I jumped at the chance to buy a copy of The War Within as a signed first edition. I don’t normally collect that kind of thing but for Donaldson, I wanted something his hand touched.
I bought a first edition of White Gold Wielder at a book fair years ago. It’s the last book in the Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. It’s not something that I normally look for, but I do relish the first editions I do own. Like the Tides of War by Steven Pressfield. I had him sign my copy of that book when I met him back in 2019. And I had him sign my copy of Gates of Fire which you know if you follow these posts.
The War Within follows on the setup from The Seventh Decimate and the efforts to rally the people to protect the Last Repository a massive library where books like the ones that provide the lore that govern the decimates, potent magic that infuses the world of The Great God’s War.
It seems like the books come quickly but they are years apart. It does my heart good to know that Donaldson is cranking away on his draft each day working on the next story. There is no great mystery to writing. It can be boiled down to hard work, every day. There are skills, and tropes, and structures, but all of those things must be worked on and thought about each day to grow toward a satisfying story and read.
Donaldson is a master storyteller. And his prose is masterful and skillful. I learn a lot when read his work.