Against All Things Ending (Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant Series #3)

Against All Things Ending (Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant Series #3)

by Stephen R. Donaldson


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The long-awaited sequel to The Runes of the Earth and Fatal Revenant returns readers to the Land-and unravels some of the mysteries haunting Covenant and Linden Avery.

Thomas Covenant is alive again, restored to his mortal body by the unimaginable combined force of his own white gold ring, Linden Avery's Staff of Law, and the ancient dagger called High Loric's krill. His resurrection is Linden's defiant act of love, despite warnings from mortals and immortals that unleashing this much power would destroy the world. She brought his spirit back from its prison in the Arch of Time, and revived his slain body, so that Covenant lies whole on the cool grass, and the world seems at peace. But the truth is inescapable: The thunderclap of power has awakened the Worm of the World's End, and all of them, and the Land itself, are forfeit to its devouring. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780441020812
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/06/2011
Series: Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever Series , #9
Pages: 624
Sales rank: 163,347
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Stephen R. Donaldson is the New York Times bestselling author of three series of fantasy novels about Thomas Covenant, as well as several science fiction and mystery novels. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Against All Things Ending 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 102 reviews.
SeriousBookWorm More than 1 year ago
I have been following the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant since the 70's. The series is unlike any other. Against All Things Ending does not let me down. It is full of the same strong characters, the land, and what good people stand for, inner crisis regarding decisions, as all the rest of the Chronicles. He drops hints of where the book is going, and you raptly follow along through the twists and turns to get there. I have seen other reviews of people complaining that there are archaic terms, and difficult reading. As a professed logophile, I enjoy this. Anyone who complains, has not read the previous chronicles! The only negative part of the book is, this one was promised to be the last, and come out in 2008. This is not the last, there is another that we find out about at the end. I kept looking at the page number and thinking, it is getting close to the end, I hope he is not pulling some fast, dumb stunt at the end. Well, he didn't; just the promise of one more book. I guess I'll just have to wait for this one too.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Linden Avery worries about her adopted son Jeremiah as the Despiser wants the lad though she is unsure why. Meanwhile, over the objections of others who fear what she plans will destroy the world, Linden, using her Staff of Law and the High Loric's krill dagger, brings out of the Arch of Time her dead lover Thomas Covenant. However, for every action there is a reaction. In this case her awakening her beloved from beyond the grave also rouses the dormant Worm of the World's End, who will devour all in its path. While her lover lies calmly in a field hating who he is; Linden knows she must risk her life to prevent what she wrought. Her only answer to her desperate prayer comes from the last person she would expect to possess such power. The latest tale in the Last Chronicles arch of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever series is a fascinating fantasy with a neat twist that makes it read different from previous entries. While Thomas is mostly negatively musing but inert, this time Linden is the prime player as she tries to undo what she caused while also keeping her lover alive; a want your cake and eat it too scenario. The story line is fast-paced and contains a strong back story though first time readers will still be lost in the complex realm of Stephen R. Donaldson. At a minimum, readers should read the first two entries in this segue (see The Runes of the Earth and Fatal Revenant). For long time fans, Against All Things Ending is a strong thriller even with Thomas taking a time out to reflect. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm constantly baffled by reviewers who accuse SRD of being excessively verbose (intentionally redundant for those reviewers), especially those who have read all of the previous TC Chronicles. Have they not realized by now that this is Donaldson's writing style - one that Donaldson admits to and for the most part whole heartedly embraces? SRD's most clear influence if Conrad, and anyone who has read Heart of Darkness can see the similarity. Donaldson used words to convey his imagery. He admits that he want little do to with film adaptations, because doesn't know how to deal with visual media. So the detail with which he writes is his only method for relating the depths of his stories to his readers. Admittedly this is not fluff - this is meat and potatoes reading. So if this style of writing is not for you, then read something else! (Dan Brown comes to mind as the antithesis. His stories have no character development and can be read with little or no effort.) I LIKE the fact that i have to work at the Covenant books. It's challenging. I LIKE the fact that i have to use the dictionary to look up words that i don't know. And i've realized that you cannot absorb all of the magic of his stories in a single reading. Even after multiple readings there are still things that pick up on that i missed on previous readings. So don't trash SRD for his style of writing if its not for you. As for the Last Chronicles specifically - after a somewhat mundane start (i cringed at the similarities at the start of Fatal Revenant to that of The Wounded Land - namely Kevin's Dirt and the Sunbane) i've been pleasantly surprised at the way story has unfolded. The weaving of characters and story lines from the previous Chronicles, and the introduction of the Insequent is brilliant in my opinion. This is a story that you can immerse yourself and lose yourself in. It takes some work, but if you're willing to work at it the resulting imagery is everlasting and the stories remain forever.
