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THE RUNES OF THE EARTH. Hardcover – 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 2004
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Gollancz (2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575076801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575076808
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 6.3 x 25.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,751,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover
As,I'm sure many Donaldson fans would agree, the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant have captured the imagination of readers in a way only a handful of other fantasy novels have done. Critics have often argued vociferously that Donaldson's 'Chronicles' draw too much from the works of Tolkien: an accusation which I believe to be totally unfounded. Thomas Covenant is one of the most well rounded literarym characters I have ever come across. His fundamental human weaknesses create a wonderfully paradoxical air of reality in a novel based in a world of fantasy.
Like many fans, I faced Donaldson's return novel 'The Runes of the Earth' with extreme apprehension, but I have to say he has surpassed himself. If it were possible Donaldson has suceeded in adding a new dimension to the 'Land' that was already rich in detail and plausibility. He seems to have found the perfect balance between drawing from the first two chronicles and incorporating new themes and concepts. The lack of Covenant as the main figure to base the narration around detracts nothing from the novel. Furthermore, the subtle suggestions that Covenant is indeed alive tantalizes the reader and adds to the ambivalence of the novel.
I shall say no more! For Donaldson fans 'The Runes of the Earth' is a dream come true, for new readers the time has come for your initiation into a truly remarkable saga.
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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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Format: Hardcover
Going into WHSmiths to find a new volume of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is like meeting up with an old boyfriend to find he still fancies you - and he's sexier than ever!
When I was 19 I discovered Thomas Covenant, and, believe it or not, read each volume of the original two trilogies in 6 consecutive nights. I couldn't sleep until I'd finished each volume. I managed to make the new volume last two days, but it was hard...
Donaldson has learned even more about the art of writing since the beginning: he has a little more economy of style now, pared down and practised with the Gap books. He still has a tremendous story to tell. The Covenant dilemma is about choice: how our choices affect others, ourselves and the world. Inaction is a choice in itself: freedom of choice is all. Respect for others; responsibility; guilt; honour; shame: these are the recurring themes.
The book itself is a thing of beauty: published on luscious thick paper with a beautiful illustration on the cover, it's a pleasure to handle as well as to read! I can't WAIT for the next three instalments. My life is that little bit brighter knowing they are to come.
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