Read Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind Online

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Basis for the television series Legend of the Seeker, launching in Fall 2008!Millions of readers the world over have been held spellbound by this valiant tale vividly told.Now, enter Terry Goodkind's world, the world of the Sword of Truth.In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeBasis for the television series Legend of the Seeker, launching in Fall 2008!Millions of readers the world over have been held spellbound by this valiant tale vividly told.Now, enter Terry Goodkind's world, the world of the Sword of Truth.In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeking help ... and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword-- to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed ... or that their time has run out.This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend....

Title : Wizard's First Rule
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780765322753
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 573 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Wizard's First Rule Reviews

  • J.G. Keely
    2019-05-10 18:14

    It is always curious to see fantasy authors who don't consider themselves to be fantasy authors. Case-in-point: Terry Goodkind. The former landscape painter has told us how he isn't a fantasy author in every interview he's ever given:"The books I write are first of all novels, not fantasy, and that is deliberate; I'm really writing books about human beings."(1)"To define me as a fantasy writer is to misunderstand the context of my books by misidentifying their fundamentals."(2)"The stories I'm telling are not fantasy-driven, they're character-driven, and the characters I want to write about could be set in any world. I'd like to address a broader audience."(3)""What I have done with my work has irrevocably changed the face of fantasy. In so doing I've raised the standards. I have not only injected thought into a tired empty genre, but, more importantly, I've transcended it showing what more it can be . . ."Then the interview usually devolves into a discussion of Ayn Rand and 'the meaning of art', just in case you missed the pretension of declaring fantasy books 'not fantasy!'The guy certainly has a chip on his shoulder, but it makes me wonder whether he has actually read any fantasy. He doesn't seem to realize that the things he claims separate him from fantasy are fundamental parts of how modern fantasy works. A novel that's fundamentally about character interactions with a magical setting? How droll. Goodkind doesn't reinventing the novel; he doesn't even reinvent the fantasy novel, he just twists the knobs to get a little more steam out of it.Michael Moorcock critiqued Tolkien as a false romantic, which is rather apt considering that his love story takes place almost entirely in absentia (prompting Peter Jackson to infuse some extra loving with a hot, elven, psychic dream sequence). Most fantasy authors rectify this by having the girl come along for the journey. Goodkind likes to keep the separation for much of the story as our hero tries to seek her out across a continent (though she is often just in the next room! Oh! What a tragic coincidence!) Actually, after the first time it's just an annoying and painfully artificial way to try to hold off the conclusion for another hundred pages. It's a good thing Terry doesn't have to rely on magical or artificial means to keep his stories fresh!The rest of the time, the hero finds the girl and lovingly transfixes her on his mighty sword. No, really. I'm not sure why these authors always end up feeling as if they have to dump their sex fetish issues at this particular juncture: "Huh, I dig BDSM. Maybe I should confide my fantasies in a book for mass publication".I cannot think of a single female character in the entire series who isn't either raped or threatened with rape. If you want to give me an example of one, remember: I'm counting magical psychic blowjob rape as rape. I wish I never had the opportunity to qualify a statement with 'don't forget the psychic blowjob rape'.I don't mind actual BDSM literature, but I'd rather have my own reaction to it than be told "isn't it totally dirty and wrong!? (but still super sexy, right?)" Porn for porn's sake is fine, but remember, Goodkind isn't some escapist fantasy author, these are 'real stories about real people' so he has to act like his magic porn is somehow a reflection of real life.Goodkind's books are cookie-cutter genre fantasy, but the first few aren't that badly done, and if you like people narrowly missing one another, bondage, masochism, rape, and dragons, it might work for you, but the series dies on arrival part-way through, so prepare for disappointment.If you are enjoying the series, you should probably avoid reading any of his interviews, as he rarely misses an opportunity to claim that he is superior to all other fantasy authors, and never compare him to Robert Jordan, because"If you notice a similarity, then you probably aren't old enough to read my books."(4)Goodkind truly lives in his own fantasy world if he thinks his mediocre genre re-hash is 'original' or 'deep'.Then again, I've never met an adherent of Ayn Rand who didn't consider themselves a brilliant and unique snowflake trapped in a world of people who 'just don't understand'. The Randian philosophies are also laid on pretty thickly in his books, but at least he found a substitute grandmother figure to help him justify his Gorean sex-romp as 'high art'.All in all, he's just another guy who likes to hear himself talk. Despite what he says, nothing separates his work from the average modern fantasy author, and like them, his greatest failing is the complete lack of self-awareness that overwhelms his themes, plots, and characters.My Fantasy Book Suggestions

  • Katerina
    2019-05-21 23:50

    This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.There are books you read once, you enjoy them and never give them a second thought. There are books you love and want to share this love with the entire world. And then there are books that are so precious to you that talking about them feels like sacrilege, like exposing your bare soul and instead you safeguard them like a treasure. For me, Sword of Truth belongs to the latest category. The only reason I decided to write a proper review is because it's a series that readers either love or hate, and I wanted to show you that despite the negative reviews there is something worth reading here, a gem that not everyone can appreciate but the ones who do, they will never be the same again. So, here's my bare soul.“Take care, Seeker. You have the gift. Use it. Use everything you have to fight. Don't give in. Don't let him rule you. If you are to die, die fighting with everything you have, everything you know. That is the way of a dragon.”There is a storm coming in the Three Kingdoms. The tyrant of D'Hara is about to put together the pieces of an ancient puzzle that can either give him unlimited power to control the world of the living or destroy life itself. The wizards have fallen, and the only person that stands a chance against him is the Seeker of Truth, the wielder of the Sword of Truth, a weapon forged with magic destined only for those that are deemed worthy. And that person is Richard Cypher. With a grumpy wizard and a mysterious woman as his companions, he sets off an epic journey, a journey to unlock the secrets of magic and human nature, greed and love, and find his destiny.“People are stupid. They will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true.” Terry Goodkind created a world I'd give anything to live in. He combines adventure with romance, magic, evil queens and dragons, sorcerers and wild tribes, past and present, death and life. His magic system is extremely well-written, his world-building solid and fascinating, his characters realistic. When I read his books, I feel like he's talking to me, he unravels the multiple layers of my soul and when he puts them back together, his story is among them. It's a part of who I am. Because his writing contains deeper messages and wisdom about life and love that sank into my bones.“The light of a new day always chases the shadows of the night away, and shows us that the shape of our fears is only the ghost of our own minds.”Every fantasy books narrates a version of the eternal battle between Good and Evil. What makes Sword of Truth stand out, is that the enemy isn't a dark, inhuman lord who commands legions of nightmarish creatures. No, the enemy is one man, a man who has given his soul to the darkness, whose goal is to eliminate resistance and free will. And because of his pervertion, this book is dark, mature, cruel and sometimes disturbing, and themes like rape, tortures and human sacrifices are also included. But without the darkness, we would not appreciate the light.“I am who I am; no more, no less.” I struggle to find words sufficient to describe why Richard is the best protagonist you could ever ask for. He is not a child, he is a man, a man brave and loyal and fair, a man who tried for years to tame his anger only to find out that his righteous fury will be the means to use the Sword of Truth and deliver justice, no matter how hard it is. He is kind and noble, he can forgive his enemies and fight for people he never met and above all, he is the smartest character I have ever met. He is a hero. And so is Kahlan. She is a woman of power, strong and confident, dedicated to her mission and a nightmare to her enemies. But the price of her power is the isolation and fear she inspires to everyone but Richard. To say that they are my favorite couple of all time would be an understatement. I ship them in an I-would-walk-through-the-fiery-pits-of-hell-to-make-sure-you-end-up-together kind of way. Don't expect rainbows and pink clouds, there are forces that keep them apart but their love is steady as a rock. In fact, I believe those two give the definition of the word love.“Love is not about what you want. It's about finding happiness for the one you love.” When I have a problem, when I can't decide what to do, I think of what Richard and Kahlan and Zedd would do. They're more than friends, they live inside me. As soon as I read the first pages of Wizard's First Rule, I knew that my life was about to change. And for that I am eternally grateful.Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | BookNest

