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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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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: $21.57

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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: 7 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

Stephen R. Donaldson is craftwork majic.
Kevin M Burns
I really enjoyed reading this book, it was one of my favorite series books that I read when I was in high school.
Jake Allen
I read this book years ago and still to this day I remember it vividly.
rpiatt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ritesh Laud on April 11, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The Power That Preserves is the sequel to The Illearth War and the final novel in the first trilogy about Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. Just as in the previous two books, Covenant returns to the Land after blacking out in the real world from an injury. Seven years have passed in the Land while only a couple days have transpired for Covenant. He finds the Land in the grip of an unnatural winter brought on by Lord Foul, whose forces have overrun most of the Land and nearly defeated all resistance. The Lords at Revelstone are the only major obstacle left for Foul to defeat, and Foul with his Illearth Stone is much more powerful than they are. Covenant's wild magic is the only hope to turn things around, but he doesn't even know how to unleash it!
I gave the previous novel, The Illearth War, a five-star rating. It was excellent fantasy from beginning to end. The sequel is just as good until the ending, which is a tad weaker in comparison. Don't get me wrong, it's still a great ending: explosive, climactic, and quite satisfying. But it doesn't quite "jive" with how Covenant and Lord Foul have been portrayed throughout the series. So it seems a bit contrived or artificial. You'll probably know what I mean when you get there. On the other hand, you may love the ending just as much as most of the other reviewers did. Anyway, though I think the ending is the weakest part of the novel, it's still a fine close to the series and you'll enjoy it. Solid four-star material, which ain't shabby at all! I'd rate it four and a half if that rating were available.
The siege against Revelstone by Lord Foul's minions is perhaps the best part of the book. High Lord Mhoram is awesome! The enemy general and his forces truly inspire dread.
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