Lord Foul's Bane - Stephen R. Donaldson (+)This is book one of The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever. I read the all of the First Chronicles in my teen years, and loved them. I've never read the "Second Chronicles", primarily because I moved away from reading Fantasy fiction. Alas, I somehow came across the news that Donaldson was writing about Covenant again...and that the "Last Chronicles" were being released. I became intrigued again, and dusted off my copy of Lord Foul's Bane. I'm happy to report that I still love the book.
Donaldson often gets accused of ripping off Tolkien...sorta understandable given that both novels focus on a ring as a powerful talisman, but Donaldson also departs from Tolkien quite a bit. Certainly more than Terry Brooks, whose Shannarra series was a contemporary of the Covenant books. Donaldson doesn't rely on the races that Tolkien defined the fantasy genre with...his are his own creations. Also, the main character is unlike ANYTHING you'll find in Tolkien, and mainly why I have to confess to actually preferring the Covenant series to LOTR. I know, I know...
So who is this Thomas Covenant? He's a leper in our world, who is summoned to "The Land" (Donaldson's fantasy world). He refuse to believe the Land is anything but a figment of his Imagination...which really pisses him off because he has made all attempt to cut-off his imagination since his leprosy diagnosis...including giving up his livelihood as an author of fiction. Covenant's predicament, makes him a bit of an anti-hero...he's a pretty miserable SOB for much of his time in the Land, which makes his stories much more psychological than most of the Fantasy fiction I've read.
I intend to read through the entire series...all THREE of the "Chronicles"...which I think number 9 books currently with two more to come. But not back-back.
Currently reading and enjoying them by Joyce Carol Oates.