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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning author Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant books have sold more than 10 million copies. In the third volume of this trilogy, Linden Avery confronts the consequences of using magical power sufficient to wake the Worm, which is capable of destroying the Land. And although the only hope may rest with Linden’s son, the boy could also bring disaster upon everyone.

©2010 Stephen R. Donaldson (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"[A] writer of extraordinary power and imagination.” (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

Beautiful language

A fantastic book! Enjoyed reading it in print and was excited to see it on Audible. Lots of action and angst. As usual Mr. Donaldson's use of language is beautiful and flowing. He creates complex characters who are filled with despair but fight for beauty and truth. Unlike many fantasy novels which are just a fun read, Mr. Donaldson's books offer unique perspectives that are thought provoking.

I regret that Scott Brick did not read this version because I think he is perfect for the series. Tim Gerard Reynolds does a nice job, but it seems strange to me that some of the characters sound like they have a vaguely Scottish accent.

If you have never read one of the Thomas Covenant books before, DO NOT READ THIS ONE FIRST. You really have to read the entire series - preferably the two series before it as well. This book starts with a "what has gone before" introduction, but trust me it will not make any sense. I am perplexed that only 2 of the 3 books in the current series are available on Audible.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Lore
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 03-31-12

Worst book of the entire Thomas Covenant series.

I am a long time fan of the Thomas Covenant series and I have read the first 2 trilogies many times over. They are some of my favorite books of all time and I hope that someday they come to audio so I can listen to them. I have always loved the Land and the many inhabitants that Donaldson has brought to life.

Unfortunately all we have in audio is 2 books from the third series, which is by far much weaker than the first two. This particular book is pretty poor. If this book wasn't part of a long time series that I love I would have walked away and not completed listening to it.

The Land is now populated by uber-characters I really don't care about and Donaldson seems to just fill the pages with one time wasting distraction after another.

This series has exploited my love for the Land and delivered little in return. Perhaps Donaldson can pull it all together in the finale and turn me around, but for now, count me as as an Unbeliever.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great story, sketchy performance

What aspect of Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performance would you have changed?

Haruchai (especially Stave) sound like robot munchkins & the giants (especially Ironhand) sound like leprechauns.

Any additional comments?

Could use a do-over by Scott Brick.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I hate the heroes, but

I dislike Covenent and Linden, but the supporting cast are great characters! Of course, in my experience with Donaldsons books about this world, that is always my opinion. I once got so upset when a supporting cast character died, I threw the book off a balcony!
Of course, I retrieved it, had to finish it!
I do wish there was a female narroter, for these books in which Linden is the star.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Did Linden learn nothing in the previous trilogy?

I have stated previously that Donaldson is one of the yardsticks against which I measure all other writing. In many ways, his propensity for manipulating the English language is getting in the way of the story.

The main focus of three quarters of this book is the continued degeneration of Linden Avery's character. Her monomaniac charge to redeem her son has already doomed the Earth at the end of Fatal Revenant. She continues to ignore consequences and her indifference finally leads to the death of several companions. The story seems to tread water for the majority of the book, and only advances in the last two chapters.

The many seemingly insurmountable problems Linden and Covenant face continue to magnify. Without spoiling the specifics, the problems of Esmer and Joan are the only things that redeem this storyline from irrelevancy.

The specific problems of this novel are many. The biggest issue in my opinion is that this story seems to exist to jam every background note ever written by Donaldson into published form. In many ways, the previous novel as well as this one suffer from the same problems that doomed The Silmarillion. I am not saying that it is not interesting, but it can be done better. I refer to the Brian Herbert/Kevin Anderson expansions of Dune. Additionally, as stated in the headline, Linden Avery seems to have forgotten everything she learned during her previous sojourn with Covenant under the Sunbane. I found this highly distasteful, and I have to go all the way back to the 80s to Night and Fog (the 5th Cenotaph Road book) for such a sad evolution in character development.

My final objection to this work is that Donaldson's contortion of the language stabs him in the foot. His constant description of all magic as "theurgy," magic of divine origin, rather than "thaumaturgy," or general magic, as well as refering to an oversize sword as a glaive, a polearm consisting of a stick with a knife on the end, are the most obvious problems.

Finally, directly related to the audiobook and its performance, please do whatever is necessary to bring back Scott Brick for the last book. This reader speaks with a noticeable and distracting Irish accent. His only apparent ability at characterisation is to enhance this accent.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The wrong narrator

With all due respect to Mr. Reynolds, who would be capable for other books, he is the wrong narrator for this book. Scott Brick has read the other nine books in this series and he should be the one to read this one as well. Please, please correct this error.

The giants are not from Scotland. The Harrow doesn't sound like Robin Hood. The Haruchai (OMG) do not sound like extras in a Roman epic movie, Linden Avery does not sound like a Broadway diva, and Thomas Covenant does not sound like Campbell Scott or Keanu Reeves. It's straight-up wrong.

I will buy the book again, no complaints, if Scott Brick reads it.

Thanks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • Hillsboro, MO, United States
  • 02-05-13

I am not against this story ending

Any additional comments?

I rated this higher than I truely think it should be from the totality of all the books. I was so excited to get into the book that I could overlook the long drawn out internal struggles. By the end of the book I couldn't wait for it to end but I am so heavily invested in the story that I can't wait for the last book either so that the story can finally be resolved. Please use more than 5 scenes in the next book so my imagination can wonder around "The Land" one last time.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A fantastically well-read and enchanting story

The writer does an excellent job of captivating us and blowing our minds once again while the reader did a phenomenal job with voices and making each character unique. Well done

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Long Winded

although I've enjoyed this series, it has become very wordy as the books progress along. at times its like beating a dead horse, resurrecting it, killing it, burying it, dining it up, resurrecting it, playing with it, killing it, burying it... rinse and repeat. You get the idea.

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Outstanding in all ways

What made the experience of listening to Against All Things Ending the most enjoyable?

This book 9 of a 10 book series. The older books are difficult to obtain but are outstanding. This book extends the brilliance of the overall series.

What did you like best about this story?

The melding of contradictions in life is the central theme of these books. In many ways, the complex nature of the books provides an active mental exercise as well as simply enjoyable.

Which scene was your favorite?

Stephan Donaldson spends a great deal of time and energy describing the natural beauty in his world.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This is a thirty hour book. Next to impossible to do in one sitting. Plus, there is a great deal of thought or perspective which makes this a book essential to repeated viewing/listening. I found this was best for a long trip or long commutes. Also the vocabulary is extensive, enjoyable and appropriate. Sorry, too many authors that put in big words because they are large. Here, the vocabulary is appropriately extensive.