I can see the appeal of this book. It doesn't waste any time getting into the action, and there is lots of action. Emotions always run high as the characters are constantly in situation that put them in harm's way, and the few times they aren't there is no lack of angst. This is all by design no doubt, since the main character's magical weapon is fuelled by righteous anger.
It's that design that finally burned me out on this book. Every situation is emotionally intense, and after a while I stopped caring. Richard, the main character, is in emotional turmoil even when he's feeling emotionally numb. I never really connected with Richard for this reason. He is always distressed unless it's all gotten to be too much and he is righteously enraged.
Also, did you know good and evil are perspectives and that sometimes people have to make hard choices for the greater good? You did? Well, get ready to hear about it over and over again! It's a fairly simple point of view and most people will understand this concept in full the first time it is discussed by the characters. However, it will be discussed many times, sometimes at length, as a group and by nearly each character in private conversation with the main character. These conversations fill the rare moments the author didn't fill with emotionally stressful situations where the characters are about to be killed.
All that said, the threats are almost always something new and imaginative. The villains are really evil, creatively so many times. The action doesn't stop, and if that's your cup of tea, I'd recommend you give the series a try. For me, however, Richards's constant emotional state has become very annoying and I'm not sure I'll make it to the end of this story, let alone continue with the series.
Truly amazing characters, especially the idea of the confessors and Kahlan Amnel's character. The narrator of this book did good, especially with Zed's voice, although I will admit I laughed when I heard the night wisp's voice. That was a little strange. Overall, the reading was good, and this is one of my favorite medieval fantasy series. Side note: the series on television just isn't the same, but I'm watching it anyway.
This is the third time I am reading this series and it is better each time. I actually planned on just skimming through it but found that I couldn't make myself push the fast forward button. I'm not a fan of in depth descriptions since I like to form my own pictures in my mind, but Mr. Goodkind does it so well that I am enthralled. His characters are incredible and I love the way he builds each one and gives them backgrounds to make them feel so real. I also love the way he deals with the politics of the different lands and how the people behave in each realm. I would definitely recommend reading the entire series. As for some of the comments about the terrible writing here...I don't get it...IMHO it is outstanding. I don't even like this genre, but The Sword of Truth series found it's way to my CD player a few years ago from the library and I've been hooked ever since.
My teenage son recommended this book to me, and I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, it was one of the best books I have read all year. It follows Richard, former woods guide and newly appointed "seeker," Zed the wizard, and Mother Confessor Kahlan, as they attempt to stop the dark wizard (aptly named Darken Rahl) from opening the boxes of Orden and obtaining the magic therein to control the world. But this book contains much more than this quest. It is also a heart breaking love story, a tale of friendship and honor, tells of deceit and betrayal, and the willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the world. It is also full of action and suspense, and a shocking ending that I never saw coming. It was one of the rare books that simultaneously I want to find out what happens at the end and yet never want to end. Luckily for me, there are several more books in this series, and I hope they are all equally as enjoyable as this.
I listened to this recording a few months ago and absolutely hated the characters. They sounded arrogant, pompous and self centered. My husband just listened to the book with a different narrator and had a completely different experience. I'm going to find the next book with a different narrator and see if that helps my opinion of the characters.
The narration makes the main characters sound arrogant.
Probably not, it was a good story but I don't think it would translate to the big screen very well.
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!
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.
This was an excellent book. The reading was good, the story was good, but...
I withheld a star because the story was too explicit in places. I can not let my kids listen to this.
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 love mysteries in the style of P.D. James, Rex Stout, Elizabeth Peters, Dave Duncan, etc. I love sci fi written by Issac Asimov (the robot books), Douglas Adams, Jack McDevitt (Alex Benedict series) and Susan Collins. I love fantasy written by Terry Pratchett, and Kim Harrison. I love Kate Morton. I don't like graphic descriptions of violence.
I wish books had to have warning labels such as "Warning: this book contains material you may not find entertaining. May contain rape or torture, or both, of women and children, or both". When I emerge myself in a book, it is not to sink to the depths of human depravity. Even beside all that, the book seemed very poorly written to me. The narrator was good though a bit over enthusiastic and dramatic.