Billbiv More than 1 year ago
There were a few bright climactic spots that generated genuine interest for me, but it was mostly a slog through repetitive frameworks and conventions that seemed contrived in an effort to extend page count. I will probably suffer through the final book as I did this one, but I should not have to do that - this story should have been drawn to a close in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unless you have read all the other Thomas Covenant novels and are determined to stick with it to the bitter end, skip this one. I loved the First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, in fact I re-read them every other year or so. The Second Chronicles were good and I re-read them too. But in the Final Chronicles, Stephen Donaldson has lost what made the others so wonderful. It is more like reading a dictionary than a novel. He seems to be saying, "Look how many big words I know". Doesn't matter if you spend more time trying to understand his verbage rather than fall in love with the story. AND REALLY, "She who must not be named", what is that? I felt like it was a copy of Harry Potter. I slogged my way through it, but I am sorry I ever started reading the Final Chronicles. Don't know if I will read the last one or not.
MisterBobNY More than 1 year ago
When an author stops writing for his readers, and starts writing for himself and his colleagues, it's time for him to move away from fiction and start writing his memoirs. In this latest book, Stephen Donaldson pummels us, page after boring page, with his intimate knowledge of the most arcane corners of the English language. His character development so outweighs his plot development that it's almost impossible to stay interested. Every step in the story line is so enshrouded in tedious detail, and the pace of the action is so excruciatingly slow, I nearly gave up. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant were great. The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant were good. This book was insipid. Goodbye Thomas Covenant, I'll miss you!
Ben_Hur More than 1 year ago
As with the other books in this series, the conflicts surrounding Linden Avery dominate the bulk of this piece. The character development is heavily dependent on previous works that may lead the current or new reader to feel as if there is no 'real' connection between the characters. As a stand-alone series, the work has to struggle to tie in and relate. Where character development has always been a forte of the author, here, much must be either previously developed through past readings, glossed over or ignored. The work remains a dramatic and fascinating adventure into surrealism and the definitions of who we as people really are, how we are seen, and ultimately, the need to react as instinctually as needed, trusting to the collective wisdoms of having lived a life and having gained those life experiences. Each strict definition of the characters is forcibly applied to each other character, forcing the reader to acknowledge the 'lacking' part of the other. Psychological profiling apart, the relational dynamics is crucial to making the other life forms of the "Land" equal to the main characters in perspective and objectives. The issues of morality and ethics follow many of the Grecian models at times. I thank the author for developing such a terrific piece of work and look forward eagerly to the conclusion in the fourth installment of the "Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant."
reading_fox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As so the story rumbles onwards in Donaldson's unique longwinded and verbose style that yet somehow contrives to remain exciting and enthralling at the same time. This is the 9th installment of Thomas Covenant who died back in book 6, and the penultimate book of his adventures. It is not in anyway readable as a standalone, and at very least the two preceding books of this quadrology should be read first. Ideally you'd want to read those book immediately before embarking on this tome. I didn't, having last read them at the time of the publication of the 2nd book at least 18 months ago, and initially I found matters somewhat confusing before I caught up sufficiently with events.Thomas has been re-incarnated by a passionate Linden, who has contrived to bestir the Worm At The End of The World in the process. All powerful and intelligent entities in the Land are aghast at this Desecration which will bring down the Arch of Time, freeing Despite form his Eons of imprisonment. Linden believes Thomas is the only person with enough power to oppose Despite, despite (ha) Thomas' continual protestations to the contrary, and her own evident powerful deeds. Meanwhile her son remains lost to her, Thomas' son Roger continues to bedevil them (lusting after the white gold as a chance to make himself immortal) and their various other nemeses' are still around. Thomas doesn't cope well with re-incarnation after being a dis-embodied spirit