The Power that Preserves: Covenant comes to a higher plateau of understanding

The Power that Preserves by Stephen Donaldson

If there is any consistent theme in the reviews and discussion of Stephen Donaldson’s THE CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT THE UNBELIEVER series, it is their divisiveness. Some readers are turned off by Covenant’s personality, while others are intrigued by his atypical qualities as an epic fantasy (anti-)hero. Some see the series as a Tolkien rip-off, while others believe the series is a fresh view on epic fantasy. And still others are turned on or off by Donaldson’s worldbuilding. The Power that Preserves (1979), the third book in the series, is consistent with the first two, and will probably change no one’s mind.

Covenant was thrown back into the real world at the end of... Read More

The Wishsong of Shannara: Not a completely plagiaristic waste

The Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Out of the original trilogy of SHANNARA novels, The Wishsong of Shannara is possibility the best of the three, though certainly not Brooks's best overall (not that his best is groundbreaking literature anyway). As one of the early detractors of Tolkien, Brooks's SHANNARA series caters to the fantasy buffs that just can't get enough of noble quests against evil — but with likeable characters, fast-paced narrative and some genuinely intriguing components stirred in Brooks's works aren't a complete plagiaristic waste.

Something makes me keep coming back to Brooks's work each time he publishes a new book, that I can't explain (and it's not just the fact that my father loves him, buys his books and then passes them on to me). At this stage, I've s... Read More