The book that launched the popular 'Sword of Truth' series deserves every piece of credit attributed to it. Goodkind's fantasy novel presents many of expected components within the genre, however his tightly woven narrative style and attention to character development make his work stand tall against that of his peers. Goodkind ensures that the relationships of the characters, both within the good and evil camps, and then how they interact with each other, are artfully constructed, an essential part of the plot rather than a distraction.
Wizard's First Rule is as much melodrama as it is fantasy yet don't let that deceive you in to thinking this is a simple love story. Wizard's First Rule is a bleak and starkly horrific tale at times and it's epic story does nothing to diminish the personal torture the central protagonists must endure to overcome the evil opposing them. There are some original aspects within, Goodkind's skill lies in twisting old ideas in to something new, frequently taking the story in unexpected directions, lulling readers in to a false sense of security, before brutally ripping the rug from under their feet. A must for fantasy readers Wizard's First Rule is an mature, enthralling and emotionally charged read.
on 9 April 2012
Having watched the TV series, which was brilliant but ended abruptly. I was enticed to read the first book although it was widely known to be quite a lot different from the TV version.
After reading the book for myself, I can say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes the Journey to try and stop Darken Rahl is different, some plot twists and support characters never made it into the TV series. But that doesn't make me enjoy it any less. The book does start off a little slow (not as bad as lotr), but once it gets going it becomes hard to put down. The book was over 700 pages which was longer that what I usually prefer, but it was well worth the read. And I can't wait to get started on the second one.
There are definately some simliar characters to other books (i.e. Golum) and a couple of talking animals. But these play small parts in the story, but are amusing at times. The story and connection between Richard and Kahlan, two of the main characters is easily one of the best I have read or seen on TV. I won't give any spoliers away, but for anyone who remembers the scene with the apple (awkward), I doubt I will be able to look at an apple in the same way. LOL!
Not one to miss!
on 10 April 2012
I bought Wizard's First Rule because I liked the series and wanted to compare it to the book. The book brings out the true value of the story, every chapter brings out the essence of the author. I was completely drawn into this world and found it hard to put the book down and I made the right choice in acquiring the book. The characters were likeable, and the pacing, development, and suspense kept me thoroughly entertained.
Some have said that book starts slow and at times drags on, but I don't agree, why I think that Terry Goodkind is laying the foundations for the story and the series so that later on you don't get lost or confused as I have seen in some books.
You have three main characters Richard, Kahlan, & Zedd. The Seeker, The Confessor and The Wizard. All three in a quest to stop the evil Darken Rahl and his plans to capture the 3 boxes of Orden and control all the worlds for 78ever.
Is this a good book? No, this is a great book and I rate the series in my top ten of fantasy books that I I have read until now. I recommend the book and I say to all who have doubt's, read and you won't be disappointed.
on 25 November 2015
The first of a series of the best books I have ever read. I absolutely love the way the books are written, the characters are incredibly fantastic and it fuels my imagination so it's mostly like I'm seeing the story played out in my head. I have the complete series and they are my most prized possessions. I now buy this book as gifts for people in a effort to spread they joy they have given me.
on 29 August 2011
I don't particulary advocate one literary genre over another, but I do go through periods of devoting my time to one in particular. At the moment, it's fantasy novels. Over the last few months, I've read George R.R Martin, Mervyn Peake and Neil Gaiman novels for the first time, and re-read Tolkien, Rowling and CS Lewis (in fact I just finished The Last Battle 20 years after my little 8 year-old self tried, and failed, to get through it the first time). I can comfortably say this is the worst fantasy novel I've read so far.
Cardboard cut-out characters? Check. Highly-derivative, cliche-ridden story? Check. Ridiculously-maniacal-plot-to-take-over-the-world-by-the-stupidly-named-superbad-guy? Check. The funny thing is, I wouldn't necessarily highlight these facts as a negative since they are after all staples of most the genre. Well, except perhaps cardboard cut-out characters - that's pretty much unforgivable in any story because if you're not emotionally invested in the characters, the story becomes worthless (Dan Brown, I'm looking at you!). It's the mish-mash of all those staples of the fantasy genre without form or focus, the lazy writing and poor plotting, ultimately just the downright banality of it all, that made the reading of this novel a complete waste of my time.
I can best sum this up by detailing how I approached one particular part of the novel. At one point, our hero gets kidnapped and tortured. The author decided to embark on a hundred-page description of an extended S&M torture session. A couple of pages into it I decided to skim read like I never had before. Ten minutes later, I was 100 pages further on through the novel and easily able to carry on as if I hadn't missed anything important. Looking back, I wish I'd treated the whole damned mess the same way.
on 14 January 2006
After reading this, I'll be giving the next a go, though if it were entirely based on what I've read of the first book, I might have thought twice about it. This shows as being some of Goodkind's earlier work-the writing is very simplistic, and characters reactions to particular situations can become real clice at times. I've heard that the series does improve on these matters as Goodkind's writing improves, so I'm willing to persist.
