Stephen Reeder Donaldson was born on May 13, 1947 in Cleveland Ohio in the United States. He spent part of his youth in India, where he attended the Kodaikanal International School. He earned his Bachelor degree from The College of Wooster and then went to Kent State University and was a graduate student there during the Kent State shooting on May4, 1970. Donaldson was not on campus during the shooting but his apartment was one and a half blocks away and was forced to live under martial law for 3 days afterwards. He still finds the memory painful and doesn’t like to discuss the incident. Stephen R Donaldson is an American science fiction, fantasy and mystery novelist. He is most famous for the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, his 10 novel fantasy series. He is part of the generation of fantasy writers which came into the lime light in the 1970s and 1980s. As with many of his peers, his writing is heavily influenced by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Donaldson’s work is characterized by moral bleakness, conceptual abstractness, psychological complexity and the use of arcane vocabulary. It has attracted critical praise for its vivid characterization, imagination and fast pace. His stories also indicate a broad range of other influences including the operas of Richard Wagner and the works of C.S. Lewis, Robert E.Howard, Mervyn Peake. He is a great fun of Roger Zelaznys Amber novels which acted as an inspiration for his own Mordant’s Need series.
He has won numerous Awards including British Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1977, for the Novel Lord Foul Bane.1979, John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer. 1981, Balrog Fantasy Award for Best Novel; for the The Wounded Land. 1983, Balrog Fantasy Award for the Best Novel; for The One Tree. In 1985, he received the Balrog Fantasy Award for the Best Collection; for Daughter of Regals and Other Tales. In 1988, Science Fiction Book Club Award for the Best Book of the Year; The Mirror of Her Dreams. In 1989, Science Fiction Book Club Award for the Best Book of the Year; A Man Rides Through. In 1989, he received the College of Wooster Distinguished Alumni Award. In 1990, he received the French Julia Verlanger Award for his novel Mirror of Her Dreams. In 1991, he received the WIN/WIN Popular Fiction Readers Choice Award for Favorite Fantasy Author. In 1992, he received the Atlanta Fantasy Fair Award for Outstanding Achievement. In 1997, he received the President’s Award, International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts. In 2000, he got the World Fantasy Award; for the Reave the Just and Other Tales. He has an Honorary Doctor of Letters from University of Andrews. He currently lives in Mexico.
He has written a number of series including The chronicles of Thomas Covenant, The Gap series, The Mordant’s Need series, other works include The Man Who, written under pseudonym Reed Stephen. He has also written short stories and collections.
The Lord Fouls Bane is the first novel of the first trilogy of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant a fantasy series. The novel won the British Fantasy Award for the Best Novel in 1977. Thomas Covenant is young writer whose world is thrown out of balance when he is diagnosed with leprosy. Following six months of treatment and counseling in leprosarium, Covenant returns home to find himself alone. He has been divorced by his wife Joan, who carried their son with her, and is now an outcast in his community. On a rare trip to town, Covenant is accosted by a beggar who refuses his offer of charity including his white gold wedding band. Disturbed by the encounter, he stumbles into the road and is hit by a police car and rendered unconscious. When he wakes he finds himself in ”the Land”, a classic fantasy world. Here he first meets the evil Cavewight Drool Rockworm who had used the power of the enchanted StaffLaw to summon Covenant to the land. Drool’s has been manipulated and instructed by a malevolent incorporeal being calling itself “Lord Foul the Despiser.” Foul taunts Covenant with prophesy of Foul destroying the Land within 49 years and if Drool is not stopped he will do it sooner. Foul tells Covenant to deliver this message to the rulers of the Land, the council of Lords at Revelstone, in order for them to make preparation to fight Drool Rockworm and recover the Staff of Law. Covenant is again transported and wakes on Kevin’s Watch, a tall finger of rock on a mountain overlooking the Lands southern most location. Here he meets a girl called Lena who uses special mud to heal the injuries from his fall. He is shocked that the mud also cured his leprosy. This becomes his first example of the Earthpower, a rich source of healing energy present everywhere on the Land. He loss of two fingers on his right hand because of his failure to timely diagnose his leprosy, causes him to be identified by Lena as the reincarnation of Berek Hafhand, an ancient Lord who rescued the Land from Foul in the Lands distant past. His noble identity is seemingly confirmed by Lena’s mother