I used to love the First and Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, but I am afraid the Last Chronicles really did not work for me. Disjointed, uninspiring jaunts into the past history of the Land, and flat or unsympathetic characters - mainly Linden Avery and her eternal angst, but the supporting characters never came to life either.
The Last Dark is an improvement on the previous 3 books, and things do actually seem to happen in this one. Unfortunately it has to deal with the situation set up by the previous 3 books. I don't think Linden Avery was quite as irritating as she has been before, but unfortunately it seems Jeremiah Avery is there to take up the slack. The end seemed a bit pat, and I wasn't convinced by the final resolution.
It's a real shame, there are some elements that could have been great if given a proper chance to develop - the Haruchai turning into the Masters, Roger Covenant as an antagonist, and the Land itself was sketched in, with no sense of place or culture.
Instead the threat for the Worm at World End's never felt particularly real, despite being told many times that this was The End. And all the Sandgorgons in the world seemed insubstantial compared to Nom from the Second Chronicles. Even Lord Foul only seemed to telephone in his lines.
Overall I wish he'd left it at the Second Chronicles. Just as the Star Wars prequels tainted the Original trilogy for me, the Last Chronicles has knifed my good memories of the First and Second Chronicles. I do wonder if I went back and read the first 2 Chronicles whether I would still like them - they shared the constant agonizing and tortured prose of the Last Chronicles, but I remember the story being strong enough to forgive them.
Save or damn? Reluctantly I'm going to have to damn