The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind
After a good decade and a half reading nothing but fantasy novels and waiting endlessly for new releases of the books, there I was one day stood in the bookstore, looking for 'something' different to read other than Frodo's quest, Duny complaining about not doing, Rand growing evermore insane or Roland's quest to climb the Dark Tower, you know, that stuff.
It was then that I passed by a book titled 'Wizards First Rule by some guy called Terry Goodkind, after flipping the book to the back and seeing quite an interesting story, I rushed over and bought it. Along with Tears of Heaven, Blood of the Fold and Temple of the Winds(all the bookstore had), got home, plonked myself down and started reading.
I was perhaps a third through the book before I realised something, everything was rather turned on its head than what I expected, the heros' a dick, the heroine is the leader of a group of fanatical rulers and the Wizard...is just boring.
After slogging through WFR, I started on SOT, it started out brilliant, the Screeling chapters were really engrosing and capturing, but after that it just started again, with the same plotline(vertually)and the same, unchanged characters. As you can tell by now, not the greatest of fans.
The story doesn't seem to be really going 'anywhere'. It forces ideals that I suppsoe are meant to be good, but-when looked at critically-come off as unyielding and harsh beyond measure(take the Confessors action to and ruler who didn't let them in their land for ref). Not impressed really, read much better.
Submitted by Kacie Jones
Wizard's First Rule and Stone of Tears are possibly the best fantasy novels I have ever read. They include everything a great novel should. Once you read Blood of the Fold, the disappointment begins to set in. The main characters become blasť and there is no longer any depth to the story. Richard becomes a preaching he-man and Kahlan goes from being a strong woman, to a simpering mess. How did the world ever survive without Richard?
The minor characters are more interesting than the mains, and I strongly believe the entire series went down hill when Gratch left, because from that point forward, the magic in the story disappeared. Whatever magic was left, was explained to us in purely scientific terms. The characters who started out with guts and dimension also became preachy and pathetic. When I got to the end of the series, I was left with the impression that Goodkind thought he was Richard.
I started reading the series when I was 14. All of the books aside from the last two had been published by this stage. It took me about five years to get through the whole series because the repetition in the story would put me to sleep! Whoever his editor was must not have read the series past Temple of Winds. Either that or they've never heard of tautology. Overall, I believe this series was promising to begin with, but never really developed past that. With all of the reduntant dribble, the whole series could have finished 5 books earlier. A note to Goodkind: a reader is not going to pick up a book in a series six books in, so to keep your loyal readers - do not re-tell the first 6 books!!!
Submitted by Mark
The first two volumes of this series are quite good. The author introduces some good concepts and characters and writes in an engaging if sometimes underdeveloped style. Characters are reasonably well drawn and what is really attractive, contrary to many exponents of this genre, are that the novels are largely self-contained. One attractive aspect of these novels is the lack of an expansive secondary world, we discover the breadth of the world as the characters do.
However, the parallels with other novels in the genre are difficult to ignore and even more difficult to justify. Goodkind has 'borrowed' extensively both from legends of the genre and from his contemporaries, and has done so in a hamfisted manner. Other posts in this forum have outlined the extent of the elements of Jordan, Tolkien and others so obvious in Goodkind's books. All too rapidly, the novels fall into repetitious plots with little development of character and the series becomes tired very quickly.
In summary, to compare Goodkind to those such as Tolkien or Jordan (at his best) is an unsustainable argument; even comparing him to those further down the hierarchy such as Eddings or Feist is a stretch, especially when there are writers of great imagination and skill such as Martin, Erikkson and Hobbs redefining so many aspects of the genre.
Submitted by Anonymous
I read the first three books, and my comment, to each his own ~ you'll either like them or not. The books read like an edited, and reworked, first draft. I personally am not a fan of the series, and will encourage my literary friends to avoid these books.
These are my issues with The Sword of Truth:
1. Some overlaping in a story's plat line is expected in certain genre but SoT's is too similar to previous published work by other authors. I also have issues with the plot development. It lacks substance (or meat) in areas.
2. Supporting details for scene development is overall poor.
3. Character development, especially in the main characters, is, to say the least, lacking. The characters have very little depth, and basically, are without flavor. I can't connect the them, and I don't care if they live, die, suceed, fail, etc.
3. Relationship development in many of the characters is poor. Instant, or hurried trust is unrealistic. Ingrained behavorial response, fears, etc. are not forgotten or brushed aside.
The list goes on but these are largest the fundamental issues I have with Sot stories.
Submitted by Anonymous
These books are amazing, in a way, while at the same time being corny and overdone. I am absolutely in love with them, although I recognize their faults. Goodkind is definitely not the world's most fluent, literary genius, but he has developed some very good characters. In fact, I believe it his characters which have really been the sole reason I have read and reread these books so many times, despite my dislike of the way his later books become too preachy. I like Kahlan and even Richard, although mostly I am attached to Cara, and in the later books Nicci. Despite the fact that Richard does become somewhat tyrannical and the reader only gets to see his ones-sided, infallible point of view. I would ABSOLUTELY NOT recommend this book to anyone under 16, or anyone who is unable to handle the often graphic violence (Goodkind is overly descriptive in rape scenes, of which there are quite a few). However, I would recommend this book to anyone who doesn't mind becoming utterly obsessed with it because I am still searching for a fantasy book like it. I love the characters, and I also love how he combines fantasy elements without being too involved in the fantasy part of the novel. I love the LOTR movies but sometimes the books get too in depth with character names and background when I really just want to read plot, action and dialogue! So yes, despite its many flaws this series is a must read.