And one that has paid off.
May I point out at the start of this review, that if you haven't read any of the Sword of Truth novels, then you must start here. This is a prequel to the Richard and Kahlan novels, and Goodkind himself has advised that if you are new to the series, then you should read "The First Confessor" well, first.
This aside, it is almost a given that the majority of the first readers of this eBook offering will be Goodkind's loyal legions of fan, who have stuck through him through long (and painful) soliloquies and upsettingly short (Omen Machine-type) follow-ons.
The First Confessor is back to the epic novel length Terry got us all used to during the SoT series. I don't want to ham the review full of spoilers for those new to the series, but as a SoT fan the book became formulaic in its steps; you knew who the first Confessor would be, who her allies were, what the weapons available to them would be, simply because they had all featured in the main series.
Still, this is a fabulous book.
Very touching at parts (when the First Confessor is created I thought my heart would stop) there is a lot to inject faith back in the series from the standpoint of the long-loyal fans.
Never mind the fact that Mr Goodkind has taken the brave step of self-publishing this. It almost backfired, in a way - I found it difficult to get a lot of news on this, and ended up trawling a lot of American reading forums before stumbling on Goodreads like a fool stumbling lost out of a forest right by a path.
Anyway, I ramble. In this book, Goodkind doesn't. It's a searing (hah, see what I did there) novel full of love, rage, and despite knowing a lot of what is going to happen (in general), surprises.
It's a shame I can't hold this in my hands to read over and over again, but I will be trying my hardest to track down and own one of the limited edition print copies. It's *that* good.