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White Gold Wielder (The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant #3)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  14,681 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
Thomas Covenant knew that despite his failure on the Isle of The One Tree, he had to return to the Land and fight. After a long and arduous journey, fighting all the way, he readies himself for the final showdown with Lord Foul, the Despiser, and begins to understand things he had only just wondered about before....
Paperback, 485 pages
Published June 23rd 1997 by Del Rey (first published 1983)
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Pawn of Prophecy by David EddingsMagician by Raymond E. FeistThe Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer BradleyDragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret WeisQueen of Sorcery by David Eddings
Best Fantasy of the 80s
79th out of 237 books — 416 voters
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Fantasy Books Set in Two Worlds
73rd out of 576 books — 618 voters

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Community Reviews

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Mar 16, 2008 Derk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I pretty much wanted to see Thomas Covenant strangled, but I couldn't stop reading the darn series
Oct 12, 2012 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Unlike other reviews I've read, I liked the second trilogy as much as the first. And I can understand why the author took almost two decades to tackle his third trilogy (The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever). I attempted to read the first trilogy when I was much younger than I am now, around 12, and just couldn't get into it. And not because of the "big awful" that happened near the beginning of the first book... just because I hadn't experienced enough life to scratch the surfa ...more
Aug 24, 2011 Josh rated it really liked it
While I enjoyed the series, and thought it was a fascinating universe with interesting characters, I had two major problems.

#1 - Both the first and second Chronicles are almost entirely composed of suffering and death. I've got no problem with dark stories, but spending days/weeks reading nothing but horrible events can take its toll. I often had to limit my reading to night time, because of I read early in the day I'd spend all day depressed.

#2 - Without going into any spoilers, I will say th
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
"We are mortal, and the visage of failure is heinous to us. But we are not required to succeed. It is required of us only that we hold fast in every gale and let come what may."

"That is the grace which has been given to you. To bear what must be borne."

In this third and final installment of the second Thomas Covenant trilogy many secrets are revealed, much despair is wrought, love is rekindled, and hope begins to flourish once more. Covenant, Linden, and their band of friends make their way to M
Sep 01, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
The Earth's crust was still cooling when I read this.

So, we come again to the last book in the trilogy. Things haven't gone well for the home team (but no spoilers). Our hero and the Doctor return again to fight for the Land.

In this novel, Donaldson surpasses his previous ending. Covenant takes actions that surprise not only his enemies, but friends as well. In this book he has finally come to terms with much that he was told/should understand, using that knowledge to force things to a victory.

Jan 20, 2009 Derek rated it it was amazing
Much like the first trilogy, this is also a dark read, but oh, so worth the journey. Thomas Covenant has an equally-flawed assistant, and it is even more fascinating to see their issues interact than it was just watching TC make it through the first trilogy.

If you missed my review of the first series, you might want to read it, as I did a much better job with that one.

Mr. Donaldson remains extraordinary, and the Second Chronicles are just as worthy of all the praise heaped upon the First Chronic
The Amazing Teacher Mr. Walsh Walsh
Sep 12, 2012 The Amazing Teacher Mr. Walsh Walsh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Arguably the best epic fantasy since JRR Tolkein (with apologies to Roger Zelazny and the Prices of Amber series), this is the last in the second trilogy of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever (read the other trilogy first to appreciate this trilogy). It is a terrific coda. However, I must note that it starts off with a violent act and should only be read after your parents have signed off on the mature themes.
Rob Hermanowski
Oct 25, 2012 Rob Hermanowski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Re-read this (and all the Covenant books) in preparation for the anticipated 10th and final Covenant book publication in fall, 2013. A magnificent ending to the Second Chronicles - Donaldson is even better in this trilogy than in the first!
Rives Mcdow
Sep 07, 2009 Rives Mcdow rated it really liked it
This book, and the other books of this series about Sir Thomas Covenant are the only books that actually made me sweat when reading them. They are intense. After reading this book, the first I read of the series, I said I would never read this author again. I couldn't help myself though, after I recovered from the first book. I started another one, and made my way through it. By the time I had read all the books in the series, I was more accustomed to Donaldson's writing style, and after reading ...more
Mar 15, 2010 Judy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Fantasy
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I read this entire series. Unlike most series, it doesn't fade in interest after the first book. As the publisher states: "These books have never received the recognition they deserve. It's one of the most powerful and complex fantasy trilogies since Lord of the Rings, but Donaldson is not just another Tolkien wanabee. Each character-driven book introduces unexpected plots, sub-plots, and a host of magical beings so believably rendered you'd believe you might bump into them on your way to the bo ...more
Feb 25, 2016 Layne added it
The Thomas Covenant books are great yet distressing.
Why are they great? Because I love a never ending story. I love to know the history of each character and how they were introduced and what they contributed to the story. I love the generational progression. That is fascinating. The writer has quite the imagination and style. I have to refer to the glossary often to remind me of the references throughout the series (I ordered the ebooks).

