Monday, October 09, 2006

Thomas Covenant, by Stephen Donaldson

I've just finished The Runes of the Earth, the first in the last series of the Thomas Covenant saga. I must say that the style and content changed significantly from the first books, therefore I felt the need to review the whole saga as I see it now.
I liked that in each book new ideas were introduced, they weren't just reprints of the same story. The moral basically stays the same, but everything else, sometimes even the lead character, changes.
From the second series, a new model of writing was used, thus all the books in one series make out a story rather than one book per story. I didn't like that, especially now, when I have to wait for the next books to be published in order to see what is going on. What I also minded was the need of the characters to shed tears over all kind of stuff. I think the author overdid the misty eyes scenes. A lot of the creatures and the culture from the first series was completely obliterated in the second, but it seems to be making a come back now.
The good thing about it, though, is that the writing gets better with each book. In hindsight, the first book seems amateurish compared with the rest. No more singing, more story, less descriptions. It is interesting that the last series of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever was published 20 years from the end of the second. Donaldson justified this as taking time to become a better writer before ending the story.
Let's see how it goes.