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The Runes of the Earth (The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Book 1) Paperback – August 30, 2005
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Worth the Wait
More than two decades after he completed the Second Chronicles, Stephen R. Donaldson has begun a third series about the leprous Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. In this Amazon.com exclusive essay, Donaldson explains why The Runes of the Earth has been so long in the making. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Next, I want to direct my comments to those readers who have never read any of the Covenant books, but are contemplating reading this book. Your main concern, undoubtedly, is, "How can I possibly enter a complex series at book seven? Won't I be so incredibly lost that it won't make any sense for me to buy this book and see what all the fuss is about Covenant?" Both questions are easily answered. Donaldson has taken extraordinary care to construct the beginning of this book in such a way that if you are entering the Covenant series at this late point, by the time you get to page 200, all that went before will be explained, and you'll (almost) feel as if you have read the first six books. He does this primarily in two ways. First, he has written a "What Has Gone Before" prelude, which succinctly wraps up the essential plots and dilemmas of the first six books into about eight pages. It is *superbly* done. Second, from almost the very beginning of the book itself, he meticulously and purposefully takes the reader back to prior events in the last two trilogies, while at the same time moving the story forward with the tremendous urgency of his past works. While someone like myself (who is probably more familiar with these books than I should be), can see what's happening as plainly as I can see that Shaquille O'Neal is a very large man, people less familiar with the work will not feel burdened or bludgeoned by what is, essentially, catching readers up. For reader like me, this will likely feel somewhat tedious as we know all of the legends of the Land. But for readers who are unfamiliar with the legends, you will find them to be like a drink from the source of a mountain spring.Read more ›
For Linden's return to the Land, Donaldson has marshaled many of the unique elements of the past six novels, reviving certain wonders that seemed to have disappeared forever from the Land. He also raises questions left open by the other books, questions fans may never have even considered. What ever became of the Ramen and the Ranyhyn, the ur-viles and Waynhim? What came of the Haruchai Cail's lust for the merewives? What use was made of the Staff of Law after Linden began the healing of the Sunbane, then left the Land? And perhaps most troubling is the transformation we see that has come to the Haruchai.Read more ›
The Runes of the Earth lacks both the scope and the imaginative detail that Donaldson's writing displayed, in particular, in the second Covenant trilogy. The action is confined to a relatively small part of The Land (and to one small area of the "real" world), and takes place over a very brief timespan from the point of view of Linden Avery, the main character.
There are of course some new concepts introduced, and a new threat from Lord Foul. But too much of Runes merely recycles old themes and characters and peoples from the first two series. In the second Chronicles, Donaldson was not merely content to rehash the first trilogy. Instead, he brought us Elohim and Sandgorgons, venom and Sunbane, Bhrathrair and the Clave - and Linden herself. Runes offers nothing comparable to the shock which The Wounded Land presented to readers familiar with The Land.
Even the new characters are too dependent on the prior series. Linden's son, Covenant's son, even Cail's son and Sunder's and Hollian's son. Why not somebody brand new? 7,000 years after the first trilogy, we are still seeing Stonedowners, Haruchai, and Ramen.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having read and enjoyed many books by Mr. Donaldson, I purchased all four books in this series and started reading. I finished the first book with dismay. Read morePublished 3 months ago by BarClay
Did any 5 star reviewers actually attempt to read this masterpiece of boredom before reviewing it? It is horrible. Trash. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kohalaman
I read the original two series I am sure over 20 years ago and loved all the books. 5 star all the way. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Glenn Corbett
Cumbersome, way too much jargon about Linden Avery messed up mind--say it once = good, say it 1000 times = bad.Published 5 months ago by Scott F. Moyes