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The Last Dark (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Hardcover – 17 Oct 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (17 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057507602X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575076020
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 4.8 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Donaldson lived in India for 13 years with his father, a medical missionary, who worked extensively with lepers; it was here that he conceived the character of Thomas Covenant.
He was awarded the John W. Campbell Award as Best Writer of the Year for The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever, which, with the sequel trilogy, became instant bestsellers.
He is also the author of the fantasy duology 'Mordant's Need', the SF epic quintet 'The Gap', and a number of mysteries written under the pseudonym Reed Stephens. He won the World Fantasy Award in 2000.

Product Description

Review

The big set piece battles were often the equal of Tolkien (Michael Conaghan Belfast Telegraph)

Book Description

The long-awaited final part of the Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By sykes59 on 24 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For me it's been the long awaited end of a 35 year journey that was as emotive and gripping as Lord Fouls' Bane was to a 20 year old back in 1979. I literally raced through the first three books back then ( I still have them; battered as they are) and I have re-read all of the original six many times as captivated by them each time as I ever was. I remembered the buzz of anticipation when it was announced Stephen Donaldson was 'returning to The Land' and while it has been a more arduous wait for the last four books to be wriitten and published, for me he didn't disappoint and again I have been enthralled and immersed as I ran through the whole gammet of emotions these books just seem to elicit from you right to the very end; where as ever, Donaldson builds the climax superlatively, yet still leaves the best till the very last . It is that simple fact that make 'The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant' one of 'the' epic fantasies of all time. Goodbye Thomas, I'll miss you.
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83 of 90 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Lindley VINE VOICE on 26 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"I see you finally decide to turn up then." Covenant observed with a percipient but impenetrable mien of thesauric obscurity.

"Yes," the Creator replied. "I know you expected it at the end of the book, but frankly I was so disappointed I couldn't bring myself to manifest until now."

"But..." Covenant's ring flared puissant argent with a theurgic mention of the krill thrown in to boot. "This was the final book, ever. It has some great action scenes! I fight a raver! Skurj! Cavewights! Masters do loads of kung fu in an epic underground battle! Linden Avery stops moaning! What wasn't there to like?"

The Creator frowned. "I know there was some really good stuff. The return of the fire-lions was a masterful stroke by Donaldson, and some of the character development, especially for Jeremiah, was actually quite good. But the same old problems remain, don't they? Endless moaning by Linden before the final chapter. The Land feels empty, with a total population of about 20, plus 400 nameless Masters. The repetition of words scoured from from the furthest regions of the thesaurus still grates..."

"Nonsense!" Covenant interrupted percipiently, congratulating himself with a condign simony of guerdon. "And the The Last Dark actually reads as a sensitive exploration of what it is to undergo mental and physical abuse and emerge as a survivor. Surely that deserves 5 stars, not a paltry 3?"

"But what about the many, many pages given over to describing how to mine some rock?" the Creator countered. "Geology isn't that exciting to start with, and although Jeremiah is supposedly capable of making a prison to trap the creator, why doesn't he make one for the skurj? Or the Ravers? Or Sandgorgons? Or Foul? Or the Worm at the World's End?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr Jelly on 1 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I began reading the first chronicle back in 2007. Whilst this has not been a continual process I have been steadily working .y way through the whole series. Never has a book so entranced and infuriated me in almost equal parts. I have grown to love the writing style of Stephen Donaldson and I do realise why a more concise book would not work. However, if you're looking for a speedy pick up and read then this book/series is not for you. (To be honest if you're onto this book you'll already be aware of this). The last chronicles I read entirely on Kindle which is a darned sight easier than sitting with a dictionary beside you. I don't consider myself an idiot but even I found at least one word per page that I struggled to grasp the meaning of.
That aside this book is the perfect ending to, what many will surely describe as,
one of the greatest fantasy series of all time.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jason on 20 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover
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
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