Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Review: Lord Foul's Bane

Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen Donaldson

Pages: 438, paperback

ISBN: 9780345326034

Publisher: Fontana

Date Released: February 12th, 1985

Genre: Epic Fantasy, Adult

Where I got it from: borrowed from friend

He called himself Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever because he dared not believe in the strange alternate world in which he suddenly found himself. Yet he was tempted to believe, to fight for the Land, to be the reincarnation of its greatest hero.

This book, I was excited for, and loved it at the beginning, but slowly started to hate it. In all honesty, towards the end, I was just hating it and wanting it all to end.

It tells the story of Thomas Covenant, a man who has leprosy in our world, and is shunned from society, and therefore must keep to himself and depend on only himself for survival. I found this concept so marvellous and interesting; he was the kind of protagonist that I admired, because he had some sort of physical disorder that held him back. And because of this, I thought that I would love this novel. I was wrong.
The beginning was good enough, but after he gets magically transported to a place called The Land (what an ingenious name /sarcasm), where he gets healed by a friendly 16 year old girl. Like literally, she and The Land cured him of his leprosy. And then he ends up raping her because he can finally feel sensations in his penis again. That sort of made me feel sick.
And for the rest of the novel, Covenant whines and bitches about how he's a leper (he's sceptical about being healed, despite being able to feel his fingers, toes and penis), and warns people to keep away from him. It ends up being quite annoying to read on every second page the phrase "Don't touch me! I'm a leper!".
I don't know, halfway through the novel, Covenant's whinging got too annoying for me to handle. That's about when I started wishing for the end to hurry up.

Donaldson's prose was somewhat complex, as if trying hard to be poetic, and throwing in random big words. Honestly, it seemed as if the man had a thesaurus next to him as he was writing away. It was slightly off-putting. But still, at times, it sounded quite beautiful. A lot of the time, it reminded me of Tolkein's Lord of the Rings, in terms of the writing style and basic plot (both have magical rings, giants, fortresses built into mountains, creepy cave-dwelling things, horses are worshipped etc.), but that didn't bother me too much, because I suppose in most epic fantasies, you'll have overused cliches and whatnot.

As much as the book annoyed me, I shall be attempting to read the rest of the series. That's another 9 books, I think? Wow.

Cover: 3
Plot: 3
Characters: 1
Writing: 2
Level of Interest: 3

Total Rating: 3/5

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