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Book Details

The Illearth War

85.7% complete
1977
1981
2 times
Covenant, Thomas (Fictitious character) - Fiction
Fantasy fiction
Fiction in English
See 30
Part I - Revelstone
1 - "The Dreams of Men"
2 - Halfhand
3 - The Summoning
4 - "May Be Lost"
5 - Dukkha
6 - The High Lord
7 - Korik's Mission
8 - "Lord Kevin's Lament"
9 - Glimmermere
10 - Seer and Oracle
Part II - The Warmark
11 - War Council
12 - Forth to War
13 - The Rock Gardens of Maerl
14 - Runnik's Tale
15 - Revelwood
16 - Forced March
17 - Tull's Tale
18 - Doom's Retreat
19 - The Ruins of the Southron Wastes
20 - Garroting Deep
Part III - The Blood of the Earth
21 - Lena's Daughter
22 - Anundivian Yajna
23 - Knowledge
24 - Descent to Earthroot
25 - The Seventh Ward
26 - Gallows Hopwe
27 - Leper
Book Cover
Has a genre Has a synopsis Has an extract Has a year read Has a rating In my library In a series 
20
 Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever*
#2 of 3
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever*   See series as if on a bookshelf
The first trilogy by Stephen R Donaldson with Thomas Covenant as the main character and introducing The Land.

1) Lord Foul's Bane
2) The Illearth War
3) The Power that Preserves

 Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
#2 of 10
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant   See series as if on a bookshelf
The overall span of Thomas Covenant novels in order.

1) Lord Foul's Bane
2) The Illearth War
3) The Power that Preserves
4) The Wounded Land
5) The One Tree
6) White Gold Wielder
7) The Runes of the Earth
8) Fatal Revenant
9) Against All Things Ending
10) The Last Dark
© 1977 by Stephen R. Donaldson
For Dr. James R. Donaldson, M.D.,
whose life expressed compassion and commitment
more eloquently than any words
By the time Thomas Covenant reached his house the burden of what had happened to him had already become tolerable.
May contain spoilers
He did not choose to repudiate the accusation written there.
No comments on file
Synopsis (may contain spoilers)
Covenant is back in the "real" world for about three weeks and things are getting out of hand.  Someone from the town sets fire to his barn.  He decides that he needs some human company so he hikes to the next town.  While there the singer seems to recognize him and calls him Berek, which is the name of the person from the Land that he is supposed to be the reincarnation of.  He's picked up by the Sheriff and is taken back to his house.  His phone rings and his wife Joan in on the other end but he trips and falls and hits his head on the coffee table.

When he awakens, he is in the Land once again.  He finds that, although it has been only four or five weeks for him, more than forty years have passed in the Land.  He has been summoned there by Elena, the new High Lord.  He also meets Hile Troy, a person that was summoned by mistake when Atiaran (Lena's mother from Lord Foul's Bane) was attempting to summon him back.  Hile Troy was born with no eyes and worked in a military think tank.  His grasp of spatial geometry enabled him to create strategies that most other people couldn't.  He had made it through the ranks to become Warmark.

Covenant is given a sword called the krill by Elena that belonged to Loric.  Covenant did not want the gift and smashed it down into a table.  The gem glows when it contacts his ring and sticks into the table fast.  Elena tells Covenant that she his his daughter from the rape of Lena from Covenant's last visit.

The Council of the Lord gathers to make arrangements for a journey to Seareach to determine the fate of the silent Giants.  They are visited by a man named Amok during this meeting.  He has been sent by Kevin of old to impart answers since the krill has been reactivated.  When discovering that it was reactivated too soon, he disappears.

Much later Revelstone is visited by a Ramen.  She brings news that Lord Foul's army is on the move and that it is being led by a Giant.  The army of Revelstone has the news too late and they must march a hard march in order to make a stand at Doom's Retreat.  On their way they stop at Revelwood to make preparations with the Loresraat.  While there they are again visited by Amok who says that the Lands need made him stay and offer his services to the Lords.  It is discovered that he knows where the Seventh Ward of Lord Kevin is.  High Lord Elena and Covenant leave with two Bloodguard to seek the Ward while the rest of the army move to Doom's Retreat. 

At Mithil Stonedown Hile Troy goes to Kevin's Watch to see the movement of Lord Foul's army.  They are visited by a Bloodguard at Kevin's Watch from the journey to Seareach.  He tells a tell of the murder of the Giants and how the triplets that were born earlier had been taken over by the Ravers.  In the morning, Hile Troy is overwhelmed by the size of Lord Foul's army and can see his advance troops being decimated as they are retreating to Doom's Retreat.  He almost gives up but Mhoram gives him reason to hope.  They move out to Doom's Retreat.  He orders his army from there to the edge of Garroting Deep where Mhoram calls the Forestall.  Hile Troy promises the Forestall anything and the Raver if he will give him and his army free passage through the forest.  They make it to the Gallowing Howe where they meet the hanging body of the Raver Giant and the Forestall.  They also see Bannor and Covenant come into the clearing as well.

