Ponytail, August 28, 2012 (view all comments by Ponytail)
I was a big fan of Stephen Donaldson's first two "Thomas Covenant" Trilogies and really thought the series was done, so I resisted the thought of a third trip back to Illearth but I got this book for Christmas and damn it if Donaldson didn't suck me right back in! To my surprise, I really recommend this exciting fantasy novel written by an expert storyteller.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Six fantasy novels featuring Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever appeared between 1977 and 1983, but Donaldson shows that his epic series still has the power to surprise in this richly imagined start of a final quartet. Covenant died at the end of White Gold Wielder (1983), and at this novel's outset so does his lover, Linden Avery, in a violent confrontation with Joan and Roger Covenant as they kidnap her son, Jeremiah. Linden awakens once again in the Land, where she finds Lord Foul scheming to escape the Arch of Time with the help of Joan and Roger while using Jeremiah as a pawn. The 10 years since Linden's last visit have been centuries by Land time, and in that interval Anele, with whom she teams, has lost the Staff of Law, plunging the world into chaos. Linden's only hope for saving the Land and reclaiming Jeremiah is to gather a crew from the Land's numerous races and surf a caesure, or time rift, to retrieve the Staff. Nevertheless, she can't shake her fear that all this has been plotted by Foul as part of his malignant design. Donaldson's saga has transformed tremendously since initial volumes offered startlingly original antiheroic fantasy resonating with echoes of both Tolkien and Philip K. Dick, but the engaging humanity of his characters still compels attention. A new generation of readers may find this episode's midstream plunge into the saga bracing, while fans of Covenant's past chronicles will welcome a return to the Land. Agent, Howard Morhaim. (Oct. 13)Forecast:Despite the long gap since the last in the series, this one should hit many bestseller lists. The Michael Whelan dust jacket is going to have a lot of fantasy fans drooling." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Filled with splendid inventions (occasionally described to the point of prolixity), this book promises extremely well for the future of the end of the Covenant chronicles. Expect readers to swarm."
by Library Journal,
"Familiar and beloved characters from the Land mix with new heroes and villains in a reawakening of a classic fantasy saga."
by Detroit Free Press,
"An epic with page-turning intrigue."
"The Runes of the Earth has all the wonders that made the previous two chronicles so readable, with plenty of surprises that will please old readers....[Y]ou don't need to have read the previous books to enjoy this, though it might add to your pleasure."
Now in trade paperback comes the first volume of the long-awaited finale to the landmark New York Times bestselling series, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
It will take a long time for fans or critics to digest and appreciate Donaldson's almost 40-year achievement. But in time The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant” will be seen as one of the self-defining works of the third millennium, our equivalent in scope and ambition of earlier epics and fantasies, from Virgil's Aeneid” to Tennyson's Arthurian Idylls” and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings,” the last now a lifetime (Donaldson's own) in the past.” -The Wall Street Journal
Compelled step by step to actions whose consequences they could neither see nor prevent, Thomas Covenant and Linden Avery have fought for what they love in the magical reality known only as "the Land." Now they face their final crisis. Reunited after their separate struggles, they discover in each other their true power--and yet they cannot imagine how to stop the Worm of the Worlds End from unmaking Time. Nevertheless they must resist the ruin of all things, giving their last strength in the service of the world's continuance.
The New York Times bestselling author of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant presents a collection of stories and novellas spanning fourteen years, including dark fables and lush fairy tales, featuring legendary heroes, lowly beggars, and immortal beings.
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