars when I re-read it this time. I so thoroughly enjoyed the first series and my memory of the second series weighed on me. However, despite this book being significantly different from the first three, I enjoyed it all the same. The plight of the land, the corruption of beauty, the twisting of lies and truth, have direct analogies to me of real life today. The introduction of another character (Linden) from our world and two new characters f I was fully expecting to give this book less then 5 stars when I re-read it this time. I so thoroughly enjoyed the first series and my memory of the second series weighed on me. However, despite this book being significantly different from the first three, I enjoyed it all the same. The plight of the land, the corruption of beauty, the twisting of lies and truth, have direct analogies to me of real life today. The introduction of another character (Linden) from our world and two new characters from the Land (Sunder and Hollian) develop different themes of struggle, life, good, and evil. The twisted evil of Sunder being required to sacrifice his mother echoes of similar strife's in our world. The capstone of this book is indeed the climax of the story - the redemption of the Unhomed by Covenant. This conclusion brought tears to my eyes of the love and devotion that Covenant has and had for the Giants.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chris Blood

    My mind was bifurcated whilst reading this etiolated and egregious novel in the Thomas Covenant series. I remember reading this and thinking the writing narrative gravid and acerbic when I was younger and loved it, unfortunately now I found it querulous and egregious ... simply it hasn’t stood the test of time. With some intransigence I struggled to page 52 of this eldritch but anodyne tomb. I found myself in a near constant state of abeyance, timorously awaiting the next word to look up in the My mind was bifurcated whilst reading this etiolated and egregious novel in the Thomas Covenant series. I remember reading this and thinking the writing narrative gravid and acerbic when I was younger and loved it, unfortunately now I found it querulous and egregious ... simply it hasn’t stood the test of time. With some intransigence I struggled to page 52 of this eldritch but anodyne tomb. I found myself in a near constant state of abeyance, timorously awaiting the next word to look up in the the thesaurus. This filled me with an exigent need to stop reading at hast. How hard was it reading that!... all those words in the first 52 pages, if the heavy writing wasn’t bad enough, Thomas covenant is so wrapped up in his own self loathing is actually physically painful to be part of. And the bad dudes name is Kevin...FFS!! The book not going to the second hand book shop I’m going to burn it .

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    "The Wounded Land", in taking us back to The Land millennia after our last visit, brilliantly makes us experience the same loss that Covenant does when he returns. It seamlessly continues the story, although the second trilogy was not something Donaldson ever planned to write. It's always a test for me of how much I come to care for the characters in any fictional work, and Donaldson does a marvelous job of developing empathy for characters that are flawed, incomplete, and/or incapacitated by the "The Wounded Land", in taking us back to The Land millennia after our last visit, brilliantly makes us experience the same loss that Covenant does when he returns. It seamlessly continues the story, although the second trilogy was not something Donaldson ever planned to write. It's always a test for me of how much I come to care for the characters in any fictional work, and Donaldson does a marvelous job of developing empathy for characters that are flawed, incomplete, and/or incapacitated by their pasts. In other words, all too human. The other thing I love about his writing here is the intrigue that he weaves into the story, making it unpredictable and sometimes maddening and yet delightful in its twists and turns. The last chapters are both beautiful and haunting.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    Great book, probably the most compelling so far (out of these first 4 books). While the main character still struggles with the fear of his power and the necessity of using it, he seems to be coming to terms with it. WOUNDED LAND does a good job of tying in with the events in the previous books, and keeping the reader's interest in where it's all leading. Great book, probably the most compelling so far (out of these first 4 books). While the main character still struggles with the fear of his power and the necessity of using it, he seems to be coming to terms with it. WOUNDED LAND does a good job of tying in with the events in the previous books, and keeping the reader's interest in where it's all leading.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Harold

    The second chronicles of Thomas Covenent, book one! This continuation of the beautifully magical tale returns Thomas Covenent to "The Land" but it's been harshly altered. Still a GREAT story and writing that always VASTLY expands your vocabulary! The second chronicles of Thomas Covenent, book one! This continuation of the beautifully magical tale returns Thomas Covenent to "The Land" but it's been harshly altered. Still a GREAT story and writing that always VASTLY expands your vocabulary!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andy Wiesendanger

    What a change from the ending of last trilogy. Feel such a lost for the Land. But keeps you interested in the story, great continuation of the Chronicles.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dietrich

