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The Last Dark: The climax of the entire Thomas Covenant Chronicles (Last Chronicles of Thomas Cove) Hardcover – October 15, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
Top Customer Reviews
I have been looking forward to this summation of Covenant's and Linden Avery's stories for many years and parts of this book were entirely satisfying in that regard. I will begin by talking about the things that I thought were very well done, followed by a few problems that I regret mar this book for me and cost it two stars. Spoilers ahead, although I will try to be circumspect!
1) Lots of Giants (but, see also, the cons below). The Giants are one of the most affecting recurring characters in the Covenant canon. Donaldson took some pains to clarify what it means that "joy is in the ears that hear, not the mouth that speaks." There is a surprising level of angst with the Giants in this book that is partially settled by a kind of caamora which readers will recognize from an earlier book. That said, Giants are the characters whose nobility and capacity for courage and sacrifice are made archetypal rather than caricatured. I will always be haunted by Baf Scatterwit and how beloved she is by her crewmates.
2) The Haruchai. These are arguably the most carefully considered characters in the series. They are flawed, though immensely admirable, and Donaldson obviously venerates them and their lives of passion and service.Read more ›
*SPOILERS BEGIN HERE*
From Runes Of The Earth through Against All Things Ending, I kept reading a story that was well-narrated but had a fairly incoherent plot, reading on in hope that Donaldson would pull it all together in The Last Dark. In Runes of the Earth and Fatal Revenant, Donaldson builds up a dizzying array of characters, many of whom either have no particular impact on the plot (e.g. Liand, The Harrow) or serve among the multitude of blatant deus-ex-machina who zap in and magic up Ur-Viles/the Illearth Stone/caesures/a fake Thomas Covenant (e.g. Roger, Esmer, Kastennessen) whenever the plot demands it.
Donaldson seems to recognize his mistake in Against All Things Ending, and begins methodically killing the superfluous characters off (I had particular hope for the story when he killed off Esmer, whose power and sheer randomness made everything arbitrary). Unfortunately, he does this in the quickest possible way - which often involves the actions of more deux-ex-machina (Roger, cavewights, sandgorgons, skurj, or ur-viles zapping in and impaling people), adding to the general incoherence of the plot.
But that is all What Has Come Before. Now we're done culling out all of the superfluous elements of the first three books and ready to get down to some real storytelling, right?Read more ›
In 1980, my Senior year in High School, my brother returned home from his Freshman year in college and gave me a birthday present of a book that he'd heard would be good for a Science Fiction fan like myself. "Thanks!" I effused, thinking how stupid my brother was for not knowing the difference between Sci-Fi and Fantasy. But a voracious reader leaves no book unread, so soon I found myself slogging through fifty pages or so of a depressing story about a leper in modern society, outcast and unwelcome, hated by everyone around him, and feeling smug about just how much of an idiot my brother was.
Until......suddenly I was introduced to a Land where health and beauty are tangible things, where power and authority are palpable and used to serve noble purposes instead of as tools of mendacity and greed, where corruption and goodness are deified in the personage of good and evil Lords. This was a world that could be loved by a tech geek that was bored to tears by "The Hobbit", these were people and beings that deserved the utmost respect and affection. But in this world of health, beauty and respect, a normal man with normal human foibles and a profound illness has a hard time fitting in, especially when it's vividly pointed out to him just how much he's lost, how mundane and empty his normal human life has become.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Stephanie R Donaldson. I will read these series of books againPublished 5 days ago by ralph melton
Weak and somewhat predictable ending to the saga. As much as I love Donaldson's writing, this really didn't feel like the ultimate ending to a ten-book series.Published 10 days ago by H. Grimmett
Gift for the Mister. Replacing a childhood collection that was lost long ago in a galaxy far,far away.Published 24 days ago by Tink
Strange plot choices and a very unsatisfying conclusion to a much beloved series. A shame.Published 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
Lots of twists in the last book of the Chronicles. Some leave you depressed and doubting, others leave you excited and happy. Read morePublished 1 month ago by john cox
Haven't read it yet. The first six in the series I've read 6 times. great storyPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer