The Runes of the Earth: The Last Chronicles of Thomas Convenant

The Runes of the Earth: The Last Chronicles of Thomas Convenant

3.9 64
by Stephen R. Donaldson

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More than twenty years ago, Stephen R. Donaldson set a literary landmark with the first fantasy bestseller. His New York Times bestselling series, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, transformed modern fantasy. Now, at long last, Donaldson introduces the first novel of the much-awaited, four-volume finale to the series that's sold more than ten million


More than twenty years ago, Stephen R. Donaldson set a literary landmark with the first fantasy bestseller. His New York Times bestselling series, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, transformed modern fantasy. Now, at long last, Donaldson introduces the first novel of the much-awaited, four-volume finale to the series that's sold more than ten million copies.

Thomas Covenant lost everything. Abandoned by his wife and child, sick and alone, he was transported while unconscious to a magical, dreamlike world called the Land. Convinced it was all a delusion, Covenant was christened The Unbeliever by the Land's inhabitants-but gave his life to save this newfound world he came to regard as precious.

Ten years after Covenant's death, Linden Avery still mourns for her beloved companion. But a violent confrontation with Covenant's son- who is doing the evil Lord Foul's bidding-forces her back to the Land, where a dark malevolence is about to unmake the laws of nature-and of life and death itself.

Editorial Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
In 1977, Stephen R. Donaldson began his bestselling Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever saga with the publication of Lord Foul's Bane. After two wildly popular trilogies (which have sold more than 6 million copies worldwide), Donaldson -- much to the dismay of his fans -- ended the series in 1983. Now he returns to where it all started in The Runes of the Earth, the first book in a projected quartet that will make up the Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.

The story picks up approximately a decade after the tragic death of Thomas Covenant, an ill-fated writer afflicted with a strange form of leprosy, who had been transported to an alternate universe called the Land -- where an epic battle for the realm's soul was being waged. Linden Avery, Covenant's companion who briefly traveled with him to the Land, is now working at a psychiatric hospital taking care of mentally disturbed patients who include Covenant's ex-wife, Joan, who has a "lost mind." When Covenant's son Roger enters the hospital and demands the immediate release of his mother, a violent confrontation ensues. A few hours later, after he has forcefully removed his mother from the hospital and kidnapped Linden's adopted son, the police -- and Linden -- track Roger to his father's old residence. In the midst of a powerful thunderstorm, shots are fired, and…Linden finds herself back in the Land, where Lord Foul has not only allied with Roger but also has control of her son!

Breakneck-paced, richly described, and replete with intriguing plot twists, this long-awaited return to the Land will enthrall fans of Donaldson's previous Covenants novels. Paul Goat Allen

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. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Thomas Covenant, the leper who crossed the barrier between this world and that of the Land, gave his life to save his newfound world. Linden Avery, a healer of mind and body, accompanied him into the Land and inherited his stewardship of it. When Covenant's son, Roger, suddenly appears many years after his father's death and seeks to claim his inheritance and custody of his insane mother, Avery senses the presence of a familiar evil, the machinations of Lord Foul. Twenty years after ending his second Thomas Covenant trilogy, Donaldson resurfaces with a final trilogy that is intended to bring together all the threads of the previous books. Familiar and beloved characters from the Land mix with new heroes and villains in a reawakening of a classic fantasy saga. Most libraries will want this title for their collection. Buy multiple copies. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/04.] Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Last Chronicles of Thomas Cove , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Stephen R. Donaldson is the author of six previous Covenant books: Lord Foul's Bane, The Illearth War, The Power That Preserves, The Wounded Land, The One Tree, and White Gold Wielder, as well as many other novels.