  • Icarus
    2019-05-04 22:59

    Terry Goodkind is a grossly inept writer, with the writing ability of a somewhat intelligent seventh-grader, but he jumped into the wide-open fantasy field when there were hardly any good fantasy writers (a state that hasn't completely changed, btw) and he has the persistence to turn out 600 page novels, and so he got published and now he's grandfathered in, because some people don't have better taste than to buy his novels. Additionally, his early work is grotesquely derivative, mostly of Robert Jordan as a matter of fact. It also includes all kinds of cliché fantasy tropes, which then never appear again in the series, as though dragons and gars just up and wandered off the planet at some point. His bad guys, particularly in this book, are such a mish-mash of evil that they became caricatures of evil, and are actually laughable. For instance, either Darken Rahl or his henchman, I don't remember which. These guys were not just evil and out to despoil everything in sight and out for total power and in cahoots with the evil underworld spirits, one of them was also a child-molester to boot. I'm sure Goodkind would have called him a Nazi, had the concept fit into his milieu. And finally, after about four novels or so, Goodkind sacrifices story-telling on the altar of making a political point, and since then every book has been a thinly veiled objectivist, anti-religious and anti-altruism rant. I don't care that he has a point of view, or that he occasionally slips it into his writing, but his evil characters have become now, not caricatures of evil, but mean-spirited caricatures of the philosophy he opposes. And so he has shown himself, through his writing, to be someone I would despise quite apart from it: someone who can't conceive that the people who see things differently are men and women of good will who have just come to separate conclusions. He tortures the crap out of his writing in order to make it serve his convoluted agenda.Do yourself a favor and don't start this series. Especially if, like me, you have OCD tendencies and feel compelled to finish what you start.And yes, I am jealous—-that a lousy writer like that can have 600-page volume after 600-page volume published, and I can't. Because, frankly, I think I'm better than he is.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    2019-04-25 21:59

    I very much enjoyed this book! I only hope I can say so for the rest of the series Mel ❤️

  • John Wiswell
    2019-05-22 20:00

    Wizard's First Rule is a good example of why people think all post-Tolkien Fantasy is trash. It bears one tenth of Tolkien's imagination, a smaller fraction of his brilliant study, and - oh look, swords! Cliche family drama, an angsty romance between tormented lovers, powerful characters who are so unjustly tortured - it's immature at best. At its best, it is a clunky and self-indulgently obtuse hero's journey. Then there's the hundred page BDSM tangent, where the hero goes through excruciating pseudo-bondage games with his captor. This part borders on self-parody, because the outrageous subject matter is stretched out for so long that it becomes boring and we're just waiting for it to end, and we know it will, because this isn't an inventive story that's going to venture to brave new intellectual worlds. The romance is similarly brutal, but on the weepy side rather than the sado-masochistic. There isn't even the hero-empowerment fun of Eragon to turn this into a fun immature adventure - it's too slow and anxious for that. Instead it builds to a ludicrous climax and a plot twist that you wouldn't think anyone would pen after Star Wars came out. But this book would.

  • seak
    2019-04-23 00:12

    Richard and Kahlen's Relationship Timeline:Day One:Richard: "Kahlen, now that we just met, we're the bestestest friends aren't we?"Kahlen: "We sure are."Day Two:Richard: "Kahlen, we're the bestestest of friends and I would give my life for you even though we just met."Kahlen: "Me too!"Day Three:Richard: "Kahlen, I love you more than life itself. What? It's only been three days? Well, that still seems sensible."Kahlen: "My sentiments exactly!"Days Four through 20:Richard: "Love, love, love."Kahlen: "I love you, but we can never be together ever because of the magic."Days 21 through 30:Random Mord Sith comes in out of nowhere. Days >30:See Days Four through 20.More Details:So, I didn't quite go into this with the best of intentions. I wanted to jump on the bandwagon since I felt like the only one not making fun of Goodkind. I can, however, say that I enjoyed Wizard's First Rule. Ten years ago, I would have loved it more than anything. Five years ago, I still would have really really liked it. Today, I've realized I'm not quite the same reader I was before. I've always loved what many term the "traditional" fantasy. Farmer/scullion learns true history that he/she is the ultimate of awesome, the supreme queen of butterflies and aardvarks, the master and commander.While I enjoyed Goodkind's twist on this traditional tale, it was still a bit much for me at times. Richard is the boy-who-would-be-insert-title and he's just too perfect. He's good at EVERYTHING. Okay, he's a wilderness guide, so he's good at tracking and woodsy stuff (that's the technical term, believe me, I'm a woodsy guide). I can get behind that. But then he can fight and solve riddles and do rubik's cubes and everything.Then, and I kinda feel like a tool talking about this since I don't really know all that much what I'm talking about, there's the lack of foreshadowing. There's probably a better term that would qualify this, but we jump from one adventure to the next. There's the ultimate good versus bad tale going on, but to get to the end, there's so much padding with multiple adventures in between. We have to go to the mud people so they can tell us stuff. Oops, the mud people can't tell us, we have to go to that mountain over there and it's such a dangerous mountain. Oops again, now we have to call a fairy by tapping our ankles twice while holding our breath, doing a somersault on a donkey and spelling the word Goodkind backward.I know Eddings' Belgariad does much the same thing, but that has a special place in my heart, whereas The Sword of Truth was just too late in my reading career. Add to that the less than stellar feelings toward the later volumes in the series, you may not see me carrying on.I will say, the ending was pretty good and will actually be moving my 3 star rating up to a 3.5. Lucky duck.3.5 out of 5 Stars

  • Dave
    2019-05-17 17:12

    The sheer depth of Wizard's First Rule is simply amazing. His characters are unique and original, yet seem simple when you realize that they aren't perfect. Every chapter you read will cling you tighter to his series. Of course, many will dislike Terry Goodkind's works, either because he establishes dead on ethics in an 'I'm right, your wrong' approach, or because of dissatisfaction with his writing style, but it would be a baseless altercation to state that he is a run-in-the-mill, and mediocre author. Terry Goodkind deserves nothing but praise for this extraordinary novel.

  • k.wing
    2019-04-25 21:51

    Okay everyone. Below is my review from when I tried to read Wizard's First Rule back in 2007. I was fresh out of college. You know, back when you thought your opinion mattered. While I didn't personally like the book and couldn't get into it, I really went for it in this review. I now regret it. You don't really understand how difficult it is to write something good until you try and write a book yourself. It's taxing, time consuming, alienating. Sometimes you think you wrote something amazing, and then someone will come around and tell you they'd rather lick their own dog's teeth than read what you wrote. Ouch. It's hurtful. I'm leaving my review up below because I think it's a good lesson. If you don't like something, cool, that's fine. But you don't have to tear it down publicly. Better yet, why not point out the good you saw in it? There will be, inevitably, some person who shows up to point out all the bad. Nobody's worried that that person won't show up, so they now must shoulder the responsibility. I'm also leaving this review up so that I don't run from it. This review has gotten a lot of likes here on Goodreads, and with each new like, I feel more and more guilty about it. Writing is hard. My hat's off to you, Mr. Goodkind. I apologize for my distasteful and mean review. Thankfully, you have so many fans out there that love your book and will stand by it, even when little shits like me throw out a mean review.-----I'm sorry. I really did try for this one, as I love my boyfriend (very much) who loves this book. I found the writing unbearable, as I would rather smell my dog's breath and lick his teeth than have to read words written by Terry Goodkind. That being said, I was interested in the story, but it was as if the guy did not have an editor. Oh, he had spell check, don't get me wrong, but no one told him to take out the emotions and/or inner-dialogue he would repeat up to 4 times in a paragraph.I did love reading his acknowledgements page. Does that count?Also, just incase Terry Good and Kind is out there, I am very sorry too. I wasn't too keen on your book, and I'm sorry this attack on your book was personal to your writing style and abilities. I think you are a cool looking man - one of the best with a ponytail - and I am sure you are as your last name implies.

