To whom it may concern:
Um... A bit tired today, so I'm going to cheat.
"How's he going to cheat!" they ask
Two ways-- One, I will be reviewing a series instead of one book. Two, It's a series I started a while ago.
Okay, here we go:
Today I am reviewing the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. And I guess I have to say right off the bat, one of the reasons I've wanted to review this series is that I want to have atleast something on my blog that gets five stars. If you haven't read it, read it! If you have read it, love it!
Summary from Barnes and Noble.com (for book one):
"In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeking help ... and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.
In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword-- to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have
just changed ... or that their time has run out.
This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend."
The first book starts off this action packed series with a resounding bang that left me realing. And for the most part, the books only get better from there on out. You fall in love with the characters. You feel swept up in the events and it is almost as though you are transported to Goodkind's beautifully described landscapes and settings. Not only is the series an excellent example of premier fantasy but it is thought provoking and deep and has themes that almost every person in the world can associate to.
This series gets a solid five stars from me. Because it really did change the way I look at life. Some of the books themselves are not five star worthy but as a collected whole, the series is probably some of the best literature I have ever read.
The story line. It is hard enough to write a story that is interesting and cohesive in one 600 page novel. But Goodkind did it in eleven. And it is not as though there are eleven separate but interesting stories, all of the books have one overarching storyline which is epic, endearing, exciting, and lasting.
The Protagonist. Richard is the most respectable, interesting, and all around awesome character I've ever read. And on top of that, he is never annoying. Ask me about annoying protagonists sometime and I can give you a two hour rant that ranges from Luke Skywalker to Harry Potter. But you never want to smack Richard upside the head, for not seeing something you saw in the plot line or for making irrational emotional decision that you as the reader would never see anyone doing. And most of all, he doesn't whine about having to be the hero.
The other characters. Not only does Sword of Truth have an amazing protagonist, but the rest of the cast of characters are so lifelike and full fill their roles perfectly. From the comical ever hungry wizard Zedd to the stunning, intelligent and charming Kahlan, and the terrifying, blood chilling characters of Darken Rahl and Jangang. The characters of The Sword of Truth are the stuff of dreams (in a good way).
The philosophical aspects. I mentioned in my Paper Towns blog that John Green's books are like philosophy in a bottle. And the reason I like that style of writing is because of The Sword of Truth. I found myself, while reading many of the books, stunned that the book could be a fascinating story and a, at times, chillingly accurate social commentary.
I've read books that have philosophy in them but most of them tend to include the philosophy of the the narrator and shove their opinions down your throat. But The Sword Of Truth allows its philosophical concepts to be expressed by the characters in situations, allowing you to form your own opinions about what is happening. By the way, does anyone know a synonym for philosophy? Because I've used a variation of the word 'philosophy' seven times in the paragraph and a nice synonym would do me a world of good.
I suppose this post is going to have to be long than I originally thought that it was going to be. I guess 'cheating' did me no good. But I can't justify writing a blog about The Sword of Truth without mentioning the new television series, Legend of the Seeker, that is based on The Wizard's First Rule (the first book in the series if you didn't catch the title from the picture).
The Legend of the Seeker suffers from based on book syndrome as do many other popular movie or television adaptations from literature. If you read the books, and then proceed to watch the TV show, you will be either slack jawed in disbelief or angrily throwing things because the writers for the show use the plot of Wizard's First Rule like Barbarossa uses the Pirates Code: it's more of a guideline than actual rules (Pirates of the Caribbean reference!). The only thing that maintains some accuracy to the books are the characters but Legend of the Seeker Richard (Craig Horner) falls short of my expectations for Richard. Kahlan (Bridget Reagan) and Zedd (Bruce Spence) are good. If you know the books well, you'll be very disappointed. However, that being said, the series in itself is interesting and well paced. If you view it as a standalone piece, separate from the books, it is quite good.
Okay, that's all. Please do read Sword of Truth if you haven't (a tall order for all of you slow readers out there, sorry!).
Until my next blog.