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The Runes of the Earth (Last Chronicles Series #1) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Runes of the Earth is not his best work. Linden Avery and her endless lamenting about her son Jeremiah are irritating almost to the point where you want to slap her. No joke, there has to be at least 50 pages of her boring monologue. There is some other annoying stuff too, but...Donaldson does recapture the magic of the Land here and there, and if you loved his first trilogy, you can't help but savor those moments. This 500 page book would make a really good 300 page book. That being said, I am looking forward to the sequel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ten years ago, Linden Avery found herself thrust into the middle of an epic battle between absalute evil and goodness when she inadvertently followed Thomas Covenant to the Land, a magic other world he once saved but was again under assault by his enemy, Lord Foul. In the time she spent with Covenant in that other world, she grew to love it, and him, but that love could not save him. In the final battle, he gave his life to defeat Foul, merging his life with the Arch of Time in a burst of argent flame that left only his white gold wedding band behind for Linden to hold onto. In the years since, she has cared for an adopted son, Jeremiah, who was maimed by Lord Foul and overseen the operation of a mental hospital that houses Joan, Covenant's first wife who left him to protect their son, Roger, when he became a leper. Now, Roger is grown, and demanding that Joan be turned over to him, as well as the white gold band that controls the wild magic. Linden is terrified of him and refuses, prompting the taking of her son and her own return to the Land. There she finds all her work seems to have been for naught. The Sunbane she once defeated is still gone, but the Earthpower that sustained the Land is forbidden by the Haruchai who now control the Land. History has been kept secret so that there is no memory of her or her beloved except among the Haruchai and the great horses, the Ranyhyn, and their servants, the Ramen. The former oppose her, the latter will serve her. With few other allies, some of them double minded, she must challenge time itself to fulfill the mission the spectre of her love gives her. ........................................... ................... ........................ ***** There is literature, which may tend to be dry and boring. There are fun books that are in no way literature- and then there is the Thomas Covenant series, like the white gold itself, an alloy of a book that you can thoroughly enjoy melded with great literary value. With no reservations, this can be labeled the finest book written this year, perhaps in the last several years. At times it will move you to tears, then there are moments of golden joy that will make your heart sing. Reaching the last page is something you will be eager to do, yet will come entirely too soon. Not too many fiction books have the sheer power this one does. Just do not loan it to anyone, you may never see it again. It's a keeper. *****
Ikester More than 1 year ago
Stephen R. Donaldson finally gives us a worthy sequel to the Thomas Covenant series with The Runes of the Earth. Linden Avery's life since losing Thomas, has been a life of service to those who suffer from mental disease. She has adopted a damaged boy, who eerily resembles the HalfHand of myth. When her son is abducted, Linden must re-enter the Land in order to save him. This book chronicles her return to the Land, introduces new characters, and spends quite a bit of time reminding us what happened in the previous Covenant chronicles. Is Linden able to regain her health-sense? Is her son destined to be a prisoner of Lord Foul as well as prisoner in his own mind? There is a lot of set-up in this and a lot of rehashing the past. However, it remains true to the Covenant chronicles. When the end of the book came, I was upset that I did not have the next volume at hand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was beyond excited when I saw this a Stephen R. Donaldson among the discount books. Then to find that it is a sequel to books I I loved years ago! I hadn't even known there was a sequel to the two Thomas Covenant series. I must say it was wonderful to be back in the Land. If you haven't read the Thomas Covenant triologies, you should. (while you wait for the next installment of this series) Then this book will be that much more special. Hurry Mr. Donaldson with the next book. We've waited so long already.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great story the only problem being that even up to the end of the book Donaldson is putting long reminders of what you just read not 20 pages ago. When Linden is worried about all the difficulties in the story you don't have to list them every time. And I get that she has lost her son but does she really need to be breaking down every other page because of it. Either she is a transformed women who learned from her journeys in the Land and is stronger because of it or she is a blubbering idiot who cant make a decision. For a doctor who works in a mental ward she is VERY bi polar in this book. But again the overall story is very good and has great plot twist. Should have been a 300 pager not 500.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I totally agree with the reviewer who mentioned Linden Avery's endless lamenting about her son. I read the first two chronicles when I was in my teens. I was enthralled. This book has disappointed me. Donaldson writing is overwrought to the point of being verbose. There's too much of redundancy with him explaining Lindens link to Covenant and going on and on about poor pathetic Jeremiah. Hey I feel for the kid but it just got nauseating at some point. This should have been a 300 pager, with much tighter plotting and concise writing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the first two series. I'm not surprised that Donaldson could come up another idea for the 'Land' and he did an outstanding job. I can't wait to read the next one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its everything you loved about the original more. You definitely won't be disappointed!
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Read the synopsis of this book and got me interested to read the entire series
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This book didnt begin my love of reading, that had already started, but it did catch me hook, line, and sinker, and rod, reel, boat and all, into great sci fi genre, which has ever since remained my main food source for the brain. This book broke away from the traditional sci fi types as it combined the present with a fantasy world, with the protaganist being the most unlikely of sorts, yet pehaps representating the ability of rising above ones lowest point and prevailing. Like no other series, i still recall the characters and am still intrigued by the Bloodguard. Such is the power of the author. While I eventually became jaded in the far future of the emtire series by the eventual routine use of personal dispair and/or disbelief, such did not become an issue until many books later. In any event, I will always recall this book as my baptism into Sci Fi.
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MattH More than 1 year ago
I was not sure how to feel about this book. The first two series hold a special place in my heart, and I didn't want that ruined by a new book. I felt that with the end of the 2nd chronicles that nothing more was needed and any attempt to revive the series would be a mistake. How wrong i was. I loved this book! I was entralled by the story and can not wait to read the next book. Well done Donaldson.
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Arqueous More than 1 year ago
I read his first two trilogies in high school and this one used alot of words that expanded my vocabulary some. I thought he used words that were a stretch for some light reading and it jsut seemed to pushed as far as the writing. I loved the frist two trilogies and hope this one gets better.
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