Saturday, 16 July 2011

Book Review: The Power That Preserves

Donaldson’s final book caps off the series rather nicely. Taking place 7 years after the events of The Illearth War (in the Land’s timeline), Thomas Covenant is once again summoned to fight Lord Foul. Covenant and his allies must make their way to Ridjeck Thome, while Revelstone is besieged by the forces of Satansfist, the third and final Giant-Raver.

This series kept getting better and better as the books continued. Over the course of the trilogy, Donaldson creates a plethora of extremely complex characters, with deep underlying motivations and personalities, not to mention development. Many of these come to fruition in The Power that Preserves, meaning that we see what really makes these people tick. I like that a lot; good character development is one of the things that really draws me into a story.

Thomas Covenant’s Unbelief also comes to a head. As with many things about Donaldson’s work, it isn’t until a subject reaches its conclusion that the reader fully understands it. At the books climax, the reader gains an even deeper understanding of Unbelief, the oft-spoken of but seldom described force that allows Covenant to accept the Land as a delusion.

Even that description is pretty poor—a “force”? Bah.

If you are interested in a different sort of fantasy, I hesitatingly recommend The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. Be forewarned, however: the first Chronicles were written at the same time, even if they were published as three different books.

Right now I am reading something which I would call far superior—A Dance with Dragons! That will be the subject of my next review. 


  1. The Covenant series had one of the first true anti-heroes I'd ever read; to this day it remains iconic to me in that sense. I loved the characters of the Land, but Covenant was a tool pretty much throughout =) I preferred the 2nd series over the first though; much more memorable.

  2. If that's the case, then I may have to read the second chronicles sooner than I expected to. But I know how you feel with the characterizations. Mhoram was awesome. Covenant was a dick. A lot.