  • Jen
    2019-05-11 22:47

    I am adding this author to the list of people that I wouldn't want to have lunch with. After this review, I suspect he won't want to have lunch with me either.This book reads like a game of Dungeons and Dragons. It's a quest, a bit formulaic, and at times I could practically hear the narrator telling me to roll the ten-sided die to see what happens when we go down the left fork. In this book, we have the hapless regular guy who through a great series of coincidences finds himself traveling to save the world with the beautiful, mysterious woman (formerly, the damsel in distress), the great and powerful wizard (who is utterly disappointing and mostly serves as comic relief), and the hardened, streetwise soldier. It almost feels like the author drew a map of his new fantastical world, decided to put the main character at one end, and the solution at the other, and then gave him a veritable obstacle course of classic problems on the way. He runs into underworld beasts, monsters, dragons, deluded armies, and betrayal (which, consequently, the rest of us saw coming 500 pages before he did). To say this book is plot-driven would be an understatement. Sadly, though, even the pacing of that plot isn't good.But none of that has anything to do with why I wouldn't want to hang out with the author. I found the creations of his imagination really disturbing. I could almost feel his delight in divining new and more horrible atrocities to detail as the story went on. Yes, the bad guy is very, very bad. But there was a definite sick, sadistic side to the story. I just have to wonder what kind of person decides to spend something like eight chapters on very descriptive and imaginative torture of one character, when the great love that supposedly drives the story took a comparative flash to develop. He's great at devising innovative ways to cause pain and anguish, but terrible at imagining realistic human interaction. The dialogue, sadly, reflects that. When the author isn't describing pain or evil, a sitcom-like feeling prevails. A paraphrased typical scene: a genuinely disturbing challenge with an emotional resolution that should leave everyone drained and perhaps scarred, until big old wizard asks, "When do we eat?" To which everyone chuckles, "Oh, that wizard, his stomach's always in charge." and they all saunter off into the sunset arm in arm.If you love Dungeons and Dragons, or if you're someone who enjoys causing or experiencing pain, this book is for you. For me, not so much. I wonder if his other books get any better?

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    2019-04-30 21:55

    I had no idea that that "The Legend of the Seeker" tv show was based on a book, so I was super excited about this! The tv show is definitely loosely based on the books, though, and took its own direction.This story starts in a world split by magic boundaries that people can't cross. An evil guy is trying to find some magic boxes and bring about all this doom... it's a long history (like a couple hundred pages of backstory). Anyways, the main character Richard lives in a peaceful little village where he's friends with an old guy who turns out to be a super powerful wizard. Richard randomly runs into a girl in the forest who's crossed the boundary and is being pursued by evil guys, so he steps in and is swept into his destiny of being A SEEKER. He seeks things... seeks the truth. It's basically what it sounds like. He even gets a sword that says "truth" on it. Richard starts out the story unwilling to kill anyone, but as soon as he draws the Sword of Truth (idk if it's actually capitalized in the book but I can't take this seriously) he gets this surge of "righteous anger" and gets SO INCREDIBLY OBNOXIOUS but also hilarious. It's all so very epic.This story is pretty long so I won't even try to summarize stuff. Richard and Kahlan go through the boundary, fight a lot of spirits and evil things, find a sorceress, find a princess (I've decided I just do not like characters named Denna), find lots of threats, and... ok if you like medieval-type fantasy worlds with magic and lengthy quests where they have to walk FOREVER across gorgeous scenery, then you'll probably like this one too.The worldbuilding here is amazingly intricate, but the gorgeous descriptive writing started to get rather boring and drawn out after the first 1/3. But the writing was still good! I could totally tell from the tone that it was written by a man over 20 years ago. And that's not a bad thing at all! Just funny that it's so noticeable.Anyways, the Darken Rahl evil guy and his minions were a lot more fun in the tv show. (Rape trigger warning btw and just a whole lot of creepy stuff). And obviously Richard falls in love with Kahlan (the girl he found in the forest), but she's definitely not some side character for him to rescue. She has a secret and a huge destiny herself, is totally strong on her own, aaaand... should have been the main character, honestly. But the main thing I appreciated was that Richard wasn't some chosen one. He decides to be the Seeker.So I think I liked the tv show better, but the books are still good if you are super patient and can handle stories that take FOREVER to unfold. I did like this and will probably read the sequels eventually... but I'm definitely not in a rush.

  • Joe
    2019-05-22 16:08

    Terry Goodkind likes rape. A lot. I wouldn't be surprised to find out he's a Neo Nazi. Let's have a character who kills everyone who's brown colored and celebrate him! And villains that rape a lot! Rape! Rapedy rape rape rape, rape rape! There are entire webpages devoted to people talking about the worst passages of these horrible books. I suggest you do something better with your time, like scraping mildew. It'll be more enjoyable.Fuck you, Terry Goodkind, and fuck your Nazi Randian viewpoints. Just die.

  • Julio Genao
    2019-05-22 18:16

    a total shitshow.despite the common monomythic DNA that should have excused it, this book seemed altogether cribbed from robert jordan's wheel of time series.and then doused with absurd flourishes of disturbing provenance until it fairly reeked.like when some seriously NYC-aggro person opens a plate of take-out chinese chicken wings in hot sauce on the subway. usually just after the express leaves 125th and everyone has to spend the next eight minutes in an enclosed space together, stewing in the fumes..............but yeah, i hated this.

  • Cera
    2019-05-02 21:50

    The gender ideologies underlying the novel's cosmology are just so profoundly disturbing that I couldn't enjoy what there was of the story -- not that I was likely to enjoy it anyway, since it featured large amounts of sexual torture of Our Hero. It's really not any more tasteful when gender-reversed.

  • Choko
    2019-05-08 17:15

    *** 4.25 ***"...“People are stupid. They will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true.”..."This was much better than it would seem when you first start the book. It is a linear story, no multiple POV's or constant action sequences, but engrossing nonetheless... Recommend it to all Fantasy lovers, but I think those new to the genre would enjoy it most!

  • Ivan
    2019-04-30 17:55

    To be honest I started this book with certain bias.Because statements like:"The books I write are first of all novels, not fantasy, and that is deliberate; I'm really writing books about human beings."and"The stories I'm telling are not fantasy-driven, they're character-driven, and the characters I want to write about could be set in any world. I'd like to address a broader audience."I had impressions that he is smug at best(and delusional at worst) and he is unfamiliar with fantasy genre.I started his book hoping for ammunition against author.Well I have to say I didn't get it, Goodkind may be all of the above but he isn't a bad writer."What I have done with my work has irrevocably changed the face of fantasy. In so doing I've raised the standards. I have not only injected thought into a tired empty genre, but, more importantly, I've transcended it showing what more it can be.No he's books don't transcend fantasy genre, but if we ignore author's delusion of grandeur we have decent heroic fantasy with a twist.I had one big problem with it. Book tries to have serious themes in it but in book with noble heroes and evil, evil villains they often feel out of place.No matter what Goodkind claims he's book doesn't transcend fantasy genre but it's good enough and it might have been 4 stars if not for 30 page torture porn. I am not sensitive person but I would prefer if authors would leave their kinky fetishes out of their books.

