White Gold Wielder (Second Chronicles Series #3)

White Gold Wielder (Second Chronicles Series #3)

by Stephen R. Donaldson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345348708
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/1987
Series: Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever Series , #6
Edition description: REISSUE
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 410,718
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 6.93(h) x 1.29(d)

About the Author

Stephen R. Donaldson is the bestselling author of the series The Gap Cycle, Mordant's Need, and the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, including Lord Foul's Bane and The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant; and other works, such as Daughter of Regals and Other Tales and a mystery series under the pseudonym Reed Stephens. He is the recipient of the first prize of the British Science Fiction Society and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

Read an Excerpt

ONE: The Master’s Scar
 
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. In the rigging, Giants labored and fumbled at their tasks, driven from line to line by the hoarse goad of Sevinhand’s commands, even though Seadreamer lay dead on the deck below them. The Anchormaster stood, lean and rue-bitten, on the wheeldeck and yelled up at them, his voice raw with suppressed pain. If any compliance lagged, the Storesmaster, Galewrath, seconded him, throwing her shout after his like a piece of ragged granite because all the Search had come to ruin and she did not know any other way to bear it. The dromond went north simply to put distance between itself and the deep grave of its hope.
 
But Grimmand Honninscrave, the Giantship’s Master, huddled on the afterdeck with his brother in his arms and did not speak. His massive face, so strong against storms and perils, looked like a yielded fortification; his beard tangled the shadows as the sun declined toward setting. And beside him stood the First of the Search and Pitchwife as if they were lost without the Earth-Sight to guide them.
 
Findail the Appointed stood there also, wearing his old misery like a man who had always known what would happen at the Isle of the One Tree. Vain stood there with one heel of the former Staff of Law bound around his wooden wrist and his useless hand dangling. And Linden Avery stood there as well, torn between bereavements: outrage and sorrow for Seadreamer swimming in her eyes, need for Covenant aching in her limbs.
 
But Thomas Covenant had withdrawn to his cabin like a crippled animal going to ground; and he stayed there.
 
He was beaten. He had nothing left.
 
Harsh with revulsion, he lay in his hammock and stared at the ceiling. His chamber had been made for a Giant; it outsized him, just as his doom and the Despiser’s manipulations had outsized him. The red sunset through the open port bloodied the ceiling until dusk came and leeched his sight away. But he had been blind all along, so truncated of perception that he had caught no glimpse of his true fate until Linden had cried it into his face:
 
This is what Foul wants!
 
That was how his former strengths and victories had been turned against him. He could not feel Cail standing guard outside his door like a man whose fidelity had been redeemed. Beyond the slow rolling of the Giantship’s pace, the salt of futility in the air, the distant creak of rigging and report of canvas, he could not tell the difference between this cabin and the dungeon of the Sandhold or the betrayed depths of Revelstone. All stone was one to him, deaf to appeal or need, senseless, He might have destroyed the Earth in that crisis of power and venom, might have broken the Arch of Time as if he were indeed the Despiser’s servant, if Linden had not stopped him.
 
And then he had failed at his one chance to save himself. Horrified by love and fear for her, he had allowed Linden to return to him, abandoning the stricken and dying body of his other life. Abandoning him to ruin, though she had not intended any ruin.
 
Brinn had said to him, That is the grace which has been given to you, to bear what must be borne. But it was a lie.
 
In darkness he lay and did not move, sleepless although he coveted slumber, yearned for any oblivion which would bring surcease. He went on staring upward as if he too were graven of dead stone, a reification of folly and broken dreams snared within the eternal ambit of his defeat. Anger and self-despite might have impelled him to seek out his old clothes, might have sent him up to the decks to bear the desolation of his friends. But those garments he had left in Linden’s cabin as though for safe-keeping; and he could not go there. His love for her was too corrupt, had been too severely falsified by selfishness. Thus the one lie he had practiced against her from the beginning came back to damn him.
 
