THE ONE TREE by Stephen R. Donaldson

THE ONE TREE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

For sheer awfulness Donaldson is hard to beat; however, for the faithful series readers not permanently repelled by The Wounded Land (1980), here's part two of The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Leper Covenant, whose "beard seemed to bristle with possibilities," joins with Dr. Linden Avery of the "wheaten tresses" and childhood hang, ups; and, accompanied by Giants given to such utterances as "belike we confront a wait of some durance," they sail off in search of the One Tree--whose wood they require to make a new Staff of Law capable of thwarting the evil designs of Lord Foul the Despiser and the destructive Sunbane. Once again, Donaldson's fantasy-world is flatly unevocative and lifeless, devoid of charm, magic, atmosphere, or excitement--while the writing remains bloated and pretentious, with its dictionary-gleanings ("sapid," "clinquant," etc.) and its frequent descents into unadulterated gobbledygook: "The prophesy which he had uttered against her, the sabulous atrocity which he had radiated into her, had crammed every corner of her soul with a loathing and rejection indistinguishable from self-abhorrence." Wretched stuff indeed--but Donaldson does have a fantasy-genre following.
Pub Date: April 12th, 1982
ISBN: 0345348699
Page count: 496pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1982




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