  • Jason
    2019-05-04 17:07

    I was referred to Terry Goodkind as a better alternative to Robert Jordan. I feel betrayed and lied to. Or maybe it was some kind of joke. Goodkind's characters are simply not believeable, and this absolutely kills the book. The dialog is forced, and it feels as if no one ever proof read Goodkind's "masterpiece."If you like books written in a style where if you squint your eyes and pretend that instead of reading, you are watching a one-liner Bruce Willis fantasy movie, go out and get this book right now.

  • StoryTellerShannon
    2019-04-22 20:51

    OVERALL GRADE: B to B plus; READ: 2000 (revised review early April 2012). SPOILER WARNING CONCEPT: A young woodsman is chosen as the Seeker, a long lost position of power given to a warrior of ultimate good in distant lands. Now, he must go to those distant lands to face the Evil controlling it, as well as to deal with issues of truth. Along his journey, his position is tested as his love for his new lady love. (This didn't hit me as big of a concept as say HUMA or THE HOBBIT. But, it attracted a lot of fantasy readers, who tend to be more thinkers, and it holds a great deal of promise). MARKETING APPEAL: This story dealt with archetypes and LEVEL ONE readers; it was above average of most fantasy novels; used archetypes and the mythical Hero's Quest to appeal; good characters and focus on context; less on plot and surprises. Richard was very noble and easy to anger when faced with lies or difficult appeal; I think this resonated with many readers who are tired of the BS in our society and desire simpler times; characters are interesting but only on a simple level; if you want gray characters and profound thinking and interactions, you won't get it in this series. I suspect this is a VERY HEAVY LEVEL ONE series.SCORING: Superb (A), Excellent (A-), Very good (B+), Good (B) Fairly Good (B-) Above Average (C+), Mediocre (C ), Barely Passable (C-) Pretty Bad (D+), Dismal (D), Waste of Time (D-), Into the Trash (F)DIALOGUE: B STRUCTURE: B HISTORY SETTING: A- CHARACTERS: A- EVIL SETUP/ANTAGONISTS: C+ EMOTIONAL IMPACT: B+ SURPRISES: B MONSTERS: A- PACING: B LITTLE THINGS: B OVERALL STYLE: B FLOW OF WORDS: B CHOICE OF FOCUS: B TRANSITIONS/FLASHBACKS/POV: B+ COMPLEXITY OF WORDS/SYMBOLISM/THEMES: BOVERALL GRADE: B to B+ OVERALL STRUCTURE: Spent a lot of time building up the characters. This is much more a story of context and characters than of plot or fast action. A great deal of time is spent playing off the character relationships, describing the landscape and people and monsters and also in laying out the History. And actually, the History is pretty interesting as are the monsters. There were several character revelations which weren't surprising in this novel since it was so character focused. A few surprises and such, too. Richard Cypher is a good and moral character. Perhaps a bit too much. He is the typical innocent yet good youth (from mythology) who sets out on a mission where the odds seem insurmountable.WHY IT WORKED FOR ME: As described above, the monsters were orchestrated nicely into the ecology. The dragon character was fresh enough and the description of the travels along the wilderness were interesting. The interplay between Richard and Kahlan kept my interest. Enough tug and pull and conflict. Zedd was introduced naked which was interesting and new. He wasn't stereotypical either and had enough of his own lines to make him stand out more. Also, he wasn't some big buffed dude. I liked the way he manipulated in a good sense towards other people to achieve some better end, but still felt bad over it. The viewpoint of using a child and changing the word usage was good, too. The villain wasn't different but interesting enough. The sexual debauchery made them even worse. No doubt this was to create moral outrage. Have to say Richard is no warrior in the first novel but that's okay. He seemed to get out of jams enough times. Not clever. More noble and good that he gets others to help him as in the case of the Dragon. Interesting how Richard went through pain whenever he took a human life and had to deal with the results. Magic, in other words, has its limitations. Great details of the world and History; in regards to the lands being divided into three areas; the red fruit that is poisonous in the magical lands; the illusions used to fool the hero and heroine; the limitation of magic users; the confessor development and History; the Seekers and info. on their creation; the ecology of the monsters was something new and entertaining (many fantasy books forget that there are so many monsters that the ecological system would be destroyed); great interplay between the lovers even though some of the dialogue was a bit simple at times on Richard's part (of course, he's supposed to be a simple character so I won't hold this against the author). Pay attention to some of the names: DARKEN RAHL (for evil) and Richard Cypher (for DECIPHER since he's a seeker of truth). Those are the main ones which come to mind but I'm sure there are others. Also interesting were the little phrases that permeated the storyline, giving it texture. For instance, Zedd the high wizard had the best ones: "Nothing is every easy." and "Bags!" (a swear word). One other thing I found interesting in relation to truth was Wizard's First Rule: "People are stupid and will believe what they want to believe." This came in handy during the story when many of the townfolk were told to blame the good people for their problems and used those good people as scapegoats. So too, Richard's people were told that the magic lands were dangerous to their well being and created an army to put an end to it. It's little points such as this, as well as blends with style, that pushed this up from a solid B to a B+. It would have gotten even higher if the themes of truth had been elaborated upon more so. Why not have someone who is compelled to tell the truth all the time in difficult situations to show the flip side of being honest? Psychologists tells us that our society couldn't exist if everyone told the truth b/c it would come across as tactless and because most people aren't good at taking conflict or criticism. While being honest with your intimate partner is an ideal, being honest in the workforce or with people you hardly know can sometimes be destructive. Too much self disclosure to such types looks bad and weak. Another area that I felt was missed on truth was to develop the local populace opinions on what they felt was right. While Goodkind did a good job with it, I felt he could have really mined this area more to make it more thought provoking.FLAWS: Too much introspection can turn some readers off. The discussion of truth wasn't taken far enough or really hammered into the them big time. The part about Richard being a bastard child of the villain was revealed a bit late and made it anticlimatic. Perhaps it was intended and the next book will tell. The story lacked surprises. There were certainly a few but not enough for such a long novel. As I said above, it was more of a page turned for appreciation of the characters than a great moving story with lots of surprises and mysteries to it. It tended to be formulaic in the quest and perhaps it would have done Goodkind well to hold back some of the information of the story rather than reveal too much up front as he did. COMMENTS: A lot of details to characters and somewhat of a hit on truth and what is truth. For those interested in such areas, it's an entertaining read. I wouldn't advise this for people who don't like innocent, good hearted youths (since Richard dominates most of the text), or people who are more interested in a plot driven fantasyGRADE REASON: I am giving this an at the cusp B to B+ (higher than I give most fantasy novels) for the reasons listed above). The fact that Goodkind followed the typical mold of the innocent, good youth on a quest doesn't really place it any higher because it follows a typical pattern that has been done over and over by fantasy authors. So too, the love story got melodramatic at certain points (losing the feeling of this being love than just effects) and there weren't as many surprises as I felt there should have been. However, it had some truly amazing characters in it, even if parts of the love story got irritating at times. Moreover, the history setting of the land divisions, the rules on magic, the History of seekers, confessors and wizards, as well as the ecologically sound monsters pumped it up pretty high. There were certain points where it lagged at times, but perhaps that is attributed to the required page count of novels at a 1000 pages now. Very long. Geesh. It probably would have gotten a solid B+ or even an A- if Terry had analyzed more issues of truth and really pushed the limits upon the characters. However, since there was so much story to cover, I can see why there were problems in doing so. Perhaps additional books will cover these matters in the future. Of course, he would have had to develop his Evil antagonist beyond a caricature, too. I think it should be mentioned that Goodkind is dyslexiac and spends something like 12 hours a day working on his books (6 or 7 days a week). The man is obviously driven. Some have claimed he stole many ideas from Jordan's WHEEL OF TIME (I only read the first book in the series and found the passive male characters and constant meandering not to my liking) but I don't see this as much as they claim. If anything, I would take Goodkind over Jordan since there's more thinking in the head. It is no surprise to me, however, that this book broke the record and Terry was awarded $275,000 for the first novel. There are a lot of great ideas in here, as well as characters (if Richard’s simple philosophies are not viewed as abhorrent) and it delivers on several components of the genre. All in all, this is much better than perhaps 75% of the fantasy books I have read in the past.

