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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, but still worth a read.
THE STORY:
A realm of magic-immune pacifists is invaded by the brutal Imperial Order. Refusing to defend themselves, they poison Richard Rahl promising him the antidote if he does their dirty work for them.
WHAT'S GOOD:
This book should be read as a reward for having read the abysmal 'Pillars Of Creation' and still carried on. It is a reasonable quality...
Published on 6 Jan 2005 by Ian Tapley

versus
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So disappointing.
I found Terry Goodkind's most recent effort, Naked Empire, very disappointing. I have been following his work since his first novel, Wizard's First Rule, was published. Wizard's First Rule was a truly remarkable book. It was so good because Goodkind produced fully rounded characters. Naked Empire lacks any characterisation whatsoever. It's almost as if in this eighth book...
Published on 18 Aug 2003 by Amazon Customer


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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So disappointing., 18 Aug 2003
This review is from: Naked Empire: No. 1 (Hardcover)
I found Terry Goodkind's most recent effort, Naked Empire, very disappointing. I have been following his work since his first novel, Wizard's First Rule, was published. Wizard's First Rule was a truly remarkable book. It was so good because Goodkind produced fully rounded characters. Naked Empire lacks any characterisation whatsoever. It's almost as if in this eighth book in the series Goodkind feels that he no longer has to bother with any characterisation. For example, in the previous book he introduced a new character, Richard's sister Jensen, but in Naked Empire he doesn't bother to explore how this new character impacts on any of the existing characters.
However, even more irritating is Goodkind's propensity to preach. In his earlier books Goodkind has always used the story to put across his views on many subjects. This became even more the case with the war between the D'Haran Empire and the Imperial Order which Goodkind makes clear is a war of ideologies. In Naked Empire this becomes outright preaching. The story takes a back seat to discussion of the various ideologies in the book, and Naked Empire is a long book. If Goodkind came up with new and varied arguments it wouldn't be too bad. But his arguments are repetitive, as if Goodkind were preaching a very complex subject to someone with little understanding and, hence, had to keep repeating himself. I found this both irritating and rather insulting. But I suppose he had to fill out the book in some way since there is not enough of a story in Naked Empire to fill all 660 pages.
Also, there is nothing new in terms of content in this book compared to the previous seven. The war goes on. Characters get captured and tortured. Richard is dying once again and Kahlan makes a great sacrifice to try and save him. And, too, there is a lot of reference to previous books and when there have been so many previously that's a lot of reference.
I am so disappointed because Goodkind's early works, particularly his first three novels, show that he has a rare talent. I think it is time for Goodkind to leave the Sword of Truth behind and try something new and fresh. Something that will show us, once again, the talent that was so evident in his early work.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Are you testing our loyalty?, 2 Sep 2003
By 
B.D. (springfield, mo United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Naked Empire: No. 1 (Hardcover)
It was all that I could do to get through this book. Except for a couple of chapters on Zedd, it didn't even seem like the same person wrote this book. Like many people, money is very tight for me, so it pains me on multiple levels when I feel that I was taken advantage of. None of this story actually went anywhere. It was a large book that droned on and on about nothing interesting. It's a little late in the game to have Richard speaking (without end) about whether or not there is a justification for death vs. freedom. This could have been summed up on one page, not one-half of the book. I also didn't need the heavy handed recap of the last seven books.
Where's all the wonderful magic, the interesting, action packed adventures? Gee whiz, what was the purpose of this book?
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The agony and the ecstasy, 6 Sep 2003
By A Customer
For those of us that have followed the adventures Richard Cypher over the years each book has been a welcome relief to those drab days spent pining over what we should do to entertain ourselves.
This book is no different,it starts where it left off in the last book 'The Pillars of Creation' with reluctant hero Richard and Kahlen coming across a civilisation,which just happens to be pristinely ungifted and in need of saving from the brutal imperial order,but for Richard Cypher this civilisation and the worlds last hope for survival there are added problems with his gift not only failing him,but seeming to be killing him at the same time. With time ebbing away for him, if Richard is to succeed he must confront a force not seen for a thousand years, a magical being with the ability to take one's very soul.
With this going on Richards granfather Zedd is taken prisoner,worse though the wizards keep is thus left unguarded with priceless magical items left open to those who would use them against everything that is good.
'The Naked Empire' is a fine addition to the 'sword of truth' series and a big improvement on the last book, though it doesn't stretch the limits of this fantasy epic or reach the heights of the first book in the series 'Wizards first rule'.
If you have read all the previos books by Terry Goodkind it's worth buying, but if you are new to this epic fantasy I recommend 'Wizards first rule', and I'll let you take it from there.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive polemic, 23 Feb 2009
A Kid's Review
Really, this is the start of the downturn of this whole series. Some of the earlier books weren't great, but this is dreadful.

