Sunday, December 7, 2008

Finished at Last!

Ok, it took me the better part of a year, off and on, to read this. Its not particularly easy to read unless you have an interest in etymology. I have a newly expanded vocabulary and now know what words like clinquant mean.. (Look it up! I had to...) But after adding to my favorites (my collegiate dictionary didn't have the words I was looking for), I have fished the book.

And it was superb!!

This guy Donaldson, he can spin a grand and sweeping epic of a story. The Land is still wonderful with larger than life vistas and characters. Every emotion in the world is evoked in the reader. Revelstone, Andelain, The Staff of Law....they are still able to provoke visions of splendor and majesty. And the characters we love to hate and hate to love. This is a study in conflict and it involves the reader deeply.

The First and Second Chronicles were great, but the conflicts, while evident, were mostly expressed externally to Thomas Covenant. In the Last Chronicle, Linden's conflicts are expressed internally and evidenced externally. We see what she's feeling and how her decisions or lack thereof effect the other characters instead of how the characters decisions effect her. It is masterful story-telling by a master. It is, basically, a re-telling of the best anti-hero story ever told from an internal perspective, from the mind and priorities of the anti-hero.

At the end of the last book, Thomas Covenant had returned with Linden's adopted son and needed her help. In this book, we learn the true condition of her son, we find out who her friends are and who is not. There are the same old antagonists and some new ones. We meet the maker of the first Staff of Law, Beren One-Hand, in person. We are shown the limits of Law and why there is a need for wild magic.

Read This! Start now so you can finish by next Christmas!

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