Wheel of Time and other quest fantasies


I was a huge Eddings fan until I learned what a monster he and his wife were in real life.
The Eddings' spent time in jail in 1970 and lived almost four decades after. While what they did was monstrous, it is quite possible that they weren't the same people for the next four decades. Sometimes people do awful things, and as awful as they were in the late 60s doesn't mean they should be deemed "monsters" for lives of 70ish years.

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It's been a bit since I read the series (though I have read it multiple times prior), and I totally get that Thomas Covenant can be a deal-breaker for readers. He's a man in pain, suffering and bitter. In the beginning, he is not a good person, and the story explores how that changes, how his faith and disbelief struggle, how the consequences of his actions come back to haunt him and The Land. But it takes its time in getting there and the reader is stuck on this journey with a person that they don't like, that doesn't even like himself very much.

I don't think you are alone in this complaint and for as much as I still love these books, I can understand it. Covenant isn't a very likable character, which is fairly common in some of Donaldson's other work as well (The Gap series, for example), but I think it's intentional on the part of Donaldson. The author is, as was mentioned upthread, trying to subvert Tolkien but that probably doesn't make Covenant any more tolerable to those who dislike him. I've re-read the books many times and, for me, Covenant is less important to me than The Land and its inhabitants. Bannor, Mhoram, Foamfollower, Sunder and Hollian, Brinn and Cail and the members of The Search are the real reasons I go back to those books.

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