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White gold wielder by Stephen R. Donaldson
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2,592132,306 (3.85)14
Member:AlanPoulter
Title:White gold wielder
Authors:Stephen R. Donaldson
Info:London : Fontana, 1983.
Collections:Your library
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Tags:fantasy

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White Gold Wielder by Stephen R. Donaldson (1983)

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Leaving the sunken island of the One Tree, the Giant ship Starfare's Gem sets course to return to the Land. In a region of the ocean known as the Soulbiter, the ship is blown off into the far northern reaches of the Earth and becomes ice-bound. Realizing that the Land's need cannot wait for the spring melt, Thomas Covenant leaves the ship and strikes out south over the ice-scape, accompanied by Linden, Vain, Findail the Elohim, Cail of the Haruchai, and four Giants.

The party encounters many dangers on its journey but reconnoiters with Sunder and Hollian, the man and woman of the Land who Covenant left behind in order to attempt to gather resistance to the Clave, the corrupt rulers of the Land. They have little comfort to offer: the Clave has become so blood-hungry that entire villages have been completely emptied in order to sustain the Banefire. Only the stalwart Haruchai, freed from the Clave's magical coercion, have rallied to the side of freedom.

Covenant and his companions nevertheless march on Revelstone, the mountain fortress of the Clave. Once there, Covenant stuns the others by summoning a Sandgorgon, the beast responsible for the deaths of two of his Haruchai companions in the previous book. The Sandgorgon, grateful to Covenant for having previously spared its life, breaches the outer defenses of the great Keep. After a tremendous struggle, Covenant and the Sandgorgon are able to destroy the Raver who leads the Clave, although at the price of the life of Grimmand Honninscrave, the valiant Giant captain of Starfare's Gem.

Mourning the loss of his friend and the deaths of many of the innocent denizens of Revelstone, Covenant is able to come to terms with his power-madness, through a process in which he mimics the Giantish Caamora. Using the Banefire and the wild magic of his white gold ring, he is able to negate the effect of the strange venom with which he has been infected. The process hurts Covenant but does not do him permanent injury. With the aid of the Sandgorgon, Linden and Covenant are able to extinguish the Banefire. The defeat of the Clave causes the problem of the Sunbane to diminish but not to disappear.

Charging the Haruchai to resume their Bloodguard forebears' role as the warders of Revelstone, Covenant and the rest of his party set out to challenge Lord Foul directly, in his lair in the depths of Mount Thunder. En route, Hollian and her unborn child die resisting an attack of a band of Sunbane-warped ur-viles. Sunder is left numb and wordless with grief: in Andelain the Forestal Caer-Caveral sacrifices his life to re-unite Sunder with Hollian and the yet-to-be-born-child and give them a second chance at life. Covenant leaves the young family in Andelain and continues on, accompanied by Linden, two Giants, Vain, and Findail.

At Mount Thunder, Covenant gives the white gold ring willingly to the Despiser, an action which was foretold by Lord Foul at the beginning of the epic; Linden Avery refrains from preventing him from this action, despite her ability to do so. The Despiser then kills Covenant, and attempts to destroy the Arch of Time with the wild magic. However, Covenant's spirit blocks his assault: in a manner similar to the cleansing experience with the Banefire, the power of wild magic causes Covenant pain but does not harm him, and in fact makes him more powerful with each attack. (Covenant later explains, "Foul did the one thing I couldn't: he burned the venom away.") Unable to comprehend this, Lord Foul continues to attack Covenant's spirit until he vanishes, drained of all his power. Linden Avery then takes the white gold ring, and uses it to bond Vain with Findail. Linden thus creates a new Staff of Law, combining the rigidness and structure of the Ur-Vile's lore with the pure and free Earthpower of the Elohim. Then, combining the new Staff with the power of the wild magic, she heals the Land of the Sunbane.

Giving the Staff to the Giants to take to Sunder and Hollian, Linden fades away. In the limbo between the worlds, Covenant speaks to her and explains how he defeated Foul and re-assures her that their love will transcend both time and death. Linden wakes up in the "real" world, finding Covenant dead, as expected, but takes comfort in the knowledge that through his love, she has redeemed both herself and the Land.

( )
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
The second Thomas Covenant Trilogy comes to an end with a more than satisfying conclusion. As is the norm with Thomas Covenant we are treated to a fair number of introspective moments as indeed we are with Linden Avery. But not without good reason. The love between the two lead characters is complicated by their individual inept ability to quickly forgive. This is important as it shapes the closing the moments of the book and leaves us in an interesting predicament for the next book. I’ll spoil nothing here which makes writing this a bit more difficult.

If you are fan of classic fantasy that is beautifully crafted, vibrant and truly alive then you really should give his saga a try. The heartache felt by Covenant at the desecration of the Land that he loves fuels his rage at the Despiser, Lord Foul, to such an extent that he risks tearing the world apart with his wild magic.

The Elohim, Findail, and the demondim born, Vain, draw nearer to the revelation of their purpose. Findail constantly trying to kill Vain while Vain himself becomes more determined than ever to fulfil his purpose. The giant Swordmain gets to test her mettle against the cavewights with her loyal husband at her side while Thomas Covenant and Linden Avery go face to face with ravers and Lord Foul.

Covenant fears for those that willingly lay their lives down for him with no regard for their own. Earthfriend, is what the Giants of Dromond name him for truly he loves the land. By this stage in the saga Linden Avery has learned to use her sight to heal all manner of ills and injuries and ultimately she must face the raving of the Sunbane. There is so much that happens in this one book alone that a brief review such as this cannot do justice.

I would so love to give examples from this story and give my deeper thoughts to the reasons for events and how they might play out in the future but I resolutely refuse to spoil the story in way. So to conclude: The White Gold Wielder is a fitting conclusion to the second trilogy more so than The Power That Preserves ended the first. I look forward to reading the next our the last of which may even be out by the time that I get through the rest.

A well earned 8/10 ( )
  MathewBridle | May 4, 2015 |
I'm no fan of Thomas Covenant, but in those days there was a good deal less long fantasy to read. So I did read this, but as my only alternatives were "Horseclans" books, I claim lack of good stuff. Dreary Thomas keeps pushing people away, and I can't see why they keep trying to help him. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Mar 11, 2014 |
I struggled with the black mood of this series, although I found the world building and characters kept me involved.
  Scribble.Orca | Mar 31, 2013 |
Just reread this after several years and was disappointed.
I was dealing with some dpression and this book just seemed to make it worse.
Although I liked a few elements, seemed to be a dreary read. ( )
  hredwards | Feb 27, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donaldson, Stephen R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Friedman, GaryJacket designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goodfellow, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'Overal te gaan waar dromen gaan'
"To go wherever dreaming goes"
Dedication
voor Bruce L. Blackie----zonder wiens hulp
To BRUCE L. BLACKIE -
without whose help....
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Awkward without its midmast, Starfare's Gem turned heavily toward the north, putting its stern to the water clogged with sand and foam which marked the passing of the One Tree.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345348702, Mass Market Paperback)

Thomas Covenant knew that despite his failure on the Isle of The One Tree, he had to return to the Land and fight. After a long and arduous journey, fighting all the way, he readies himself for the final showdown with Lord Foul, the Despiser, and begins to understand things he had only just wondered about before....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:29 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The third and concluding volume of the Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Covenant, Linden Avery, and their comrades defeat Lord Foul and restore the health of the land.

(summary from another edition)

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