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Lord Foul's Bane -- Stephen R. Donaldson Print
Written by Mike Noel   
Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Lord Foul's Bane

Lord Foul's Bane is one of the classic fantasy novels (series actually) from the 80's.  It was published in 1977 right on the heels of the great Tolkien revival that was sweeping across college campuses.  But Thomas Covenant is a completely different hero that the humble Baggins.  Covenant is an anti-hero.  He is more than reluctant to step in and save the world.  Instead, he actively refuses to play his role.  He tries his best to avoid getting sucked into the delusion, as he thinks of it.  Covenant is a leper who was magically transported from the real world to the magical Land.  He insists that it is all a dream designed to strip him of his sanity.

I read this book when I was in high school and I didn't like it.  The anti-hero concept just doesn't work all that well with me.  Covenant clearly comes from a troubled life and mind.  That's something I've just not had to deal with.  It doesn't make sense to me that he is so angry and so unwilling to accept the reality he finds himself in even though it doesn't match his past experience. 

Based on strong recommendation I decided to try the book again.  It was better this time.  Maybe I'm more of an adult and can think a bit deeper about it now.  But I'm still not resonating with the anti-hero concept.  

The book was interesting enough, though, that I'm going to read more in the series.  I've already started the second book and I'm noticing some interesting ideas.  I'll save a discussion of those till I finish that book.




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