    The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is an entirely worthy successor to the first trilogy. It seems somewhat surprising that it was written at all, though it turns out to be a pleasant and gratifying surprise. As I understand it, Donaldson never intended to write a follow-up series about Thomas Covenant. The story stood complete. However, his publisher very much wanted more Covenant from Donaldson. After reading the Second Chronicles, I can vaguely imagine what must have happened in Donaldson The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is an entirely worthy successor to the first trilogy. It seems somewhat surprising that it was written at all, though it turns out to be a pleasant and gratifying surprise. As I understand it, Donaldson never intended to write a follow-up series about Thomas Covenant. The story stood complete. However, his publisher very much wanted more Covenant from Donaldson. After reading the Second Chronicles, I can vaguely imagine what must have happened in Donaldson's mind. In effect, he asked himself: "How could I write another Covenant story without repeating myself? Might I really be able to put new wine in old bottles? Is there a way to say something new here that would allow me to retain my interest in the story, as well as my integrity and self-respect as a serious writer?" He then found a way to do just that. Readers of the first trilogy who look into the opening volume of the second will be as dismayed as Thomas Covenant himself to discover what Lord Foul has done to the Land since Covenant’s last visit almost 4000 years ago. This book is called The Wounded Land with good reason. In fact, this title is an understatement! A place once beautiful, empowering, sustaining, and worthy of allegiance has been turned into a bleak hell-hole under the impact of the deadly Sunbane. The inhabitants are correspondingly diminished. And The Land is now governed by the Clave-rulers led by Raver- who ostensibly shed the blood of the people of The Land in order to protect The Land and its inhabitants, but who actually are feeding the destructive Sunbane. The Clave has even supplied a false history complete with a new mythology to justify the harsh oppression, with Thomas Covenant as a horrific enemy. That the Clave is headquartered in Revelestone and its Raver-leader goes by the title of na-Mhoram adds further to Covenant’s (and the reader’s) pain. Donaldson has turned his fantasy world inside-out. Though The Land is a much harsher place than in the first trilogy, the prodigious effects of the various types of weather brought about by the Sunbane (and the very creative concept of the Sunbane generally) provides for some fascinating reading. Covenant has changed as well. Of course, Covenant still suffers from leprosy, but after his triumph in the first trilogy he no longer struggles internally with it. Covenant is thus all for committing to defeat Lord Foul from the start. (There is no replication of his earlier struggle between belief and unbelief here.) He intends to restore The Land to its pristine condition. His primary internal obstacle in the Second Chronicles is Sunbane-related venom he is infected with shortly after returning to The Land. This venom is a form of moral poison, which when combined with the power of his ring, makes Covenant a danger not only to others but also to himself. Covenant faces new existential problems in the Second Chronicles. Covenant somehow must thwart Foul while facing up to and responding to the corrupting and dangerous nature of power. Foul of course thinks Covenant is doomed to failure. Fortunately, Covenant does not have to go it alone. He is joined in The Land by another resident of our world, Dr. Linden Avery. Avery is no side-kick, but is a central character in her own right. She is a woman with hidden problems of her own and special Land-acquired talents as well. The relationship between Covenant and Avery (Covenant as quasi-mentor to an admiring Avery, Avery as Doctor and Nurse to an increasingly sick Covenant, Avery and Covenant as romantic partners, Covenant and Avery's tension filled collaboration against Foul) is complex, and central to the series. The romance does not occur in TWL, but Donaldson gives the reader plenty of indications it is coming later on in the series. Supportive male/female relationships are an important theme in The Second Chronicles generally. Though Donaldson of necessity spends some time in TWL properly introducing the reader to Avery, and though Avery contributes in important ways throughout the book, TWL features Covenant more prominently. Because of his earlier triumphs in the first trilogy, Covenant here acts much more like one would expect of a fantasy hero. Of course, there is a tension between Covenant playing the hero and the venom that is rendering Covenant’s ring dangerous to the point of uselessness. Donaldson thus deftly relies in this book on Covenant obtaining and utilizing Loric’s Krill (a legendary and powerful sword) as a way to enable Covenant to act heroically as he simultaneously becomes disenchanted with utilizing the magic of his ring. The earthpower inherent in the sword also serves as a balm to help center the increasingly destabilized Covenant. TWL basically involves 2 journeys. The first is the trip Covenant and Avery make from Kevin’s Watch to Revelstone, where Covenant hopes to find answers about how to fight the Sunbane. Two inhabitants of The Land, the graveler Sunder and the eh-brand Hollian, wind up travelling with Covenant and Avery. The competent guidance supplied by these two figures, their hardiness born of difficult circumstances, their efforts to assimilate newfound, distressing knowledge that undercuts their world-view, and their burgeoning relationship, is well rendered by Donaldson. The dark, quiet and mysterious Vain, a gift from the spirit of Saltheart Foamfollower, is also along for the ride. In the eventful stop at Revelstone, Covenant learns among other things that the Sunbane was made possible by the destruction of the Staff of Law. The second journey involves the trip from Revelstone to the East, where Covenant hopes to somehow to find knowledge that will help him search for the One Tree with which he can attempt to make a new Staff of Law. Joining his entourage at this point are several Haruchai. Along the way, the company encounters Giants and several other types of creatures in a perilous passage through the Sarangrave. Here I liked the appearance of the sur-jherrin as much as I liked the appearance of their ancestors back in The Power That Preserves. The book ends on a real high note in the dead city of Coercri, where Covenant senses and takes advantage of a wonderful opportunity to use his ring in a productive, rather than destructive manner. His actions end up enabling his quest for the One Tree. He also makes an unexpected (though in retrospect entirely appropriate) choice regarding the fate of Loric’s Krill. In The Wounded Land, Donaldson does not rest on his laurels or refuse to take risks. The Covenant story moves forward simultaneously on many different fronts-this is a book (and a series) teeming with life and vitality. In addition, Donaldson shows serious growth as a writer. Donaldson's fantasy imagination is increasingly fertile. And even as Donaldson is reinventing his fantasy settings, he is learning to make them seem more complex and lived in. Further, Donaldson's prose has become more graceful and fluid, and his plotting remains excellent. The Second Chronicles remains as humane and philosophical as the first series, with themes that are different from, but largely emerge out of, the original trilogy. The Wounded Land is a creative, brave “new beginning” for Donaldson. This deep and compelling read is highly recommended.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tony Calder