This is your typical swords and sorcery sorta fantasy story, which basically involves a quest to stop evil and the end of the world.
I didn't too much mind the "simpler" writing style. It made me grimmace in places, because it was - at times - almost childlike, but overall, it made such an epic (900+ pages) a lot more comfortable to read. Despite its simplicity, Goodkind has a wonderful style of writing that keeps me wanting to read more. There were some extremely tense parts, and the characters were crafted well enough to make me laugh out loud in places. There were also quite some interesting moral dilema's, and I did quite enjoy the slightly "philosophical" feel that some parts of the book had.
I'll note the fact that Richard seems to befriend Kahlan rather too quickly, and I did notice the characters repeating some rather cliche lines more than a few times. I rather liked the bad guy, because I found his personality fascinating. But he didn't really frighten me or make me too scared for the characters. Even though Goodkind is willing to do unpleasantly horrible things to his characters, I found that by the end, I wasn't too much afraid for their safety.
Overall, Richard (the main character) was a likeable hero. I admit that I expected not to really like him much at the beginning, but my opinion of him warmed quite quickly. Kahlan, Zed, and a few other characters were also very interesting to read about, but there were some important people whom just didn't invoke any feeling from me - Richard's brother and Chase are just two examples.
It was a bit cliche in places, but fortunately for me, I don't read too many of these "quest" type of fantasy series', so they're always new enough for me to keep interested. Having only read book one of the series, I don't know how well the whole thing is going to keep my interest. I heard good things about the later books, so I'm going to hope for the best. Until then, I can't say whether the series as a whole is worth it - and there are at least 8 books, so it's a fair investment of time - but the first book was worth the read, at the least. Didn't like me a major lasting impression, but it has kept me quite happy and interested over the past week or so.
on 28 September 2009
bought this on the back of the tv series currntly showing on sattelite, its nothing like the tv show i`ll admit , its been adapted for tv, being a big book not easy to read in bed, better in a comfy chair or in the garden. the characters are fine, well defined and beliveable, sometimes almost predictable, all in all when i read this series a few years ago i was`nt sure, but this time i enjoyed it far more, oh and by the way wait till you see the size of volume two !!!!!!!!!!!
on 29 July 2011
This series has everything; a fantasy world that is described so well that you could imagine you had been there, a hero who is wonderful but not quite perfect just enough to be believeable, an entire variety of creatures and characters and so many surprises and twists that you just can't put it down! This book is so well written that you could believe this world actually exists. I enjoy fanatsy books but find some a little lopsided in content; they either concentrate on one set of characters too much, the world is not believeable or in a lot of cases I find them too 'blokey', ie nothing but a series of 'monster' battles and no relationships between the characters. Not in this case. Terry has done an excellent job with this book and has covered all points so well I can not imagine how anyone could be disappointed withit. I will certainly be buying the rest of the series, perfect to immerse yourself in in front of a roaring fire whilst the snow swirls outside.
on 1 February 2011
The first thing to say about this book is; Goodkind is not the best technical writer in the fantasy genre. Much of the prose is clunky and the speech stilts the flow.
BUT, still easily one of my favourite books.
The main reason is the Kahlan/Richard chemistry. Their initial dislike, discovery of their love, madness, anger, reproach and finally vindication. I particularly like the bittersweet plot device which leaves them unable to requite their love once it is realised. A brilliant idea, well executed.
The storyline is similar but very different from the TV series - and is stronger for it. The hunt for the final box of Orden is well executed and the finale suitably epic.
All of the characters are well visualised and the scenes tend to be pretty well described.
Highlights? Probably the Mud people section; where Kahlan and Richard really come into their own as characters and lovers.
Well recommended book.
on 1 April 2008
Well first of all I'd like to say that I'd give some parts of this book 1 star. Goodkind seems to have had great ideas and scenes in his head, but no idea how to fluently join them together.
That said, I have to agree that this book contains some very strong scenes (even if they are soppy and melodramatic and full of cliched language) which elicited some of the strongest emotional reactions of all the fantasy books that I've read.
However the parts which bridged these scenes were mostly indifferent and often simply bad. For example there was one part where *GOLLUM* suddenly jumped out of the woods to lead our main character Richard to the next destination. Also there were some really silly/inane scenes like people being moved to tears by a speech advocating the banning of fire.
This book contained some philosophical pondering, but I don't think it was out of place or overabundant. Yes, (most of) it was obvious if you think those kinds of things, but it was still a good reminder that things aren't always simple and one-sided. And it made you stop and think a little deeper into what was happening.
The characters were mostly mediocre. Richard and Kahlan were likeable, but not loveable. Didn't really like the rest of the good guys. Some of the bad guys were entertaining though.
Oh, and this book does NOT contain rape, it is only hinted at. Same thing with pedophilia. The long torture chapter in the end is more about pain and humiliation than actually describing a medieval torture process in nasty detail.
All in all, this was a good read, if you can get through the really bad parts without your experience being ruined.