Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind
This is an excellent book if you have the brains to read between the lines. I've read the series through TPOC. I will go out on a limb here and say most people think this book slow moving and they are right. This book has to move slow so the reader gets the opportunity to digest the possibility of a world without magic. It also gives you a glimpse of how unfathomable Richards power really is. I get the feeling he may be more powerful than any other wizard ever born, EVER. Every time something happens to him he learns or figures out another wizards rule and becomes stronger because of it. He has stared evil in the face felt its stinging touch and took the road less traveled by doing what is richeous. This book is a must read. If you have read it once and didn't like it you probably need to read it again. A lack of understanding is not an excuse to say this was a weak book.
Submitted by Anonymous
I am a late comer to Terry Gookind's, A Sword of Truth, series. I read #2,#3, and #4 in one month. I could hardly put them down. I missed #1 because our library did not have it in. But I just finished Soul of the Fire yesterday and I am completely dissapointed. First of all I felt that he spent too much time on the secondary characters. Secondly he has Kahlan and Richard separated in this book just like in each of the other books. I wanted to see some more of the butt kicking action that they both do together. Obviously that didn't happen. Also he left us hanging on Nathan, Verna and the Mord Siths. I skipped over about 200 pages of boring stuff. Hopefully he will use Beata in later books.
Lastly, I am getting real tired of Richard never receiving any real training. And I'm tired of Zedd and Ann lieing to everybody. It's getting old. It's okay to be stuck in a plot for about 2 books but not for 5 books. Hurry up and get him partly trained.
I am going to try and read Faith of the Fallen, but if Richard is still untrained and Kahlan and Richard are seperated again, and the story does not start explain what has happened to old characters, I'm probably going to stop reading. It's too frustrating.
Submitted by Rick Aucoin
The only reason I can give this book even a 2 rating is because Goodkind does manage to write decent prose. Decent enough that you might not notice that the story he's telling is horrid. The plot of this book was so contrived and fake that after finishing it I sat there, looking at the book, shaking my head in disbeleif. Does ANYONE believe that two farmboys should be able to steal the Sword of Truth from the First Wizards Tower in the face of determined resistance from one of the Leather Chicks?? But, it had to happen for the story to end the way Goodkind wanted it to. THAT is an excellent example of "contrived" as opposed to "believable". Lord, I really want to like Goodkind's books, I really do. I was sold with the first book, but Soul of the Fire is the latest in a steadily worsening series.
Submitted by Jonathan
Pros: Terry Goodkind's 'Soul of the Fire' is a very well written book. He has taken the classic fledgling-wizard-destroys-big-evil-spirits story and created an extremely down-to-earth and yet very magical world. Despite there being many things happening at once, and all of the tragedies and glories experienced in this book, Terry has written it so smoothly that at the end, you won't have read a story, you would have lived a story. Cons: The main problem that I found with this story was that Richard,(the woodsman that has magical powers) Does not act at all like the woodsman that he is supposed to be. True, he is the king by blood line, but he was supposed to be a ranger at heart, not a leader. The other thing is that the way the evil spirits attack in the beginning of the book is inconsistent with the way they attack in the middle and the end. Not very bad oversights, but it still could have been just a little bit better.
Submitted by Ben Cooper
The Soul of the Fire was definitely my least favorite of the series. I admire the main idea of the book-going into a particular society in the mainlands and showing a more on depth view of how each lands politics and social structure can vary-but i felt there was too much time spent on the secondary characters. It's not that they didn't play an important role, it's just that their side of the story could have been told in probably half the pages with the same impact. The overall pace of the story was very slow at first, which was why it didn't appeal to me as much as the previous books. I've always loved how Goodkind keeps his books interesting and constantly moving, but filling you in enough to where it seems like it's all really happening. I find that my biggest complaint with most authors is that they are either too descriptive or they aren't descriptive enough, so their books either feel rushed or are just too slow to really enjoy. Goodkind almost always has this factor in balance, making his books page turners beginning to end. But the Soul of the Fire was really slow at times. Not to the point where it wasn't worth reading, but not as well paced as the earlier books. On a good note, the last couple hundred pages were fantastic, making it well worth the read. The end of the book had me glued down until I finished. So although it was not up to par with the rest of the series, The Soul of the Fire was a good read worth wading through the slow beginning for the great ending. Recommended.