Customer Reviews: The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (the Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Book 5): "Wounded Land", "One Tree" and "White Gold Wielder"
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on November 14, 2005
If you want a review of the Chronicles, see any of the other editions of this book, what I want to warn you about is the quality of the materials from which the book is made.

The cover is very thin and flimsy and promises to scuff easily and tear. Given that the book weighs in at 1150 pages, I was expecting a thicker, more durable cover. I normally carry books in a knapsack but, to be honest, I'm not sure I would risk this one in a sack without a lot of care. If I had seen it in the stacks at the local brick and mortar, I would never have bought it for the price.

The other aspect of the size that concerns me is the height and width; this book is a little larger than the average paperback. I was expecting something closer to the size of a hardcover. The binding *appears* good but given the size and construction, I am honestly concerned that this book may not hold up for more than two or three readings.

You are better off buying the books separately or finding a different combined edition.
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on October 12, 2014
The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is a worthy successor to the first trilogy. It seems somewhat surprising that it was written at all, though it turns out to be a pleasant and gratifying surprise.

Donaldson never intended to write a follow-up series about Thomas Covenant. The story stood complete. However, his publisher very much wanted more Covenant from Donaldson. After reading the Second Chronicles, I can vaguely imagine what must have happened in Donaldson's mind. In effect, he asked himself: "How could I write another Covenant story without repeating myself? Might I really be able to put new wine in old bottles? Is there a way to say something new here that would allow me to retain my interest in the story, as well as my integrity and self-respect as a serious writer?" He then found a way to do just that.

In the first series, Covenant struggled against leprosy. In the second series, he struggles against venom acquired during his return to the land. In the first series, Covenant had to learn to fight his inner despiser by unleashing the wild magic. In the second series he learns all about the powerlessness of power and the need for restraint. Covenant acts more like what you would expect from a protagonist in the Second Chronicles. However, all his former victories begin to lose their usefulness as Covenant confronts the new paradoxes of power he experiences in the land. Personal conundrums reappear.

Covenant is joined in "the land" by Dr. Linden Avery, a woman with problems of her own and special land-acquired talents as well. The relationship between Covenant and Avery (Covenant as quasi-mentor to an admiring Avery, Avery as Doctor and Nurse to an increasingly sick Covenant, Avery and Covenant as romantic partners, Covenant and Avery's tension filled collaboration against Foul) is complex, and central to the story.

Covenant is tempted to destructive unrestraint and despair by Lord Foul, who has turned the land Covenant loves so much into a place of horror. Donaldson shows great bravery and displays prodigious creative imagination as he turns the land we remember from the first series inside out. After accomplishing this feat in The Wounded Land, Donaldson steps outside his comfort zone again in The One Tree by having Covenant, Avery and assorted helpers leave the land behind entirely, exploring new territories in pursuit of means to fight against Foul's desecration of the land. White Gold Wielder involves the return to the land, and 2 big showdowns.

In the Second Chronicles, Donaldson does not rest on his laurels or refuse to take risks. The Covenant story moves forward simultaneously on many different fronts-this is a series teeming with life and vitality. In addition, Donaldson shows serious growth as a writer. I've already mentioned Donaldson's increasingly fertile imagination. And even as Donaldson is reinventing his fantasy settings, he is learning to make them seem more complex and lived in. Further, Donaldson's prose has become more graceful and fluid, and the plotting more complex. The Second Chronicles remains as humane and philosophical as the first series, with themes that are different from, but largely emerge out of, the original trilogy. The Wounded Land and The One Tree are both strong candidates for being the best single Covenant book, and the Giants in this series, especially Pitchwife, are absolutely wonderful. (I think as fondly of Pitchwife-showcased most effectively in The One Tree-as I do of Lord Mhoram, my personal favorite from the first series.)

Though I love the Second Chronicles, I wouldn't go so far as to rank it above the original trilogy. (I oscillate between considering it "as good" and "almost as good" as the original.) Covenant's struggles with venom, Avery's struggles with her personal demons, the complex relationship between these two characters- all this is great, but none of it strikes me with the same visceral impact as Covenant's struggles with leprosy from the first series. In addition, the angst and emotional drama in the Second Chronicles, though usually very powerful, comes across, on occasion, as extravagantly excessive. I've never thought the same about the first trilogy.

But however one decides to rank these 2 trilogies, the important point is this: The Second Chronicles is clearly a classic fantasy series that enriches the Covenant story and enhances Donaldson's stature as a writer.

Beyond 5 stars
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on March 29, 2016
Awesome story. It's interesting to watch donaldson's writing style evolve over the years that he took to write his three sets of covenant books. I would highly recommend the entire series to anyone who enjoys epic fantasy!!!
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on August 30, 2014
Somehow I felt something was missing from The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (which I gave five stars to)
but like all sequels, I felt the magic had gone out... which is usually the case when a writer beats down his books
with sequels. Sorry Folks, but for some reason I felt the magic had left - Donaldson should have stopped after
the first three books.... those were definitely *5* star reads!
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on July 12, 2012
I began with the first Trilogy back in the late 70's and was delighted to find that Stephen kept writing (my son informed me!). I found this Trilogy on-line and was moved to order it to continue my "quest." The book was an excellent value, in great shape and well worth the modest cost. Thank you so much!
Dan J.
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on June 3, 2014
yes, i read it when it first come out and still enjoy the chronicles. they make you laugh and cry and also if you read between the lines can teach you things in real life. Stephen Donaldson did well. best books i have ever read! i will soon be looking for the third chronicles
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on June 4, 2009
Was in much better condition than I thought it would be. Very prompt shipment. Will buy from this dealer again.
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on September 14, 2009
One of my favorite all time series of novels. Thomas Covenant's adventures are appealing, relevant, and just down right excellent story telling. Rivals the Lord of the Lord of the Rings trilogy as one of the greatest stories ever written.
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