Atiaran, when she identifies his white gold ring as a token of great power in the land. Covenant refuses to accept the reality of the Land and believes himself to be experiencing a delusion or fantastical dream because of his unconsciousness from the collusion. Covenant gives himself the title unbeliever because he is appalled and indignant at the expectations the people of the Land have for him as their savior. He is unprepared for restoration of his health, which cures his impotence as a consequence of leprosy. His mental anguish drives him into a frenzy and he rapes Lena, an act that sets the stage for what follows. Atiaran guides Covenant to to hills of Andelain, an area where the earthpower is particularly strong and there entrusts Covenant to the care of Saltheart of Foamfollower, one of the unhomed giants allied to the people.The giants are seafearing people and Foamfollower sails Covenant to the land of Revelstone, the Lord’s mountain fortress. Covenant delivers the message of Lord Foul to the Lords. Covenant is invited to the council due to his connection to Berek and his white gold which the Lords recognize as having the power to launch the wild magic which is essential to destroying Lord Foul. . The Lords decide to wrestle the Staff of Law from Drool. A military party led by Lord Prothall sets out to try infiltrate Drool’s lair at mount Thunder and Covenant joins them in the hope of returning to the earthly world. In the end, after losing many companions the Lords gain the Mount Thunder and seize the staff. Covenant destroys Drool Rockworm saving the surviving members of the military expedition by using wild magic of his ring to summon creatures living in the lava known as fire lions which emerge from the summit on Mount Thunder. After the death of Drool, Covenant feels his physical body ebbing away loses consciousness and wakes up in his own earthly world, a leper.
The Illearth War is the second novel of the first trilogy of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant series. In this novel, several weeks after the return of Covenant to the real world, he is taking a phone call from his ex wife when he falls and hits his head. When he wakes he finds himself in the Land, in the chamber of the Lords council of Revelstone. Covenant angered by this and believes himself to be experiencing a delusion.He thinks he is supported in this by the fact that ‘the Land’ has seen the passing of 40 years compared to a few with on earth. The high lord of the council is Elena, Lena’s daughter and a product of Covenants rape, and now Covenants summoner. She and Covenant become close friends. She explains that Lord Foul had built a massive army which is now threatening the Land. The commander of Lord Foul’s army is one of the brothers of the giant race, a people previously incorruptible. With the help of the powerful Illearth stone, Ravers, Lord Foul’s non corporeal servants have possessed the three brothers. In despair and shame the other giants offer no resistance as one of the brothers murders them all in the city. The Lords had lost their bravest and strongest ally to the enemy. The Lords have chosen to fight and Hile Troy, a military genius whom developed a mystical form of sight when a magical mud, hurtloam, with miraculous healing qualities was used to try ‘cure’ his blindness, will lead the army that will meet the commander of Lord Foul’s army. Elena and Covenant set out to search for a repository of ancient magic, called the Seventh Ward, which Elena believes with deliver victory. Covenant, Elena and their two bodyguards travel to the remote mountain region on the western frontier of the Land, the hiding place of the Ward. Elena acquires the power, and out of foolishness uses it to summon the high Lord Kevin who died long ago from his grave and sends him against Lord Foul. In so doing she breaks the law of death which is the barrier stopping dead souls from interfering in the world of the living. Kevin’s spirit is easily captured and enslaved by Lord Foul in the Illearth Stone and commanded to destroy Elena. In the fight that ensued Elena and her bodyguard is killed, and the Staff of Law is lost again. Covenant saves himself using the power of his white ring without knowing how. On the battle front, Hile is compelled into a desperate retreat by the massive force of the Raver’s army to edges of a forbidding, dangerous forest called Garroting Deep. Hile and Lord Mhoram desperately beg Caerroil Wildwood, an immortal Forestal charged with the protection of ancient forests of the land from the Ravers. Widwood rises to the occasion and totally destroys Lord Foul’s army and their giant commander. However, the victory is a Pyrrhic one as the Lords army is almost obliterated, Hile Troy has sacrificed himself as the price for Wildwood’s help and become Forestal’s immortal apprentice and Elena and three other Lords have been killed. The war ends in a draw. With the death of his summoner, High Lord Elena, Covenant once more returns to his own earthly world. And as before, he is still a leper.Book Series In Order » Authors » Stephen R. Donaldson