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Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen R Donaldson is the first book in the first trilogy of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever. Somehow I failed to read these books when they first came out, even though I was reading a lot of fantasy at that time. And I do wish I'd read them then, when I was in high school, because they now seem somewhat cliched. And my expectations of the prose itself have risen. This book wasn't really poorly written so much as overwritten, with rather purple and clunky prose. And far too much space was taken up with long, formal speeches of welcome or goodbye. The basic story is that Thomas Covenant is a leper, and he's lost everything he loved because of that leprosy. Because of this he has retreated into himself and his rage. Then he is suddenly whisked into an alternative reality where he is tasked with delivering a message from Lord Foul to the Council of Lords. He also, in this world, bears a strong resemblance to a deceased hero of this world, Berek Halfhand, and possesses a ring of white gold, a powerful magic in the Land. But he refuses to believe, hence the Unbeliever, in the reality of this world, and is an extremely reluctant, and rather arseholish, participant in its affairs. I didn't dislike this book so much as I was bored by many of its pages. But by the end I had become involved with the story, and was interested in many of the secondary characters, although I never lost the feeling of wanting to smack Covenant upside the head. I'll read the second book, but if I have to force myself through it, as I often had to with book 1, I'm not sure I'll venture into book three.