|Submitted by Kyla |
(Apr 18, 2004)
*** SPOILERS ***
I recently finished reading 'Soul of the Fire', and I must say that this book was quite different in its fashion than any of the other 'Sword of Truth' books I've read. Not at all to say that I'm not pleased with the outcome of this book; the ending was resounding and left me hanging off the edge of my seat. I am thoroughly anticipating 'Faith of the Fallen', for many answers to the characters' predicaments remain unsolved.
I found the plot of this novel inextricably wound, there were many unseen twists and turns taken that I most definitely did not expect. Zedd taking the form of a raven after he offered his soul to the chimes, for instance, and dropping off Joseph Ander's journey book to Richard gave me a gleam of hope in a dismal situation. In the case of Fitch stealing the Sword of Truth from the Wizard's Keep, the whole plot within that incident itself absolutely astounded me. With Fitch being chased by Cara all the way to Anderith, then having the Sword eventually falling into the hands of Stein, and of course how Dalton subtly and unexpectedly returned it to Richard, just went to show how wonderfully thought out Goodkind is with his plots and sub-plots.
I also found in this book Goodkind spends more time introducing many new characters who play small parts out in the story. For example, of course, Fitch and Beata. You grow to love these two characters, and yet hate them for how they ignorantly stand against Richard and Kahlan and their cause. The same goes for the Anders and Hakens-and I did find the relationship between the two races quite intriguing. The arrogant, devious Anders, and the naive, submissive Hakens make up a society that this novel largely focusses on.
Of course, you can't talk about 'Soul of the Fire' without mentioning Dalton Campbell. I myself grew to love this character, yet at the same time was completely bewildered at some of the actions he carried out. He was a determined, clever, and devious character, but through and through, he did prove to be a good guy underneath it all.
Many people do say this book is very slow moving, although I have to say I do agree that in the middle of the book when Goodkind really starts to elaborate on the background of the Hakens and Anders, Beata and Fitch, Dalton and Bertrand Chanboor, it does move along progressively slower than most of Goodkind's books. Although this was needed, the background information was needed for the reader to fully understand why the Anders believed what they did-and of course, the opportunity to introduce vital new characters.
My favorite parts, of course, were incidents concerning Richard and Kahlan, and naturally, Zedd. Throughout the five books I have read, I find myself quite attached to these main characters, and Richard's and Kahlan's constant struggle to remain together despite all they've been through is what I find a very interesting element of this series.
I do hope that the next few books in the 'Sword of Truth' series prove to be as rewarding as the first five, although I'm sure they will be nonetheless. Richard's struggle against the Imperial Order and all other of the Keeper's minions will no doubt continue on, and the hopeful birth of a child for Kahlan someday should be interesting. Twists such as the demon chicken at the beginning of this book were also appealing to the aspect of humor in this series, and I hope to see that shown in Goodkind's other novels.
Lastly, I would like to say that I appreciate Mr. Goodkind's wondrous novels, and I can't wait to read his next books.