Monday, August 23, 2010

Against All Things Ending-Stephen R. Donaldson

Against All Things Ending
Stephen R. Donaldson
Putnam, Oct 19 2010, $29.95
ISBN: 9780399156786

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

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