Does Terry Goodkind really have such a low opinion of his readers that he thinks they're so thick that he needs to keep ramming his polemic down our throats, incessantly? As a previous review said - 'A' speech is good, but not the same speech over and over again.

On top of that, the constant repetition of other things (two whole pages to describe a Mother Confessor's powers, in a book this late in the series? Come on!), and an overall sense of poor writing.

I get the impression that Goodkind was writing for himself, not the readers, and let himself get dragged away from what could have been a superb series. The world and legends he's created are wonderful, and the storyline is great... it's just not well written.

When you can skip whole pages (and, in fact in book 11, you can skip whole chapters) without losing anything from the plot, there's something seriously wrong.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacking, 8 Dec 2004
I hate to criticize this series, I really do. As unlike other similar series' (wheel of time) it has actually lasted throughout a number of books with good, twisting storylines and deep characters. The first five (except maybe Soul of the Fire) were quite simply fantastic, with the fifth (faith of the fallen) being arguably the best after the first one. However, the sixth book (pillars of creation) was quite honestly, boring.
But after hearing that this one actually did involve the old characters (and avidly praying that Jennsen didn't join them)
my hopes lifted.
How wrong I was.
The book starts out slow (like most of the others) but unlike the others, never really picks up. It got to the point that after a few hundred pages I realised that nothing had actually happened and I was over half way through the book! Finally as story threatened to become properly exciting, Richard decides to stretch a pretty boring speech over about 50 pages. About 45 of them involving him repeating himself. Why? Fair enough, some of them are meant to be "inspiring" but this one was just rubbish.
Also, I was dissapointed to see Jennsen not only alive at the start but surviving the entire book! The first few books managed to seem so original and seemed to progress well. This one however, feels like it's a jumble of the former books and progresses agonizingly slowly. Until the end, where it finally improves but is totally rushed, making me personally feel cheated after waiting for the end throughout about 500 pages of monotony.
But, even with the slowness (and sometimes dare I say boringness) the book still feels like Goodkinds work, and the writing remains good most of the time. Though you do feel that it (like the last book) could have been spread over a hundred or so pages in another book in the series.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dragging on..., 7 Feb 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Naked Empire (Paperback)
The first few books in this series I really enjoyed. The next few not so much. And by now, I am hanging my head in despair. Why do so many writers make this mistake? This book was boring and slow, it did nothing to further the plot of the series and nothing to move it towards its final goal. There is no hint of a finish yet. Which is perhaps the point.
Terry Goodkind appears to have fallen too far in love with either his characters or the money he is making from them. In many books you will get scenes which you feel could have been missed out without spoiling the book, as they seemed to have no relevance to the plot, and no part to play in moving it along, or developing the characters. Terry Goodkind has now presented us with a whole books worth of this. The whole thing seemed to be some totally un-neccesary sub-plot. I fear that by the time he finally brings this series to a close, I and many other readers will have lost all interest in the fate of the characters. Basically, he needs to get on and finish this series before it's too late.
Fans of the Sword of Truth series may want to read it, but it is probably not strictly speaking neccesary to do so. If you are new to Goodkind, and thinking about starting his series, don't go there unless you have a great deal of time and patience, and are prepared to wait some time before you get an ending.
In the meantime this series will just keep dragging on...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cracks in the armour, 4 Sep 2003
This review is from: Naked Empire: No. 1 (Hardcover)
This has been an excellent series so far but this latest book puts Goodkind in danger of going the way of Robert Jordan - trying to eke out a story so long that he loses himself and the reader.
In general this is a good enough story with decent characters and some good action scenes. Unfortunately it has been so fleshed out with Goodkinds mechanism of preaching a theme through the central character, Richard, that it does not rivet interest in the way of his previous books.
We really need to see a return to more action filled and suspense laden books as seen earlier in the series to make this the epic it originally promised to be.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hit or flop., 7 Jun 2004
This review is from: Naked Empire: No. 1 (Hardcover)
As A singer of praises for Terry Goodkind and the S.O.T. series, I couldn't wait for this book to be released!
I own all the previous books, (and would heartily recommend them to be read) and after what I considered to be a let down of the series in P.O.C. I was looking forward to the story returning to set around Richard and Kahlan.
Whilst N.E. did return to the series to central characters and Terry's writing remained strong I felt the plot was tired and SERIOUSLY dragged. I could not get into this book at all and would seriously recommend contimplation before spending 20.00 to buy the hard cover version. If you can, WAIT! It will be much cheaper in a paper-back form, and, in my opinion, more value for money. Even better just take it out of the library.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars long-winded & dull, 3 Sep 2003
This review is from: Naked Empire: No. 1 (Hardcover)
Like many others I have read and enjoyed most of the Sword Of Truth series. I read the first book in three days, I really couldn't stop!
Unfortunately with this last book I was bitterly dissappointed. The story occurs between long speeches from Richard or Kahlan or even the author himself, either recapping events from the rest of the series (but not in a brief manner for those who may not have read the other books, it often goes on for pages) or egotistical preaching.
He seems to have completely abandoned the depth the characters had, and with that the empathy the reader feels for them. For example Richard seems to have completely forgot his roots as a humble woodsman and has become a one-dimensional, pompous character.
I found myself skimming pages of repeated & paraphrased text, trying to extract the vague pieces of regurgitated storyline, which was badly planned and contained none of the talent demonstrated in earlier volumes.
I really felt that this book was written hastily for the cash rather than for love of writing, and that Goodkind is dragging out the saga so he can carry on making what must be a substantial amount from this series, which should really be concluded in a couple of books now.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Magic Right-wing Swords of the Magnificent Seven, 5 Oct 2007
This isn't the first time that I've started a series in the wrong place so that does not affect my judgement of this book. Terry Goodkind's The Naked Empire is a wierdly questionable book that stands out as an example of what happens when publishers don't say no! This is book eight in the Sword of Truth series and I often get laughs out of telling people about it's flaws!