This is why this series distressing? The author pulls yo
Feb 17, 2016 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whereas in the original trilogy, Covenant revisits the Land in each book, and each book, in a way, tells a seperate story, abeit part of a bigger whole, Donaldson's second trilogy is one long, continous nightmare. There's no going back for Linden and Covenant - from the start of the first book the shadow of Covenant's imminent death, lying stabbed in the chest in the real world, hangs over his fate in the Land, and over the fate of his love for Linden and their future together. By the end of Whi ...more
James Reid
Apr 22, 2014 James Reid rated it really liked it
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant Book 6 (or book 3 of series 2).

So, the stretch between Andelian and the final confrontation goes on to long. The declaratory dialogue of the people of the land has begun to wear me down. The ending could be percieved as a deus ex machina. And yet I think this is almost as strong an ending as the ending of the first trilogy, and sufficiently good to rescue the somewhat aimlessness of the preceding book and a half. The fundamental thesis of these books is one I find f
Melissa Erickson
Jan 06, 2016 Melissa Erickson rated it it was amazing
Adore, always have... I read this series when in high school. Mostly because my brother told my mom about it while I was listening, and when I said I was going to read it, he told me it was way above my head and even he had to keep a dictionary nearby to understand the vocabulary. I fell in love with the characters, and spent many a week eating up this series like dark chocolate brownies with homemade fudge buttercream icing. I don't know that I've ever loved characters as much, since. This set ...more
Mar 15, 2016 Tatjana rated it it was ok
Najlosija u serijalu, koji inace uopste nije los.
Nov 28, 2014 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book years ago (probably when I was in my teens), and I found that I really didn't remember it on re-reading. It was an interesting conclusion to the second trilogy, and the final solution that Thomas Covenant arrives has has interestingly spiritual overtones. Somewhat disappointing that the author felt it important to wrap up some thoughts and threads in the Epilogue; I would have liked that stuff either explained better during the novel's action or left unsaid. Still, a pretty good ...more
Frank Vaisey
Nov 18, 2014 Frank Vaisey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All who love epic fantasy, tragic love stories, well told adventure.
Shelves: donaldson
I just finished reading this book for the 5th or 6th time this morning so I thought that I might review it.

For many years this had been my favorite series of books. I still remember how engrossed I was as I worked my way thru this series for the first time. There are a number of reasons why Donaldson is in my top 5 list of authors and this series epitomizes these reasons.

One of the first things I found was the interesting vocabulary Donaldson uses to describe his characters and landscapes. Color
Mar 16, 2011 Saga rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
A compelling conclusion to the Second Chronicles of TC, tonally warmer and more hope-laden than The Power that Preserves, where everyone just seemed to perish or drop dead. The story itself drags on a bit, particularly after the quenching of the Banefire at Revelstone, and upon the ice, but I can swallow that, much due to the characters themselves whom I've grown to like so much I don't want to part from them. If SRD ever wrote a separate book about The First and Pitchwife, I'd rush to buy one i ...more
Brian Schwartz
Apr 20, 2013 Brian Schwartz rated it really liked it
The second trilogy really pales in comparison to the first. It opens with promise as we see the Land, which Donaldson imbued with so much beauty and spirit in his first trilogy, warped and ruined. The first book was about action, reaction, and learning. Plots and subplots were put into motion and promised an epic battle for the heart and soul of the living Land.

However, Donaldson wallowed in lugubrious reflection, second guessing, and overwrought emotion. Thomas Covenant was an anti-hero. We wer
Mathew Bridle
Jul 25, 2011 Mathew Bridle rated it really liked it
The second Thomas Covenant Trilogy comes to an end with a more than satisfying conclusion. As is the norm with Thomas Covenant we are treated to a fair number of introspective moments as indeed we are with Linden Avery. But not without good reason. The love between the two lead characters is complicated by their individual inept ability to quickly forgive. This is important as it shapes the closing the moments of the book and leaves us in an interesting predicament for the next book. I’ll spoil ...more
Feb 20, 2012 Zane rated it it was amazing
Yet again, a review of the whole trilogy rather than each individual book. No spoilers of the story variety. The gist, for those who want to skip the lengthy review: these three books are more action-packed and immediately engaging than the previous trilogy, and Donaldson continued to hold true to the strengths that made the first novels a pleasure to read.