    Donaldson returns to his Thomas Covenant series with this, the first book of the second trilogy. Some things are different, some things are the same. Some 4000 years have passed in The Land since the end of The Power That Preserves, so none of the supporting characters from the first series are still around. Thomas Covenant is no longer the complete arsehole that he was for most of the first trilogy, although he remains self-absorbed and often crippled by self-pity. However, these changes, some of Donaldson returns to his Thomas Covenant series with this, the first book of the second trilogy. Some things are different, some things are the same. Some 4000 years have passed in The Land since the end of The Power That Preserves, so none of the supporting characters from the first series are still around. Thomas Covenant is no longer the complete arsehole that he was for most of the first trilogy, although he remains self-absorbed and often crippled by self-pity. However, these changes, some of which are quite welcome, do not make the book easier to read that the earlier volumes. Donaldson continues to overwrite - I don't think the story would suffer much if it was a third shorter. In fact, the books of the second trilogy are longer than those in the first trilogy. And Donaldson continues his personal crusade to never use a common word when he can find an obscure word to use instead. Improving my vocabulary is a bonus to reading, but having to consult a dictionary 7 or 8 times a chapter does get a bit tiresome. Despite all that, Donaldson remains a fine storyteller, and the world-building skills shown in The Land are first-class. Overall, the books are worth reading, even if they require some level of perseverance.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Another excellent book in this series. Four thousand years have passed since Covenant first freed the Land from the devastating grip of Lord Foul and his minions. But he is back, and Convenant, armed with his stunning white gold magic, must battle the evil forces and his own despair...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dan Young

    Thomas Covenant is propelled back into The Land 3,000+ years after his previous visit. Covenant continues to be a hard person to like, let alone even root for some times. Donaldson's writing can be somewhat stiff but the methodology and story is good. Thomas Covenant is propelled back into The Land 3,000+ years after his previous visit. Covenant continues to be a hard person to like, let alone even root for some times. Donaldson's writing can be somewhat stiff but the methodology and story is good.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joe Kessler

