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TLD First Impressions
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's interesting, Peter - since I've been considering the same thing, either rereading the entire 3C or just rereading TLD, to see how I feel about things afterward.
Part of my thought process on a re-read is that I've spent my "hour before bed reading time" the last few months rereading all nine books and then TLD - so I'm sort of lost when it's an hour before bed now Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to wait a good while before a re-read of the LCs. I will admit that, when I re-read ROTE, FR and AATE just before the appearance of TLD, they'd improved in my judgement. But then again, I wasn't so disappointed in them first time around. It's probably because TLD represents the culmination of the 4 book saga - or 10 book epic, if you'd rather.

MikeW, can I suggest Terry Pratchett as a replacement author before bedtime. He's up to 40 Discworld books and counting, so that'll last you a long while, I'd imagine. Very VERY different from SRD, in that Pratchett is a sly and satirical humorist - but brilliant nonetheless.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I think Pratchett is overrated.

As for the Second Chronicles, I remember reading The Wounded Land for the first time and feeling bitterly disappointed. Not at the writing quality or the story, but at what had been done to the Land.

No book taught me to hate Lord Foul as much as TWL.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely HC - but it was that ability to make you care that made the second Chrons so sucessfull as a follow up - we all waited with baited breath for TOT to appear on the shelves. If it was to make me not care [about the Land and the main protagonists - not the haruchai, Giants et al] that SRD wrote the third series then he succeeded spectacularly. By the end I couldn't give a flying.....no let me rephrase that, I couldn't care less about any of it. Can't be good can it?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking I need to do a re-read sooner rather than later--that darn bronchitis hit me right after I finished TLD, so my thoughts on it are fuzzier than I'd hoped, but here goes my initial impressions:

I found it interesting if a bit jarring initially, that we were exposed to 3 different point of views-- we got to be inside the heads of three different characters, rather than just Linden as I believe was the case for the rest of the LC.

I found myself "on the edge of my seat" in several places in the book (more in the first half to 2/3 I think, which seems a bit backwards) which was exciting and rewarding. I loved the part where Jeremiah steps through his construct and becomes himself--I actually got teary-eyed. Having worked in mental health I think I just felt what a real miracle and triumph that is. The aftermath of this was not as convincing to me however.

There were a few parts where I felt like SRD was breaching the 4th wall-- somehow I kept getting these flashbacks to my college Philosophy class lectures! Shocked

Overall I liked it although I admit to some let-down at the end of all things. And okay, if you're going to do a rainbow, I want to see some unicorns too durnit! Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheFallen wrote:
MikeW, can I suggest Terry Pratchett as a replacement author before bedtime. He's up to 40 Discworld books and counting, so that'll last you a long while, I'd imagine. Very VERY different from SRD, in that Pratchett is a sly and satirical humorist - but brilliant nonetheless.


Thanks for the suggestion. I'll look into Pratchett. I also recently came across, completely by accident, a *very* old copy of The Many Coloured Land that was buried in a box in the attic. I haven't read May since the early 80s - and thought I might go back to revisit something utterly different than TCoTC as a nice change of pace.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh man. I loved the Many-Coloured Land tetraology and still have my pale-blue 80s paperbacks. Aiken Drum and Felice are both great characters.

Felice... Infelice? I wonder if SRD was making a subconscious connection? Or whether he was just going for a name that means "unlucky/unhappy"?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felice and Infelice - interesting. It hadn't even crossed my mind, even though I still remember having an enormous crush on Felice 30 years ago. (Of course, she would have had no interest in me...but that didn't stop me from drooling over her Wink )
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeW, considering what happened to most of the people Felice DID have an interest in, if you ever met her, it would have been better for you that she wouldn't!

Personally, my favorite character was Marc - not sure what that says about me Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm only halfway through TLD, so I'm trying to NOT see any spoilers here and just comment that so far, the book has exceeded my expectations.

The horrifying glory of the Worm as it encounters the Lurker is awesome.

And Covenant's proposal to Linden took me completely off guard. I cried.

