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The Wounded Land
Title The Wounded Land
Author Stephen R. Donaldson
Published 1980
Publisher Ballantine Books
Binding Hardcover
Pages 497
ISBN ISBN 0-3452-8647-2
Series The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
Preceded By The Power That Preserves
Followed By The One Tree

The Wounded Land is the first novel in The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant trilogy.

"4,000 years have passed since Covenant first freed the Land from the devastating grip of Lord Foul and his minions. The monstrous force of Evil has regained its power, once again warping the very fabric and balance of the Land. Armed with his stunning white gold, wild magic, Covenant must battle not only terrifying external forces but his own capacity for despair and devastation. His quest to save the Land from ultimate ruin is as exciting and heroic as ever."

Plot Summary

Ten years have passed for Thomas Covenant, years that represent many centuries in the life of the Land; Lord Foul has regained his strength. Confident that he will succeed in his efforts to gain possession of Covenant's white gold ring - the wild magic - Lord Foul summons Covenant to the Land. Covenant finds himself on Kevin's Watch.

Accompanied by Linden Avery, a doctor who was unwittingly drawn to the Land with him, Covenant descends to the old village of Mithil Stonedown, where he first encounters the heinous force that the Despiser has unleased: the Sunbane. The Sunbane is a corruption of the Law of Nature; it afflicts the Land with rain, drought, fertility, and pestilence in mad succession. It has already slain the old forests; as it intensifies it threatens to destroy every form of life. The people of the Land are driven to bloody sacrificial rites to appease the Sunbane for their own survival.

Seeing the extremity of their plight, Covenant begins a quest for an understanding of the Sunbane, and for a way to heal the Land. Guided by Sunder, a man from Mithil Stonedown, he and Linden fare northward toward Revelstone, where lives the Clave, the lore-masters who most clearly comprehend and use the Sunbane. But the travelers are pursued by Ravers, Lord Foul's ancient servants, whose purpose is to afflict Covenant with a strange venom that will eventually drive him mad with power.

Surviving the perils of the Sunbane and the attacks of venom, Covenant, Linden and Sunder continue northward. As they near Andelain, a once-beautiful region in the center of the Land, they encounter another village, Crystal Stonedown, in which a woman named Hollian is being threatened by the Clave because of her power to foresee the Sunbane. The travelers rescue her, and she joins them on their quest.

She informs Covenant that Andelain, while still beautiful, has become a place of horror. Dismayed by this desecration, Covenant enters Andelain alone to confront the evil therein. He learns that Andelain is not a place of evil: rather, it has become a place of power where the Dead gather around a Forestal who defends the trees. Covenant soon meets this Forestal, who was once a man named Hile Troy, and several of his former friends - the Lords Mhoram and Elena, the bloodguard Bannor, and the Giant Saltheart Foamfollower. The Forestal and the Dead give Covenant gifts of obscure knowledge and advice; and Foamfollower offers Covenant the companionship of a strange ebony creature named Vain, who was created by theUr-Viles of the Demondim, and whose purpose is hidden.

With Vain behind him, Covenant seeks to rejoin his companions, who, in his absence, have been captured by the Clave. His search for them nearly costs him his life, first in the desperate village of Stonemight Woodhelven, then among the Sunbane victims of During Stonedown. However, with the aid of the Waynhim, he at last arrives at Revelstone. There he meets Gibbon, the leader of the Clave, and learns that his friends have been imprisoned so that their blood can be used to manipulate the Sunbane.

Desperate to free his friends and to gain knowledge of Lord Foul's atrocity, Covenant submits to a soothtell, a ritual of blood in which much of the truth is revealed. His visions show him that the source of the Sunbane lies in the destruction of the Staff of Law, and that the Clave actually serves Lord Foul through the actions of the Raver that controls Gibbon.

Unleashing the wild magic, Covenant frees his friends and resolves to find the One Tree, from which the original Staff of Law was made, so that he can fashion a new one to use against the Sunbane. He is joined by the Haruchai Brinn, Cail, Ceer and Hergrom. With Linden, Sunder, Hollian and Vain, Covenant turns eastward toward the sea, hoping there to find the Giants who name themselves the Search. one of them, Cable Seadreamer, has had an Earth-Sight vision of the Sunbane, and they have come to the Land to combat the peril. Guiding the Search to Seareach and Coercri, Covenant uses his knowledge of their ancestors to persuade them to commit their Giantship to the service of his quest for the One Tree.

Before his departure from the Land, Covenant performs a caamora for the Dead of Coercri, and sends Sunder and Hollian back to the Land, hoping they will be able to inspire the villages to resist the Clave.----

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