Stephen R. Donaldson’s Fatal Revenant and other stories

If you are bothered by spoilers don’t read on.
I finished reading Fatal Revenant, the 2nd of the planned 4 book series named the Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. This series is itself the last of a trilogy of fantasy series which started with the 1977 seminal novel Lord Foul’s Bane. These series are certainly in the fantasy genre but there is a very strong psychological component to the writing here. And the Land, the place where most of the series’ novels take place, is an amazing place with very interesting creatures and peoples. Some have called it an obvious lifting of The Lord of the Rings but I don’t believe that. There may be a ring and, well, fantasy involved but there is a great deal more to Donaldson’s inventiveness than that. If you don’t believe me then see what other fans think.
I enjoyed Fatal Revenant although I’m not a huge fan of Stephen R. Donaldson‘s Linden Avery character. I prefer the leper/messiah Thomas Covenant, myself, and I am very excited to see him back in the story line again at the end of this 2nd book. I agree with Avery that Thomas Covenant is needed again (even if the arch of time is now vulnerable). It certainly makes me eager to read the 3rd book called Against All Things Ending.
Truthfully the 2nd Chronicles and these Last Chronicles pale, in my mind, with the first Chronicles. Donaldson’s extreme contrasts were a revelation to me in the late seventies and I don’t know if the latter Chronicles were necessary. But I’ll read them anyway. Ever since Lord Foul’s Bane I’ll read anything that Donaldson decides to write.
I really liked his other series too: he really is able to show talent in a wide variety of areas. If I had to rate his series/books I’d put them (from favourite to least favourite) thusly:

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (3 books – Fantasy)
The Gap Cycle (5 books – SciFi/Space Opera)
Mordant’s Need (2 books – Fantasy)
Reave the Just and Other Tales (book of short stories)
Daughter of Regals and Other Tales (book of short stories)
Mick Axbrewder/Ginny Fistoulari – Man Who … (4 books – Detective novels)
The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (4? books – Fantasy)
The 2nd Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (3 books – Fantasy)

I look forward to new series from Donaldson as he feels the urge!


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