I was first introduced to the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant when I was in high school. I fell in love with the land and the host of colorful characters created by Stephen R. Donaldson. I only had one problem with the majority of the first series, Thomas Covenant. I nearly put the book down on several occasions because of him. In the beginning of the series, Covenant is a cynical leper who goes on to commit a number of atrocities while using his disbelief in the Land and its inhabitants as a shield. In the end, he manages to redeem himself enough that you can forget some of his unforgivable actions. It take a lot of talent to keep a reader invested in that sort of character and talent is something Stephen R. Donaldson has plenty of.
I enjoy his fantasy stories more than his science fiction and detective stories but his writing and storytelling is solid no matter what genre he writes.
These are the books and series that I have enjoyed the most
- The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
- Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
- Mordant’s Need
- Daughter of Regals and Other Tales
Born in 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio, Stephen R. Donaldson lived in India until 1963. He graduated from the College of Wooster in 1968, served two years as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, doing hospital work in Akron, then attended Kent State University, where he received his M.A. in English in 1971.
After dropping out of his Ph.D. program and moving to New Jersey in order to write fiction, Donaldson made his publishing debut with the first “Covenant” trilogy in 1977. That enabled him to move to a healthier climate. He now lives in New Mexico.
The novels for which he is best known have received a number of awards. However, the achievements of which he is most proud are the ones that seemed the most unlikely. In 1993 he received a Doctor of Literature degree from the College of Wooster, and in 1994 he gained a black belt in Shotokan karate from Sensei Mike Heister and Anshin Personal Defense.
After completing the five-book, seven-year Gap sequence of science fiction novels, Donaldson spent quite some time “on vacation.” However, he has now returned to work. His most recent book prior to The Man Who Fought Alone was a second collection of short fiction, Reave the Just and Other Tales. He is currently hard at work on “The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant”.