    In the first Thomas Covenant trilogy, the titular antihero resisted the appeal of the fantasy realm that summoned him from our reality, but gradually came to decide that its ideals were worth fighting for even if he could only accept that preservation as a dreamlike reflection of his own self-respect. At the beginning of this new cycle, he's pulled in again after a decade of relative stability to find that three-and-a-half millennia have passed for the Land, during which its traditional health a In the first Thomas Covenant trilogy, the titular antihero resisted the appeal of the fantasy realm that summoned him from our reality, but gradually came to decide that its ideals were worth fighting for even if he could only accept that preservation as a dreamlike reflection of his own self-respect. At the beginning of this new cycle, he's pulled in again after a decade of relative stability to find that three-and-a-half millennia have passed for the Land, during which its traditional health and beneficence have been corrupted into a chaotic wasteland. Together with Linden Avery, a doctor who unwittingly accompanies him and has her own inner demons to confront, he faces the idea that -- as expressed in typical morose Stephen R. Donaldson fashion -- "There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken." That's a powerful thesis to explore and challenge, and it's always a thrill to see this setting and its indelible characters, particularly once the Haruchai and the Search show up late in this initial volume. (My heart soared at Pitchwife's introduction, as it seems to do on every reread.) Linden is a worthwhile and intriguing addition to the series too, although she'll prove herself more in further sequels. But she's an appealing perspective already, another protagonist capable of extreme and surprising choices in dire circumstances, of pushing on when all hope appears lost, and it helps that neither she nor her companion is as contemptible as he was at the start of Lord Foul's Bane. The author even resists the urge to make rape a plot point for once, although he does still use that language to describe the treatment of the landscape. It's that Sunbane element itself that doesn't quite work for me; though it's probably a more apt climate analogy now than it was on publication in 1980, the concept of an ecosystem that rapidly alternates through days of flood and desert and fertility and pestilence is just too weird and too orderly overall. It feels like the sort of one-note worldbuilding from a weaker Star Trek script, and is a dramatic contrast to the stark realism that's elsewhere in this tale. I'm also not a big fan of the genre convention of skipping ahead so many centuries on a return visit a la Prince Caspian, which guarantees that most of the familiar figures, establishments, and cultural practices that we've enjoyed before will be long gone. There's no immediate attachment or emotional engagement when the story is effectively a restart, and while in this case that helps put us into the hero's headspace of grief for what's passed, the new era needs time to wholly grow on me. With all that said, however, this novel is better than I had remembered, and I'm fully invested by the end of it, especially for everything it sets up to come next. If you don't like epic journeys, grandiose and archaic vocabulary, meaty thematic concerns and moral complexities, or tormented individuals who clench their fists and jaws, I suspect this will never be the saga for you. But if you've appreciated those aspects of the original Chronicles, I'd definitely recommend continuing on. [Content warning for suicide, self-harm, domestic abuse, and gore.] Find me on Patreon | Goodreads | Blog | Twitter

  25. 5 out of 5

    Steven Meyers

    It may not be necessary to have read the first Thomas Covenant trilogy before starting the second trilogy. ‘The Wounded Land’ (published in 1980) does fill in important key points from Covenant’s previous forays into the Land but you will be missing out on a great story and colorful background information by skipping the first three books. While ten years have passed since Covenant saved the Land from evil Lord Foul, somewhere between three-to-four-thousand years have gone by in the magical land It may not be necessary to have read the first Thomas Covenant trilogy before starting the second trilogy. ‘The Wounded Land’ (published in 1980) does fill in important key points from Covenant’s previous forays into the Land but you will be missing out on a great story and colorful background information by skipping the first three books. While ten years have passed since Covenant saved the Land from evil Lord Foul, somewhere between three-to-four-thousand years have gone by in the magical land. Unlike our Earth, science and technology have not progressed in the Land but the magic has been altered. Evil traditions have taken hold and the place does not look anywhere near as nurturing and healthy as in the first trilogy. Compounding the problem is that the people view their hellish existence as normal and eternal. Covenant comes to view the abomination covering the Land as his fault because of his and Lord Foul’s previous conflict which is covered in the first trilogy, ‘Lord Foul’s Bane’ (1977), ‘The Illearth War’ (1978), and ‘The Power That Preserves’ (1979). Mr. Donaldson invigorates the second trilogy by introducing a strong female protagonist named Linden Avery as well as upsetting the very nature of what made the Land so appealing in the first trilogy. Both Covenant and Avery are both wrestling with their own inner-demons, especially feelings of guilt and inadequacy. There are frequent clashes between these two protagonists despite them pursuing the same objects. ‘The Wounded Land’ spends a great deal of time demonstrating how the Land has changed into a hellhole. The weather and how the sun act are beyond the laws of physics. It compels Covenant to go on a fact-finding adventure in an effort to understand what happened to the Land. The poor guy has more than his fair share of being used as a punching bag during his and Avery’s trek. Also the various evil creatures they encounter are worthy of a nightmare or two. The author has a penchant for using more obscure words in place of more common ones such as ‘descried’ instead of ‘spotted,’ ‘sempiternal’ instead of ‘everlasting,’ ‘refulgent’ instead of ‘shining brightly,’ and ‘roynish’ instead of ‘mangy.’ It is not a criticism of the author’s writing style. If anything, Mr. Donaldson’s books remind me of my limited vocabulary compared to more robust wordsmiths. If you happened to not be familiar with the few examples mentioned, you’ll probably need to use a dictionary on practically every page like I did. Fortunately, the novel includes a handy glossary at the end of the book with Land terminology as well as a map of the magical world. Beyond an interesting exciting adventure, I like that Mr. Donaldson injects a fair amount of transcendental ruminations involving such things as free will, power, and the nature of evil. It also demonstrates how culture and even traditions continually evolve and, given time, the very opposite of what is right can be believed to be the proper way of things. The author’s Thomas Covenant fantasy series is adult intelligent reading with, unfortunately, no humor to relieve the tension. ‘The Wounded Land’ is not a standalone story. It also does not end on a cliffhanger but clearly many issues are left unresolved. It will require you to read all three large books. That’s okay by me. I’m eager to start in on the second installment in this trilogy ‘The One Tree.’

