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The Runes of the Earth Paperback – Jan 2004

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Paperback, Jan 2004

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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Highbridge (Aud) (Jan. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786558202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786558209
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Stephen Donaldson lived in India for 13 years with his father, a medical missionary, who worked extensively with lepers; it was here that he conceived the character of Thomas Covenant.
He was awarded the John W. Campbell Award as Best Writer of the Year for The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever, which, with the sequel trilogy, became instant bestsellers.
He is also the author of the fantasy duology 'Mordant's Need', the SF epic quintet 'The Gap', and a number of mysteries written under the pseudonym Reed Stephens. He won the World Fantasy Award in 2000.

Product Description


Stephen Donaldson creates a constant tension that grips and won't let go. (STARBURST)

a superb fantasy read by British actor Anton Lesser (WATERSTONE'S BOOKS QUARTERLY) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The most important Fantasy Event this century: at long last, the return of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By S. P. R. Harris on 21 Oct. 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm glad I found this book and read it before seeing some of the reviews here!

I avidly devoured the first two series years ago before passing the books on to my daughter (I bought the BIG trilogy copies), thus creating another lifelong fan. I was actually shopping for something else entirely when I spotted this one on the way to the checkout - instant swap and back to the car double quick time to make a start!

In my opinion the poor reviews here say more about those writing them than they do about Stephen Donaldson, in the same vein as people who no longer 'admit' to liking the same music they did when they were younger. It is no longer considered 'cool.' In this present age of instant gratification and five-second attention spans it is a relief to find something that HASN'T changed for the worse.

Of course this latest installment in the Thomas Covenant saga is similar to the others - it HAS to be; of course it is 'wordy' - it makes you THINK about what is being said; who CARES that one finds references unique to the Chronicles? - SD has created his own world (well, two of them actually...) so he can have exactly what he (and you the reader)wants in it...

Like many of those here I read this in just two days! Now I can't wait for the next installment. Neither can my daughter, a literary afficianado who knows EXACTLY what she likes and had some VERY strong opinions on the poor reviews here!

Just because you're twenty years older you don't HAVE to be a boring old fart, it's not compulsory you know! It's a relief to escape from the pressures of work, the mortgage, spouse, kids, dog and the Chelsea Tractor in the drive (put it away in the garage, no-one cares!) and revisit 'The Land' of your dreams and reacquaint yourself with old friends. Roll on the next installment...
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By T. Lundberg on 22 Mar. 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read the first book of the chronicles when I was 13, having found it in a second hand book shop. It had a huge, slightly disturbing impact on me. This was 23 years ago. Five years ago I stumbled across a secondhand bookshop that had all the books in and i snapped them up on a slightly nervous nostalgic whim. I was swept away. I read all 6 books straight through, now that's a lot of reading and I suffered withdrawal when I finished them. They are magnificent.

Personally i think the fiirst three are the best. The second trilogy gets a bit lost in what I feel is 70's dippyisms, but good nonetheless. Imagine my shock then when i stumbled across the new book in my local bookshop last year (in my mind mr donaldson had been long gone, a writer from another age) . I immediately bought it and devoured it and then scanned the internet for the next two, horrified to see that there was no confirmed release date. Until now. I can't wait. I think that the first book of the third series was a return to the grittier style of the first three and retains the integrity of the series entirely. I am 36 now and am excited like a little kid for the next one to come out and congratulate Mr Donaldson on lying low for so long. If you want to appreciate this boook fully, sorry, but get the previous, sigh, seven and read them, then read these. You will not regret it. (tip; second hand bookshops are chock full with them every where, but so is amazon). Though I am sure you could just read these new ones as the set up is slightly different.

If you enjoyed these and want to read something while you wait, search Asimovs Foundation series in amazon and read them. Equally enthralling for nuts like me who are not content with one book, but want to enter a whole new world. highly reccomended.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Robert Harrison on 28 Mar. 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having just read through the book for the first time - and I will come back to it to read it again soon, I am amazed that some reviewers give it a low rating. I can only surmise that the book (and probably the series) is not for them, just as I wouldn't enjoy a Western Cowboy book.
In my estimation Donaldson has excelled himself with this one. Yes, it's repetitious at times; yes, it's wordy; yes, it's thesaurus-demanding. But it is a fantastic tale (as a fantasy novel should be), full of facts about the Land and its occupants with a captivating story-line.
If you are a true 'Covenant' fan don't hesitate to go and get this one.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A. Munro on 5 Aug. 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have to start this review by saying that in my opinion, Stephen Donaldson books were never meant to be fast paced. You have to sit back, enjoy the ride and and devote time to his books. He has always been an author who has put a lot of effort into building character and sense of purpose. True, some readers may find the language somewhat tiring at times, but we have to see it from the pronagists point of view. In my opinion, if you can't be bothered with the language, don't read fantasy.

Sorry, for the rather long introduction, but sit back and enjoy Mr Donaldon's latest. Not only does he build on what has gone before he also questions what has gone before. No mean feat. Yes, the Land has changed, but how and why...?

I will leave that up to you to decide. But this is a must read for anyone with an interest in fantasy and the Land series. He seems to be continually building and enriching what has gone before. True, The Runes of the Earth may not be ground breaking in what has gone before, but as a precursor to what may or may not happen next then I think that he has excelled himself.

As you may have realised I have said nothing about the plot of the book but I do not want to spoil what I think is an excellent read. Just be prepared to spend a little bit of time on building character...

A must read for anyone who wants to devote the time and energy to enjoy it.........Americans need not apply!
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