Stephen R Donaldson Book discussion thread :)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Merlanthe, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. Merlanthe

    Merlanthe Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 10, 2012
    I looked round the forum but couldnt see any threads about Stephen R. Donaldson so decided to make one for anyone whose read his books and wants to share their thoughts and opinions on his characters/plot/themes.

    I couldnt get into the Thomas Covenant Chronicles and i havent read the Gap series but the Mordant's Need duology is my all time favourite story i just find the characters so rich and compelling and at the time that i first read it i found the protagonist Terisa Morgan and her struggle over the course of the story to find confidence in herself and become more assertive and also to find purpose and meaning in both herself and the people/world around her quite relatable. I also love the fairytale and fantasy elements of the plot particularly the imho rather unique type of magic used by the imagers.

    Anyone who likes Stephen Donaldso's books, any of his books not just Mordant, feel free to discuss it all here if you want :)
  2. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

    Sep 14, 2003
    Beach condo, Bay of Eldamar
    I like all of them, am looking forward to the last Covenant book in October... hard to believe it's been 36 years since I got Lord Foul's Bane from the SF Book Club. :eek:

    The Gap series is even more disturbed than Covenant lol... the characters really get put through the wringer. I liked it, for whatever that says about me. :lol:

    I enjoyed the Mordant's Need books a lot, they actually gave me hope that SRD wasn't a lost cause psychologically. :D
  3. propita

    propita Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 9, 2001
    fresno, ca, us
    I wish I had kept my Covenant series. Got rid of them a decade or more ago. Sigh.
  4. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Gray Owl Wizard Admiral

    Jan 2, 2011
    Sacramento, CA
    Thomas Covenant -

    First Trilogy and Second Trilogy I've read each twice and listened to the Audios by Scot Brick Twice. Covenant is my favorite Fantasy Series (Though my reading is extremely limited). Covenant is a great anti-hero character. SRD is fantastic with putting ordinary people into extraordinary circumstances. Covenant's unbelief is fantastic, it leaves you wondering if The Land is real or a dream. The people and the descriptions of places in the Land and the farther world are amazing, and then to have the land so Wounded in the Second Trilogy is heartbreaking.I love all the Ethnicities in The Land, The Ramen, The Stonedowners, Waynhim, Eh-grands. The Quest is Fantastic, and the showdowns at the end of each Trilogy. The - Real World segments, it all just so well defined and portrayed on the Page. I started the first book 3 times before I was able to get beyond the rape scene, but, it's well worth it, and not at all gratuitous experience

    Final Chronicles of Covenant - A differnt style, and we now have Linden as main character. First book is not so impressive first time through, much better on a reread. 2nd and 3rd book are much better. Loving the Final Chronicles and can't wait to read/listen to the Final book.

    Mordants Need- I really enjoyed it. As Merlanthe says, the magic is unique in my limited experience. I read the Covenant Books in my late teens 30 years ago, as well ass The Gap, and only just finally read Mordant's Need, via Audiobook.Tereisa is the same type of flawed character as in Covenant Novels. Of course I love Terisa, Geradin and Artagel (sp?), but, The Top and Saddith were amazing as well, as were Havlock and many others. The Politcal Machinations and the Constant misdirections of Alliances and plots was just an awesome ride.

    The Gap - Later
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  5. DrCorby

    DrCorby Captain Captain

    Dec 24, 2009
    with DrCorby on Exo III
    I also got the First Chronicles back in the 70s through the SF Book Club. I started the first book, but got bogged down. Several months later, I tried again, and the books just grabbed me and wouldn't let me stop. I was very touched by the desperate need The Land's residents had for Covenant's help and the despair and frustration they felt when he just couldn't accept their reality and throw himnself into the designated role.

    Lord Mhoram and the various Bloodguard were especial favorites from the First Chronicles.

    I read the Second Chronicles as they came out, but don't remember as deep a connection with the story. I've been buying the Final Chronicles as they're released, but haven't read any yet. I want to be able to read them without long breaks between them, and hope he recaptures the wonder (and yes, personal torment) of his earlier works.
  6. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 22, 2010
  7. Base_Delta_Zero

    Base_Delta_Zero Commodore Commodore

    May 4, 2004
    The Gap series is one of my favorites. I came across these as a random buy in Bookland when I was in high school. Some of the darkest, coolest, most fucked-up-est books I've ever read. I was horrified and fascinated throughout. Really tightly written series, cool plot, great, memorable characters, and a unique, interesting setting.

    I've tried every few years to get through the Chronicles, because I loved The Gap so much, but I've never managed to even finish Lord Foul's Bane. It's not that Covenant is a raging asshole of epic proportions, the world just doesn't grab me at all. Everything is just so generic and lame and boring. When I find myself skipping pages and pages looking for something interesting to happen, I just stop wasting my time and move on.
  8. Colonel Midnight

    Colonel Midnight Vice Admiral Premium Member

    May 31, 2001
    Colonel Midnight
    Have to admit, while I love the First and Second Chronicles, the Final books have been a real chore to get through. Maybe it's because I just find Linden to be so damn whiny, or perhaps its just not resonating with me as much as the first six books (different time in life, etc.).

    Against All Things Ending was a serious slog to get through at first -- not that I mind delving into the characters thoughts and feelings, motivations, etc., but come on... The first hundred pages or so are just that! Felt like it took them FOREVER to get out of the clearing in Andelain. *cripes*

    Gotta love Donaldson's use of language, though!! :)

  9. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Gray Owl Wizard Admiral

    Jan 2, 2011
    Sacramento, CA
    Many have found the Final Chronicles books much better on a reread, but, yea, Linden is an issue if she grates on you, and Donaldson style has changed. Although still as dramatic, there is a lack of heaviness to the narrative, it seems (IE: The difference between the drama and how heavy it feels in NuBSG, versus the same level of drama in DS9 or Babylon 5 that doesn't feel nearly as heavy)

    The GAP Series - The first book (very short, only 100 pages more or less I believe) is very tough to get through on a first read, due to all the abuse of Morn, but, once you get past that the story just gets better and better and more intense. Very awesome "Alien" aliens, excellent use of science in their space travel, and always with Donaldson terrific flawed ordinary characters in extraordinary situations

    I especially like the Directors of UCMP (Hashi, Dios, and the others), as well as Morn. Angus and Nick Succorso are great Villians, and Morn is much better than Linden