The Runes of the Earth (The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Book 1)
Stephen R. Donaldson
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More than twenty years ago, Stephen R. Donaldson set a literary landmark with the first fantasy bestseller. His New York Times bestselling series, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, transformed modern fantasy. Now, at long last, Donaldson introduces the first novel of the much-awaited, four-volume finale to the series that's sold more than ten million copies.
Thomas Covenant lost everything. Abandoned by his wife and child, sick and alone, he was transported while unconscious to a magical, dreamlike world called the Land. Convinced it was all a delusion, Covenant was christened The Unbeliever by the Land's inhabitants-but gave his life to save this newfound world he came to regard as precious.
Ten years after Covenant's death, Linden Avery still mourns for her beloved companion. But a violent confrontation with Covenant's son- who is doing the evil Lord Foul's bidding-forces her back to the Land, where a dark malevolence is about to unmake the laws of nature-and of life and death itself.
Ramen. And she recognized that he, too, had felt the renewed touch of health-sense. He reveled in discernment as if he were exalted; drunk on the new depth and significance of everything around him. Excitement seemed to crow and preen in every line of his form. “Linden,” he called joyously, “is it not wondrous?” Clearly he felt too many wonders to name them all. Smiling at his pleasure, she continued toward the campfire. She was still ten paces away when she began to feel Sahah’s wracked
behind. The touch of the water on her lips and tongue was as cold as fire. When she swallowed it, it burned within her like a blaze of absolute ice. Then she surged upright and began to run with the Ranyhyn, run and run frantically, flinging herself like ecstasy or abjection around the dell as if she had gone out of her mind. 4. Heedless in Rain Linden Avery and Stave of the Haruchai returned to the Verge of Wandering in a scourging rain. Huddled on the necks of their Ranyhyn, they rode
invocation. Power swelled through the wedge as the loremaster sliced open its palm, then cupped its fingers to catch the viscid welling of its ebony blood; but she took no notice of it. She did not realize that the ur-viles had interpreted her cry as permission until the loremaster snatched at her arm, pulling her hand toward it. In the brief shock before she remembered fear, Linden saw the blade glow like molten metal over her palm: ruddy and lambent; potent as ichor. Then, while she tried to
desecration, it had told her, glad of her terror. You are being forged as iron is forged to achieve the ruin of the Earth. Through eyes and ears and touch, you are made to be what the Despiser requires. Then samadhi Raver had withdrawn. But that had been enough. Appalled, she had fallen so far into the knowledge of evil that she knew only despair; desired only death. To herself she had appeared as ruined as the wasteland which the Ravers coveted; lost in her own crimes. Now a Raver had taken
Roger reached out to touch her arm. “Dr. Avery, are you all right?” Then he dropped his hand. “I really think you should let me take her. It would be better for everyone.” Even you, he seemed to say. Especially you. Take her place. Ten years ago, empowered by all of those hands thrust into the flames, all of that ceded pain, as well as by the fatal rush of Thomas Covenant’s blood, a bitter malevolence had pierced the reality of Linden’s life. It had drawn her in Covenant’s wake to another