Wow. This book was bad. Hilariously bad. Let me see if I can stop laughing and crying long enough to explain why:
1. The writing is atrocious. The author seems to have a severely limited vocabulary and describes most things with words like "big" and "pretty important", except for an occasional passage where he suddenly decides he's a poet and spits out such gems as "the crystal formations winked back at him, their flame the only sound in the darkness." Wow. Just, wow.
2. The characters are completely one-dimensional. The main characters are pretty lacking in personality, but the secondary characters are painfully obvious. You can tell who's good and who's bad, which people are supposed to be sympathetic and which ones you're supposed to hate because THEIR EVERY WORD AND ACTION SCREAMS IT AT YOU. Good people always agree with the main characters, bad people oppose them in every petty way imaginable. Good characters always act kindly and are nice to children, bad characters are unfailingly mean, selfish, and usually scowling. No subltety here, no shades of grey or complexity. It's really easy to spot the false friends and the traitors really early on in the book, which spoils what I guess are supposed to be shocking plot twists in the last few chapters.
3. Repetition ad nauseum. Both the characters and author seem to have this obsessive-compulsive need to repeat the same thoughts, ideas, phrases, and pieces of plot exposition over and over, just in case they didn't get their point across the first 50 times. Really, I understand that the heroes need to STOP DARKEN RAHL, it's not necessary to keep repeating it. After sitting through all 24+ hours of this audiobook, I'm pretty sure that a good 80% of the words in this book are completely unnecessary. All in all, the level of this writing is so juvenile that it makes the next point extra-disturbing...
4. This book is REALLY sadistic. The author really seems to delight in the torture scenes, spending pages and pages on them, during which every sentence contains at least one occurrence of the word "pain". Some of the things the heroes do are downright disturbing, too. But it's supposed to be okay, because they're the heroes and hey, they emasculated that man and forced him to eat his own genitals in the name of Justice. Yeah, that really happened.
5. Melodrama. Seriously, everything that happens is a crisis situation. Somebody drops something and suddenly hearts are pounding, rage is flaring, and someone is sobbing uncontrollably with wracking sobs. It gets exhausting after a while, especially since none of the characters are really developed enough to pull off convincing emotion.
In conclusion, I gave this book 2 stars because the constant stream of awful writing, one-dimentional characters, and ridiculously contrived situations was oddly entertaining, though not remotely in the way the author intended. Part of me wonders if the author wasn't somehow being intentionally ironic; surely writing that comically bad doesn't happen by accident. In any case, unless "comically bad" sounds appealing to you, I'd highly recommend that you avoid this book; it really doesn't have much else to offer, and certainly nothing rewarding enough to justify that much time spent listening to it.
By the way, in case you were wondering about the "wizard's first rule" in the title, the highest and most secret rule of the wizard order, it consists of the following earth-shattering revelation:
"People are stupid."
Somehow, that seems fitting.
No, not really.
The further I got into this book the more I disliked it. The author seems to have some sort of sick fascination with pain. Do not get me wrong, I like darker stories, but this author's very world seems to be designed with a bent toward sadism. It's treated with an unpleasant lust and Richard's seemingly wanton desire to subject himself to it is disturbing and wholly unnecessary.
Furthermore, the weird 'love at first sight' thing between him and the girl is bizarre. It smacks of stalker-esque behavior. I could not relate to this character at all. I did not like him. I did not care what happened to him. I cannot imagine a scenario in which I were to continue with this series.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
I first listen to this many years ago on cassette. I loved it, so when audible offered it at almost nothing, I had to listen again. I was a little worried, since the first time I listened it was read by Dick Hill, who was great. It took I little while to get into ST, but by the end I thought he did a great job.
This book is a thrill ride from the first minute and all the way through the 34 hours of listening. The main character Richard is no super hero, he is a guy like you and me. He has anger issues, he makes mistakes, he questions himself, etc. I must admit that at times the book sounds almost YA and it is a little preachy about Friends and the Truth and working hard, but with all the action, all the drama, all of Goodkind's wild imagination, this can easily be overlooked. There are no filler chapters, something is always happening. Here are just some of what you will find in the book: Quad Assassins, Gars, Blood Flies, Shadow People, Wayward Pines, a night wisp, snake vines, The Book of Counted Shadows, a Seeker, Heart Hounds, Wizard Rocks, The Underworld, Night Stones, Bone Woman, grippers, birdman, Wizard's Fire, Mistress Denna, Additive and Subtractive magic, the Con Dar, The Blood Rage, Scarlett the Dragon, etc.
