Let's be honest, Terry Goodkind is brilliant. Needless to say that his books are brilliant too. Goodkind is a master storyteller, sculpting a sophisticated world entwined in intrigue, love, loss and above all else, magic. Oh yeah, and I shouldn't forget to mention prophecy either.
The Sword of Truth series follows the adventures of a lowly woodland guide named Richard. His days are spent exploring the forest and in his spare time, crafting items out of wood (I should mention that before becoming an author, Goodkind was a wood sculpture ((oh, and he is also dyslexic))). After Richard pricks his hand on a mysterious vine, the world around him changes and he becomes caught up in the politics of an ancient war. The first book, Wizard's First Rule is long and satisfying story. Read the blurb for yourself:
Richard Cypher's decision to help a woman in the Upper Ven near the Boundary between the Midlands and Westland creates more trouble than first appears. The woman, Kahlan Amnell, seeks the help of a wizard in the Westland, and she brings with her dark news from the other side of the Boundary: Darken Rahl, Ruler of D'Hara, has brought down the Boundary between D'Hara and the Midlands. This menacing ruler continues his dead father's quest for control by pressing war on the now vulnerable Midlands. Kahlan is attempting to find the great wizard who had left the Midlands for the Magic free Westlands due to the corruption of the government in his eyes, so as to have him Name a Seeker of Truth. The great wizard turns out to be Zeddicus Zu'l Zorrander, Richard's longtime friend, who then proceeds to name Richard the Seeker.
Wizard's First Rule is the very first adult fantasy novel I ever read. I was thirteen years old and though I didn't understand every second word in the story - vocabulary is a killer - I managed to read the book cover to cover. Goodkind was still publishing a book every couple of years, so I grew up reading and constantly waiting for the next instalment. As I matured, so did my vocabulary and reading skills. I can attribute a lot of my love for fantasy because of Goodkind. He really did change my world.
But now more about the story:
The characters are brilliant and unforgettable. I loved picking up a new novel and embarking on a new journey with Richard and Kahlan. In my own opinion, each novel was a good as the last - at least until the final 'wrap-up' trilogy. The world is as equally unforgettable, unique in its design and mind-blowing in its complexity. Goodkind's world is a believable place where I felt must exist somewhere... somehow.
Every emotion is genuine, every feeling believable. Goodkind's novels were 2am page turners in a desperate attempt to discover what happens next. But as Goodkind wrote more novels, I did become disappointed in how he was portraying his characters: it became a classic case of an author falling in love with his creations. He is definitely no Martin when it comes to eliminating characters.
However, this is only a small irk in my love for these stories. I have thoroughly enjoyed every Goodkind novel. I thought I'd do a FANTASY REWIND on Goodkind since I'm about half-way through newest novel, The Omen Machine. So stayed tuned, fantasy friends. Another review is on its way shortly.
If you want to know anything about these stories, please feel free to leave comments and questions!
A quick note: a new fantasy rewind poll is up! Please vote as I always look forward to writing about my favourite authors.