on 28 December 2007
Well, from an overall perspective this series really has taken a long and winding route. What started with a spellbinding Wizard's First Rule has at last wound its way to the end. The reason I'm on here reviewing Confessor is because I picked up WFR some 8 years ago - was utterly enchanted from the off and that's how my love affair with the story started. The first 3 books were almost virtually flawless, creating such a wonderful range of vivid characters and settings. Very unfortunately, for some reason books 5(Soul of the Fire) through to 11(Confessor) seem to have gone on a gradual decline.
Although I agree with what Goodkind preaches as it were; nobility, rationality of mind, love, etc, he has taken it too far in as much as he seems to keep reiterating the same things over and over. On reflection perhaps Goodkind will realise that at the least he should have focused on Richard and Kahlan et all acting out their wholesome and inspiring lives as the demonstration of their (and Goodkind's) decent values. Just trotting them out at every chance eventually left me a little worn out.
In particular reference to this final installment, these are my feelings;
Part of Goodkind's style is to present good and bad in their extremes. Any guy would want to be Richard and any woman would want to be married to him. Vice versa for Kahlan (or Nicci, since her conversion). Goodkind positively showers these characters with divine attributes to the extent that I have been inspired by them. In exactly the opposite way, Jagang, the Order, Six and the rest are shown to be the most savage, perverse brutes imaginable. What really did get to me in this last book is that for what seemed like the first half of the book (about 300 pages) the topic seemed to be entirely on sex/rape/debauchery. Jagang's twisted desire to rape Kahlan, his postponement to inflict maximum pain on Richard, his disgusting and crude nature, the tents, then it's Nicci, and so on and so on. I felt that this was really overdone and unnecessary, and to a degree actually contradicts the essence of Goodkind's message about the need for reason, love, compassion. The second disappointment is the way this entire epic story seems to have been wrapped up in about 100 pages - almost scandalous considering the length and magnitude of the series. At one point Kahlan, Jillian, Nicci, Jensen and Richard are captives of the Order. Jagang has all three boxes and the Book of Counted Shadow. Six is on the Order's side causing mayhem on a red dragon. Richard has been robbed of his gift. The People's Palace is completely surrounded by millions of the Order. The Keep has had to be abandoned, the Prelate, Ann, is dead. The Chainfire spell is rampaging unchecked oblitering memories. The Beast is alive and well and on Richard's case.
Yes, that's right. All of the above is resolved within mere pages. Now I know it's a bit hypocritical to moan about the drawn out nature of the past five books but then whinge the ending is too short, but surely Goodkind could have gone out with more of a bang.
I will remember this series fondly, and whatever else I got from it I definitely have been heartened by the plight of Richard and definitely have a good role model there to aim for. The second half of books seemed to be misdirected, almost spouting about good and righteousness etc for the sake of it, rather than doing it the right way which is through the natural integrity of the story.
So mixed emotions at the end - I'm pleased I read this series, and overall the good points outweigh the bad, and I think Goodkind has his intentions right and his writing can be really exciting and uplifting. An era to look back on and some memories.
on 1 December 2007
I loathed more than liked this book.
The sheer force of the story drove the book along, though it was impossible not to dwell on its gaping flaws. By "flaws" I'm talking about the persistent repetition; the proliferation of undisguised blocks of the authors own philosophy; the out-of-character speeches that characters, like Rachel, for example, make; the vast, vast amounts of tedious, overbearing exposition etc. - I had to skim and ignore sections, which no reader should have to do. And while there were parts of the story that were, indeed, riveting, its poor telling detracted from the overall experience, frequently jarring me out of the created world to shake my head in bewilderment.
Goodkind's poor, poor craft, and the lack of decent editing, spoiled this book, spoiled this series for me--for goodness sake, even some of the chapters in my copy repeated themselves!
However, saying all of this, I still half enjoyed the story and I still read it to the end, and as far as my appreciation of the story goes, it felt good to reach a conclusion, ANY CONCLUSION, to this series.
I will say, though, for firm followers of the series, without a doubt, there are things to be commended and to enjoy (albeit much less than there could've and should've been), so read it if you will; but, for me, overall, I was vastly disappointed with this poor ending to a series that began with so much promise. And for all newbies: if you begin this series, I can only advise you to read the first three (One and Two especially) then stop; instead of reading on you should use your imagination, because believe me, you will be the better for it. Or, better yet, don't even begin, it will save you from great disappointment.
