The Last Dark, by Stephen R. Donaldson

The first book in Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant series was published in 1977 and my youngest daughter is older now than I was then: the series has spanned thirty-six years. My tastes have changed, but I enjoyed reading the final  book in The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.

TheLastDark_CoverThe final series consisted of four books; I found the first three uneven, but the final book — The Last Dark — contained fairly consistent, sustained action; almost too much (a climax near the middle of the book was exhausting!). I began to weary of desolation, characters out-doing themselves, the hacking and slashing of foes and friends, and dipping into the conflicted minds of the main characters. The story bogged down in a few sections, but I thought it was by far the best book in the Last Chronicle‘s series.

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, Donaldson’s worst propensities continue in this book: too much despair, hair pulling and teeth gnashing, over writing, and metaphors ad nauseam; nevertheless, I enjoyed it and the ending was satisfactory.

There is some unexplained, deus-ex-machina hand-waving, but I thought Donaldson finished off the series well: his main characters came through with resounding sacrifices, the giants performed admirably, and the Haruchai exceeded themselves.

If you’re a fan of the first two Covenant series, but became bogged down in the final series, I recommend that you read this final tome (five hundred and thirty-five pages, not including the nineteen page introduction and the lengthy glossary).




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s