“Descending into darkness, about to be overwhelmed by evil, those people still free are powerless to stop the coming dawn of a savage new world, while Richard faces the guilt of knowing that he must let it happen. Alone, he must bear the weight of a sin he dare not confess to the one person he lovesand has lost. Join Richard and Kahlan in the concluding novel of one of the most remarkable and memorable journeys ever written. It started with one rule, and will end with the rule of all rules, the rule unwritten, the rule unspoken since the dawn of history. When next the sun rises, the world will be forever changed. ”
Since I have finally finish the series, that took over a decade to be released. It seems like as good a time as any to scribe my thoughts on the series. So, I’m going to go through and list from brief thought on each book.
Wizard’s First Rule
This is without question the best book in the entire series. It is more thought out, coherent, and reasonable than any other. Generally, I would recommend that people read this book, and only continue on if they loved it. Really, you could be satisfied stopping here.
Stone of Tears
This is a pretty decent book, it expands on the story of the first book, ultimately making it a bit of Wizard’s First Rule part 2.
Blood of the Fold
If you read this book, you are in it for the long haul. It introduces the Imperial Order, which is the primary advisory for the remainder of the series. The book itself is the shortest of the series, and a pretty good read.
Temple of the Winds
This book is generally considered he last “good book” by a majority of readers. I’m not sure that I necessarily agree with that. However, it does become obvious that fundamental story elements begin to slide in subsequent books, as there are far too many coincidences. Kind of like tying unrelated things in past books to make them appear as foreshadowing.
Soul of the Fire
Wow, this book was awful. So bad in fact that I quit reading the series originally. It was not until the Chainfire books started coming out that I finally picked it up again. And, yes, the book was just as painful on the second attempt. Perhaps my biggest gripe is that half the book follows an annoying character that is unceremoniously slaughter near the end.
Faith of the Fallen
This is a pretty decent book, many people consider it the best in the series. I don’t, but I did like it. It is the first book where the series starts to become preachy, as philosophical points begin to forced into the story. I’ve been told that this book bears a striking resemblance to The Fountainhead by Rand.
Pillars of Creation
Perhaps the universally reviled book in the series. I have seen many people recommend that you just skip this book, because it has virtually no impact on subsequent novels. However, I actually enjoyed the book itself. Rather than focusing on the main characters of the series, it follows relatives of the main character, Richard. It is a journey book, and I like those.
Objectivism 101? While this book does a decent job of tying up loose ends before the final trilogy of the series. And, the story isn’t too bad either. However, there is a lot of speeches offering little entertainment value. And, these “ungifted” people are introduces into the series, which to this day seems bizarre to me.
Ironically, the book that got me back into the reading the series was an exercise in frustration. The entire book is about how everyone forgot who Khalan was, and Richard trying to convince them that she actually existed. And, of course at the end it is revealed that he is correct. I think the only way this book could have been spared is if he actually decided to make Khalan an artificial construct of Richard’s imagination, virtually invalidating all the books before it. At least that way, when redundantly referencing previous material it could have been more interesting, as all the events would be slightly tweaked from what you read in other books.
Am I the only person that dislikes Rachel, or just children in general? Anyway, this book is The Empire Strikes Back. Basically, everything goes to shit, and then it ends.
Yeah the book makes about as much sense as the caption at the head of this post. There was an excellent battle sequence in this book that ironically takes place when Richard still does not have his power. For the most part Nicci was the preachy one, and I never liked her, so it made her roles a bit more dreadful. And then, you have all the bizarre and stochastic events that occur so things work out . I suppose if I were in trouble I would want a clairvoyant person sweeping in the at the last moment to save me. The ending of the book was laugh out loud funny though. It effectively demonstrated the mind of the author. Gift the main character godlike power, and he creates a duplicate of the word, and banishes everyone that does not agree with him, and anyone of religious affiliation. Amusing.
The reason that I finished the series was not because of originality, or world building. As becomes obvious throughout the series suffers from repetition problems, in plot, dialog, themes, speech, etc… The key is that Goodkind is effective as taking archetypical characters and making them interesting. He is a hell of a scene writer. As a result I would recommend the series to anyone that enjoys the first book. And, I’d recommend that to anyone.
I’m nearly done with the now defunct Wheel of Time series (I assume they are going to publish a final novel eventually), and while the world building elements are good, the actual story is painfully boring. It’s pretty obvious that the author was much more interesting in dialog, and describing what people were wearing, eating, or their environment than he was about any kind of action. If you ever read the summaries available online they almost always cover only the last cover chapters (where everything happens).
After I finish Wheel of Time I’ll be picking the Song of Ice and Fire books back up. I’ve already read the first, and loved it. But, its been a while so I’ll probably reread it before going on. Its my understanding that the series continues to maintain a high level of quality, so I’m excited to get back into it.