Covenant and Elena had made it to the Seventh Ward which contained the Power of Command.  Elena drank of the Earthblood and called forth Lord Kevin from the dead to battle Lord Foul.  He is immediately corrupted by the Illearth Stone and sent back to kill High Lord Elena.  They battle and Covenant is unable to save Elena.  He and Bannor escape to Garroting Deep.  Hile Troy, who has loved Elena, learns that Covenant is her father and hits him across the forehead with one of the Lords staffs.  Covenant offers his ring to Hile Troy in order to save Elena but the Forestall will not allow it.  It is time for Hile Troy to make good his bargain.  The Forestall turns him into a tree and tells him that he will become the Forestall's apprentice and become a new Forestall eventually.  Covenant begins to fade as Elena finally succumbs to the dead Kevin.

Extract (may contain spoilers)
Lord Hyrim stepped forward, planted his staff, said bravely, "Come no closer, turiya Raver.  I am Hyrim, Lord of the Council of Revelstone.  Melenkurion abatha!  Duroc minas mill khabaal!  I will not let you pass."

The Giant winced as Lord Hyrim uttered the Words of power.  But then he laughed again.  "Hah!  Little Lord!  Is that the limit of your lore?  Can you come no closer than that to the Seven Words?  You pronounce them badly.  But I must admit - you have recognized me.  I am turiya Harem.  But we have new names now, my brothers and I.  There is Fleshharrower, and Satansfist.  And I am named Kinslaughterer."

At this, the older Giant groaned heavily.  The Raver glanced into the back of the cell, and said in a tone of satisfaction, "Ah, there he is.  Little Lord, I see that you have been speaking with Sparlimb Keelsetter.  Did he tell you that he is my father?  Father, why do you not welcome your son?"

 

Added: 25-Nov-2002
Last Updated: 04-Apr-2023

Publications

 18-Sep-1978
Voyager
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
18-Sep-1978
Pages*:
574
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
122
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-006-15246-5
ISBN-13:
978-0-006-15246-0
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:
 01-Nov-1980
Ballantine Books
Mass Market Paperback
In my libraryI read this editionOrder from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Nov-1980
Format:
Mass Market Paperback
Cover Price:
$2.95
Pages*:
518
Read:
Once
Reading(s):
1)   1 Jan 1981 - 1 Jan 1981
Internal ID:
25
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-345-29656-7
ISBN-13:
978-0-345-29656-6
Printing:
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Credits:
Lynn K Plagge - Map
Darrell K Sweet  - Cover Artist
WHILE THE EVIL DAYS COME

After scant days in his "real" world, Thomas Covenant found himself again summoned to the Land - the strange world of magic and earthpower.  There forty bitter years had passed, while Lord Foul, moved to fulfill his prophesy of doom.  Foul's countless minions, led by a Giant Raver, were already on the march of destruction.  They were opposed only by the untried war skill of Hile Troy, blind and bitter exile from "reality."

The Council of Lords found their spells useless, now that Foul the Despiser held the Illearth Stone, ancient source of evil power.  High Lord Elena turned in desperation to Covenant and the legendary white gold magic of his ring.  And nobody knew how to use the white gold - least of all, Thomas Covenant.

Thus continues one of the strangest epic fantasies ever written...

THE CHRONICLES OF
THOMAS COVENANT THE UNBELIEVER

Book One LORD FOUL'S BANE
Book Two THE ILLEARTH WAR
Book Three THE POWER THAT PRESERVES
Cover:
Book CoverBook Back CoverBook Spine
Notes and Comments:
First Ballantine Books Edition: September 1978
Ninth printing: November 1980
First Canadian Printing: October 1978
Fourth Canadian Printing: August 1979

I read this immediately after Dragonflight in the tenth grade.  My grandmother had bought me the first book in this series and Dragonflight, both of which I read at her house during my visit.  Once I got home I got the Illearth Stone and read it.  This was a much better book where we discover the horror of Lord Foul a little more.  He doesn't seem as benign as he does in the first book.
 01-Nov-1989
Del Rey
Mass Market Paperback
In my libraryI read this editionOrder from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Nov-1989
Format:
Mass Market Paperback
Cover Price:
$7.50
Pages*:
518
Read:
Once
Reading(s):
1)   1 Jan 2003 - 1 Jan 2003
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
123
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-345-34866-4
ISBN-13:
978-0-345-34866-1
Printing:
36
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Credits:
Michael Herring  - Cover Artist
Lynn K Plagge - Map
"The Thomas Covenant saga... will certainly find a place on the small list of true classics in its specialized field."
WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD

After scant days in his "real" world, Thomas Covenant found himself again summoned to the Land.  There forty bitter years had passed, while Lord Foul, immortal enemy of the Land, moved to fulfill his prophecy of doom.

