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Against All Things Ending by Stephen R.…
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Another wonderful book in the continuing saga of Thomas Covenant. Its amazing to think that this series has been going so long. In this book the end is in sight at last, things are beginning to be resolved. If you have enjoyed the other books in the series you will certainly enjoy these. ( )
  ExpatTX | Mar 31, 2014 |
One of the best in the entire Thomas Covenant series! While there was a lot of changes in pacing, it was all vital to the overall story. Obviously, since this is book 3 of the final series and book 9 overall, it wouldn't make much sense to someone without reading the previous volumes first. If you want a challenging read, try tackling the series! It will be well worth your time! ( )
  ssimon2000 | Jan 7, 2014 |
The Saga of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever continues with "Against All Things Ending. The book begins with Linden Avery's continued search for her lost son. In desperation she invokes the magic in Covenant's white gold ring (given to her at the end of book six) to bring Thomas Covenant back to life so that he made aide her in her search for her son. Covenant has long been apart of the Arch of Time since his death during a battle with Lord Foul, and his resurrection sees his illness renewed and his mind fractured so he is of little help to Linden. However, in resurrecting Covenant she has also woken the Worm of the World's End. An act which will end all time and the existence of all in the Land. Lord Foul applauds this act as he seeks to free himself from the Creator and the shackles of time. But he needs Jeremiah's magic as well as the destruction of the Land. ( )
  KerryMarsh | Jan 3, 2014 |
Stephen Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is a masterpiece from book 1 up to and including this book, the ninth in the series and the next to the last book in the Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Donaldson uses complex character development and deep explorations of human motivation to weave an intricate tale of bigger than life heroes and flawed anti-heroes who must combine their efforts to save the precious Land. His fantasy realm, The Land, rivals that of Tolkien's Middle Earth, and his characterizations are reminiscent of Stephen King. Ultimately the tales of Thomas Covenant and Linden Avery are epic stories of good versus evil, but Donaldson's heroes are flawed human beings who must strive to overcome evil, not by superpowers or by might, or even right, but simply by trusting who they have been created to be - imperfect, flawed beings who want to be more and want the world to be a better place. They must overcome evil by overcoming their own flaws and shortcomings. Time and again they rise to the challenge. But as we discover in each of the first two trilogies, evil never disappears for long or is completely defeated. This time Covenant and Linden Avery face an apocalyptic event and yet again, accompanied by the last heroes of the Land, they must find a way to overcome their imperfections, their own desires, and their own shortcomings to rise to the need of the world, the Land, and ultimately their own reality as well. This is a wonderfully adventurous journey, but is not a simple read. Donaldson's characters are complex, and he spends a considerable number of pages exploring their motivations and character flaws. This is part of what makes his books so memorable. His characters come to life under his narration and the Land takes shape as we journey with the Humbled, the Giants, the Ramen and Stowndowners toward either the ultimate doom or their final salvation. It is an epic journey. ( )
  Al-G | Jun 25, 2013 |
First things first - because I bought Against All Things Ending essentially sight unseen, I assumed throughout that it was the final book in this nine book series. Turns out there are ten, so all my wondering about 'how can he possibly tie all this up in time?" was premature. He didn't.

Against is effectively more of the same - if you've read any book in the Thomas Covenant series, you know what's coming: excellent writing, a dash of philosophy, and selfish, frustrating anti-heroes who mostly whine and refuse to act.

I say that as a long-time fan - I read [b:Lord Foul's Bane|219205|Lord Foul's Bane (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, #1)|Stephen R. Donaldson|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1333217655s/219205.jpg|958463] not long after it came out, and I've read all the rest as soon as I can get my hands on them. While Donaldson sometimes pushes the anti-hero thing too far (the Gap series was disappointing), mostly he carries it off flawlessly. I enjoyed the previous eight books in the series; the mounting frustration at the protagonists' failure to do anything useful is part of the package. It's amazing that it's stayed attractive for so long.

In Against, it at last begins to pall.It isn't so much the repetition of a somewhat tired theme - the characters have to stay their irritating selves, after all. It's the seemingly endless agonizing about it. That too, of course, is part of the series and the characters. But here it is finally overdone. I carried through because after all, it was the last book in a great series. Of course, it's not, and I await the next (last?) with some trepidation.

Covenant himself improved after the first trilogy, but Linden Avery has taken his place as angst-ridden-character-in-chief, and she more than fills his place. If anything, she got harder to bear after the second trilogy.

We do get a fair amount of interesting background in this book. While certainly many mysteries remain, some questions, at least, have been answered. There are relatively fewer sections where nothing actually happens aside from soul searching and self-doubt.

Donaldson seems to have ramped up the vocabulary as well. I appreciate the fact that he often uses unusual or archaic words - that's part of the charm. Here, though, it started to feel a little much. In particular, the word "condign" (one of Donaldson's favorites) started to wear on me. It seems like every other page, someone is saying something is condign. An "appropriate" or "meet" or "fitting" every now and then would have helped leaven the prose.

With all of that rambling - here's all you need to know. If you haven't read Donaldson or the Covenant series, please don't start here - there's very little chance you'll make any sense of it (though there is a very nice summary of books 1-8 provided). If you have read books 1-8, you're certainly going to read this one. It's not a situation like Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time books where you can just give up. In those books, after a point (book 7?) nothing happened at all. Here, there's actual progress, and we're learning actual mysteries. You may not enjoy it quite as much as book 1 (or even book 7), but you'll still enjoy, and still look forward to learning all the secrets (I hope) in book 10. ( )
  BMorrisAllen | May 14, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen R. Donaldsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Perry Donaldson: a daughter to make a man proud
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Thomas Covenant knelt on the rich grass of Andelain as though he had fallen there from the distance of eons.
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Covenant’s spirit has been released from the Arch of Time, and his body is intact. But for this to happen, Linden Avery has had to assemble so much magical power that she is in danger of waking the Worm of the World’s End. The Worm is a classic apocalyptic beast, but it is highly credible that he could destroy the Land, all in it, and perhaps parts of an earth that is closer to the Land than we may have thought. The only hope of survival is for Linden and Thomas to assemble all their possible and not-so-possible allies, including Linden’s adopted son, Jeremiah, who may live up to the biblical implications of his given name and be a harbinger of disaster rather than hope.
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Linden's defiant act of love--resurrecting Thomas Covenant--awakens the Worm of the World's End. If they have any chance to save the Land, it will come from unlikely sources--including the mysterious boy Jeremiah, Linden's adopted son, whose secrets are only beginning to come to light.… (more)

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