  • Doug Bradshaw
    2019-05-23 16:16

    I ripped right through the book and all and all, enjoyed it. Here is some of my input: 1. I found that the story moved along well and that I was always entertained. The main hero is a bit Frodoian, and perhaps a bit Arthurian, but it is its own unique story and an entertaining cast of characters. 2. The story sometimes gets a bit twisted with torture, rape, bad guys who like young boys, overly bad bad guys. The training and torture chapter was beyond what I was comfortable with, but making it through that, there was enough good stuff left to make me forgive him for this portion of the story. 3. Does the author's picture bug you a little like it did me? Mr. Kungfu, yogi, mastermind, serious guy. 4. I have to admit that there were some excellent and emotional moments in the story where great and wonderful things happen. Our hero is one good man and the love story with our heroine is also nice. They make one whale of a couple! 5. I was a bit disappointed to see so much awkward writing, typos, hard to read printing, etc. Is the publisher a bit lame? 6. There were many likable and well characterized secondary players. In general, I liked all of them except that a couple of the evil ones, like Princess Violet, were too ridiculously bad. 7. The author needs to be more subtle. There are too many great big hints about what is going to happen. The bad guys are way too bad and it is fairly easy to guess the outcome. Nevertheless, for a time, I wasn't sure. Read the book without high expectations. Don't re-read and dwell on thing too much. The author describes the little things several times so you'll never have to wonder what happened. If you are a fast reader and want a fairly entertaining quick ride, this will work. If you are a perfectionist and very careful reader, I think this one will bother you a little bit.

  • Suzanne
    2019-04-27 18:11

    I can honestly say this is the worst piece of fiction I have ever encountered, in any genre. It's hard to know where to start critiquing this book since I hated so very many things about it. First off, it is about four times too long. I'm all for an epic sized novel if the story can support it, but this one doesn't come close. The dialogue is, for the most part, trite and boring and the characters are all astoundingly two-dimensional and unauthentic. They are all constantly doing things against their described nature, and so many of their actions are inconsistent with what the characters know and how they would logically act. This is part of what makes the story read like a rough draft where the author is trying to get the plot down and needs to go back and do some serious polishing. The polishing never occurred.The characters all make the most idiotic mistakes about things that a kindergartner would have been able to reason out. This is just bad writing. The author could have achieved the same results in far more plausible ways, while at the same time giving the characters some consistency, intelligence, forethought, and reasoning ability.Like many other negative reviewers, I am astounded by the sheer quantity of trite plot devices. He really pushes Jungian literary theories of collective conscious and archetypes to the limit. On just the fantasy genre level, we have woodsmen/rangers, a magical sword, a quirky old wizard, young, mysterious, and coincidentally gorgeous magic-wielding young woman, and old witch living by herself in the woods, hellhouds (I know they're called heart hounds, but come on, they're hellhounds), a mystically wise yet primitive tribe, a talking and intelligent red dragon, an evil sorceress, a wicked queen, mystical artifacts, spells and enchantments out the wazoo, a charming yet horrible villain who happens to have mastery over every type of magic with an unquestionably detestable 2nd in command, a monster in a cave, a character that is undeniably a Gollum rip-off, a magical deadline, and more. The real show stopper on the trite-fest that is this book is the "Luke, I am your father"-esque moment at the end.The plot line in the book was not well planned out, if it even was planned out; I would not be the least bit surprised to hear that the author just winged it. Think of the plot of a good book as an enjoyable road trip. The route will turn, taking you past several interesting vistas, while still generally heading towards the destination. The plot for Wizard's First Rule stops at every turn out and explores every cul de sac along the way, and frequently stops, goes back a ways, and then drives over the same stretch a second time. It is chock full of sequences that do nothing to advance the story or aid character development. The anti-collectivist/anti-communist/pro-individualism message came across crystal clear, as well it should, since it was not in the least bit disguised and was often repeated. I don't have a problem with the content of this message, just that it was so blatant and heavy handed. The other oft-repeated and preachy moral was that of relative morality, which I did have an issue with. The main character, through the preaching of his trusted wizard friend, keeps having deep thoughts about how there is no good or evil from the viewpoint of those making a choice or performing an action. Like we are supposed to believe that, from the viewpoint of the child-molesting serial killer character, he considers his actions good and morally acceptable. Boo, Mr. Goodkind, boo.Speaking of the child-molesting serial killer, he was only one of several deeply disturbing elements of the book. Not only do we have evil characters doing horribly naughty things, we, as readers, are treated to graphic descriptions of said naughty things. We get to hear about the molester's love of buggery, the dominatrices passion for torture, and how the pointlessly-vegetarian-turned-cannibal evil ruler first brainwashed his child victim before pouring molten lead down his throat, mutilated his body, and ate parts of it. Oh, and a bunch of rape. This was just 832 pages of a horribly written waste of time. If I didn't enjoy meeting with my book-club (which is discussing this in a few weeks), I wouldn't have continued past the first chapter. I deeply resent the time this book took to read, as I have so many more worthy things I could have been reading in its stead.

  • Tim
    2019-04-27 21:10

    When an author displays a poorly developed writing style I have a hard time getting past it and caring about the story. That's what happend to me with this book. The story was decent, but Goodkind's writing was lousy. He probably improved with later efforts, but I'll never know because I'm not going to read them.

  • Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
    2019-05-16 21:51

    You know, some really sick part of me wants to reread this series but I'm pretty sure doing so now would devastate my Middle School self. I'm letting this 5 star rating stand, but I was 13 or 14 when I read this book & EVEN THEN I realized it was very derivative in nature. So basically take this with a grain of salt, I was but a wee lass.

  • Mimi
    2019-05-17 23:49

    2½ starsReview moved to https://covers2covers.wordpress.com/2...

