Each time Goodkind's hero and heroine save the world from supernatural menaces, there turns out to be a catch involved; what we learn, interestingly, from his particular take on fantasy is to be suspicious and cynical. Last time, in Temple of the Winds
, the problem was a plague of supernatural origins; this time, it is beings of water, fire and air, who cause sudden and inexplicable death and are gradually eroding the very magic on which the structure of Richard's world depends. And there is still a crusading emperor, a variety of witch-hunters and the complex uncertainties of Richard's emotional life to deal with. It is typical of Goodkind's bleak take on the stock material of fantasy that when, after four previous volumes, Richard finally marries his beloved Kahlan, there should be terrible consequences. We get to see more of this ingeniously thought-out fantasyland--a doomsday weapon in the hands of dim young conscripts and a society whose corruption enables Goodkind to lecture us on the evils of democracy. Most heroic fantasy has an attachment to autocracy as one of its unspoken values--Goodkind is not least interesting because he tends to follow those values through to their limit. --Roz Kaveney
--This text refers to an alternate
"Goodkind's ingenious world building will keep readers captivated." --"Publishers Weekly"
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.