Top critical review
My patience is wearing thin...
on 10 June 2013
Oh, Mr Donaldson, what are you doing to your previously wonderful series?
As ever, the writing of "The One Tree" is beautiful, the canvas upon which the author paints is both rich and vast.
So why only 3/5?
Firstly, for most of the book, the two principles characters hate themeselves.
Covenant hates what he is being forced to do and the power he must bear.
Linden hates herself for secretly wanting Covenant's power.
It is just getting tedious, and both of them need a good slap and told to pull themselves together.
Secondly, the author has given the ending of the whole trilogy away when The Quest enters the realm of Elohim and the natives are suprised that both Linden and Covenant exist because they had expected their respective powers to be consolidated into one being. Well what could that mean? Duuuh... either a birth or a death methinks? That has taken alot of dramatic tension out of this book for me.
Thirdly, the characters of Vain and Findail are vexing in the extreme. Vain I can kind of forgive, but as he is a perverse reflection of Findail I will take them both together. Findail is earthpower made flesh - bascially a god. However, instead of using his power, all he does is give cryptic warnings, but no answers or alternatives. Other than sitting on the fence, there is very little that he does (barring the Gaddhi)... but if he wanted to he could. It is just all so frustrating.
Finally, as with "The Wounded" Land, there is no resolution here. There is high adventure, death, betrayal... but, other than moving a few continents, neither the plot nor any of the subplots (perhaps with the exception of the romance) are any further forward.
Which means that this trilogy hangs entirely on "The White Gold Wielder".
All I can say is that is better be pretty amazing.