Monday, August 27, 2007

Fatal Revenant-Stephen R. Donaldson

Fatal Revenant
Stephen R. Donaldson
Putnam, Oct 2007, $27.95
ISBN: 9780399154461

Looking down form the watchtower of Revelstone, Linden Avery sees men and riders being chased by Demondim; to her shocked elation the riders are the love of her life Thomas Covenant while the other is her adopted autistic son Jeremiah. Covenant explains that though he holds together the Arch of Time together still, he is through a fold in time here in the flesh. Jeremiah is being held by Lord Foul the Despiser who seeks destruction of the land while part of him is here thanks to Covenant.

From the first moment, Linden senses a change in her beloved who is short with her and very sarcastic and scornful. Jeremiah makes it clear that he worships Covenant and has no time for Linden. They trick her into meeting him in an isolated place where they separate her from her friends and allies. They travel thousands of years back in time because Covenant needs to drink the Blood of the Earth so he can use the Power of Command to put an end to Lord Foul. When Linden learns why the two men she most lives are cold to her, she feels her heart torn apart; she vows revenge on those who caused her such anguish if she ever returns to her future present.

FATAL REVENANT, Book Two of The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, is a complex poignant epic fantasy about The Land where wild and tamed magics are part of the earth. The Land is populated by various races including creatures out of myth and legend; some of whom serve as pivotal plot points to move the complicated story line forward even when the heroes go back in time. Lord Foul never appears, but his shadow minions are everywhere seemingly to stop Linden’s quest.. Stephen R. Donaldson is a great worldbuilder as he makes his characters even the monsters seem real, but it is the poignancy of relationships that make him one of the best fantasists today.

Harriet Klausner

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