The first and most obvious of these is that it is extremely long-winded. The first two-hundred pages or so is Richard Raul with his loyal companions out in the desert trekking from somewhere to somewhere - Terry was sketchy on the details. Throughout these three hundred pages Richard holds extremely lengthy "conversations" with his friends explaining the value and importance of "Freeeeeeedom" (a la Mel Gibson) the same way that you might explain to a one year-old that a cow goes moo. Like extras in a bad propaganda film Richard's friends accept his arguments without question. After the two-hundred pages mark, a story starts to develop. To cut a lot of back-history short (the author is not so kind - pardon the pun) you have the "pillars of creation" who are freak children of the house of Raul. These are "immune" to magic. They cannot hear it, they cannot see it, they cannot feel it, they cannot be killed by it. If there are too many of these "pillars of creation" somehow, by existing, they will destroy all the magic in the universe. So the seriously evil Imperial Order - a strange hybrid between the vatican and the British Empire - want to wipe them out so that they can keep on using magic to their evil ends. I forget how this was actually relevant to the story so I'll cut to the chase.

In the midst of fleeing and fighting the Imperial Order and its sorcerors Richard gets poisoned by a pacifist (yes I wrote that - you read that). Said pacifist wants Richard to defend his empire which has been magically cut off from the rest of the world for ten thousand years, but no longer; and because it's what they like doing the imperial order have started invading, raping, pillaging, introducing communism and - shock horror - after ten thousand years all the people in this empire are pacifists (yes it's another variation on the magnificent seven).

It wouldn't take us that long to get so far into the story, but I was at least half-way through a seven hundred and forty page novel and I decided I didn't need to hear a pro-American anti-pacifist statement. So I left it there. The book is so strange as to be almost comical. There is a very long and lengthy argument between Richard and the Pacifist on the possibility that there is more to life than we know. Apparently Richard wins this argument, even though - at one point - somebody points out that if the "Pillars of Creation" cannot know of magic there might be things that Richard might not be able to know of. Ricjard's reply to this is basically: "Yes, but what I know to be true is the only definite reality. I have spoken." An excuse that even Richard Dawkins would admit was weak.

Extremely late on in the story we are introduced into a sub-plot involving the good magician Zed. There is an entire chapter (literally) which is Zed walking down stairs, saying to himself: "Yes, but if they got past that trap they's come up against this trap - and if they got past that trap..." for a whole twenty pages.

A ridiculous, self-indulgent novel.

I believe Terry Goodkind must have seen the Magnificent Seven when he was young and has recycled it into an anti-pacifist statement - like we needed that! The Magnificent Seven itself is a flawed film that indulges America's ego at Mexico's expense.

It's a nasty experience to have the idea that violence can solve problems hammered into one's head endlessly and to have it mixed with the usual American 'Freedom' routine is unbearable. There is deeper consideration as to what Freedom really means in Saturday morning cartoons. Consider this Terry (if you're reading): The British ruled India for over a hundred years, kept the caste system down, introduced medicine and technology (though the British occupation did have its bad side which is why we were eventually forced to leave - nb through non-violent resistence - Ghandi is still remembered as a saint and has been an example to many others) but what did freedom really give to India? A civil war that was worse than the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

I have heard that the earlier books in this series are magnificent and I may give them a try one day, but I would recommend David Gemmell instead for a far more realistic and humane philosophy. Not to mention considerably better plots!

I gave this two stars instead of one because, on reflection, Goodkind has obviously created a marvellous world of his own and just got lost in his right-wing objectivist philosophies and it did keep me reading until half-way!
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Naked Empire: No. 1 by Terry Goodkind (Hardcover - 4 Aug 2003)
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