[These notes were made in 1984:]. Good. Much better than it should have been, damnit, given the over-sell job. This chap knows what he's doing with his metaphors and symbols (but can he stretch the 'leper' business for nine volumes?) and still has a fertile imagination for the details of his world. (Perhaps not so much a surprise after all that I'm reading these things at the same time as the Faerie Queene - moral fables in fantasy lands breed a hunger for each other). Although 3rd-person, the point of view is firmly settled in Thomas Covenant's consciousness, a highly satisfactory way of introducing us to the mysteries of this Earth-centred country. Has many elements reminiscent of Tolkien - wood-elves, cave-creatures; also the song/tradition link, perhaps less thoroughly understood. Names are often blatantly based on English roots, but not so pervasively that we feel we're in an allegorical pageant. The conclusion is of course partial - greater evils to be overcome in Bks 2-6 (and presumably 7-9, if they're ever written); I'm probably hooked, but can afford no more time at the moment.