This trilogy was the better written, for me. More action packed, more events-driven and easier to get into. The horrors being wrought on the
May 18, 2013 Dave rated it really liked it
*For those who read my reviews, I am re-using the same review for each of the Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. I will include thoughts on all three novels in the one review. Cheers*

People say, all the time, how the second installment in a trilogy is usually the best or the darkest of the three. Donaldson did the "darker" bit in The Illearth War (Book 2 of the first Chronicles). But his second trilogy managed the same thing. Everything that was awesome about The Land in the first trilogy is
Aug 04, 2013 John rated it really liked it
Good, dammit. I'm glad that's over. I've read this before, but this time I got more of the philosophy than I did the first time out. Before it was all adventure and giants and ninjas and some sort of Ent creature and magic and stuff. This time it was all about sacrifice and self loathing and inadequacy and inadequacy made manifest by the fear of inadequacy and.... Gosh. I've started the first book in the next series, and even though it's the one I've read [the first time] most recently, it's the ...more
Tim Healy
Jul 30, 2013 Tim Healy rated it really liked it
I read this second Thomas Covenant trilogy as the books were released. I remember vividly waiting for White Gold Wielder to be released so I could finish. Even so, I was not fair to this trilogy when I read them. I was too much a fan of the first trilogy. This trilogy is certainly not like the first one.

In some ways it's better. It's "cleaner," in that it doesn't rely so much on what you already know about fantasy coming into the books. The first trilogy is packed full of parallels to the Lord o
Andrew Wilson
Nov 17, 2013 Andrew Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Thomas Covenant knew that despite his failure on the Isle of The One Tree, he had to return to the Land and fight. After a long and arduous journey, fighting all the way, he readies himself for the final showdown with Lord Foul, the Despiser, and begins to understand things he had only just wondered about before....

### From the Publisher

These books have never received the recognition they deserve. It's one of the most powerful and complex fantasy trilogies since Lord of the Rings, but Donalds

Jul 23, 2016 Chris rated it liked it
I love the nature of Lord Foul. He's inextinguishable, an inherent part of human nature. He's keen on gloating in the midst of his schemes to spread despair, but he never seems the slightest bit upset when Covenant seemingly lucks into the exact right response to defeat him. If you can't achieve annihilation, then millennia of success fostering despair, distrust, and loathing to corrupt everything cherished is a heck of a consolation prize.
Abhinav Neelam
I'll flesh this one out later when the immediate satisfaction of a spectacular finale has settled down and I can pick out more faults through the happy glare.

All I can say is Donaldson sets this up nicely - you always knew there was never going to a happy ending proper, but there *is* a fitting ending. And what an ending it is - bittersweet yes, but wondrously breathtaking, and epic enough to give closure to this immense trilogy.
Most of the rest of the book though , while typical Donaldson in
Mark Mitchell
Mar 04, 2012 Mark Mitchell rated it it was amazing
Even as "The One Tree" was the worst of the series in my opinion, this book was smashingly the best. Thomas Covenant and Linden Avery become an incredible (and unlikely) team as they, somewhat unwittingly, gather the tools and allies they need to face Lord Foul the Despiser, who lusts after the white gold ring which Thomas Covenant carries. Though Linden has been warned that Covenant is going to give the ring to Lord Foul, and though she has the power, with her talent of health sense, to take it ...more
Dragan Nanic
Sep 22, 2014 Dragan Nanic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Covenant is not an easy read. White Gold Wielder continues directly the journey from One Tree, but the beginning of the book is reserved for the relationship between Covenant and Linden, even more stressed with Covenant becoming "so powerful that he was powerless".
But the return to the Land and fight against Lord Foul is that much more rewarding. Once all the resolutions are set, this becomes a master class of the motivations and values that makes us surpass ourselves.
Jun 21, 2013 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the final installment of the Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever and White Gold Wielder, Covenant and Linden Avery return to the land that is ravaged by the dreaded Sunbane. Returning after failing to acquire the Staff of Law, they return to Revelstone and drive the raver from those giant-wrought halls. They are, however, unable to devise a way to combat the venomous hold Lord Foul the Despiser still has upon the once majestic land. Now, traveling to confront him directly in the ...more
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Stephen Reeder Donaldson is an American fantasy, science fiction, and mystery novelist; in the United Kingdom he is usually called "Stephen Donaldson" (without the "R"). He has also written non-fiction under the pen name Reed Stephens.


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 about Stephen R. Donaldson...

Other Books in the Series

The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (3 books)
  • The Wounded Land (The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, #1)
  • The One Tree (The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, #2)

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