He had withheld one important fact from her, hoping like a coward that it would prove unnecessary—that his desire for her would be permissible in the end. But by the lie of withholding he had accomplished nothing except her miscomprehension. Nothing except the Search’s destitution and the Despiser’s victory. He had let his need for her blind both of them.
 
No, it was worse than that. He did need her, had needed her so acutely that the poignance of it had shredded his defenses. But other needs had been at work as well: the need to be the Land’s rescuer, to stand at the center of Lord Foul’s evil and impose his own answer upon it; the need to demonstrate his mortal worth against all the bloodshed and pain which condemned him. He had become so wrapped up in his isolation and leprosy, so certain of them and what they meant, that they had grown indistinguishable from Despite.
 
Now he was beaten. He had nothing left for which he might sanely hope or strive.
 
He should have known better. The old man on Haven Farm had spoken to Linden rather than to him. The Elohim had greeted her as the Sun-Sage, him as the wrongness which imperiled the Earth. Even dead Elena in Andelain had said plainly that the healing of the Land was in Linden’s hands rather than his. Yet he had rejected comprehension in favor of self-insistence. His need or arrogance had been too great to allow comprehension.
 
And still, with the destruction of everything he held precious laid squarely at his door, he would not have done otherwise—would not give up his ring, not surrender the meaning of his life either to Linden or to Findail. It was all that remained to him: to bear the blame if he could not achieve the victory. Failing everything else, he could still at least refuse to be spared.
 
So he lay in his hammock like a sacrifice, with the stone vessel spread out unreadably around him. Fettered by the iron of his failures, he did not move or try to move. The first night after the dark of the moon filled his eyes. In Andelain, High Lord Mhoram had warned, He has said that you are his Enemy. Remember that he seeks always to mislead you. It was true: he was the Despiser’s servant rather than Enemy. Even his former victory had been turned against him. Sucking the wounded places of his heart, he returned the sightless stare of the dark and remained where he was.
 
He had no measure for the passage of time; but the night was not far advanced when he heard a stiff, stretched voice rumble outside his door. It uttered words he was unable to distinguish. Yet Cail’s reply was precise. ‘The doom of the Earth is upon his head,” the Haruchai said. “Will you not pity him?”
 
Too weary for indignation or argument, Honninscrave responded, “Can you believe that I mean him harm?”
 
Then the door opened, and a lantern led the Master’s tall bulk into the cabin.
 
The light seemed small against the irreducible night of the world; but it lit the chamber brightly enough to sting Covenant’s eyes, like tears he had not shed. Still he did not turn his head away or cover his face. He went on staring numbly at the ceiling while Honninscrave set the lantern on the table.
 
The table was low for the size of the cabin. From the first day of the quest’s voyage, the Giantish furniture had been replaced by a table and chairs better suited to Covenant’s stature. As a result, the lantern threw the hammock’s shadow above him. He seemed to lie in the echo of his own dark.
 
With a movement that made his sark sigh along the wall, Honninscrave lowered himself to the floor. After long moments of silence, his voice rose out of the wan light.
 
“My brother is dead.” The knowledge still wrung him. “Having no other family since the passing of our mother and father, I loved him, and he is dead. The vision of his Earth-Sight gifted us with hope even as it blighted him with anguish, and now that hope is dead, and he will never be released. As did the Dead of The Grieve, he has gone out of life in horror. He will never be released. Cable Seadreamer my brother, bearer of Earth-Sight voiceless and valiant to his grave.”
 
Covenant did not turn his head. But he blinked at the sting in his eyes until the shadow above him softened it. The way of hope and doom, he thought dumbly. Lies open to you. Perhaps for him that had been true. Perhaps if he had been honest with Linden, or had heeded the Elohim, the path of the One Tree might have held some hope. But what hope had there ever been for Seadreamer? Yet without hope the Giant had tried to take all the doom upon himself. And somehow at the last he had found his voice to shout a warning.

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White Gold Wielder (Second Chronicles Series #3) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't say enough about the writings of Stephen R. Donaldson. I have enjoyed every book I have read by him. That said, the translation to digital format for the Nook was terrible. Virtually every page had obvious typographic and formatting errors. Names were misspelled so much I wondered at times what a character's name really was. It seemed obvious that the finalized digital product was not reviewed. The 5 star rating is for the Donaldson and his masterpiece. If I were to rate the digitally formatted translation I would give it 1 star.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't beleive how great this book was. I've read both the first chronicles and second and I remeber reading Illearth War, book two of the first chronicles, and wondering if I will ever again read a book that good. After reading it I knew I wanted more on Thomas Covenant. I finished the first chronicles, began the second and when I picked up White Gold Wielder, I was almost sure that I would not enjoy it as much as I did Illearth War because all previous books had not held up to the thrilling story Donaldson had created. My reason to continue the story was hope. Not only to find a book as good as Illearth War, but also to see the Land healed. I remember clearly the hurt that I felt when I first read Wounded Land, when the world that I had grown to love had been destroyed by the Lord Foul. Now that I have finished the second chronicles I am very excited to say that White Gold Wielder is the best book in the series. The struggles Covenant, Linden, The Search, the Haruchai and the Land face are unparralleled in this book. By far my favorite Thomas Covenant book. Throughout the series the books have been exciting and fun to read, but I always found myself let down with the final chapters, this book however had no such chapter. It is a great read and i recomend it to anyone. After reading these books my only wish is that Donaldson becomes far more popular and that more people get a chance to visit a wonderful and beautiful world I have grown to love, simply called: The Land.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's a shame that most authors from the late '70's to the early '80's don't get the recognition of todays authors. Thomas Covenent is an enigma. This series of books is one of the best I've ever read from ANY genre, and I have walls of books. If you are a fantasy lover like me, do yourself a favor...buy the entire series. I promise you won't regret it.
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Didappointed_Nook_Owner More than 1 year ago
It is a good series. I have all the books already. But for convience, since I have a nook, decided to re-purchace them in ePub. For some strange reason, WGW is not available in nook ePub. Disappointing. I haven't even checked if the Last Chronicals are available in Nook ePub or not. I guess I'll have to put my Nook away (where I might forget about it) and re-read the paperbacks.
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JonesieMD More than 1 year ago
I haven't started to read this one yet but I purchased it based on the strength of the first four books in the Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever Series. I've already purchased the next two books in the Third Chronicles. This is a series that pulls you in, you find yourself rooting for Covenant as the unlikely hero of the Land. This is definitely a book for any day!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the whole series an this is by far the best one yet! I don' think there is another author in the world that could keep me hooked like Donaldson. The harsh punishment Covenant takes to find self redemshin is breath taking! You have to read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although this book has a good ending, there is little else to recommend it. The first 1/3 of the book is excruciatingly bad. Donaldson shows absolutely no new invention, simply rehashing themes that get very weary very quickly. And so much in this books just makes no sense; some of this was apparent in the otherwise quite compelling Wounded Land. In the last third of that book, Covenant makes decisions that had no meaning other than to extend the storyline. Here Donaldson simply plods from one poorly executed idea to the next. The books becomes a bit more readable once Covenant _finally_ gets back to Revelstone. There at least there is a bit of interest. But not enough to make compelling reading for long. Back we go marching across the Land under the Sunbane (why not at night when it would be so much easier going??). Repetitous, tedious and boring correctly describe this book until the last 50 pages. For true fans of the series, those last pages must be read (but just skip the first 150!). For all others, skip this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Much to the dismay of the reader of this series, the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant come to an end. It was a great adventure of epic proportions. The Land and its many lifeforms are exquisitely interwoven. I can't help but feel remorse knowing that I am no longer able to share in the lives of the characters who I considered to be unbelieveably real. Ah, what I would give for a sequel of tales describing what happens to the giants, the Elohim and especially the Haurchai.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where is the epub version? The other five books have been available at B&N for a while...