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Publisher's Summary

Since their publication more than two decades ago, the initial six books in The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant series have sold more than six million copies and have been published in 10 countries around the world. Now, starting with The Runes of the Earth, Stephen R. Donaldson returns with a quartet of new Covenant novels that are certain to satisfy his millions of fans, and attract countless new followers. In the original series, a man (living in our world and in our time) is mysteriously struck down with a disease long since believed to have been eradicated. He becomes a pariah in his small town and is abandoned by his wife who departs with their infant son. Alone and despairing, Thomas Covenant falls and, while unconscious, is transported to a fantastic world in which a battle for the soul of the land is being waged. Christened "The Unbeliever", for he is convinced the world is only an illusion, a dream, he finds himself slowly forced to accept the role that seems to be his destiny: savior of the Land.
At the end of the sixth book, Covenant is killed, both in the real world and in the Land, as his companion, Linden Avery, looks on in horror. His death is both the ultimate sacrifice...and his redemption.
At the opening of The Runes of Earth, 10 years have passed. Linden Avery comes home one day to find her child building images of the Land with blocks, and senses a terrible foreboding. She had thought that she would never again be summoned to the Land, nor ever again see her beloved Thomas Covenant. But in the Land, evil is unmaking the very laws of nature.
©2004 Stephen R. Donaldson (P)2004 Penguin Audio and Books on Tape, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Richly imagined." (Publishers Weekly)
"Filled with splendid inventions, this book promises extremely well for the future of the end of the Covenant chronicles." (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 11-17-07

Waiting on Book 2

I enjoyed the book, and realize that Donaldson has 4 book in mind for this part of the trilogy, I am disappointed that book 2 has been published, but is not available at this time on audible. I was really looking forward to seeing the devlopment and the continuation of the world of Thomas Covenant

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Malcolm on 10-24-08

Better in Audio Format

I've been a fan of the Thomas Covenant series since the books first emerged some thirty years ago, so I'm sure anyone kind enough to actually care what I have to say here would need to take that into account as they read this.

My personal view is that anyone contemplating reading (or listening) to this book/audiobook should read the first two trilogies before embarking on this series. I say that even though Donaldson provides an outstanding summary of the first two trilogies at the beginning of "Runes," probably sufficient to get a new reader/listener up to speed. Still - you will miss a lot if you take that approach, even though Donaldson continues to provide background information as "Runes" unfolds.

I read "Runes" when it first came out a couple of years ago. Like most Donaldson books, I found myself rushing through the read to "see what happens next." I decided, before reading the second book in this series, "Fatal Revenant," which has just been published, to listen to (instead of re-reading) "Runes" because I was afraid I had missed a lot during that first, rushed reading. I definitely found that I absorbed more detail and therefore enjoyed the story much more than the first go round, and I'd therefore highly recommend the book-on-tape approach to anyone.

I'm not sure my comments will be helpful to a new reader of Donaldson's writing, but that being said, "Runes" is as good as anything from the second Covenant trilogy (which I personally consider a quantum improvement over the flawed but still entertaining first trilogy), and equal to the "Gap" series in terms of action and intrigue.

Definitely worthwhile for a long-time fan - probably worth a shot for a new and curious reader as well

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37 of 39 people found this review helpful

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