Stephen Reeder Donaldson (born May 13, 1947, in Cleveland) is an American fantasy, science fiction and mystery novelist. His works are noted for their use of complicated and often obscure language, a strong focus on characterization, and epic themes tied to a humanist world view.
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- Foamfollower's question caught him wandering. "Are you a storyteller, Thomas Covenant?"
Absently, he replied, "I was, once."
"And you gave it up? Ah, that is as sad a tale in three words as any you might have told me. But a life without a tale is like a sea without salt. How do you live?"
[...] "I live."
"Another?" Foamfollower returned. "In two words, a story sadder than the first. Say no more—with one word you will make me weep."
- Foamfollower and Thomas Covenant, Lord Foul's Bane, the first book of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever
- When last comes to last,
I have little power:
I am merely an urn. I hold the bone-sap of myself,
and watch the marrow burn.
When last comes to last,
I have little strength:
I am only a tool. I work its work; and in its hands
I am the fool.
When last comes to last,
I have little life.
I am simply a deed: an action done while courage holds:
- Healer, The Power that Preserves, the third book of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever
- This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken.
- The Wounded Land (1980)
- "One word more, a final caution: Do not forget whom to fear at the last. I have had to be content with killing and torment; but now my plans are laid, and I have begun. I shall not rest until I have eradicated hope from the Earth. Think on that, and be dismayed!"
- Lord Foul, Lord Foul's Bane
- "Alas for the Earth! We are overthrown and have no friend to redeem us. Beauty shall pass utterly from the Land"
- Berek, Lord Foul's Bane
- "Joy is in the ears that hear, not in the mouth that speaks. The wold has few stories glad in themselves, and we must have gay ears to defy Despite"
- Foamfollower, Lord Foul's Bane
- "Did I do a whole life's laughing in that little time?"
- Thomas Covenant, Lord Foul's Bane
- "The heart cherishes secrets not worth the telling"
- Foamfollower in Lord Foul's Bane, quoting the Elohim
- "Despair and bitterness are not the only songs in the world"
- Lord Mhoram, The Power That Preserves
- "Futility is the defining characteristic of life. Pain is proof of existence"
- Thomas Covenant
- "When you've tried all the salves in the world and they don't work, you start thinking about fire"
- Thomas Covenant, The Wounded Land
- "Go to hell," Covenant mumbled. "Don’t you ever sleep?"
"The Bloodguard do not sleep."
"No Bloodguard has slept since the Haruchai swore their Vow."
With an effort, Covenant pulled himself into a sitting position. He peered blearily at Bannor for a moment, then muttered, "You’re already in hell."
- Thomas Covenant and Bannor, Lord Foul's Bane