  26. 5 out of 5

    Saga

    I've become strangely attracted to this series. Fine, it seemingly started as another Tolkien rip-off with magic rings, faux-Mordor (Mount Thunder... bleh), vargs, a wannabe-Sauron with his hordes of ugly monsters and other tosh, but it soon took its own path. And it didn't turn out bad. I'm too busy to write a novel-length review, but here are some points I enjoy: 1. The main character is an anti-hero. This makes the plot awesomely unpredictable, as the reader cannot be certain whether he'll mes I've become strangely attracted to this series. Fine, it seemingly started as another Tolkien rip-off with magic rings, faux-Mordor (Mount Thunder... bleh), vargs, a wannabe-Sauron with his hordes of ugly monsters and other tosh, but it soon took its own path. And it didn't turn out bad. I'm too busy to write a novel-length review, but here are some points I enjoy: 1. The main character is an anti-hero. This makes the plot awesomely unpredictable, as the reader cannot be certain whether he'll mess it all up or actually manages to perform something good. Even till the fourth book, Covenant cannot fully master his powers, which leaves room for character development. While I often wanted to smash his teeth in in the first two-three books, he gradually manages to become softer and more sympathetic, and in this installment felt like much, MUCH less of a bloody selfish coward. Seriously looking forward to the continuity. 2. Giants. FINALLY someone depicts them as the wise, long-living characters they're supposed to be in the older Norse-Finnic mythologies, instead of the usual lumbering oafs too thick to separate left from right. While Saltheart couldn't be precisely called 'handsome', First of the Search (giantess) is at least described as beautiful. According to Kalevipoeg and other relevant folklore, the Nordic giants were 'the fairest of men', and I've truly wanted to see someone upholding this standard. I was slightly hopeful with Harry Potter when Madame Maxime emerged, but this soon turned into annoyance and yawning. Yup, moar of those damn gruesome, low-browed bumblers. 3. Language. Having a mother tongue a zillion times more complex and colorful than English, I often get bored with the latter's simpleness. I seriously don't understand this ongoing trend about calling anything even minutely out-of-ordinary 'dictionary raep'. In my opinion, that's just an indirect way of telling, "Whoa, that's, like, a big, scary word, like, jus' thar. I dun wanna, like, learn nuffin', like, new! Them dik-shu-naa-rees is fer, like, like, pussies." No wonder so many people in, ahem, a certain country don't even bother to learn to spell their one and only native tongue properly. When I read, I want my brain to get a little bit of exercise. One such means is discovering new words and thus extending my vocabulary. Donaldson's frequent similes can get tiresome, but he at least has the guts to transform your gray, mundane English into something a dash more animated. It's lamentably hard to find authors that create works interesting in both ways: language and plot. I've ravened most of Tolkien, Pratchett, Waltari, and some other rare writers capable of this, and hopefully have found something of the sort now. Well, I'm not through yet, but so far I haven't headdesked or gnashed my teeth. Much. :P It has its Sues, but so does A Song of Ice and Fire. Guess you never can get fully rid of them. On the topic of colorful language: nope, don't recommend me Paolini. I don't want to find out once more how exquisitely, elaborately slanted Arya's sculpted eyebrows are. :P

