Space Ramblings

Everything Wrong With Stephen R Donaldson’s Covenant Books in One Sentence

“In con­trast, the grass stains on her jeans had nev­er felt so fa­tal. They dragged at her steps like omens or ar­cane stig­ma­ta.”

Against All Things Ending

This probably isn’t the worst line in the book, people make lists of those, but it also captures the slow degradation of the Covenant novels until they reach this level of complete ridiculousness.

The grass stains on her jeans felt fatal? Seriously. The original three books for all their emotionalism still worked somewhat as high fantasy, and the next three books, aside from the ridiculous One Tree, worked on some level despite the extended therapy sessions. But the last three books are all One Tree. They’re not about anything except the characters agonizing and the characters are running out of things to agonize about.

Donaldson has gotten to the point where “the grass stains on her jeans had nev­er felt so fa­tal” makes sense to him as something you would want to put in a book instead of an emo song. The last three Covenant novels starring Linden are just completely indefensible. Maybe they were all hard to defend, but finally Donaldson took everything wrong with The One Tree and focused on getting it even more wrong. And there’s no point to it even.

The original books were somewhat compact, but here it takes an entire chapter for Covenant and Linden to go somewhere after he’s first summoned. Every character’s expression and interaction with other characters is described even when they don’t say anything every few pages. It’s like somebody describing a play to a blind guy and it’s so repetitive and irritating that there aren’t even words for it, except maybe carious frangible sequestery.

I’ve barely gotten three chapters into Against All Things Ending and I’m already sick and tired of it.

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