  • Eric Allen
    2019-04-28 18:16

    An Opinionated Look At:Terry Goodkind's Wizard's First RuleBy Eric AllenI've given Terry Goodkind some very, very harsh reviews of late, and I've had a LOT of comments on those reviews from angry fans. I claim to be a fan of The Sword of Truth, and yet I mercilessly thrash his newer work? So, I've decided to go back and reread the entire Sword of Truth series and review them. (Except for Faith of the Fallen, which I already reviewed last summer.) Is it as good as I remember it being, or am I just looking back through nostalgia goggles? Is it as well written as I remember, or was Goodkind always the repetitive, lazy, talentless, unimaginative hack he's become in recent years? Did these books really have the fire and passion I remember, or were they all boring, dull, and emotionless like his recent works? Well, let's find out. As I'm no longer being paid to do this, I may take a bit longer between reviews as I have on previous retrospective series I've done. There are spoilers, but since the book has been out for over twenty years I feel the statute of limitations on adding in spoiler tags has expired. Which is my way of saying F it, I'm too lazy to bother today.Back in the day there were two fantasy series that I followed religiously. The Wheel of Time, by far the better of the two, and The Sword of Truth. I'm not amongst those people who enjoy one to the exclusion of the other, as I see a lot of out there on the internet. That never made sense to me. It's like the Star Wars vs. Star Trek argument. I enjoy both of them. Is that so wrong? They're both good series, and entertaining, in their own ways. I'd see people writing huge dissertations on why one is superior and how anyone who likes it could not possibly enjoy the other because of it, and I'd shake my head at the stupidity of it. What can I say, I liked them both. Though I did like one more than the other, they were both good series that I had a great time with, and I never saw any reason to limit myself to just one because a bunch of assholes on the internet said I had to. I think that was the first time I actually rolled my eyes at how stupid people can be, back in the days when the internet was new, not everyone had it, and, for the most part, people hadn't turned into the raging assholes they would become a few years later when they realized what internet anonymity was.Anyway, I picked up Wizard's First Rule on recommendation from a friend while suffering through another long wait between Wheel of Time releases, and my High School self loved it. Probably because of the gore, more than anything, but eh, who isn't at least a little retarded in High School? I know I was haha. While out looking for clues to his father's murder, Richard Cipher comes across a beautiful woman being chased by four men intent on doing her harm. Naturally, he intervenes, saving her life. Kahlan has come from the Midlands, a realm of magic blocked off from Richard's Westland by a magical barrier called the Boundary. The Midlands are at war. Darken Rahl of D'Hara has invaded and has set a special magic into play that could, if he is not stopped, give him power and dominion over all life come the first day of winter. Kahlan has come seeking the great old Wizard in order to force him, if need be, to do his duty and name a Seeker to bring down Rahl and free the Midlands of his evil. Luckily, Richard's oldest and closest friend, Zedd, just happens to be said Wizard, and names Richard Seeker, sending him on a quest into the Midlands to save the world from Darken Rahl.The Good? I really like the world in which this series takes place. It's imaginative, well put together, and has a deep and rich history. I enjoy how Goodkind manages to give just enough of the back story to let us know what's going on, while also keeping the feel of the mysterious unknown about most of the book as well. The characters are all relatively well written and distinct from one another in the way they speak, act and think. And the dialog is often well crafted and sometimes witty.Goodkind claims that this is his first attempt ever to write anything novel length. If that is true, then this book is extraordinarily well written for it being an authors first attempt at writing a novel. Many authors have at least one failed project in their closet before writing the book that gets them published, some have many. Brandon Sanderson, for example, wrote seven books before Elantris caught the eye of an editor at a writer's convention. As the old adage goes, you have to write a million bad words before you can write your first good one. The story flows along very well. There are no really dead spots where nothing seems to be happening. Everything is always moving toward and building up to the climax. Everything comes together flawlessly in the end, and in a very rare showing for Terry Goodkind, things are resolved through Richard outsmarting the villain using lessons he's learned along his journey, rather than through Deus ex Machina.The bad? When I was younger I thought the love story in this book was cute and endearing. Now that I've grown a bit older, I find it somewhat heavy handed and oppressive. And I can see the beginnings of Goodkind's trademark repetition in it. He really doesn't know when to quit beating us over the head with how this love can never be, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. The romantic drama feels a little too artificially forced. And drama that feels forced, doesn't feel dramatic.Goodkind follows the "pull-it-outta-ur-ass" school of thought when it comes to magic. Now, there's really nothing wrong with this sort of thing, so long as it remains consistent, and never strays too far into Deus ex Machina territory. If you want your magic to be mysterious and vague, go for it. Tolkien did a really good job with it in Middle Earth, and it can be done well. For the most part, it's done pretty well in Wizard's First Rule, except near the end when both Richard and Kahlan just sort of start pulling new powers coming from the Sword of Truth, or "powers they always had, but never learned how to use" right out of their asses. In Kahlan's case it's infinitely worse, because her magic was actually given rules and limitations that Goodkind casually shattered as if they meant nothing. There's being vague and mysterious, and then there's blatant Deus ex Machina. It sort of works here, because Richard knows absolutely nothing about magic, and so everything new is a new discovery to him as a character. But when it happens later on in the series, with much more frequency, and a lot more lazy explanation from the author, it does tend to get a little tiresome. Personally, I prefer magic systems that have set rules and limitations that the author gives me ahead of time, and then follows to the letter throughout the entirety of the story. That way I know what a character is capable of, what they're not capable of, and they do a lot less pulling things out of their ass at plot convenient moments. Goodkind also begins to ruin the vague mysteriousness of it in later books by trying to technobabble for page after page on the workings of magic, which makes the pulling things out of your ass seem even worse and even more Deus ex Machina-y.The Ugly? One of my pet peeves in writing is when an author will either a.) have someone deliberately misinterpret something to create drama, b.) have someone believe the words of someone they just met as gospel in order to create drama, c.) have someone believe the words of an enemy whose words they have absolutely no reason to trust and every reason to mistrust to create drama or d.) some combination of the above. They all boil down to the same thing in the end: the author trying to artificially create drama by making his characters freaking idiots. It feels so fake and forced, and it makes characters who have previously shown themselves to be intelligent and resourceful to be utter morons instead. And like I said, drama that feels forced, doesn't feel dramatic. There are other FAR better ways to create drama than to momentarily lobotomize your characters to the point where they will deliberately misunderstand, or take the words of someone they really have no reason to trust as the god's honest truth. It always pisses me off to see an author doing something like this. But, as this book is Goodkind's very first attempt at writing a novel, I suppose I can forgive it... this time... unfortunately HE KEEPS DOING IT THROUGHOUT THE SERIES!!!I've read The Omen Machine. Having read The Omen Machine utterly ruins the climax of this book. Why, you ask? Well, let me explain. The book builds flawlessly to the confrontation between Richard and Darken Rahl. Richard outsmarts the villain, and wins the day using things he's learned along his journey. And all of this takes place within the Garden of Life in the People's Palace in D'Hara. Yeah... guess what's burried right beneath their feet as they're having this epic showdown? That's right. The Omen Machine. The Effing Omen Machine is hidden away beneath them as all of this awesomeness is going on. The ridiculously stupid friggen Omen Machine is just a few feet below them. I can never, ever, ever, ever take any scene that takes place in the Garden of Life seriously ever again. All I can think is, "they're standing on top of the Omen Machine." And then my brain starts quoting HAL lines from 2001. Way to ruin something awesome there, Goodkind. Thanks for that.All in all, this was a great book. It's reasonably well written, with good characters that are visibly distinct from one another in the ways they speak, act, and think, and builds to an excellent climax. It sets up for a great series to come in a wonderfully crafted and imaginative world with a deep and mysterious history. There are a few flaws in the book that can easily be chalked up to the author's inexperience, but they don't really take much away from the rest of the book in my opinion. I definitely recommend this one to anyone who enjoys epic fantasy series. Although, I will give warning that there is quite a bit of graphic violence, violence against women, rape, threat of rape, rape of children both male and female, an extended scene of torture, implied sexual torture, sexual violence such as a child molester being forced to eat his own testicles, and some of the good old fashioned normal sexual themes as well. If any of these things offend you, you may want to skip this one. This book has a very hard R rating.This book reads like it is written by a completely different author than anything Goodkind has published since Law of Nines. I simply cannot understand what happened to him. He used to be a decent, sometimes excellent, writer. Now he just isn't trying anymore. Wizard's First Rule is so far above his recent work in terms of imagination, writing quality, characters, character development, story, excitement, tension and drama, and so on that it seriously feels like a completely different author wrote it. One of my biggest complaints about Severed Souls was that Goodkind doesn't seem to know how horror and fear in writing work. But in this book, he proves that he does. There are some really creepy and frightening scenes in this book, and never once does a character have to tell me that they're creepy or frightening like they did all throughout Severed Souls. I just don't get it. What happened to the real Terry Goodkind? The one who wrote THIS book? Check out my other reviews.