adrift int eh Arch of Time, he isn't built to remember eons of history, and keeps drifting into reminiscences rather than dealing with the crisis at the present moment. In terms of new directions now that Linden has dealt with the immediate threat to the land (as she sees it) her sole goal is to redeem her son, and to that end she eventually accepts the Harrow's bargain and surrenders both the White Gold and the Staff of Law to him. Hr transfers the party to the Lost Deep, first home of the Viles...This unfortunately didn't quite grab me as much as some of Donaldson's works have done. I'm still not convinced about the existence of this entire adduct to the original series, and this books feels far too much like a filler. Some events have to take place before the grand finale and showdown, but I'm not sure that 1000pages are necessary for them. We are again being introduced to new characters/abilities that should have been present in the earlier books but weren't. Little inconsistencies like this matter to me, and detract from the grandeur the series is trying to establish. Equally having Covenant remember occasional useful bits of information from his Time in the Arch seemed far too contrived as a plot resolution.I don't normally have an issue with Donaldson's expansive vocabulary, he knows a lot of words, and generally the meaning is clear even if I can't be bothered to look up the precise infections imparted by the specific words he uses. However he seemed to be writing particularly obscurely this time out, with a higher than usual preponderance of really exotic adjectives. All that said, this is still a good book with poetical descriptions of beguiling characters, deepset motivations and personal courage. It is nowhere near as dark in imagery as some of Donaldson's work and enjoyable throughout. It just isn't as good as some of his other works. Can't wait two years? for the last and concluding episode to be published though.
Konran on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Against All Things Ending" is the third book in the Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, with one more to follow. It is not for the vocabulary-challenged, as Donaldson uses many words like "puissance" and "surquedry" that require a dictionary, the ability to infer from context, or just a highly advanced grasp of vocabulary. That said, the language is a plus rather than a minus in my opinion.If you aren't put off by the big words, I recommend that you start the Chronicles from the beginning, however this review will cover only this volume. Donaldson picks up right where the last one left off, with Linden Avery having resurrected Covenant from death and awakened the Worm of the World's End. The nature of his fate had left Covenant almost a god-like being, the Guardian of the Arch of Time, but his resurrection into a mortal body leaves him a shell of what he once was, as his new form cannot possibly hold all that power. The entire book runs on themes like this, of being broken, and the power of guilt, and the struggle to keep going on even with no hope. I found the philosophies behind the story extremely powerful. We lost several characters, many of them major, and were introduced to yet another Insequent, who as a race I personally find fascinating.Donaldson has woven a captivating new chapter in the tale of Thomas Covenant. I was enthralled the entire way through, although Linden's self-loathing did get a little old after a while, and with this book ending on yet another cliffhanger, I'm extremely eager to see what happens in the next, whether the Worm will indeed destroy the Land or our heroes will find some way to save the world, or at least themselves. The reason for the title of the next book, "The Last Dark," is made abundantly clear in the last paragraph, which only leaves one wanting more.
lpmejia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For fans of Stephen R. Donaldson's series, "The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant," this book will not disappoint. I'm not a reader of the series, so it took me much longer to grasp exactly what was going on. However, I am a big fan of science fiction and fantasy, so I was comfortable in the world once I figured things out.As stated in other reviews, Donaldson's prose can certainly be dense at times, but this shouldn't put readers off. Personally, I enjoy books that cause me to consult a dictionary now and then. I primarily read for pleasure, but I read to learn as well, and an author like this one challenges his readers to think outside their own vocabulary. The world he creates is multi-layered and complex, beautifully described and interesting. In my opinion, this is not a fault.That said, if you don't enjoy heavy fantasy, and aren't familiar with the series already, this book may not be for you. I'd definitely recommend reading the story from the beginning. I plan to myself, as I'm sure there are details and background I missed by starting with this book. Still, it was a worthy read.