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    *For those who read my reviews, I am re-using the same review for each of the Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. I will include thoughts on all three novels in the one review. Cheers* People say, all the time, how the second installment in a trilogy is usually the best or the darkest of the three. Donaldson did the "darker" bit in The Illearth War (Book 2 of the first Chronicles). But his second trilogy managed the same thing. Everything that was awesome about The Land in the first trilogy is *For those who read my reviews, I am re-using the same review for each of the Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. I will include thoughts on all three novels in the one review. Cheers* People say, all the time, how the second installment in a trilogy is usually the best or the darkest of the three. Donaldson did the "darker" bit in The Illearth War (Book 2 of the first Chronicles). But his second trilogy managed the same thing. Everything that was awesome about The Land in the first trilogy is corrupted and lost in the second. Even Thomas Covenant seems darker (if that's even possible; I mean, hell, his first reaction to The Land was to rape a 16-year-old). Anyway, The Second Chronicles are darker. Things have gone bad. Thousands of years have passed. My first reaction was a narrow-eyed skepticism. I picked up The Wounded Land expecting more of what I'd gotten from the first series, but I immediately saw I would not be getting that. Not exactly, anyway. But as I read on, I found the good things were still there, just as in the story. There were still good people. The things that made The Land magical and fantastical were still there; they were just hidden, buried. I kept reading. I also didn't like Linden Avery very much. Again, this was because I wanted more of the first series, and she felt like an intruder, a tourist claiming a more personal connection to something I saw as mine. I know, I'm a weirdo. But she grew on me. It really didn't take long until I was hooked into the new series as deeply as the first. I probably make it sound like I hated the first book, but I totally didn't. The One Tree might just be my favorite of all 6 (9, I guess, now). I absolutely loved the ship, the traveling, the visiting different places and meeting new and strange friends and enemies (probably why I liked Star Trek, too). I loved Nom. You probably weren't really meant to, but I found the Sandgorgon to be totally badass, with the no-hands and the backwards knees and the unstoppable-ness. His fight with the Haruchai was probably one of the most gripping fight scenes I've read. And Pitchwife was like Foamfollower only even more endearing for his disability and un-Giantness, which made him all the more Giant-like in the end. The final novel of the trilogy made me anxious. Not knowing there would be a third trilogy, I saw this as THE FINAL NOVEL, and I knew the story would have to be given a conclusion. Even at that age, I had learned enough to know most great series do not end well. That is to say, the ending given them does not satisfy. I was wrong, in this case (I've been wrong specifically in this sense several times, but this may have been the first). The story ended in exactly the way it needed to, and I was left feeling vindicated, satisfied, lost, sad, and even a little bit healed.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brian Schwartz

    Donaldson gives us a whole new Land with this second trilogy. Juxtaposed against the Land as we knew it in the first trilogy, this is a vile place. Blood is shed to commit even small acts of survival. The weak are killed and bled so that their friends and neighbors can survive. Hostages are taken to Revelstone – once an icon of love of earthlore – to be bled to feed the Sunbane. While Donaldson wrote from a few points of view in the first trilogy, it was clear that Covenant was the focal point of Donaldson gives us a whole new Land with this second trilogy. Juxtaposed against the Land as we knew it in the first trilogy, this is a vile place. Blood is shed to commit even small acts of survival. The weak are killed and bled so that their friends and neighbors can survive. Hostages are taken to Revelstone – once an icon of love of earthlore – to be bled to feed the Sunbane. While Donaldson wrote from a few points of view in the first trilogy, it was clear that Covenant was the focal point of the story. In the second trilogy, we get a sense that Linden Avery is a greater focal point than is Covenant. She has earth sense. It is she that perceives and it is she that can reveal knowledge. Covenant, perhaps because he’s dead back in the real world – has not these abilities anymore. Donaldson tries to make Linden an emotional cripple the equivalent of Covenant in the first trilogy and doesn’t quite get there. Yes, she is sullen, emotionally detached from other people, and excessively deliberative. But she lacks Covenant’s status as an anti-hero. There’s no reason to dislike Linden as there was with Covenant. Therefore, she is a weaker hero in this trilogy (so far) than was Covenant in the last. There is a profound change to Thomas Covenant’s character in the second trilogy. He is much more proactive. In the first trilogy, everyone else laid out the plans and decided what was to be done. Covenant was always passive; going where he was told to go and complaining about his plight all the way. In THE WOUNDED LAND, it is he who is decisive, dictates action, and fights. Donaldson brings forward this transformation admirably. We learn how much Covenant has come to love the Land since he left it ten years before and how he has come to love those with whom he fought for its safety. The transformation of Covenant from a pitiful whiner (albeit effective anti-hero) into a decisive, heroic figure, is the most remarkable trait of the new trilogy. Instead of transporting us back to the real world at the end of this book, we stay in the Land. This is good. While the first trilogy was superb in its execution, these seams in the story were a distraction. It is apparent that our entire story is going to take place in the Land – or at least in the world in which it exists. The next book, THE ONE TREE covers the search for the One Tree. It is aptly titled, The One Tree. In it, we will learn about other lands exist outside the Land and we will learn of the source of the Staff of Law – and Vain’s purpose.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mathew Bridle

