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Wizards First Rule by Terry Goodkind

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Submitted by Dave 
(Nov 30, 2003)

As a full time college student during the day and bartender at night, I rarely have time to indulge in anything extra than what I have to do. A close friend of mine recommended this book to me. It took months of him nagging me to read it until I eventually did. BOY, AM I GLAD I DID!!!

This book has everything. Everything!!! It's clear to the point where you don't have to read each sentence over twice to get the hidden meaning, yet mysterious enough that it keeps you guessing. The characters come to life in a way that I have never seen. You get to know the characters deeply and begin to care for them as if they are your own family. The battle scenes keep you on the ege of your seat and the revenge factor in this book is satisfying and uplifting.

Overall, I would have to say that this may be the best book I have ever read. The plot and general story layout is complex and well thought. My only complaints are the 80+ page sequence at the end of the book and the portrayal of a certain character. Those two flaws, however, are minor and don't take anything away from the overall wonderous experience of the book. A++

Submitted by 
(Nov 30, 2003)

I didn't like it. I found the characters frustrating. The plot seemed like a vehicle for the setting, politics and magic, rather than the other way around. Sure, there are some neat ideas, but they are executed badly. I REALLY didn't like the way the author projected our modern sexual quirks and obsessions onto the characters. Again, it seems like he has some ideas he wants to get out, and it isn't important how well he does it.

Submitted by Shawn 
(Oct 19, 2003)

I should first start by saying that I'm no huge fantasy buff or book reading fanatic to say the least. I think I can count the books I've read on two hands and a few toes.
I had no idea what this book was about. I did not even have a clue as to its genre, though I'm sure the word 'Wizard' in the title should've tipped me off. However, I feel that this book would have been fitting written in any genre and that its fantasy aspect only hightened its appeal to me because it allowed me to escape the realness of this world for just a bit. To me, this book is just about the age old psychological need of people needing people and the will of a human beings, which in this day and age is sadly lost. The fantasy 'fluff', for lack of better term, is implemented only to strengthen this point and of course the surreal is always appealing. Mr. Goodkind leaves much of the environmental setting and character descriptions, for the most part, up to imagination. While some may view this as vague and unbefitting of a fantasy book, I rather enjoyed it and saw it as leaving a door open to relating to the characters more. More than that, I saw it as an openning of showing the characters care for each other. Leaving the cast of characters small also helped to keep the emotions on a back and forth scale.
Of course this is just my opinion and I do have my bias towards the love aspects (as I'm sure some others will roll their eyes towards) because of personal reasons, however, isn't that why we read fantasy books and find our niche which we like? Isn't that why we read in general? Some may wish to be enraptured in the details of a whole new world, some may be more inclined to relations with the characters, catchy dialogue, etc. For whatever reason this book tells me that that at least one person out there can try to go deeper than just the labels of a genre. Even if Mr. Goodkind wasn't trying to appeal to the reader in that way, thats what I took away from it and it has certainly helped me with some self reflection. And though I am no fantasy book buff, I can say that taking that away from anything in life is definitely a plus.

Submitted by Jack Webdale 
(Oct 19, 2003)

At first, i did not expect the book to meet the standards of a few other authors who write fantasy genre; Terry Brooks, Raymond E Feist, Tolkien are some of these who write wonderfull books. However, the book went beyond what i had expected, and in my personal opinion was a more enjoyable read than other books from the other authors.

The plot in this book was a huge web carefully weaved by Terry Goodwind, and the way links are made is stunning, keeping me guessing from start to finish. The book is unique with it's references usually avoided by other authors, and is not for the light hearted or weak stomached. It's a strange thing to say, but the gore and disgusting material is appealing, and made the book seem more realistic. Maybe it's because i'm 17, but i'm sure it would be appealing to most people.

I can not think of one critisism to make with this book, and look foward to picking up the next in the sequel. It is original, unstereotypical of the fantasy genre, and extremely entertaining. buy it!

Submitted by Jeff 
(Apr 04, 2003)

I have to admit that I was a little excited to start reading this book on my summer vacation last year. I'd heard a lot of praise for the book, and I'd always seen it well stocked in the book store, usually a good indicator.

But I was very disappointed. On a positive side, the book seemed to come through with some amazing ideas in the first half of the book. The problem is that all of my supposition about the direction of the book was better than where the book actually went.

I was particularly annoyed at some fairly early wording. I'm paraphrasing here, but at one point the hero is being overwhelmed with fear or doubt or whatever, until he suddenly "remembers that he's always been good at overcoming fear". It turned my stomach. I kept thinking that I misread it, and even though it's not as bad as I first thought, it's still horrid writing. Basically, Hero is being beaten by X, and then Hero remembers he's good at fighting X, and he so he does. Ridiculous.

By the end of the book, I was praying for some sort of payoff and begging that the author wouldn't go for the cliche. Unfortunately, my prayers weren't answered. I won't say what the cliche is, because it's so crucial to the story that mentioning it would ruin the book for those few people who don't see it coming. And at least for those people, it will probably seem like a good book.

I don't know what else to say. There ARE good things in this book, but when you have to drag yourself through chapter after chapter of torture methods, each "even more painful than before"...well, it's hard to remember the good things. I recommend this book only to highlight those things that you shouldn't do when writing a fantasy. It's proof that you can't judge a book by its first few chapters.

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