MorHavok on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of the more frustrating books I've read in a while. I have said this before, and it sadly remains true, but I always have high expectations for popular series. I have no idea how people read this book and enjoy it. It is frustratingly slow. The small amounts of action are separated by obnoxious and abusive dialogue between these dull characters. The book circles around the female lead that is the most frustrating character I have met in a while. The other characters almost seem as place holders, and are seemingly hardily acknowledged besides their actions to follow these annoying heroes. Sadly I became so frustrated with this book I did not bother to finish the last 50 pages, as I saw there was no way it could redeem itself. Spare yourself the trouble and don¿t bother unless you are already a fan.
randirousseau on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have loved the Thomas Covenant series for years, and have re-read the first two trilogies twice. This last set, though, and most particularly this book, are making me re-think buying the last book.The author has always enjoyed a rather formal style to his writing, but this one starts off reading like puzzling through a "word a day" calendar. I like to think, having been an avid reader my whole life, that I've got a very good vocabulary. But when you don't understand a word, even in context, it's a bit hard to appreciate the writer's point. That's my biggest complaint.After the first 100 pages or so, the heavy vocabulary lightened up a bit so that more of the story could be enjoyed. But even then, there was a bit too much of inside Linden Avery's head - self-doubt, recrimination, revenge, rage, hopelessness, helplessness, despair, anguish - you start to feel like "ok, you feel emotionally wrung-out - get over it and do something." I hate it when you start to really just dislike the main character(s). Overall, I'm disappointed. I read for enjoyment, and when I have to work this hard at trying to enjoy a book, I tend to feel like time was wasted. I read it to the end out of fealty to the rest of the series, but I honestly doubt I care enough to see how it all turns out. Which makes me sad - the Land and its People are (were) beloved.
johnnyapollo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This, the third book in "The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" was the best read of the story arc. Detailing the "adventures" of Linden Avery and her quest to recover her son Jeremiah, who is under possession of a/the croyel. This book screams with a mother's yearnings to reclaim her lost son and the lengths she is willing to go to recover her progeny. In the previous book Linden has called Covenent from the Arch of Time and thus committed a desecration (most of those seem to involve bringing the dead back to live) and has awakened the Worm of World's End. This volume relates the events that lead towards the destruction of the land.There are elohim, Insequent, giants, ravers, haruchai and any number of now familiar entities of the land, all with their own agendas. They all seem to make an appearance in this book, with many sacrifices, twists and turns. Through it all Covenent is beset with memory loss and lapses of cognitive ability due to his experiences in the Arch. The final quarter or so of the book relates his own journey to meet his ex-wife Joan (who has been causing time-rips called caesures due to the influences of another raver). The book can be quite brutal at times, however the action pulls the reader through those moments. Linden's anguish and despair are quite evident and pulls one into the book like a drug as the Worm begins to feed.I received this copy as part of the LT Early Reader program - if you haven't signed up you should. I can't wait for the final volume.
CLVick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very disappointed. I loved the first series, liked the second series, and was enjoying this final series, at least to the extent that it promised to wrap up any loose ends left from the first two series. I struggled with the fact that the pace was so slow. In lieu of an actual plot, the first half of the book is stuck inside the head of one of the main characters. While I get the idea of having flawed characters (one of the main appeals of the earlier series, actually), Linden Avery seems irredeemably pathetic. And the vocabulary in this installment was just too much of a mountain for me to climb. I usually look forward to Donaldson's books as a way to add words like bifurcate and surquedy to my vocabulary; but this book seemed like the author was determined to write using a list of the 150 least used words in the English language. In writing this volume, Donaldson was probably going for a poetic, epic struggle of hope against all the odds, but it was beyond my (admittedly) limited intellectual powers to convert it into an enjoyable read.
Karlstar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't complete this review yet, but I was very impressed with this book. Its not light reading, but not as heavy and dark as some of the previous ones either.
elric17 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This one picks up right after the last book, it is done in typical donaldson fashion and is one of the better reads in the series. It is slow at first but don't worry it will pick up.
waynegrantham on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Its a slow but deep read. I enjoyed it as a reader of the Series. All the back story at the beginning diffentately helped me get back up to speed. Awesome story, but so was not expecting the cliff-hanger at the end. I guess I missed there was another book to follow.A must buy for Donaldson fans!
koalamom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Second half reads better than the first, but gripping none-the-less.
puttocklibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book did not disappoint. As it's been quite some time since I read the last few books in the series, it took a little while to get back into the rhythm of Donaldson's prose and word-usage (so many unfamiliar or rarely used words!), but once started, I was quickly drawn in and transported into the story.Linden has set in motion dire events in the Land, and the consequences are apocalyptic. Thomas Covenant is alive...and he does not have the answers Linden craves. If you've made it this far in Donaldson's'll want to know what happens to Linden & Covenant...and fate of the Land.
