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Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind

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Submitted by Xian
(Jun 05, 2000)

Warning....Warning.....If you haven't read the book yet don't read this review. It contains spoilers and I don't want to ruin the experience for you.

I know exactly why people were so hard on this book. The focus on secondary characters was simply overwhelming. While he did build some interesting characters unfortunately I didn't like most of them. Fitch I never really thought much of, and after he stole the Sword of Truth and was contemplating raping Cara I was more than ready for him to be dead.

I was hoping Goodkind would kill the character because frankly he was getting tiresome.
One other thing about Fitch and the other Hakens never made much sense to me. As much as they went to penance and learned more about "their vile Haken ways" I can't believe that Fitch could help pummel Claudine Winthrop to death without questioning the fact that how was this exactly going to help him do good? Wouldn't he be just as guilty of the crimes that had been supposedly committed by his Haken ancestors? Dalton was a smooth character and I can kinda see how he could possibly smooth talk Fitch into such an act but still that does not explain what he ded at the Wizard's Keep. His theft of the Sword of Truth had me kinda shaking my head. Didn't this guy learn anything at those brainwa-- urrmm penance sessions?

Beata, hopefully will be used in other books. I don't quite think Goodkind's done with her. I don't know why exactly I wanted Beata to stick around w/ Cara and the rest of the main cast instead of departing. Maybe it was finally because she realized how stupid they had all been, Haken and Ander alike. It was nice to see her finally come to that realization and wake from the constant state of guilt that the Anders had force fed the Hakens throughout the years.

Minister Chanboor, to me was not an interesting villian. He was very typical and I have seen his archetype played out to the letter before. His interactions w/ Dalton got to be quite trying on my patience near the end of the book. I actually found myself skipping ahead a bit and checking to see how long Goodkind was going to continue with a conversation between the Minister and Dalton because it was so boring.

But I did find that Dalton was quite the smooth player and that through fleshing out Dalton's character, I am totally convinced that Goodkind is a very intelligent writer. I just wish he would have spent more time elsewhere than on the secondary characters. While secondary characters are important in portraying a living, breathing world effectively, he needs to learn how to balance his time between those characters and the main ones.

One last gripe....
When Richard and crew were trying to decide what to do about the chimes, whether to go to Anderith or the that scene got dragged out. It seemed like it took forever to FINALLY reach a conclusion.

In conclusion, I don't dislike Terry Goodkind's newest book, Soul of the Fire, but it is nowhere near as good as ANY of his previous efforts. This is especially true of books 1 and 4. I hope Gookind realizes that he needs to spend more time on the protagonist and the other main characters (hence the word main) and not find the need to introduce secondary characters that don't really serve a purpose except to make me wish he'd hurry up and kill them off. (cept Beata, and Dalton) I thought those characters were nice touches. Bring on the next book I say!! Hopefully it'll be as good as the Wizard's First Rule or the other previous installments.

Submitted by Dave Falade
(May 29, 2000)

As everyone has already willingly admitted "Wizards First Rule" was an amazing novel. So was "Temple Of The Winds" for that matter but "Soul Of The Fire" was a complete dissapointment. Unlike many who write reviews I don't pretend to be any more than the average enthusiast. But this novel was generally a failure. I have to force myself to pick it up and hoping against all odds for some twist to catch my attention. Unfortunately though, Goodkind spent a little to much time on secondary characters and way too little on the main plot of the series. He failed to go into any details with Nathan, Warren, Ann, the new Prelate, the Sisters of the Dark who escaped from the Palace of the Prophets and even Richard and Kahlan themselves. I was let down by the fact that his some of his most developed characters do not really play a large role in what seems to be the larger picture. At least I can't see it. Fitch could have been used for any number of things. He was turning out to be a great character...dead. Dalton and Bernard...well brought out but to what use? I can go on and on with complaints. But like I said, I am no expert. I hope for something new in "Faith of the Fallen". I don't know if i can force another novel on myself due only to the reputation of previous ones.

Submitted by Wes
(May 05, 2000)

Personally, I liked Soul of the Fire.  I think that Goodkind made excellent use of secondary characters.  Many people complain because he spent so much time on Fitch only to kill him.  I was impressed with it.  Goodkind, like he has done in the past, has once more used his superb writing skills to create a character who is complete with shortcomings and emotions.  Something that I think he passes even Robert Jordan at.  I also believe that the subplot with Fitch and Beata was necessary to portray life in Anderith.  I personally don't think he is through with Beata.  She may be vital in the next book.  As for Bertrand and Dalton....WOW!!  Excellent job in portraying these two.  Though there demise was predictible, I was still held captivated to the end.  And as for Kahlan getting her butt kicked, I have never felt such emotion reading a book. 
In essence, I think that Goodkind was basically setting the stage for his next book.  I am impressed that he could do it with such style!!

Submitted by Chriss Wallwork
(May 02, 2000)

When I read Wizard's first rule I was blown away, Stone of Tears wasn't too bad, Blood of the Fold was so beyond me, it just wasn't interesting, Temple of the Winds was great ( I love Cara, she's brillaint) and Soul of Fire, was well, written for the wrong characters. Goodkind introduced all these characters who didn't do anything.  Beata and Fitch were a waste of time, the other characters were better developed Dalton was great, but there was not enough focus on the main characters, Cara, Zedd, Ann, Verna, Warren, Nathan, all missing from most of the plot. The new mord sith that turned up at the end of Temple of the Wind's didn't even get a mention in the entire book!

I thought Goodkind had lost it with Blood of the Fold, and I was estatic to learn that the Temple of the WInds was back up to First Rule's standard, but again, he's gone wandering, I love Goodkind's writting style, but the ending to this was just bizzare. Hopefully book 6 will be better!!

Submitted by Tim McDonald
(May 02, 2000)

I don't understand why so many people put down awesome authors like Terry Goodkind and Robert Jordan.  They are obviously formed from the best stuff that authors are made of since we all rush to the bookstores to buy these new books as soon as they are released.  I, for one, was immensely impressed with Goodkind's use of secondary characters in Soul of the Fire.  I thought that the whole Fitch and Beata thing was well thought out, and I thought the same of Dalton and Bertrand.  Having Kahlan get her butt kicked was an interesting, emotional twist to the series.  Even though it was fairly predictable, I also liked Zed's little battle while in bird form and with the horse.  I honestly have to say that Terry Goodkind has become my second favorite author(only second to Jordan).

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