Terry Goodkind
Wizard's First Rule (Volume 1 of The Sword of Truth)
Tor Books 1994

Richard Cypher, a handsome woods guide in the Westlands, helps a woman who is followed by a group of assassins. She turns out to be Kahlan, the young and good-looking Mother Confessor of the Midlands, who is on an important mission. She must find the unknown master wizard, who has retired to the Westlands, which are considered free of all magic. The wizard is the only one who might stop Darken Rahl, emperor of the eastern part of the world, D'Hara, who has torn the barrier between D'Hara and the Midlands. Rahl is searching for the boxes of Orden, because if he finds them all and perform the correct rituals, described in The Book of Counted Shadows and then opens the right one, before the first day of winter, he will become master of the universe, sort of. Richard takes Kahlan to his old friend Zedd, who turns out to be the lost wizard. Zedd makes Richard the Seeker of Truth and gives him a magical sword. The fight against the evil emperor has begun...

This isn't a very innovative piece of fiction. A few good men against a mighty power of ultimate evil. The travels of the heroes takes them to sorcerers, cannibal villages, and other places, strange and magical. In its best moments, the book is quite entertaining, but often Mr Goodkind also wants to teach his teenage readers something about life, and the result is long monologues that are very preachy and, as a matter of fact, quite boring. To make it even worse, the things he teaches us are either banalities or morals that we live better without. Maybe it is symptomatic that the best parts of the book are filled with fear, cruelty and sadism. When describing such experiences, Goodkind clearly shows that he has got the make-believe magic.

Karl Henriksson

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Books by the same author:
Stone of Tears

Reviews - FantasyLinks - Top 5

Henriksson & Henriksson 1996.