I can say nothing more than that I have lost all respect for Terry Goodkind as an author and I will not buy another book with his name on the cover.
on 6 February 2008
I think some of the reviews are overly harsh on this. Yes the series has tended to sermonise too much over recent books and yes much of the dialouge between Richard and Kahlan makes me want to stick my fingers down my throat but, if you have read the rest of the series, then Confessor does a decent job of tying up the loose ends and the ending, whilst way too short (almost as if TG was hitting a word limit) was imaginative and unexpected. In general, it would have helped if this series stopped at 7 books and more got packed in but I would contend that this book is probably the best of the last 4, although nowhere near the standard of the first 5. If you have stuck with it for the first 9 books then there is no reason not buy this - although the paperback will be better value!
on 21 January 2008
I loved Wizard's First Rule. Everything about the novel, from plot to characterisation to the world it was set in, was excellent and I was excited when I found out the series was going to be a long one.
I'm not excited anymore.
As other reader's have commented, after about the first four or so books, Goodkind might as well have put down his pen and stepped away from his keyboard. In fact, we might have been better off if he had done. Because the downward spiralling arc from Faith of the Fallen to Confessor is a truly tragic one and it actually pains me to see the potential of Goodkind's series squandered so badly.
With the introduction of the final trilogy of the series, (beginning with Chainfire), I thought there might still be some hope left to bring everything to a satisfactory conclusion.
I was wrong.
Confessor is not, by any standards, a good read. It's preachy, word-heavy and seems to carelessly disregard relationships and plotlines that emerged from the previous ten books (Zedd/Adie relationship anyone ...?) If the characters had discussed Richard and Kahlan's doomed romance one more time in the opening chapters, I think I would have screamed.
But perhaps the one problem that irritated me the most was this: the premise of the whole series was that Richard is a War Wizard who is going to save the world from Jagang with his wizardy abilities, yes? Well, no not really. Because somehow in the space of eleven novels, Richard never finds the time to learn how to use his abilities. At all. (He's too busy rescuing Kahlan from distress, getting beaten up, rescuing Kahlan again, getting captured, oh and for a bit of variety - rescuing Kahlan.) For a series so utterly based around the magical abilities of it's protagonist, this is an unforgivable oversight, and one which made the Jagang/Richard face-off we'd all been patiently waiting for an impossibility.
I think Mr Goodkind needs to take a long, hard look at his writing and realise that there's only so long you can keep milking the cash cow before your readers revolt. And that books set completely around the concept of a football-deathmatch are unlikely to be successful.
on 31 January 2008
Fantasy novels are generally about the clash between good and evil, but rarely do the authors try to make either into explicit ideas. Over the course of this series, Terry Goodkind has tried to give shape to his ideas about good and evil. Unfortunately the books have become progressively more preachy as the series has progressed. The plot has also become more convoluted. The magic formulas that have proved to be necessary to solve the plot twists in this final volume have become so complex that the story loses much of the magic of fantasy. The novel has its brilliant moments where the reader is desperate to find out what is going to happen on the next page, just as in the earliest books in the series, but other parts of the book drag with unnecessarily complex explanations of magic, tedious diatribes against the evil of `The Order' and repetitious plot sequences, where yet another member of Richard's party is taken captive and must escape. The story is worth reading to find out how the series concludes, but it really would have been better to wrap things up three or four volumes earlier.
on 1 January 2008
Confessor depends on and refers to many events and characters from earlier books. Overall, Goodkind draws them together very well, sometimes in unexpected ways. Some of the cameos work better than others; a couple are simply too brief to carry a lot of impact, but one in particular is very poignant.
While I did not expect the resolution Goodkind supplies, it follows from what has gone before. The keys to the solution go back all the way to the first book, and there are also hints of what may be to come.
As someone who has followed the Sword of Truth closely, I liked it a lot. I would not recommend anyone start with Confessor, but for those who have enjoyed the series to date, it should provide a very satisfying finale. The best conclusion to a series I have read in a long time. I found Confessor, like the books it follows, to be a really fun read with something worthwhile and uplifting to say!!! I'd also recommend reading Tino Georgiou's bestseller--The Fates--if you missed it
on 28 August 2008
My condolences to all readers of Confessor.