Doctroid on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Finally, several months after receiving Stephen R. Donaldson¿s Against All Things Ending, I¿ve read it. I had to read, and chose to review, the first two books in The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: The Runes of the Earth and Fatal Revenant.But having done so, it¿s a little hard to decide what to say about this third book. It¿s more of the same, isn¿t it? It doesn¿t help that it¿s the third book of the tetrology. This means pretty much all the plot elements have been set in motion and pretty much none of them get resolved. It¿s 570-ish pages of connective stuff.I noted that the first book seemed to have rather little happening and a lot of reacting to what was happening, and that rather more action occurred in the second book. Book three seems to me to fall in between, though of course that¿s subjective. Certainly our heroes get themselves into and out of several perilous situations. Yet a lot of pages are devoted to talking, feeling, and thinking about those situations. It feels ponderous, and it feels like some of the momentum of book two is dissipated in book three.To do a little spoiling ¿ not too much, especially for those who¿ve read the first two books ¿ at the end of The Runes of the Earth Thomas Covenant and Jeremiah Avery turn up, but in Fatal Revenant we learn Thomas is a fake and Jeremiah is under another creature¿s control. At the end of Fatal Revenant Thomas Covenant turns up again. For real? Yes, for real, it turns out, and he¿s a central figure along with Linden Avery throughout Against All Things Ending. Linden has brought him back from the dead ¿ but broken, and in bringing him back she¿s set the end of the world in motion. Not good, especially considering what else they have to deal with: Jeremiah and his controlling croyel, Roger Covenant and his cavewights, the Sandgorgons, the skest, Joan Covenant, the mad Elohim Kastenessen, She Who Must Not Be Named, Lord Foul himself ¿ have I left anyone out? Probably. Donaldson has piled on enough bad guys for four or five epic fantasies.I spoke of the Harrow in my review of the second book: ¿[he] seemingly pops up out of nowhere and for no evident reason other than that Donaldson seems to have decided Linden didn¿t have enough problems to deal with. I get the feeling Donaldson has a pivotal part for the Harrow in mind, but so far he seems more an ad hoc additional bad guy.¿ The Harrow does indeed play a major role in the first portion of Fatal Revenant... then he gets tossed away. ¿Is that it?¿ was my reaction; ¿Is that all you brought this character into the story to do?¿ The Harrow is one of several characters we meet of the people known as the Insequent, people comparable in power and to the Elohim but curiously unknown in the Land ¿ unmentioned in the previous two trilogies. As of the end of the third book we have started to get a picture of the Insequent, but only started, and I have no clear idea how really they fit into the big picture. A big, nagging loose end, so far.I guess the emerging theme here is Linden¿s growing sense of inadequacy against all she faces, and her guilt over the losses suffered along the way. That¿s probably an altogether too-simplified condensation of thousands of words of Linden¿s self-examination but it¿ll do. ¿Can good be accomplished by evil means?¿ is a question repeatedly asked here, and a final answer has yet to be made.The first three books came out at intervals of about three years, so I guess it¿ll be 2013 or so before we get the conclusion. I¿ll plan on reading it, but I guess my expectations won¿t be very high; from what I¿ve seen so far, this series is likely to fall well short of Donaldson¿s best.
willowcove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What would Stephen Donaldson do without a thesaurus? Don¿t misunderstand me; I¿m all for improving my vocabulary. But something is seriously wrong when I¿m picking up a dictionary nearly as much as I am a novel. Donaldson¿s latest epic, ¿Against All Things Ending,¿ is the third entry in his series, ¿The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.¿ I absolutely loved the first two trilogies of the Chronicles; this final series, and this volume in particular however, were somewhat lacking. The book was filled with tedious descriptions and emotions that seemed to go on and on; I thought I¿d scream if I had to read one more passage about Linden Avery¿s introspective struggle between helping others and obtaining revenge. While the book does explain some of the series¿ earlier mysteries, it also leaves many new ones unexplained; explanations that will all need to be packed into the final volume. To summarize, the book was too long and drawn out without enough action to keep it interesting. Only recommended to the true devotees ¿The Land.¿
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the first two sets of the chronicles over 20yrs naturally i wanted to read them again before reading thelast set. I have read through them all,except the last book in a matter or 6 weeks! Have loved them! To those who think they are not as good as the first sets? Not sure where that comes from ...reading them all together they "fit" like the gates of Revelstone...flawlessly...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago