First read Lord Foul's Bane in '84; been a fan since. However, I have no desire to read The Last Chronicles, being fully satisfied at the end of White Gold Wielder. I figure it can't get any better than that and I have plenty of other books and worlds and writers to explore.
That's actually not a bad idea. If it wrapped up nicely for you in WGW.
It's quite a different state of affairs. The latest series just feels so different.
On Linden Avery – I don’t understand the animosity shown to this character by readers reviewing this book elsewhere on the web. As far as I’m concerned, Donaldson has always pounded and ground his characters into the dirt. He deconstructs them in the most callous fashion and then re-assembles them into something different. He’s doing this with Linden. He’s not doing anything other than what he normally does with his writing and, if anything, then that in itself would be a more valid criticism in my opinion.
I just never connected with Linden. I don't feel animosity towards her, I just don't care for her. There's a difference. Because she becomes such an integral part of the story, it lessens those books for me, as the main character I care about and which the story is named after, is Thomas Covenant.
I actually feel like I care less about a lot of the characters. In the original series, SRD forced you to care about the Giants, and the people of Revelstone, and the Waynhim and the Bloodguard.
Maybe that is due in part to what you refer to as grinding the characters into the dirt
. In the earlier books, if you look at the Bloodguard for example they seemed infallible (which was their charm), then SRD turns around and in the later books shows that they are ultimately as fallible as anyone in the land, but seemingly unaware of it. I found that I began to dislike them, they weren't the heroic, on-a-pedestal, type characters that I had grown to love.
There are a lot of mixed view in these comments and I agree in part with them all.
I find this statement sums up my feelings as well. I feel torn. I guess I wanted the books to have the same flavour as the originals, but ultimately they couldn't, not just because the author has matured, the story itself has changed tact and as such the perspective it was told from also needed to come from a different direction for it to work.
It's almost like when your favourite band releases a new album, and although you get their distinct traits (in SRD's case, the vocabulary, the woven tapestries of characters intertwined within the story arc) it feels very different to their previous offerings and it takes a while for it to grow on you.
The second Chronicles didnt work as well for me, I don't know why but I don't like Linden. She whinges to much without getting on with it. Covenant complained all the time but he still got on and kept going.
I think this is the crux of what I was saying earlier. It's not that Linden does anything to create animosity within the reader. I think she is just written in a way that it is very difficult to care about her. Probably because she is so clinical, and distant, based on her childhood and her career.
I would however love Donaldson to go and write about The Bloodguard some more in his old storytelling and more descriptive ways as I love them, also he could do a whole series on the giants or the Ranyhyn.
Tell me though, if he writes about the Bloodguard, in their current guise, having learned all they've learned about themselves, would you enjoy that? I suspect you mean the earlier version of the bloodguard, when the Lords were around...