The Last Dark (The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant #4)
... And now I'm done. :) And I'm going to be super vague below details-wise so I don't ruin it for anyone: no spoilers herein.
First off: SRD is one of my favorite two writers in the universe (the other is Anne Rice). The Second Chronicles are, word for word, pound for pound, my absolute favorite books bar none. *Nothing* will surpass the buzz of reading those for the first time ...more
The problem here (for them) is that Stephen R. Donaldson clearly wrote this book for ME, not for them. He tapped right in and analyzed my needs and wants, my expectations and my emotional state. Boy did he ever deliver!
I cannot imagine a finer c ...more
In hindsight one can see the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant building up to the Götterdämmerung that is The Last Dark.† In the first Chronicle, Thomas Covenant, an outcast leper in our world, is translated to the Land. There one’s physical and mental health are tangible, and all is threatened by Lord Foul the Despiser, who desires to destroy the Arch of Time (and, thus, the Earth) and escape his prison. Covenant learns ...more
I began reading the Thomas Covenant books in high school, just a few years after the first three books were published in 1977. Even then, I was struck by Donaldson's beautiful writing and his complex cha ...more
I introduced myself to Covenant when I was in graduate school in 1978. I was only a year behind Stephen R. Donaldson who published the first volume of the "First Chronicle of Thomas Covenant" in 1977. The three-volume work started with Lord Foul’s Bane. I devoured each new adventure as they came out ...more
First, a little background geekery: I am a huge, unabashed fan of Stephen R. Donaldson, and have been since 1980 or so -- ever since I discovered Lord Foul's Bane in my local library and remembered that a college friend had said it was a terrific book. (Thank you, Elizabeth, wherever you are.) I've read all of his published work, I think, and have met him in person ...more
Having reached the end and the final resolution, I think back to the previous books and wonder if this journey could ha ...more
I am a very big fan of Mr. Donaldson. The first two Thomas Covenant trilogies were some of the best books you can read. "It boots nothing to avoid his snares..."
The tales of Thomas Covenant and Linden Avery are tales about morality and choices. They are less about action and more about inaction and self-doubt. They are almost never about knowing exactly what to do. They are only about choosing a path that mirrors their own morality in a given moment.
The first ...more
If you have enjoyed the earlier books, then 'The Last Dark' will not disappoint. All the ingredients that make me love the Thomas Covenant books are in this final instalment (including ha ...more
Readers of the series have either loved it or hated it: it is either a brilliant foray into epic fantasy or a clunky, chunky story filled with strange words and even stranger characters. I am firmly in the former.
Reading The Last Dark was a joy and a tragedy; to visit one final time the Land and the many peoples and creatures that make it a wonder, y ...more
In fact, it reminds me very much of Lost (the plot), where you think such intricacies, clues, and complexity abound, until the finale, where you realise this shit was being made up as things went on, and the only way to end it would require more than one betraying cheat:
God in the machine, glossoverphillia, pseudo-meta-abstract explanations, and a quazi-poeti ...more
With The Last Dark, Stephen R. Donaldson draws to a close not only his most recent tetralogy, but his entire ten-book epic centered on the travails of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, certainly one of the longest-lasting and most significant and influential characters in modern fantasy. No matter one’s feelings on the book itself (and mine were definitely mixed), the series as a whole stands as a towering achievement, one of those classic/canonical works of fantasy that any student of th ...more
I am not going ...more
I read these because I enjoyed the first two Covenant series as a teenager, and I was sufficiently curious that I wanted to know what happened next. And what happens is generally interesting, although the ins and outs of who can...more
Linden Avery has been reunited with her son, Jeremiah, and is in love with Covenant as well. In her journey she has embraced the terrible episodes that are the foundation of her life and used them to becom ...more
Before I begin, I should give one caveat: even prior to this novel I haven't been a huge fan of the Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. While SRD does an excellent job portraying Linden Avery the Chosen, I've never been a fan of her character or her internal dialogue. As such, my favorite ...more
I enjoyed this last book as I finally got closure and, unlike Tolkien, appeared to wrap up ...more
This is the end of a tale that stretches almost 40 years in our time and millennia in the time of the Land. What I've seen in all his books has been a slow telling of the tale. In this last book it seems as if the pace becomes frenetic. Despite that it was still a slog to ge ...more
In my review of the third volume, I pointed ...more
A fitting conclusion that messily and explosively ties up the 10 book Chronicle. I feel like most of the negative reviews here on Goodreads come from different expectations rather than genuine specific criticisms. The final four-book Chronicle is actually more carefully written and conceived than either of the previous trilogies. Even so, Donaldson manages to give you writhing chaos and calm rational thinking at the same time, especially in the final 100 pages of the book.
I went from pitying, t ...more
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION:
Stephen R. Donaldson was born May 13, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, James, was a medical missionary and his mother, Ruth, a prostheti ...more