My favorites of any book I have ever read were The Mother Confessor, The Mud People, and Mord-Sith. The Mother Confessor can with one touch, make you her slave. You will be in constant anguish, worried that she is not happy. If she says to you "I wish you would just die." You will make your heart stop and die. The Mord-Sith are women torturers who dress in red leather, so your blood won't show as much. From little girls they are raised to torture others and are tortured themselves. There are some strong women in the this book. The Mud People have a great since of humor and are very funny. As a form of greeting they slap each other. Any of these three would have been great to make a book around, yet TG has all three and so much more.
There are probably only two books I like better then this, Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
I can't remember when I first read Wizard's First Rule, but it was the only book in the series I'd ever touched until this month. I like the characters, to a point, but it's the world, setting, and overall idea of magic that intrigue me. Goodkind developed a fairly unique idea about what makes a wizard a wizard, and how the world reacts to those with such powers.
Anyway, the story itself is okay. It's a fun read, and this narrator has his own fun with it, too. I loved Scarlet's voice, and Princess Violet's. Zed was pretty good, too. The narrator definitely keeps the pace going, though even he seems to have trouble with Goodkind's often amateur writing. I hear the writing steadily improves, so I look forward to that later on.
I found this audiobook entertaining and thought the narrator was great! I particulary liked his rendition of Zed. Can't wait to listen to more from this series with this narrator. Story is fabulous too!
I started to read this series because I started to watch "The Legend of the Seeker" TV series and wanted to read the books it was based on, after reading the first book I must say I am most impressed. The fantasy world that the author has created is most impressive and engaging, and the characters are lovable and despicable in the same moments. If you are a fan of high fantasy then you will enjoy this book and more than likely this series.
The narrator is pretty good, but seems to get a little too excited at times, though I find his voices better than the reader of the second book in this series. As for the book itself, I found it predictable in all the wrong places, fraught with juvenile angst, and disappointing on the whole. If you are looking for a easy listen with complicated, but not unexpected plot turns, this will fit the bill. I purchased the first three in the series on a "three for the price of two credits" deal and will listen to them because I bought them, but I doubt that I will continue the series beyond these three.
-writer left me cold. As much as I love epic fantasy series, and was really looking forward to this one, I found the two main characters to be annoying. She is too passive, and he is too autocratic. The writing style isn't all that bad- it's just the characterization that makes me wince. I read 10 book series because I can't let go of the characters- these people didn't interest me enough to make it to the end of the first book.
I bought "Wizard's First Rule" based on ratings (might have gotten a deal too, can't remember).
Read the low-star reviews carefully - they're pretty accurate.
If you have low standards for what pleases you, then by all means. But this is your standard "clueless yokel turned hero" with a linear plot, tired characters, lots of unnecessary repetition, stereotypical bad guys ("Darken Raahl"? Really?), and predictable "surprises."
If I hadn't sunk 18 hours listening to this already, I would have stopped. The killer was a stretch during this last third of the book (I have a few hours to go) where the main character gets tortured for two hours. Not two story hours...two hours of having to listen to different forms of torture. Frankly, I just wanted the main character to die and for the author to say "THE END." But you know there's some way he gets out of it. Surprise. That whole stretch represented at least an hour and a half of unnecessarily abusing your readers.
Now I just want to see how it ends. I will NOT be buying any more of Goodkind's books. I'd suggest Lois McMaster Bujold or Jim Butcher - great authors, far more creative, and characters you actually give a hoot about.
Listening to Goodkind story was like reading a story dumbed down for 12-year olds - except for the endless gratuitous torture.
If the author had actually written a story with interesting characters and not simple, stock, stereotypical:Wizard, Protagonist, Damsel, Antagonist.....blah
Really, what made me stop listening was the pedophilia.
Severe over dramatization.