Thursday, May 23, 2013

Don't Ever Say a Fantasy Series Can't Make a Long-Lasting Impact

Let's start off with this quote:

“...And he who wields white, wild magic gold is a paradox
For he is everything and nothing
Hero and fool
Potent, helpless
And with one word of truth or treachery
He will save or damn the earth
Because he is mad and sane
Cold and passionate
Lost and found.

It's a song from Stephen R. Donaldson's The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever.

I first read this series back in the early 1980s while in college. I've read it several times since, and occasionally glance back over certain chapters and pivotal events within the series. This is one of the series of books I studied while teaching myself to be a novelist.

If you ask me, it rivals the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien in epic scope, storytelling and creating a unique world, characters and cultures. Donaldson didn't create derivative works that included languages of the races and peoples, but as I read the Thomas Covenant Series, I felt the depth and complexity nevertheless.

I enjoyed the series so much that my wedding band is made of white gold. My wife has a white gold ring too. Well, because you never know ;)

I thought it'd look neat to show our rings
in conjunction with my
hardcover edition of Donaldson's book

You might, therefore, guess, I strongly recommend them. Lord Foul's Bane, I will admit, I started once, put it down as it was taking me a while to get through (and I had chemistry and calculus to study) but I came back to it and was and still am glad I did.

I'll close with one of my favorite quotes, which comes from The White Gold Wielder, spoken by Vain, Demondim-Spawn of the Ur-Viles, created for a secret purpose revealed at the end of the series--maybe it sort of gives a little bit away, but not much...

 "It is not death. It is purpose. We will redeem the Earth from corruption."

Who can argue with that objective?


  1. You know, I've had those books for years and years. I started the first, but set it aside. Perhaps it's time I revisit. Your recommendation does carry some weight with me. :)

    1. Lord Foul's Bane is a little slow at times, but it sets up the rest of the series. The Illearth War and The Power That Preserves will fly by. I hope you're able to find the time to read them.

  2. Very cool. I will put it on my TBR list. I'm sure my kids would like It too.

    1. Yes, older kids for sure. If you do get the chance to read them, let me know.

  3. I think all of us who write can trace part of our success to a few special inspirations. It is nice to read about one of yours. Thank you.

    1. Yes, back in college, when I told myself I'd someday write a novel, I was reading Donaldson's works. Thanks for taking a moment to comment.