Our heroes sail back across the endless seas and find the northern tip of The Land. They wander across the frozen waste and meet up with some old friends from The Wounded Land. As with everyone Covenant meets, nothing good has happened to them and they will soon die pointless deaths at the hands of the second croyel to pop out of the nowhere and into the here. But this is just a minor diversion, the Land and the Banefire await.
Like all of the Covenant books, we spend endless hours trekking across endless leagues Bad things happen, more Law is broken, and there is hope to be had-as Pitchwife says about every other paragraph-Linden Avery is Well Chosen!!
The best part of the White Gold Wielder is the return of Nom the sand gorgon and his rending of a Raver. Here we have a sign of hope that the demigods of the Land can be hurt after all. Nom now has intelligence, so why doesn’t he tell a couple of his buddies about the other Ravers? Surely he got this knowledge when he rent the raver.
I liked the general mystery of Vain and Findail, but I wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of a living Staff of Law. It also seemed pretty pointless, since the entire second trilogy seemed to be focused on breaking all the Law that remains.
There’s talk about when Mount Thunder will finally defend itself, Cail gets to run off and join the Dancers of the Sea, and Pitchwife gets a straight back. All in all a lot of interesting stuff happens, but I still pretty much hate the ending.
Once again we are given the bullshit line about how you can’t kill Despite and even though we have given up on the whole The Land is a Dream bit, in the end Covenant again says that Lord Foul is just another part of himself.
I was also pissed off by the finial talk with Linden before she heads back to the real world. Instead of being told by The Creator that she did a good job, she gets a pat on the back from the ghost of good old Tom. Ok, I’ll buy that this schmuck has become The Arch of Time, but does that mean he gets to take over for god on his day off?
I also didn’t like the idea that Lord Foul can easily reach over into our world and do as he likes. Why not bring over pounds of White Gold? Why not move to our world and forget about that pesky Land? We know the Creator can come here, so maybe Lord Foul could sneak up on him.
It’s also hard to read The White Gold Wielder without having a thought or two about the books to come. We are left with an open ending. Covenant is a dead immortal, Linden has the ring, and Lord Foul is still alive along with two of his ravers.
Donaldson does something a bit odd in the next set of books, he adds that old Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card, Time Travel. Now he can take the tale all the way back to the creation story and stop Foul from screwing up the Earth in the first place, thus stopping the Creator from getting pissed off and throwing his brother Foul into the Land, and saving Covenant from ever having to go there in the first place.