Can't wait to finish.... that is all.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

starkllr wrote:
MikeW, considering what happened to most of the people Felice DID have an interest in, if you ever met her, it would have been better for you that she wouldn't!


Probably true Wink

starkllr wrote:
Personally, my favorite character was Marc - not sure what that says about me Smile


Depends whether you liked the "bad" Marc - or the "good" Marc at the end Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finished TLD tonight. Smile

I loved it.

I was gratified that a lot of my predictions were true-- although the losses were not as violent or grim as I anticipated; many retained "the benison of their lives", although there is, appropriately, work to do, and there are sorrows to grieve.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell of a book -- except for the end, which went like this:

They leave Kiril Threndor, and yada yada yada, the Arch is fixed and the Land is saved.

He yada-yada'd the best part! (Sorry, having a Seinfled moment).
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dlbpharmd wrote:
Reminder - no need for spoiler tags in this forum.

I agree about TC/LA marriage. Just because they're married now should NOT make LA a "rightful wielder" of wild magic.

Yes it would.....Now the ring she wears was freely given in love, so only now can LA truly be a "rightful" wielder. Before, she had a ring, but it's like the difference between owning the vehicle with your own money, or just renting one for a road trip.....a rough analogy, but it works for me
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spoonchicken wrote:
dlbpharmd wrote:
Reminder - no need for spoiler tags in this forum.

I agree about TC/LA marriage. Just because they're married now should NOT make LA a "rightful wielder" of wild magic.

Yes it would.....Now the ring she wears was freely given in love, so only now can LA truly be a "rightful" wielder. Before, she had a ring, but it's like the difference between owning the vehicle with your own money, or just renting one for a road trip.....a rough analogy, but it works for me


I understand it works that way because SRD contrived it that way - but come on, a dead woman's wedding ring goes back to her divorced husband then he can give it to anyone he chooses?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talismans have always had intrinsic power in the works - but in the first and second chrons were we not led to believe that TC himself was the scource of the white golds power [presumably the white gold just being the conduit through which it was chanelled]. At least in the early manifestations of white golds power TC was always physically connected to the ring but latterly it seems that anyone can have a go.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
At least in the early manifestations of white golds power TC was always physically connected to the ring but latterly it seems that anyone can have a go.

Not just in the latter Chrons. In TIW, Troy demands the ring in order to save Elena and TC gives it to him.
Quote:
Like a titan, he swung his fist at the heavens; power flamed from the white gold at is it were answering his passion.

Of course, Wildwood shuts him down and claims him as apprentice before he can accomplish anything...but Troy did evoke the power of white gold.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somewhat related, from a question I asked in the GI:

Quote:
JP: I have a question about the nature of personal choice as it relates to Covenant's ring. Covenant tells Linden that the reason that Foul hasn't simply possessed him with a Raver to obtain the ring is that it has to be given by choice in order for its power to be unlocked. And when Hile Troy is about to use its power, it was given to him willingly by Covenant. Yet:

1) Dead Elena is able to utilize it when it's forcibly swiped from Covenant in Power That Preserves, and

2) Linden is able to "possess" Covenant to use the ring at various times.

Are there explanations that fit these instances into the theory of personal choice?

<sigh> All of this would be so-o-o much easier if I hadn't *forgotten* that Covenant gives his ring to Troy in "The Illearth War" and has it taken from him by Elena in "The Power that Preserves." I tell ya, folks, internal consistency's a bitch.

The key points to keep in mind are "the necessity of freedom" and Mhoram's assertion to Covenant, "You are the white gold." So, taking the questions that have come up from easiest to most difficult:

Troy is able to raise power from the ring because a) Covenant gave it to him, and b) Covenant's will, his volition, supports what Troy wants to do with the ring (save Elena from dead Kevin).

Elena, of course, doesn't actually raise power from the ring, but there are a couple of reasons why she might have been able to do so. (In any case, she isn't bluffing when she threatens the Colossus. She *believes* she can exert wild magic. She has, after all, lost her mind.) Volition is a complex thing: there are unconscious as well as conscious choices. And sometimes the unconscious choices subvert the conscious ones. At that point in his struggle, Covenant must have been feeling a certain amount of "death wish" (why else would he even think about tackling Lord Foul when he believes he has no power?), and his unconscious volition might have enabled Elena to use the ring against him. In addition--on a somewhat more conscious level--Covenant has known for a while that external forces can trigger a response from the ring; and he may have been hoping (volition again) that Elena's use of the Staff would trigger a reaction she didn't expect.

