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White Gold Wielder (1997)

White Gold Wielder (1997)

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3.98 of 5 Votes: 3
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0345418484 (ISBN13: 9780345418487)
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About book White Gold Wielder (1997)

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 were supposed to root for him, but not like him. After all, his first act in the Land was to rape a 16 year old girl. He finds redemption in the first trilogy.But he’s not very likeable in the second trilogy because he’s a whiny, petulant, mouse of a man. Every little setback turns into page after page of morose introspection. Covenant is cleansed of this narcissistic brooding by his immersion in the Banefire. But by then, it is too late for the reader because the remainder of the book is written from Linden’s point of view.Linden isn’t very likeable either. She’s no anti-hero, although Donaldson makes a half-hearted effort at making her one. We learn that Linden killed her mother by suffocating her as she lie dying in a hospital bed. This would be a tragic and painful ordeal for a real person and would certainly fill them with guilt. But it lacks the despicable nature that creates an anti-hero. The seminal and defining event in Linden's life that makes her so unsure of her emotions is seldom referenced and does not serve as a defining characteristic. It seems tacked on.Linden is also almost always sulking about something. Much of the second trilogy, especially the second book, is page after page of Linden brooding about something Covenant said or did. Reading the interaction between them was like hanging out with a couple who look for the smallest reasons to fight with each other and ruin your evening. You don’t want to hang out with them anymore and there were times that I wanted to put these books down and quit spending time with Mr. Doom and Mrs. Gloom, aka Thomas Covenant and Linden Avery.The second book was pointless. Through 500 pages, little new information was revealed. The plot advanced little. The point of the book turned out to be false. It was as if Donaldson was cranking out words and storylines while searching for the resolution of his story – a resolution he did not find before completing the second book.WHITE GOLD WIELDER brings some redemption to the story. We rejoin the main plot. As he head toward Revelstone with the goal of bringing down the Clave and ending the Sunbane, Thomas Covenant once again becomes a man of action. With purpose defined, he becomes a less brooding figure and a more heroic one.The story’s climax is fitting and almost makes it worth enduring the second book. The climax is brilliant because it is rather anti-climatic, but revealing. At the beginning of the book, Foul tells Covenant that he will willingly hand over the white gold. The reader dismisses this as boastful bloviating. The anti-climax is developed as Covenant does just that. There is no epic battle, just simple surrender and self sacrifice. Foul is not destroyed. We find that Foul and his existence are as essential to the existence of the Land as is the staff of law.The end of the second trilogy sets up another sequel which Donaldson would undertake almost 30 years later. Three books have been published in the FINAL CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT. Reading this trilogy was frequently a struggle, but worth it for no other reason than it sets up the third Chronicles. No matter how badly Donaldson’s plots sometimes falter, he remains a brilliant wordsmith. His expansive vocabulary, his strong character development (when they are not overwrought with self pity), and his descriptive narrative make him one of the most enjoyable writers I’ve ever read.

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 surface of the meaning of the books. The anti-hero has become more popular these days. And in the first trilogy, Thomas Covenant WAS a very hard hero to like. But his struggles are the same struggles that *I* have experienced in life. The journey through guilt, dishonor and disbelief to redemption is one that I have lived. Thomas Covenant was a real person, flawed, dealing with his life (and the "dream" of the Land) in the only way he knew how. And in the end of the first trilogy, he found that balance within himself, redeemed himself. In the second trilogy, we have TWO deeply flawed characters, but they are damaged in different ways. Linden Avery was driven by her powerlessness in the face of despair and death. Thomas Covenenant, in the second trilogy, was driven by similar demons, except that he had experienced redemption and was put to new challenges, the loss of what he had loved and saved. Both Linden and Avery in the end were able to turn their weaknesses into strengths, and redeem themselves. It was a vastly satisfying read. It doesn't MATTER if the Land is real or not. What matters is the journey of the main characters. And what they conquer in themselves in infinitely satisfying. I didn't know that there was a third trilogy until I was reading reviews of Thomas Covenant online (which I always do after reading a series, because I'm sad it's over and want to read other people's views on it). But I'm excited to start reading it... it's a series of four books, but the fourth hasn't been released yet. And Donaldson said he waited so long to start because he was afraid he wouldn't be able to bring the story to completion and due it full justice. In the end, he decided to face his fears and make the attempt, because the greatest thing he risked was failure. And in that, you can see that much of WHO his characters are is drawn from within himself. Which makes for the best writing. I would recommend these books to anyone. And I've seen them given horrible reviews. But people giving these books horrible reviews usually haven't read the entire series, and I'd wager my admittedly unimpressive bank account against the fact that they haven't struggled with some of the things that Covenant struggles with on a daily basis. If you understand the why of a person, you find their journey fascinating, no matter how unappealing they may seem when you first are introduced to their character.

Do You like book White Gold Wielder (1997)?

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 rank and befouled wightwarrens, deep in the heart of Mount Threndor, the Unbeliever and his new comrade, referred to as the Sun-Sage, must enter the deep in a race against time if they are ever to reverse the damage done by the banefire. With unforseen twists all the way, White Gold Wielder with answer previous questions...and raise dozens more.

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.Some might say that it is a hollow (or "Phyrric" for you classicists out there) victory given the cost, but it does the job. As before, the book wraps up many plot lines. even if the reader does not like the end, they cannot complain that they were short-changed. Another fine novel.(view spoiler)[Okay, so I wrote that the book comes to a conclusion - and so it does. Covenant is dead. You can't really get much firmer with the ending that that, can you? Of course, the good Doctor is still alive and she gets his ring. And there's a tiny bit of the Obi-wan Kenobi messages from the beyond where Covenant communicates with her as she heads home to the "real world". I did not mind that the author chose such a final end to this book. sure, he left the door open, but it seemed pretty final. And for years it seemed that he and his publisher were content to let the series end here. I now know that there are four more books (written a long time later), but I have not read them. Perhaps I will. i know nothing about them, but if the writing is up to the level of this second series and the story is good, then I look forward to it. (hide spoiler)]

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 from him, she does not, having found, in their travels together, that his insight, though altered by bitterness and his leprosy, is something she chooses to trust. The showdown against Lord Foul and the aftermath is magnificently done, and though it has been nearly thirty years since I read it the first time, rereading just the ending brought great tears to my eyes and hope to my heart just the other day.
—Mark Mitchell

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