Does anybody recommend Donaldson?


Jun 24, 2005
South Australia
NWRDevil said:
Yes I do.
I am reading Runes of the earth at the moment, and have read the first two chronicals twice. As much as I love LOTR I have always enjoyed these books more.
I have had to wait over 20 years for this new book and so far ite more of the same. I love it.
The same goes for me, these books have always held a special place in my heart. Full-on battles, great characters, an amazing world, deep and challenging themes, and most importantly, the ability to lose yourself in the story. For me, the only fantasy that comes close is LOTR and any Weis & Hickman books.
Still, one man or woman's honey is another's salt!


70% water...
Jul 3, 2005
...30% headache...
I'd really like to get around to rereading 'The First Chronicles'. When I first tried 'Lord Fouls Bane' I did find it heavy and had stopped reading someway into the book either due to some impatience of youth or... Well, truth is now I cant remember if I got to that aweful scene first time round or not. I'm disgusted with myself for not recalling it, but I doubt so much as I was over the scene itself. A best friend convinced me to read them - so I did. This time diligently and carefully, dont miss a thing, read and understand, reread that paragraph if you didnt get it... I gained such a new appreciation that in all honesty changed me.
Such as imagining the real power of hurtloam. Try to imagine youre damned and miserable and youve got this disease of you which you know nothing about. Imagine loosing everything else apart from your mind and the ability to write and still earn money. And imagine years of this. What do most of us know of suffering? Imagine your body feeling as if it were dead or so vague as to be easily forgotten. Then imagine the power of hurtloam and imagine the effect it might have on you. My thoughts are that most people would simply and truely go mad. No bones about it. Stark raving gibbering mad. Covenant was made of sterner stuff, believe you me.
I was young and impressionable I guess. But these books impresssed upon me what I call quality.


Active Member
Mar 14, 2007

I can certainly recommend the 'Mordant's Need' Duology - Mirror of Her Dreams/A Man Rides Through. It is not nearly as dark as the Covenant Books or The Gap series, but certainly as immaginative and told in an awesomely visual way (I would love to see it done as a TV series.)

Now, the main character is a bit frustrating as she slowly develops, and the dialog is often monolog heavy (par for the course for Donaldson), but it certainly worked well for me.

lon gallamour

Active Member
Jan 22, 2007
yeah i just finished rereading those two books Mirror of Her Dreams and sequel, its a very well written two books. good plot with plenty of twists

Karsa Orlong

Aug 7, 2006
Mordant's Need is as entertaining as anything in the whole of the fantasy genre - it lacks the depth of his other works, but it's an absolute breeze to read. I love it, I've read it several times and I'm sure I'll read it several more.


Unlikely Ally
Mar 10, 2011
I recommend Donaldson all the time.. I never talk to anyone about books without telling them to read the Chronichles of Thomas Covenant.. I often force copies of the Illearth war upon them to get them started as well.

He is my favourite fantasy author by a fair margin, but possibly my 3rd favourite author overall..


Active Member
Feb 8, 2011
Highly recommend, I'd go so far as to say it's almost a right of passage to all serious Fantasy readers. It's been many years and my memory is kinda dulled it a bit, I do remember disliking Covenant, at least in the first book,


especially after the rape scene.

He is the quintessential anti hero. But the descriptions of the land and the people who inhabit it are breathtaking and over all well worth the effort.


Mar 21, 2005
Do you need to read the Thomas Covenant books before this one?
Nope. They're totally unrelated. I would say aside from the Thomas Covenant series, the Mordants Need duology is my favorite thing by Donaldson. It's also a good way to check out his style.


Dangerously confused
Apr 8, 2011
Rotorua, New Zealand

I loved Thomas Covenant, the first trilogy especially. A long read, emotionally hard in places, but landmark fantasy. Beautiful prose, fantastic imagery and wonderful characters, I think Saltheart Foamfollower has to be one of the best ever created. Donaldson takes the incredible depth that Tolkein brought to the genre and moves it to a whole new level. Having said that he obviously has some sort of dark side / depression.

The second trilogy was much harder to read then the first, the characters become more and more flawed. Then you move on to Mirror and suddenly things get worse. Now your hero no longer has feet of clay but is almost completely clay. Then came the Gap series, and I simply could not read far into the second book. It was simply so dark, the pain and suffering of his characters so terrible, that I could not empathise with any of them. Reading it was like listening to someone scratching on a blackboard, and I got to a point where I simply thought if I were any of these people I'd rather be dead, salvation was no longer possible.

Then came his shorter works and some of the old writer returned. There was hope and light with Unworthy of the Angel, one of the best short works I've ever read. And Daughter of the Regals, yes she suffers, she has absolutely horrible self esteem brought on by all those around her, but out of pain comes wonder.

For me Stephen Donaldson has to be one of the best if not the best fantasy authors around, but he needs to take his prozak.



May 6, 2011
I read about 100 pages of Lord Foul's Bane a few years back. I liked it but something about it didn't grip me enough to compel me to finish it. I am just about to give it another go.

Let us know what you think of it as you read the series!


Jan 22, 2008
With regards to the TC series I would absolutely recommend them. Of course I have some friends who hated these books, but for the reader who's after some fantasy which is not mainstream, is beautifully written, and has well fleshed out characters I say go for it.

Sure I wanted to strangle the main character on more than one occasion for his insanely negative outlook and this often applies to Linden Avery as well. But his messed up psychological state of mind is also his strength in some ways. Anyway you'll never know if you don't read it.