The Council or Lords found their spells useless, now that Foul the Despiser held the Illearth Stone, ancient source of evil power.  High Lord Elena turned in desperation to Covenant and the legendary white gold magic of his ring.  And nobody knew how to use the white gold - least of all, Thomas Covenant.

Thus continues one of the most remarkable epic fantasies ever written...

THE CHRONICLES OF
THOMAS COVENANT THE UNBELIEVER


Book One
LORD FOUL'S BANE

Book Two
THE ILLEARTH WAR

Book Three
THE POWER THAT PRESERVES
Cover:
Book CoverBook Back CoverBook Spine
Notes and Comments:
Published in hardcover by Holt, Rinehart and Winston
First Ballantine Books Edition: September 1978
Thirty-sixth printing based on the number line
Canada: $10.99
 15-Apr-2002
Voyager
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
15-Apr-2002
Pages*:
574
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
124
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-007-12771-5
ISBN-13:
978-0-007-12771-9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:

Related

Author(s)

 Stephen R Donaldson
Birth: 13 May 1947 Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Notes:
Stephen Reeder Donaldson (May 13, 1947 - ) was born on May 13, 1947  in Cleveland to his parents James R Donaldson and Mary Ruth Reeder.  James  Donaldson was a medical missionary and his family lived in India while  Stephen R Donaldson was between four to sixteen years of age.  His father  was a medical missionary and worked with lepers.  Stephen R. Donaldson  earned his BA degree in 1968 from the College of Wooster (Ohio) and his MA  in English in 1971 from Kent State University.

The first series Stephen R Donaldson wrote, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeleiver, was awarded first prize by the British Science Fiction Society in 1977 and 1978.  He also received the John W Campbell Award as the best new science fiction writer of 1978.

AI:
Stephen Donaldson is an American fantasy author known for his highly stylized, complex novels that blend elements of epic fantasy, science fiction, psychological drama, and political intrigue. Born on May 13, 1947, in Cleveland, Ohio, Donaldson grew up in a working-class family and struggled with dyslexia throughout his childhood. Despite these challenges, he developed a deep love of reading and storytelling, which would eventually lead him to become one of the most imaginative and acclaimed authors of his generation.

Donaldson attended The College of Wooster in Ohio, where he studied English and graduated in 1968. He then went on to earn a Master's degree in English from Kent State University in 1971. After completing his studies, Donaldson worked for several years as a medical copyeditor, but he always felt drawn to the world of writing and fiction. In 1977, he published his first novel, Lord Foul's Bane, which would become the first book in his landmark trilogy, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever.

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever tells the story of a cynical and embittered bestselling author who finds himself mysteriously transported to a magical realm known as The Land. There, he discovers that he has been chosen to be the savior of this world and is given the power to heal and destroy with a single touch. However, Covenant has trouble accepting his destiny and struggles with both his faith and his own personal demons. The trilogy was a groundbreaking work in the fantasy genre, and it cemented Donaldson's reputation as a master storyteller.

Over the next several decades, Donaldson would go on to write several other critically acclaimed series, including The Gap Cycle, the Mordant's Need duology, and The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. His stories often explore themes of guilt, redemption, morality, and the nature of reality itself. Donaldson's writing is known for its intricate plotting, vivid imagery, and complex characters. He has been praised for his ability to create fully realized fictional worlds and for his unique blend of mythic and futuristic elements.

Despite his success as a writer, Donaldson has faced his share of challenges over the years. In addition to his struggles with dyslexia, he has also battled with depression and health issues. However, he has remained committed to his craft, and his work has inspired generations of readers and writers. Today, he is considered one of the greatest living fantasy authors, and his influence can be seen in many contemporary works in the genre.

In addition to his writing, Donaldson has also been an activist and advocate for environmental causes. He is an outspoken critic of industrialization, urbanization, and the destruction of natural habitats. He has written extensively on these topics and has lent his support to various organizations and initiatives aimed at preserving the environment.

Overall, Stephen Donaldson is a prolific and visionary author who has left an indelible mark on the world of fantasy fiction. His complex, thought-provoking stories have captivated readers for decades, and his legacy as a master storyteller is sure to endure for generations to come.

Awards

No awards found
*
  • I try to maintain page numbers for audiobooks even though obviously there aren't any. I do this to keep track of pages read and I try to use the Kindle version page numbers for this.
  • Synopses marked with an asterisk (*) were generated by an AI. There aren't a lot since this is an iffy way to do it - AI seems to make stuff up.
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  • When listing chapters, I only list chapters relevant to the story. I will usually leave off Author Notes, Indices, Acknowledgements, etc unless they are relevant to the story or the book is non-fiction.
  • Page numbers on this site are for the end of the main story. I normally do not include appendices, extra material, and other miscellaneous stuff at the end of the book in the page count.






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