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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind

Richard Cypher is a forest guide in Westland, the land west of the second magic boundary and a land devoid of magic. He meets Kahlan, a Confessor who, to protect him, won't tell him what she is. Instead, they become friends and compatriots in the quest to stop Darken Rahl, the supremely powerful and evil wizard, from collecting and activating the three boxes of Orden. If activated correctly, the owner of the boxes will gain supreme magical power and dominate the world. If done incorrectly or if the third box is not found in time, then Rahl will die, for he has already obtained two of the boxes.

Richard and Kahlan's companions in this quest are Zedd, a quirky old man who turns out to be a First Order wizard himself, and Chase, a boundary warden of Westland who is a supreme mortal warrior. In their quest, they face many impossible choices and situations, dealing with spirits, dragons, strange warriors, evil quads, torture and a very powerful witch. Zedd and Kahlan counsel young Richard, as the Seeker and owner of the Sword of Truth, that he must learn to make difficult decisions. Some of his experiences force him to choose between love of his friends and his heavy responsibility to try to defeat Darken Rahl. Will he be able to give up the lives of people that he loves for a higher purpose? The key to this story is the wizard's First Rule, which is the fact that the masses will believe what they want to hear. So a true wizard may not even need to use magic to influence the masses...or the weak, unaware or arrogant.

There's one theme in this book that I could really do without. (Call me sqeamish or whatever you want.) Violence, especially of the sexual kind, toward children is just a little twisted to celebrate in a novel. I've read lots of books that talked about violence of all kinds to people of all kinds, but I was overly disturbed by that theme. Otherwise, the pace of the book really plays to my likes. I enjoy good action scenes as well as long sections of sequel to give depth to the story. A book is only an event if you don't weave a tapestry of setting and character. Goodkind builds an incredible character in Richard, one that goes against the grain of the typical warrior.

Wizard's First Rule
is the first book in the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.


Ron Simpson said...

Mel says let the bad guys be really bad. The bad guys in these books are so bad you can hate them. It is a bit over the top, but it does illustrate why they are evil.

Kahnee said...

i just bought the whole series.

Anonymous said...

I agree to an extent. I haven't quite settled on how I really feel about it. I guess you could ease into being Ok with it...I dunno. I don't think I would've had an issue before I had kids. But now that I have to little girls and have friends with little boys, something just ain't right about it. I really liked the book otherwise.
I'm gonna eventually get the whole series, but I've gotta catch up on a couple other series' though...Shannara...Runelords...ah, I have lots to read...a good thing!!

Mel Odom said...

I actually had problems with the S&M content in this one too. It's not like the sex in the paranormal romance. This is just...unsettling. I bought the rest of the books but haven't gotten around to reading them yet. Maybe it was the distaste left over. Of course, there are a lot of fans who love these books.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, my brother is a big fan of Goodkind. He wanted to steer me away from them, though, when I started to read fantasy a few years ago...I think I know why now.