Donaldson's trilogy The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever (1977), though a work of less saccharine escapism than most heroic fantasies, cannot be said to merit a sequel. But here we go again: ten years after his last sojourn in the other world known simply as "the Land," the leper Covenant is once more precipitated into that realm (where he has been thought to be the reincarnation of an ancient hero) to stand against the power of Lord Foul the Despiser. Covenant and his new companion, a dedicated woman physician named Linden Avery, find that thousands of years have passed in the Land, where the descendants of his old companions have lost their ancient knowledge of "wood and stone" and turned to dreadful practices in an attempt to remit the devastation of the "Sunbane." The clumsiness of the narrative and the paltry realization of Donaldson's fantasy-realm itself are as nothing compared to the sheer hideousness of the writing, which is full of dictionary-borrowings ("caducity," "tabid," "hebetude") tortured into sentences like "Their viscid stridulation faded as they retreated into gestation or sleep"--meaning that a bunch of noisy insects fell silent. Wretched.