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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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From the Publisher
--Alex Klapwald, Director of Production
From the Inside Flap
LOS ANGELES TIMES
Twice before Thomas Covenant had been summoned to the strange other-world where magic worked. Twice before he had been forced to join with the Lords of Revelstone in their war against Lord Foul, the ancient enemy of the Land. Now he was back. This time the Lords of Revelstone were desperate. Without hope, Covenant set out to confront the might of the enemy, as Lord Foul grew more powerful with every defeat for the Land....
Top Customer Reviews
Thomas Covenant's by some strange stroke of Fate or perhaps calculated strategy, finds himself in The Land - a place of unsurpassed beauty where Earthpower is a source of power/energy that is tapped on by its people. Covenant is given a message of Doom and asked to deliver this message to the Council of Lords. But Covenant vehemently denies the existence of the Land' fashioning himself as `The Unbeliever' and his continuous battle with himself in this new but very real environment as well as the genuinely miraculous healing of his leprosy inflicted limbs, added to my wholehearted involvement in the novel. It was difficult to bear his continuous reluctance to accept The Land and shoulder the responsibilities handed to him - Thomas Covenant is not an immediately likeable character - in his rejection of The Land, he commits shocking acts and yet the reader is drawn to his vulnerabilities and his fierce struggle to above all, keep himself alive. I found myself urging him on - it was an extraordinary effect.
The language of the Land is also intriguing, an `Old Style' English which I loved and as I got more engrossed in the book, found myself using in my everyday speech....
All in all, a superb book, 14 years later, I am yet to find a Fantasy Book that rivals this. Enjoy!
This series is not about a fantasy land within which Covenant travels, such as other fantasy books dictate - yes, it is a story of a man who travels through the Land, however it is mostly about what happens to a person (physically, emotionally, mentally) who contracts and suffers with leprosy. The Land was Covenant, literally. When you look back at the characters, at the nuances of the Land, at the abilities of the Lords and such, and then put these details to the variety of physical aspects of the body, you can see a whole other series and story taking place.
Covenant was the Land. Though it is dreary and somewhat tiresome to read, the first book - Lord Foul's Bane - is the most important. It is where you, the reader, learn all you need to know about leprosy. Apply all that you learn there to the rest of this series, and the next three books, and you have a deeper understanding of Donaldson's genius.
BTW: on a side note, Donaldson - a master of language - spent some time in India with his father, who worked very closely with lepers. His experiences there shine through in this series.
The follow-up series' first book - The Runes of the Earth - follows the same pattern as this sets of series, except instead of leprosy the story follows a more psychological approach, mainly psychosis. I am anxious to read the next three books in the final series of this epic.Read more ›
"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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Totally enjoyed reading this book even went on to the second edition of the books,Published 2 days ago by Paula P.
This is a great story that I first read when it came out in the 1980s. At some point I had gotten rid of the paperback books, but over the past year I have had an urge to read the... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Tim Roof
A fine sequel to the first book. Great continuation of character development and story line. I enjoyed it as much as the first book.Published 28 days ago by Deacon Pete
Re-reading this series, I have actually come to enjoy Donaldson's arcane lexicon. What I found deeply distracting was the shift of POV from Covenant to Troy and back. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Gregory J. Young
It is complex with a complicated protagonist. The vocabulary is challenging, which I like. A must read for dark fantasy fans.Published 1 month ago by Robert Cordo