Firstly to those that actually finds this tripe digestible. I pity that you are able to enjoy the stale writings and musings of a totally self absorbed man. But I emphathise with your loyalties, it certainly has been a long journey to get to this finale; 12 years, 11 books and £100's spent.
But I must ridicule your critique (or lack of) for this truly awful book. How many times have we seen this in popular culture, where a legendary franchise has opted for the quick buck and mass exploitation of its fans over the protection and integrity of its art? AND STILL SOME OF YOU LAP IT UP! Perhaps, with such an insatiable public appetite for sub-mediocre fiction we should all start to release our own philosophies dressed up as unexciting, predictable stories?
Secondly to the readers of this fiction, akin to me, who have patiently stuck with it, in desperation rather than hope, to see a fulfilling end to a one-time compelling saga. Alas, our instincts were correct; Goodkind was never going to achieve redemption, the crimes of the previous 6 books (with the exception of Faith Of The Fallen) were too great and our better judgment lost out to curiosity and loyalty. I sympathise with you, I emphathise with you and in especial, I question with you; How could such inventive stories and vividly realised characters finally morph into Confessor? I would say laziness, arrogance and greed.
And lastly I would like to send my condolences to Voyager, the poor publishers who agreed to print these books. To those at Voyager, I pity your proof readers, the PR people, the printers and all the professionals that had to deal with Goodkind and his latter day SOT series.
I would not be surprised if this effort is Goodkind's last. He now seems devoid of any invention and enthusiasm for his work and probably grew to hate the SOT over the last few years; it would certainly explain his dire performances as an author. I can now put him on the `could-have-been-great-but-sacrificed-earlier-brilliance-for-immediate-exposure' pile along with the Wachowski brothers and countless others.
on 29 November 2007
I've revised this review on reconsidering the book and the series. I originally gave "Confessor' five stars, but now I think that was really my rating of the whole series, which I enjoyed. It kept my attention and took me to another universe in ways that few other fantasy series have. However, taken on its own, this was not one of the better books by Mr Goodkind - he did seem to run out of ideas and inspiration to some extent. Anyone who didn't know the series would not find this one very special. So I'm changing to three stars, and would re-emphasize that anyone thinking of buying this should read the others first, starting with 'Wizard's First Rule'.
on 15 November 2007
First off this book is a brilliant accomplishment and a fitting end to one of the finest series in the fantasy genre. I confess to crying like a girl at the emotional climax and read through the entire book in one sitting. I won't discuss the end, other than saying it leaves plenty of potential for future stories. There are moments that make you want to leap for joy or slump in horror, which is more than can be said for most of the competition or indeed many of the great works of classical fiction.
In many ways, this book is a coming full circle, back to the original themes of Wizard's first rule, which although it perhaps makes its originality questionable, works very well in general.
Having said that the book does suffer from a few problems. For example, Mr Goodkind continues to fail to camouflage his philosophy and there are several points in the novel, where characters speak for long periods of time without interruption in a fairly interchangable way. This is a shame, because it reduces the uniqueness of each character and because we have heard pretty much all of it before, especially in Faith of the Fallen. In retrospect, it would have been better to have kept such points just to the very end, where their impact would have been much greater. I should point out here that I subscribe to his philosophy but I feel the way it was presented in this book, actually detracted from the novel's quality.
The "seen it done it" syndrome is also true of the Emperor's treatment of the female characters, which had been well established in the previous books and perhaps didn't need to be repeated in this book. There is perhaps a point where things almost look too bleak for the forces of good and some anticlimaxes coupled with a few plot devices which almost but not quite feel like Deus Ex Machina.
The length of the series somewhat backfires, in this, it's conclusion as the end tries to drag in as many of the minor characters as possible, giving them very little "screen-time".
However, none of these points should stop you from reading this work of passion and inspiration. True art holds a mirror up to life. This book shows us a reflection of what man could and should aspire to be. Buy it.
on 10 May 2010
This is the LAST story in the series The Sword of Truth. (Audio version CD ). Is it any good? Reply. Oh yes.Confessor (Sword of Truth)
This is the unabridged version.
Is it worth paying the extra? Well if you like to listen to very good stories it is worth every penny.
If you have not read the first in the series (Wizards first rule),please do so as this will help you understand this story betted.
However it can also be read/listened to as a stand alone
I hope that if you do buy this you will enjoy it.