Against All Things Ending opens as Linden Avery realizes that she's doomed the Land. At the close of the previous book, Fatal Revenant, she brings Thomas Covenant back to life and thereby awakens the Worm of World's End. Linden and her companions (giants, Ramen, a Stonedownor, Haruchai, and a madman) are forced to accept the aid of an Insequent named the Harrow, who takes them deep beneath Mount Thunder to save Linden's son Jeremiah, and thereby perhaps stop the Worm.
Wow. I certainly don't remember any of Stephen R. Donaldson's other books being this painful. Maybe I'm the one who's changed, but I don't think I could have changed this much since the second book. I was 60% of the way through the book when I quit reading, and not a thing had happened. The scenery changed. Some of the characters came and went. But the story was still stuck on the same damn thing: Linden Avery feels guilty. Donaldson explains it over and over to the reader in every chapter. Instead of building on it, he repeats it. It's excruciating. And the way the narration of a few seconds of time can take pages to relate is also excruciating. JUST. TELL. ME. WHAT'S. HAPPENING. Stop telling me where people are standing and how Avery still thinks she's failed. As you can see, I found this book incredibly (and surprisingly!) frustrating.
However, if you want to show off at the next party, you can try to learn some of the words Donaldson like to use. Knowing the meanings of these words is about as useful as the average party trick--not very. For example, puissance gets a lot of use. And I spotted irrefragable and excoriated within a page of one another. Then, there's the colours. In this book the words blue, green, and red do not exist; instead they're azure, viridian, and cerise. It's tiresome wading through it all. Maybe I'm just uptight, but I don't enjoy reading fiction with a dictionary at my elbow.
The only positive thing I have to say is that the book has an interesting premise. A large part of my disappointment is that I really wanted to see what happens in the end. But I just can't deal with this book anymore.
I did not finish the book. This review reflects the first half of the book only.
Copy source: personal library
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