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4.5 out of 5 stars188
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 18 January 2014
The best book I have read in a long time.
I started these books at high school over 20years ago.

Stephen Donaldson is such a great writer.
Many thanks to Him..
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on 12 July 2014
I was intrigued enough by the comments of another to start reading the Thomas Covenant Chronicles, and once started, I couldn't stop. Yet this was in part due to my inherent curiosity than to being drawn in by the story. Indeed, each series of books can be read in isolation with a contained story and the darkness and despair the story conjures is an encouragement to go no further.
Reading these books made me realise how little I know of the English language and much use of the inbuilt dictionary was necessary.
I enjoyed the story although it does not progress at a steady state. Instead you have whole chapters dedicated to describing, in enormous detail, the landscape, the characters and their emotions and feelings (repeatedly). Then a single chapter with enormous amounts if action. I felt particularly rushed through the ending, which for obvious reasons I shall not detail.
The book is very dark and miserable, so if you have a tendency to despair or depression, then this probably isn't the book for you.
However, If you are a Tolkien fan looking for some significant reading material, then these three series of ten weighty books we be just the thing you've been looking for.
Enjoy!
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on 7 January 2015
I read the entire Thomas covenant series's as they were published and wept,cried and rejoiced in the stories as if part of them. I expected to be sad at the end but the ending is a contradiction in itself, hope for the future and a happy farewell. I recommend Stephen Donaldson to anyone who wants a hero who thinks, feels and has hidden depths.
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on 24 October 2013
Nobody will read The Last Dark unless they've already read the previous three volumes of the Last Chronicles; or indeed any of those if they haven't already read the First and Second ones. So as I am speaking to fellow committed travellers there are only three questions -
1. Is the Last Dark any good?
2. Is it a fitting end to the Last Chronicles?; and
3. Do the Last Chronicles add anything to the first two?

On (1) - absolutely. Clearly Last Dark doesn't stand alone, but I would say it's the best single volume of any multi volume fantasy ever!!! The writing is very strong and remarkably free (almost) of Donaldson's prolixity that so nearly ruined Against All Things Ending. The storytelling is clever and quick - incredibly so, we get more development in the first chapter than in 800 pages of AATE. The pace is relentless and the conclusions unexpected and exhilarating. It's undoubtedly the best book in the Last Chronicles and a fitting end to them: events that have been building up for hundreds of pages come to excellent conclusions and the time spent on characterisation is well used. We really do care about all of these characters - and what happens to them is rarely as predictable as we might have thought. For real fans it is (mostly) a joy spending time with these characters and in the Land, and it is undoubtedly clever how Donaldson introduces new characters, re-introduces old, and then manages to give them all proper and sensitive resolutions.

On (3) I'm very clear that the First and Second Chronicles are superb and there is a real issue for me about whether we needed a further four books. I re-read all nine previous volumes again before Last Dark came out - and that certainly added something to my enjoyment. Fans are not going to argue about the luxury of spending more time in the Land. But for me the last few sentences of White Gold Wielder remain the most affecting end of any of the books. But the Last Chronicles are great - longer, pretty densely written at times and more self indulgent, with very little in the way of humour (until Last Dark surprisingly).

If you start reading Thomas Covenant you could finish at the end of the Second Chronicles and your enjoyment will be completely unaffected by not reading further. It's an entirely satisfying place to end. But if you do get into the Last Chronicles, you will discover an even deeper and more fantastic story than you thought you were reading - and the emotional commitment is well rewarded. I expected Donaldson to deliver in The Last Dark. And he does so in spades.
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on 19 October 2013
Couldn't wait for the last book in the series. I have been reading these books at least once every 2 to 3 years, just to immerse myself in the wonders of the land and its peoples but mostly by the changes that are wrought in Thomas Covenant. The story telling of Stephen Donaldson carries you along to a place and characters that are fully believable.
The Last Dark delivers.
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on 19 October 2013
It is a rare occasion to come across a series such as this, these 10 books have been a fantastic journey and number 10 did not disappoint as a finale, which can often be where things go horribly wrong. I will never leave spoilers but if you have enjoyed the rest cannot see you hating this one. Wraps up the last chronicles and the whole series nicely. The enjoyment of reading Donaldson's broken heroes is a unique experience. This is fantasy up there with the greatest, such as, for me, a song of ice and fire, the dark tower, Lord of the rings, to name 3. Finished this book in 3days of heavy reading, you know it is great when you read to the point of exhaustion, eyes burning & just can not stop for love of the book.
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on 7 June 2014
After 30 years I have just completed the final book of the entire Cronicles of Thomas Covenant series. Totally blown away by the depth and scope of the writing throughout and the story progressed with so many twists and unforeseen paths that interest was maintained throughout all 10 books. For me the excellent characterisations and interractions of so many, wildly differing, people and creatures, particularly the forever humourous Giants. lifts this fantasy series above all others - including Tolkein. It is a long hike all the way through, but for anyone wanting to read fantasy, it is an absolute must. Stephen Donaldson, "thank you". (PS - Although very different, the sci-fi/space opera Gap series, is also a real cracker.
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on 9 December 2013
Like all of the Thomas Covenant books there is far too much self-psychoanalysis by the characters for my liking and the vocabulary is unnecessarily obscure and difficult. Either one spends ages looking up all the words one doesn't know or one just proceeds without looking them up and without understanding them. If the purpose of the book was to give a treatise on psychology then there are much better media than a fantasy novel; if the idea was to write a fantasy novel then cut out all the difficult and, to my mind, boring psychoanalysis stuff and get on with the story. However, having read all the other Thomas Covenant novels, somewhat under protest, then I had to read the final instalment to find out how it all finished.
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on 15 May 2014
In 1978 I began a long, literary journey. I read Lord Fouls Bane and found the first fantasy novel to be good as The Lord of the Rings. The Chronicless of Thpmas Covenant in those days were unique, and to be honest wasn't equaled till the Wheel of Time books of Robert Jordan,
If the 1st Chronicles were amazing, the 2nd chronicles were even better, it appeared that there could be another sequal as godd, though there hab been oneromised. Nearly 30 years later, the Final Chonicles were publised.
I've read the alt one goe, and they get better, I haven't finished the last nor, but it is edge of the seat reading,
It is well worth reading,
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on 20 October 2013
Fantastic finale to a fantastic series. Very rarely do i read a book of this length in less than 3 days. Devoured it. The writing is brilliant, the pace, how it all fits together at the end, the only shame is thats all over. One more book Stephen...please.
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