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The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant – The Illearth War | Book Review

The first book of these chronicles, “Lord Foul’s Bane”, ends when Covenant wakes up in a hospital bed and believes that his whole adventure in the Land was just a dream; his way to escape from the reality of his leprosy.

A month passes and the mounting pressure of his loneliness and the town’s aversion to him, drives him to a nightclub, where a singer calls him Berek. Before he can confront her, the over-zealous sheriff forces him to return home. Later that night, his estranged wife Joan calls him, and at the same time, he is summoned to the Land.

Book Title : The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant – The Illearth Wa
Author : Stephen R Donaldson
Publisher : Del Rey (October 12, 1987)

In the Land, forty years have passed. He has been summoned this time by Elena, Covenant’s daughter by Lena, and the high lord of the council. The Lords are desperate, because although they possess the Staff of Law, Lord Foul has found the Illearth Stone. The Stone is a source of great evil power and now he is preparing to attack. He also meets the commander of the Lord’s army – a blind man from Covenant’s Earth, Hile Troy.

Also, the Lords have been waiting for the news from Coerci, city of the Giants, to gain allies for the war. But when the search party, comprising Bloodguards and two Lords, reach Coerci, after affronting a score of deadly perils, they find that Foul has killed the Giants – all but three whose bodies have been taken over by Ravers, the evil spirits of Foul’s ancient lieutenants. Each raver is using a piece of the Illearth Stone as a weapon. After destroying the Giant Raver, The Bloodguard take the piece of the Illearth stone the Raver carried, intending to return it to the Lords.

Some of the other Lords travel to Revelwood, a city in a vast tree where the Lore is taught. From there, HIle Troy takes his army south, accompanied by Lord Mhoram. In a desperate attempt, he meets the army of Lord Foul, commanded by another Giant-Raver. Troy is forced to flee. Finally he retreats to Garroting Deep, where the last of the ancient, sentient trees are guarded by Caerroil Wild wood, a powerful Forestal. Wildwood saves the last of Troy’s army and destroys the enemy. He hangs the Raver, forcing the evil spirit to suffer and leave the Giant body. But, as a price for his help, he claims Hile Troy as his disciple.

Meanwhile, Elena has taken Covenant and their Bloodguard towards the mysterious Melenkurion Skyweir, a great mountain near Garroting Deep. They are led by Amok, a strange servant of Kevin’s Lore, who can guide them to the ancient mysteries. They find a way into the heart of the mountain, where Amok ages and vanishes. Elena, against the pleas of Covenant, drinks from the water Amok has shown her. In doing so, she gains the Power of Command. Arrogantly, she summons the spirit of Lord Kevin and commands that he destroy Foul. But Foul overcomes Kevin’s shade easily, and Kevin then turns against Elena and the Staff of Law, eventually killing her.

Covenant and Bannor escape down a river that flows out of the mountain. Covenant is sick with self-loathing and grief, blaming himself for Elena’s death. They meet Troy and Lord Mhoram near Garroting Deep, and as Elena dies in her battle with Kevin’s shade, Covenant again fades from the Land.

He recovers consciousness in his home. His leprosy is again in his body, his forehead is wounded from his fall, and his wife has long since hung up. And now he must face the knowledge that his impotence has left the Land open to destruction, without most of the army and without the power of the Staff of Law.

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