Phantom by Terry Goodkind

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Book Information  
AuthorTerry Goodkind
SeriesChainfire Trilogy
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Craig Scott 
(Mar 09, 2009)

Phantom is the eleventh book in Terry Goodkindís Sword of Truth series. Kahlan still hasnít got her memory back and is the captive of the Sisters of the dark, who are still trying to free the keeper from the underworld using the boxes of Orden. Richard, being the only person who remembers Kahlan, is still trying to find her having convinced his friends in the previous book that she is real. The witch women Shota shows up at the wizards keep to forcefully remind Richard about the threat Jagangís army poses and to inform Richard that there maybe another threat in another witch woman named Six.

It took me awhile to get into this book for several reasons. Firstly a good portion of the first few chapters revolves around what has already happened in previous books. This is the eleventh book in a series we all know what has happened nobody should be starting a series at the eleventh book. It would have been better to have a prologue detailing what had come before so that people who already knew could just skip it without the risk of
missing some of the story. Secondly Goodkind is just as preachy as in the previous few volumes. I donít appreciate having his own personal philosophy rammed down my throat on every second page. Thirdly not too much happens in the first two hundred pages, a good deal of time is spent with the characters simply arguing. The writing at times comes across as quite clumsy during this part of the book.

Thankfully things do pick up. Many story arcs from the first couple of books, which at times have seemed to be forgotten, are resolved. Goodkind does a good job of bringing things full circle. Phantom really does feel like the penultimate book in the series with everything being setup nicely for the conclusion. The pace in the second half of the book picks up considerably. There are even a few twists thrown in, some of which are quite clever. The book concludes strongly and leaves me truly interested to see how it all turns out.

All in all a strong second half
saves this book from being bad; really bad. It is a shame really a strong first half could have made this book one of the best in the series alongside Wizards First Rule and Faith of the Fallen.6.5/10.

Submitted by JBI 
(Jan 10, 2007)

When reading Goodkind, one can expect three things: The first is abuse of women. Goodkind is obsessed with the idea of hurting women, and there is not one main female character who has not been brutally raped/beaten somewhere throughout the series. The second thing is flat chracters; Goodkind's characters truely don't have any depth. They are flat, one dimensional and completly flawless. He doesn't go indepth into what the chracters are feeling, and instead makes the evil one "completly evil", the good one "completly good" and the women "completly raped". The third thing is repetetive plot lines. The first, second, third, etc. Books all had similar plot lines. The only real difference between the plots is 1, there are more characters to get brutally raped. More "Evil" chracters who are totally unrealistic, and have no logical thought pattern, yet still are completly sain. And of course, more preeching. The bulk of the goodkind fan audiance is built mostly of fantasy readers who A) havn't read many fantasy books, or B) are very easilly minipulated. Goodkind in his books is reaching out to them, and basically saying "you are all slaves. If you don't think like me, you are ignorant, if you don't believe everything I tell you, you are ignorant, and if you don't follow me, you are a conformist idiot who knows nothing about the world and deserves to die." This book, is no exception.

When I picked up the book, I wasn't expecting much. Having read all the other books, I kind of knew what to expect, and wasn't suprised. This book in particular though, stood out to me as his most "illogical" book yet.

In Phantom, Goodkind is following up with his Chainfire plot. Chainfire the spell, has caused everyone but Richard to forget Kalhan, Richard's wife. In this book, Richard continues his search, but is confronted with another problem, the marching troops of the Emperor Jagang.

Originally, Jagang had a little bit of color to him, but in this book, Goodkind goes out of his way to make him seem like a complete personification of evil. His troops, like Jagang, have no sense of right, and are unable to do one "ethical" and right thing. Goodkind is unable to create a villain who is three dimensional, and has some sense of morality. In books like Jordan's The Wheel of Time seires, and almost anything by Guy Gavriel Kay, we see villains who have depth. Even Demandred, one of Jordan's villains who Jordan described to have once slaughtered everyone in a city because he thought they had insulted him, has some background, and some human feeling. Jagang and all the Goodkind's villains however, have none of that, and are just a hoard of zombies who are bigger stronger and have infinate numbers.

This book is by far Goodkind's goriest, and preechiest. I admit, I was atracted by his earlier writing, and his unique world building, but now everything just seems so fake and boring. I quote from the play Inherit the Wind, "All tarnish, and no substance". This book looks good on the outside (especially the cover art. Top notch work) but once you get into it, you realize you are wasting your time when there are so many other amazing books out there with much more satisfying plots (Common, 10 books in and still we havn't gotten anywhere.) out there, which for a cheaper price (All these books costs big cash I would like to add) and a better tale.

If you can read 1 book this year, make it _____. If you could read 2 books this year make it ______. If you could read 2768 books this year, make it Phantom.

But anyway, if you have gone this far, you don't need me to tell you anything. You should already know what to expect.

JBI out~

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