    Having enjoyed the first Chronicles of Thomas Covenant so much I could not resist diving straight into the second. Within a few pages you soon discover that this chronicles has been written as single story instead of three connected ones. How so? Well, this book does not come to a satisfying conclusion as all three previous did. There is a significant event near to the end of the book but it is not conclusive – no closure. Thomas Covenant is still rages against himself while still learning to con Having enjoyed the first Chronicles of Thomas Covenant so much I could not resist diving straight into the second. Within a few pages you soon discover that this chronicles has been written as single story instead of three connected ones. How so? Well, this book does not come to a satisfying conclusion as all three previous did. There is a significant event near to the end of the book but it is not conclusive – no closure. Thomas Covenant is still rages against himself while still learning to control his wild magic. Now though he does display moments of power that are capable of sundering the earth wide open. Through events in his own world he now has a travelling companion who has ‘issues’ of her own not too dissimilar at root to Covenant’s own. The Wounded Land then, is in reality one seriously long prologue without which the rest of the chronicles would actually collapse into mediocrity. I say this because at the time of writing this review I am well into the next part and enjoying more because of the lengthy intro. There is a lot more subtly to the story’s deeper reaches. The Land itself is a ruin of its former glory which tears at the heart of Thomas Covenant driving him to restore that land that he feels responsible for destroying. A vile and corrupted sun keeps the under its bane shifting between ravenous forms. The fierce heat that desecrates: the verdant sun that enforces wild growth, and the pestilent sun the withers life to a diseased pulp. Revelstone is in the hands of a Raver feeding the Sunbane with the blood of the people. Covenant knows that the only hope is to restore the Law, to do that he will need to re-make the Staff of Law and thus the quest is born. A quest that will take him from one side of the land to the other and back again until at last he reaches the sea and ship-full of giants seeking to cure the ill of the earth. So, as you can see there is a lot to get through in a single book, so fittingly, Stephen Donaldson does not try to cram it all in. Instead he spreads it out over a whole saga and digs deep into the psyche of Covenant, Linden, and a whole host of giants. In short I found this book to be the best so far, not because of the story but because of its expanding detail and greater depth.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Went back and forth on whether to give three or four stars. Portions of the book did lag and I skimmed sections which I rarely do without feeling as though I lost out on the story. Character of Vain did not add much to the story but I will give Donaldson a chance to further develop that particular story line in future books ( If not this would be a significant flaw in the story) I do appreciate that Donaldson did not take the easy way out and did transform the culture of the Land with a viable ex Went back and forth on whether to give three or four stars. Portions of the book did lag and I skimmed sections which I rarely do without feeling as though I lost out on the story. Character of Vain did not add much to the story but I will give Donaldson a chance to further develop that particular story line in future books ( If not this would be a significant flaw in the story) I do appreciate that Donaldson did not take the easy way out and did transform the culture of the Land with a viable explanation to remaining connections to past experiences/beliefs being twisted. Covenant is no longer a simpering whiner as he takes actions, makes decisions, recognizes others feelings. A book looking at fate and choice. We are fated to die but have choice as to die with honor or craven. Hile Troy offers secret knowledge, Elena instructs to take care of Linden, Mhoram: "Need outside the Land" : Thus book #2 of the second chronicles, Saltheart: Vain, and Bannor: Save my people. Realize I have not said much about Linden. At this point don't feel strongly one way or the other about her character.

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