Linden's actions raise even more complex issues (not the least of which is my still fallible memory) (and let's not even mention my unwillingness to spend an hour or two researching each question in this interview). She has an emotional bond with Covenant that goes far deeper than consciousness. And on those occasions when she "possesses" him, she always seeks to control him in ways with which some part of him agrees. He certainly doesn't *want* to destroy Starfare's Gem, and he isn't exactly eager to walk into the Banefire--just to pick two examples that happen to come to mind. In other words, she taps into his unconscious volition (not always wisely, I might add).

It follows, naturally, that a Raver--or Lord Foul himself--could not make use of the ring as Linden does. They don't love him; have no bond with him; share none of his impulses, conscious or otherwise. And so they cannot win the cooperation (if you will), the volition, of any of his complex impulses.

All of these points, as I'm sure you can see, depend on the identification between Covenant and the ring. Which raises interesting questions for "The Last Chronicles." Now that Linden has the ring, is *she* the white gold? Does it truly *belong* to her as it once did to Covenant? As Spock might have said (deadpan, of course), "Fascinating."
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:14 am    Post subject: Re: TLD First Impressions Reply with quote

dlbpharmd wrote:
So, here we go:

1. My overall impression is one of profound disappointment - as in, "that's all there is?" Sure, we've always known TC and LF would become one. And, it's been a sure prediction that somehow TC and the Creator are one, and that TC would re-make the world. Still, I expected SRD to throw something new and unexpected into the mix in some Martinesque way. However, the ending was pretty straight forward, and any fan of the Chronicles who has participated in the Watch discussions and dissections could've written this ending.

2. I am also disappointed that there was no final solution to Lord Foul. My own thoughts that he would somehow escape Time (taken by She, perhaps) didn't pan out, and that's OK. But, as soon as TC dies, Foul will be released on the Land, find moksha, and start making trouble again in some new way. In a way, what we have is the ending of TPTP all over again.

3. My membership and loyalty to THOOLAH has been reaffirmed. With Giants and Haruchai dying all around her, LA refused to fight. What a crock.

4. It was great to see Brinn again, and also great to see the Haruchai redeemed at the end. Stave is the greatest of the Haruchai.

5. I was surprised to see no redemption for Roger. He met his end after attacking LF, not out of love of his father or the Land, nor out of sorrow for his actions, but out of hatred for being betrayed.

6. "I am MYSELF!" was really, really weak.

7. Great end for the ur-viles and waynhim!

More later.....


You have summed it up pretty well for me. I have to say I was underwhelmed by TLC and especially by TLD. It sure didn't suck me in and keep me reading (and wanting to re-read) like the First and Second Chronicles.

Haven't read this whole thread - too late at night and just finished the book last night (and I don't get on the internet during the day Saturday). But I agree with some of the other comments I've read in this thread.

I was not particularly moved by the marriage of TC and LA and the consequences of that. I guess the fact is that I've never been that invested in LA as a character.

I did like the development of Jeremiah's character and what he became.

But I thought that Joan and Roger Covenant both deserved better outcomes than they got.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do realize that people read fiction for different purposes, and perhaps moreso with Donaldson. I realize that if exploring themes of morality and philosophy is what makes you click with Donaldson's books, then I guess you are more likely to appreciate them for that, and gloss over the narrative problems.

And hey, I enjoy the themes of guilt, power and redemption as much as the next dude. Otherwise I'd probably still be reading Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms books (I did re-read Spellfire by Greenwood last year for nostalgia's sake. Ugh.) But for me, the narrative MUST be cohesive and consistent. One of the worst ways to make my suspended disbelief come crashing to the tiled floor, is to say "you know this thing I've been telling you, and how important it was to the survival of the whole world? Please disregard!"
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