Terry Goodkind – Wizard’s First Rule
100. Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind (1994)
Sword of Truth, book 1
Length: 479 pages
Started: 26 September 2007
Finished: 06 October 2007
Summary: Richard, a woods guide, is out in the forest looking for answers to his father’s murder when he saves the life of a beautiful and powerful woman from four dangerous men. Kahlan is from the Midlands, beyond the Boundary, and she brings news of a terrible tyrant, Darken Rahl, who is searching for the magic that will allow him to rule the world. Richard is named Seeker by Zedd, an old friend who is really the last great wizard, and together, they must all stop Rahl from finding the third box of Orden and claiming the magic he seeks.
Review: I read this on strong recommendation from a friend, and I was underwhelmed. Goodkind is an adequate storyteller – the action moves along fairly well, and the situations faced by his characters are usually intriguing – but unfortunately, that’s about the highest praise I can muster. The writing suffers from a severe case of telling instead of showing, letting us hear his characters’ thoughts in all their non-complex and one-sided glory. The story is a pretty simple quest tale, except that some of the intermediate steps seems to be unnecessary and quickly forgotten once they’re ended, and several of Richard and Kahlan’s adventures have unnecessarily deus-ex-machina endings. The ending of the book is also kind of disappointing, managing to hit almost every point of the pigboy parable and other fantasy clichés as it wraps up to a pretty predictable end. I wouldn’t be averse to reading the sequel(s) if they crossed my path when I was in the mood for some light fantasy adventure, but I’m certainly not rushing out to find them, either. 3 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Not a terrible way to spend some escapist reading time, but nowhere near as good – in characters, story, or writing style – as other epic fantasy I’ve read.