This is a pretty good book. It's the first book of the Sword of Truth series. The fight scenes are far more violent than necessary (very detailed blood and guts type stuff), so this is definitely not a book for children, but it's a good opening book. It foreshadows the theme that Terry Goodkind later attempts to physically force down his readers' throats, and sets up a series that's well worth reading. I wouldn't say this is among the best audiobooks I've read, but it's very good.
The obvious comparison here is the Wheel of Time (Wot). Unfortunately this series (The Sword of Truth, SoT) loses in that comparison in almost every way. The narration in particular is amazing for the WoT, while in SoT the lack of consistency dooms all chances at excellent narration. Where Terry Goodkind is very intense and later in the series attempts to shove the moral of the story down his authors throats on every page, the WoT is much less preachy. And the WoT is rated PG, maybe PG-13 in some places, while the SoT is definitely rated PG-13 to R throughout. All that said in favor of the WoT, it's very long-winded, and has entire books full of marginally necessary side stories, while the SoT is much less meandering.
It took an hour or so to get used to, but I wish they'd gotten him for the rest of the books in the series. He makes the books much more exciting.
Great series, overall, if you can get past the preaching. You definitely want to read this one before the prequel. It sets up a lot of stuff you won't get if you try reading the prequel first.
Many strong characters
Richard.. Strong, bright, and has a BIG temper
Sam did a very good job with both male and female characters
his reading is wonderful, except that he whispers every time the character he's reading whispers. This causes highs and lows in the audio, which is difficult to maintain a comfortable listening level while doing any activity, such as driving, walking, etc. If I was just listening at my computer it was fine, because there is little outside noise.
I am a huge Brandon Sanderson fan. This is not that type of writing. The epic feel of Brandon's stories is not present here.
What is present is a very close look at a hero and his journey to defeat an oppressive evil. Every good story makes a promise and then keeps it. A great story surprises you in how it keeps it, or makes you wish with all your heart that it is kept a certain way... and then tragedy or comedy shows you why it must not be kept that way or shows you that you were so right and you didn't understand how much so.
The author, in his effort to show the evil of the opponent, went too far in my opinion and at the same time failed to convince me of the motivations of the enemy. I felt the story wandered far too much. It felt more like a reality show, than a movie.
The author also seemed to have a sick fascination with the destruction of certain body parts.
With all that said, the book makes a sneaky promise, and at the end of the book it is kept. I won't tell you what it is. I'll leave it to you to see it. The author also surprised me about a few plot points, but it wasn't done as expertly as Brandon Sanderson has done for me.
As with all audio books, it can be difficult to separate out the writing from the speaker. I feel I can confidently say this reader was solid. A few sections I didn't like his interpretation of the writing, but overall I found him worth the listening. I would say he added something the original book lacks without him.
I was distraught to discover how far removed the TV show, Legend of the Seeker, was from the book. No wonder it got canceled. It felt like a soap opera in comparison to this book. In fact as soon as I realized the show came from this book I almost stopped listening to it.
Is it worth buying? Possibly. I don't regret my purchase, but I am not overtly eager to continue the series.
Sam Tsoutsouvas's voice wasn't quite what I was expecting, but he gives a wonderful dynamic performance. His pacing, tone and character voices he uses are excellent.
This has been one of my favorite books for years, I've read it several times, usually powering through it in my excitement to continue the story. I appreciate the audiobook very much because it allows me to take the story more slowly and fully appreciate it.
As for the story, the characters are the best aspect: responsible, intelligent, self-aware, compassionate, complex and real.
I haven't, but I plan to.
Please read J's review (from Diamond Bar CA) for the perfect expression of my feelings about this book. It was terribly written and juvenile. I thought at first that it had been intended for young adults, until we met the pedophile. And I could have gone entirely without the sudden left turn into torture-porn that just wouldn't end. The narrator did the best he could with the awful material.
Tsoutasouvas is a fine narrator. I gave Goodkind another chance with the sequel to Wizard's First Rule, and it was equally bad. So no, I would not try another book from Terry Goodkind.
Fewer cutesy, unlikely coincidences. Less nonsense Randian/objectivist political messaging. Better jokes. A main character who isn't a textbook Mary Sue, whose only flaw is denial about how perfect and powerful he is. Less use of the phrase "best/bestest . . . ever" by child POV characters. The most starry-eyed child in the world wouldn't use the phrase as much as Goodkind does.
When the main character kicks a mean child in the face, ripping apart her jaw and nearly killing her in the process, and the book treats this as a good thing to do. Oh wait, did this say "favorite" scene?
Goodkind is known for retconning his setting in each consecutive story. I noticed a bit of this between the first two books, but I suspect it gets worse later in the series. Also, to people who care about real-life war crimes, here's how Goodkind chose to dedicate his seventh book: "To the people in the United States Intelligence Community, who, for decades, have valiantly fought to preserve life and liberty, while being ridiculed, condemned, demonized, and shackled by the jackals of evil." Considering the number of murders, violent revolutions, and fascistic regimes unleashed upon the world by our intelligence apparatus over the years....I don't intend to give Goodkind another dime of my money.
The story did not flow smoothly at all. It was as if the author didn't know how to skillfully direct the plot so he forcefully shoved it in his desired direction when he got tired of the present course. There are easily recognizable elements from other authors thrown into this poorly stitched together work. Then comes the S&M. I'm not naive or squeamish, however the length of this content and the detail leads me to believe the author has some serious issues. It was like the story was taken over by some fan fiction author with a S&M fetish that wanted to shove his sick abuse fantasy into the story. That was the last nail in the coffin for me. I am not sure how this series is so popular, but the thought that large amounts of people would enjoy this crap enough to read the rest of the series really depresses me.
Absolutely. This is actually the first book I am thinking about asking a refund for.
Almost all if, not all of the S&M crap and the parts that were obviously taken from other well known authors and awkwardly shoved into the book. Actually, as the editor, I probably would have burned the manuscript and just sent the ashes back.
If you are in a relationship with someone who likes this book. Pack a bag, and get out NOW. Trust me, I'm doing you a favor.
I never read the print version. I usually buy audio because the only time I get to listen to a good story is while driving. This story was good.
The eating of the apple.
The Narrator was super great. It was a great disappointment that this narrator is not in the following books. I thought he did a super job and would have like it if he has continued in the other series.
There were a few places in the story that did make me laugh. It was very enjoyable.
I think they should have kept the Sam Tsoutsouvas in all the series!
Can't say I didn't read the printed version.
The story starts off slow at first then when it kicks off you feel Richards a day Kahlans pain as they suffer. I felt really attached to all the characters.