  • Nekouken
    2019-04-25 23:52

    WFR is a book I recommend. It was a very powerful story, with tremendously emotional, if occasionally overwrought, situations. Richard Cypher (an ironic name for the protagonist of a novel, but tremendously so in this particular case) is very relatable and sympathetic, his puppy-dog eyes for Kahlan, the mystery woman who swooped into his life and shattered his entire world is completely understandable, and as her motivations become clear, her inability to reciprocate his feelings for her actually makes her a stronger character.Additionally, the book is filled with great characters, like Zedd, Richard's playfully wise grandfather figure, or Rachel, a little girl whose story both feels like and is as engaging as the beginning of the first Harry Potter book.That's not to say the book is perfect. It starts very slowly; establishing Richard's backstory takes a long time right at the beginning of the book. The villains of the piece are cartoonishly evil -- Darken Rahl is a ridiculously sinister fellow and his second-in-command is a child-molesting butcher; a queen who figures prominently into the plot makes the Queen of Hearts seem like a perfectly reasonable and benevolent matriarch, and the princess is a bully ripped straight from the most simplistic and moralistic of children's literature. Towards the end of the book, there's a long, long segment of Richard trapped in a BDSM nightmare that, while as emotionally compelling as the rest of the book, is graphic in its description to an almost ludicrous degree, though to be fair, this experience perhaps more than any other in the story is important throughout the entire series.Having read the entire series, I've become aware of a number of flaws Terry Goodkind suffers as an author; three major flaws, to be specific.1) He has a tendency to reiterate what he just said, typically at the paragraph level.2) Whenever one of the characters thought of or remembered something, Goodkind would recap every relevant event to occur in the series.3) Terry Goodkind is an objectivist, and at some point in the series decided that it wouldn't detract from the story at all if Richard ground it to a halt several times a book so he could lecture various characters on some relevant area of objectivist thought.The second and third flaw were not present in the first book -- the second might have been, but because there are no books preceding the story, the story had to start before he could recap anything that we had already read, so if he was recapping everything, it was still new material, and thus inoffensive and an aid to the flow of the story, rather than a hindrance. The first may very well have been, but after the slow beginning, this story picked up a pace that wouldn't be easily slowed by the occasional bout of clumsy writing.As a singular book, the flaws are vastly outweighed by the benefits and don't adversely affect the flow of the story. There are some lulls, but even when everyone's just sitting around a campfire talking, the urgency of what's happening carries the story from scene to scene. Richard shows himself to be smart and resourceful, but not unreasonably so, and is even humbled by other characters who show greater wisdom than his own. By the end of the book, Richard has solved all his important problems by reasoning them out and working together with others who have something important to lose. The climax of the book appears to be a deus ex machina ending, but Richard went into it knowing how to solve all of his major problems; he just did it without letting the reader in on it, but it was too clever a solution to give away, so that's understandable.As the start of a major series, on the other hand, it's disappointing in the long run. Richard encounters characters and concepts that wind up never being mentioned again until towards the end of the series.The big thing for me, though, is how Zedd spends a lot of time talking about magic and how it works in this novel, and he champions it as a very subtle tool, like Obi-Wan Kenobi's use of the Force in Star Wars: A New Hope, clouding men's minds and reading the future in clouds, and at one point growing a long beard with a few casual strokes of his chin. Even the Boxes of Orden, the device through which the villain would enslave the world, promised only to give him power over life and death -- powerful, but still subtle. Even Kahlan's Confessor power, signaled by "thunder without sound," did nothing more spectacular than overwhelming her victim with love and devotion to her. I liked the idea that magic was something best-suited to gently nudging reality, but it was quickly abandoned a few books down the line, where magic fireballs are rained down on enemy soldiers, individual wizards fire twisting ropes of lightning and entropic chaos to tear through people and buildings, and Richard ultimately uses the Boxes of Orden to create two worlds and banish the Communist/collectivist theocratic army that's threatened the new world for most of the series to the one without any magic.Also, many, many chapters in the series are spent on technical discussions of magical theory, about how it works and what it can and can't do (Richard, increasingly a Mary-Sue as the story progresses, is never wrong about magic and how it might work, despite his admitted complete ignorance of it). I have two opinions of this, and neither of them are very flattering to Terry Goodkind.The first is based on a Heinlein novel I read -- The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, I think, or maybe The Cat Who Walks Through Walls -- in which a character starts explaining the science behind the nonexistent technology in the book. This was marked by a chapter break, and the chapter about the technical aspects were preceded with something along the lines of "you might want to skip this if you don't care about the science involved here." This is essentially what Goodkind spent a lot of his time doing, but he kept interspersing it with story-stuff. These are things that need to be separated from one another if you're going to have as wide an audience as you can muster, though I'm sure Goodkind, with his record-setting first book, doesn't think he needs the advice of some asshole with a LiveJournal.The second opinion is that regardless of following my advice, Goodkind is an asshole for writing those chapters and then saying in an interview "The books I write are first of all novels, not fantasy, and that is deliberate; I'm really writing books about human beings. I believe that it's invalid and unethical to write fantasy for fantasy's sake, because fantasy for fantasy's sake is non-objective. If you have no human themes or values, then you have no life as a base value. Fantasy for fantasy's sake is therefore pointless." No, dumbass; when magic and dragons and Swords of Truth are major plot points without which the story could not progress, you're writing fantasy. I don't really know what he's talking about with the "fantasy for fantasy's sake," as the only books I know that could be interpreted that way are role-playing source books. Most fantasy novels (note that "novel" is not a comparable term to "fantasy," as they are descriptive of different categories and neither is mutually exclusive) are about humans, or at least people of some fictional race who serve as an analog for people. Even The Lord of the Rings had human drama in it.So anyway, magic clearly plays a significant part in the Sword of Truth series, making it a work of fantasy. Now, as I said, I liked the initial presentation of magic as a subtle, manipulative tool rather than elaborate rituals and flashy light shows, but this perception doesn't last. I suppose it starts towards the middle of the book, when Zedd explains the difference between "additive" and "subtractive" magic. When Zedd explained it, it didn't sound so bad, but as the story progresses and people talk about subtractive magic a whole hell of a lot, more than anything it feels like Terry forgot to change the terms to what people in that world would actually call them from their Player's Guide technical terms. Either that, or he thinks that a real wizard in Greyhawk would actually shout "Magic Missile!" Maybe he does, actually.My point is, though, that the introduction of this concept that there are two sides to magic makes it excessively rigid. Not quite to the Harry Potter presentation of magic, but still, pretty silly if we're to believe that magic is a nebulous natural phenomenon, an energy field flowing through every living thing. As we're exposed to more magic in the series, it only becomes more and more of a rigid set of rules, and Zedd appears not only to be a wizard of exceptional magical skill but unprecedented resourcefulness (which is odd, since all of the Wizard's Rules are about manipulating people and understanding reality, with nary a mention of anything even remotely supernatural). Somewhere in the story, I think Terry forgot what kind of story he was writing. The Wizard's Rules and Zedd's application of magic are consistent with "a story about human beings." Richard being at the center of nearly every prophecy ever written and sorceresses blasting each other with lightning and magical napalm... not so much.So, as I said, I recommend the book, but be prepared to divest yourself from the series prematurely. You need to be able to start the story, read as long as it's fun, and then put it down as soon as it's not, and let the final fate of the villains of the piece not matter to you. If you can put the series down in the middle of book 4 or 5, that's probably best. Anything after that will annoy the ever-loving crap out of you.

