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The Power That Preserves (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – October 12, 1987

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4 Stars and Up Feature: Kitchens of the Great Midwest
"Foodies and those who love contemporary literature will devour this novel that is being compared to Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge. A standout." --Library Journal Learn more
$7.99 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 15 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Power That Preserves (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Book 3) + The Illearth War: The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Book Two + Lord Foul's Bane (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Book 1)
Price for all three: $23.34

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'An irresistible epic ... imagination, heroism, excitement, made all the more real by Donaldson's deft handling of the rich history of the Land.' Chicago Daily News 'Donaldson has a vivid and unrestrained imagination ... he writes well and wields symbols powerfully.' Washington Post 'Something entirely out of the ordinary ... you'll want to go straight through Lord Foul's Bane, The Illearth War and The Power that Preserves at one sitting' The Times 'The Thomas Covenant saga is a remarkable acheivement which will certainly find a place on the small list of all true classics' Washington Post 'A feast for epic fantasy addicts' Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

These books have never received the recognition they deserve. It's one of the most powerful and complex fantasy trilogies since Lord of the Rings, but Donaldson is not just another Tolkien wanabee. Each character-driven book introduces unexpected plots, sub-plots, and a host of magical beings so believably rendered you'd believe you might bump into them on your way to the bookstore.
                                                --Alex Klapwald, Director of Production
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Product Details

  • Series: The First Chronicles: Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reissue edition (October 12, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345348672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345348678
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Appleseed VINE VOICE on November 11, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's obvious that Donaldson was cutting his teeth, so to speak, while writing Lord Foul's Bane. To be certain, that book had periods of brilliance, such as the occurrences in Andelain, but all in all it was probably the weakest book in the series. (That doesn't mean it isn't good - just that the rest of the books are incredible.)

In The Illearth War Covenant is called back to the Land for a second time, and his image of a reluctant hero is burnished in our mind even more than it was in the previous book, for while he was being summoned he was also on the phone with his ex-wife, Joan. The woman who left him for fear of his leprosy, the woman with whom he was still in love, the woman who was telling him, right then, that she missed and needed him. So he protests his summoning vehemently, but to no avail. As the new High Lord Elena indicates, they have no knowledge of how to send a person back once a summons is complete.

The Council of Lords has some new faces on it. It's been forty years since Covenant has been to the Land, and seven years (seven "Land" years) remain until the fulfillment of Foul's ominous prophecy from Lord Foul's Bane. The Lords are desperate. While they regained the Staff of Law and found High Lord Kevin's Second Ward at the end of Lord Foul's Bane, they have learned very little. The language, they find, is difficult to penetrate, and they find themselves unequal to the task of mastering the lore. Due to their sense of overwhelming failure and inadequacy, and other baleful events, they make the decision to summon Covenant.

There is another addition to Revelstone: Hile Troy. He is a character from the "real world", someone who has read (or had read to him) Covenant's best selling novel.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By not4prophet on November 19, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Wow.
Just wow.
"The Power that Preserves" is amazing. Astonishing. Breathtaking. The sort of fantasy novel that you expect to find once a decade, if it's a particularly good decade. This is the culmination of a story that so big you can barely believe it fits in three books, so intense that it seems amazing that any person could actually have written it. It is a story you will never forget.
One portion of the novels follows Lord Morham as he attempts to save the Land from total destruction in a final battle against Lord Foul's forces. The giant reaver Satansfist has Morham and the other wizards and defenders of the Land under siege at the castle of Revelstone. This contest is in amazing piece of virtuoso writing, perfectly melding several great action sequences with intense psychological passages to create something dazzling. I feel perfectly comfortable saying the Donaldson is the only fantasy author who has ever equaled Tolkien in writing battle scenes. The emotional triumph at the conclusion of this one is, well, words just can't describe it.
Any lesser author would have devoted an entire book just to that. For Donaldson, however, it's just the prelude to the main event. The main event, it's no spoiler to say, is the final showdown between Thomas Covenant and Lord Foul. And what a showdown it is. When Donaldson started writing this trilogy, the most important decision he made was that his main character would not be a standard fantasy hero. Thomas Covenant, of course, is the most deeply sympathetic and real character ever to appear in any fantasy novel. Having created a person as amazing as this one, of course, poses the problem of how to provide a satisfying conclusion while still remaining true to the character.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Inchoatus.com on October 26, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Back in the 1970's it was Donaldson and Terry Brooks who proved that an audience for the genre of fantasy existed. It was Donaldson who proved that an author could publish, sell well, and still write something of definitive literary merit. While it is indisputable that Tolkien brought the genre of fantasy into existence it was still widely regarded as something for children (something fantasy fiction still struggles with today) and it is Donaldson who first wrote something that can only be aimed at adults. The Chronicles' influence over the last three decades has been and can be traced to Eddings' Belgariad, Feist's Riftwar Saga, and any of a host of crossover fantasy novels published in the genre. It's only defect and what prevents it from receiving our highest recommendations is the patina of ugliness that Covenant inevitably breeds. It's an irony about the word because it is the ugliness of Covenant that elevates the rather routine plot into something of literary merit but at the same time it will prevent The Chronicles from being the most cherished in people's minds.

WHO SHOULD READ:

For anyone who has complained that fantasy novels are too lighthearted or too childlike, Donaldson has answered your complaint with a staunch challenge. His Chronicles are a gladiatorial arena where in the pit metaphysics slugs it out not in the pristine abstractions of philosophers but in the blood, sweat, and madness of the arena. It is a terrific blend of pulse-quickening action immersed in carefully constructed philosophy. Any reader versed in philosophical discourse in either free will or ethics will be profoundly moved by Covenant's struggles.
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The Power That Preserves (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Book 3)
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