  • James
    2019-05-06 19:08

    Excellent series of contemporary fantasy. Goodkind's books always center around difficult moral or social concepts that are put to the test by believable characters. The theme of Goodkind's books is that people should be true to themselves, not sacrificing their beliefs for conformist ideals or things that sound appealing but have no grounding in reality. To truly live one's life is what is most important. Towards the end of the series, this theme tends to get a little preachy and starts to lean towards agnosticism. Still, definitely worth reading to the end. There are a lot of good ideas and messages that anyone can take out of Goodkind's books. One caution, because Goodkind loves to preach about the sanctity of life, there are frequent depictions and images of those who would desecrate life, through murder, torture, rape, etc. Goodkind uses these in contrast to the heroes of the books who uphold moral standards and value life. Sometimes the images are intense, but the ones that may questionable are few in number.

  • Kiri
    2019-05-07 20:14

    This is yet another standard fantasy tale, with a questing youth and his magical item and aged mentor who turns out to be the premier wizard in the land. I didn't enjoy this book for a variety of reasons, but mainly for the repeated appearance of overused fantasy elements and the inane dialogue between the protagonist and his romantic interest. The wizard character is more interesting and engaging. With one exception, there are no plot surprises, and things are always just a little too convenient for our heroes.The one twist that stands out as unusual in the genre is an extended episode in which the protagonist is trapped by a sado-masochist and the reader is subjected to unending detail about the tortures that ensue. Bizarrely lengthy, this sub-story claims to have an educational effect on the protagonist, but really it's just an extended torture of the reader. After the first page or so, we get the point. Adding to the jarring feeling of having swapped books temporarily, when he escapes from this captor, there seem to be zero lingering physical effects. Having been dragged through the descriptions of his torture, it's hard to believe that he could be anything more than a stumbling cripple, much less a hale and hearty hero who swings a sword, tames a dragon, escapes a horde of angry gars, and so on. During captivity, he definitely had several ribs broken (and probably other bones as well) and suffered blows, contusions, concussions, welts, dislocations, as well as other details that the author delicately (?) glossed over. No mention is made of setting broken bones or healing any of these wounds. Innovation is fine, but it needs to be plausibly integrated with the rest of the book, which fails to happen here.

  • Tawnya
    2019-04-22 21:08

    Looking over reviews, most people either hated or loved this book. I liked it. It is somewhat formulaic, along the lines of Lord of the Rings--Good vs Evil, with a little romance, but I thought there were some surprises along the way and the plot was kept moving along. Perhaps best of all, the author can describe things, but not belabor the point, and there is no language, or sex. There is some violence (of course, given the plot), but most is, again, not in great detail, just enough to set the stage. There are two, possibly three exceptions. I will tell you so, you can skim if you wish: 1) near the beginning where Richard saves Kahlan when crossing the boarder, 2) at the very end when Kahlan invokes the Con Dar and uses it to punish Demmin--Yuk. The third may be some torture toward the end when Richard is captured and undergoes 'training' with Denna. But these are all brief, and not bad compared to today's movies.This a a trilogy, but you could easily stop with this one and be satisfied.

  • Chelsea
    2019-05-11 15:48

    "Kahlan, we're BFF, isn't that great?""It really is great! I'm highly secretive though so I won't tell you why I'm wearing this white dress. I'm def. not Aes Sedai though.""Kahlan, I know we've only known each other for like five hours, but I don't want to lose you to the underworld, and I want you to take my strength.""That sounds good to me too, I usually camp out under trees with strange men. Second time this week I've done it."

  • David Holec
    2019-05-23 18:52

    Kdybych to měl nějak tak shrnout, celou knihu jsem si rozdělil na několik částí.1. Eragon2. Pán prstenů3. Pýcha a předsudek4. Neidentifikovatelný BDSM erotický román.5. Neidentifikovatelný BDSM erotický román.6. Neidentifikovatelný BDSM erotický román.7. Eragon8. GodzillaNechci nějak specifikovat, proč zrovna tohle, protože by to byl samý spoiler. A taky trochu přeháním, samozřejmě se mi to hrozně líbilo. Nevydržím dlouho bez dalšího dílu. :))

  • sologdin
    2019-04-29 16:55

    Third supplemental to multi-part review series. The text wants rhetorical discipline, its worst problem, and likewise evidences, at best, an amateur aesthetics.The text moreover adopts a number of trite narrative elements, including the hero's journey, the numinous object, the freudian psychodrama, the derivative Teutonic creatures, the 'system' of magickes--the last of which is a routine mechanic of pseudo-rationalized fantasy, wherein the author appreciates the Mystical sufficiently to write about ghosts and goblins, but doesn't trust the narrative to represent mystical occurrences in mystical terms, and accordingly reverts to a more familiar rhetoric of science or business or whatever else is bricolage for a writer who can't be bothered to think about the text as it's being written. (This author's purported 'system' appears to be more simplistic than double-entry bookkeeping, and is based on the same principles.)People complain about the author's politics (Ayn Rand libertarianism), but I didn't find them intrusive in this text. (Later installments, however, are simply John Galt speaking.) In this regard, the politics championed by this text are not out of step with normal post-tolkienian fare: heroic individualism, based upon freedom of the will, acknowledging the doctrine of moral culpability for actions because of same, with world-historical consequences to follow thereupon. We might designate it a 'thematic cliche.'The author is generally following a subgeneric path in fantasy fiction that is well traveled. It's accordingly difficult to call him out on the carpet for writing in a marketable subgenre when so many others are doing the same--though we might chuckle a bit when the author claims, exterior to this text, that he isn't writing fantasy fiction at all. Post-tolkienianism does not transcend fantasy fiction, however, no matter how loudly writers or readers protest their inclusion within the subgenre.Negatives aside, the novel does possess a decent moment, when, halfway through, the numinous object is apparently recovered, a plot coupon that the seven samurai protagonists might therefore remit to the author and thereby purchase their eucatastrophe--but, more or less ex nihilo, a coven of dominatrices abduct the naive rural virgin hero (another cliche, that) and subject him to sadistic corporeal interrogation. (I do not designate it as 'torture' because I suspect that the author approves of such things when the CIA performs them on kidnapped moslems.) This decent moment is not present in the tolkienian tradition, even off-screen (where corporeal sadism is surely committed, and one might assume sexual abuse of prisoners, but an express bondage fetish is external thereto). We therefore might thank this novel for presenting the sexual violence that was always already present under the surface of the subgenre, but repressed for whatever reasons, a subgenre which historically has displayed a fairly cavalier attitude toward war and oft dismissive attitude toward progressive gender politics. The decent moment is nevertheless wasted, and transformed into its opposite, an indecent durance: the main weirdness here is the inversion, at least in this installment, where the victim of sexual violence is primarily the male protagonist, whose abusers become eventually his fondly retained employees--which suggests that the sexual violence wasn't really abuse at all, unless the implication is that sexual violence is no big deal, and therefore "all'y'all rape victims need to get over it and offer your rapists a job."It must furthermore be noted that the worst cliche in the entire text is the eponymous 'rule,' which is a colloquial axiom of small value, likely stated with confidence by pre-school children throughout the world, but adequately described by the Gramscian notion of "common sense," rendering it therefore ideologically deplorable. The only writerly virtue of the titular rule is that it constitutes the supreme example of bathos in fantasy fiction, juxtaposing as it does the completely philistine substance of the rule with the high expectations a reader might otherwise have, especially a reader familiar with the esoteric content from which the rule allegedly arises.One must admire, ultimately, this attempt to fuse Tolkien with Krafft-Ebing, even if unsuccessful, and even if unintentional. That said, the text's other deficiencies are not canceled by the solitary decency of the introduction of sadomasochistic fetishism into the narrative.This text should nonetheless be required reading for persons who have more than a casual interest in fantasy fiction.