In their darkest hour, 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.
Epic edge: listen to more in the Sword of Truth series.
©2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"Wonderfully creative, seamless, and stirring." (Kirkus Review)
I bought this book because I saw the first two TV seasons based upon these books and I wanted to know what happened later. I found the book different and for the most part better than the show. The performance is outstanding. I highly recommend it to those who like this genre.
The book is engaging, particularly towards the end... that's if you lasted through the 500+ pages. The only drawback is the torture scenes toward the end. It would not be a book for pre-teens. The story is good and the characters are well developed, particularly Richard Cypher who is the Seeker of Truth. As with a typical quest, they encounter impossible challenges. The author does a great job of reframing the challenges to slowly reveal it is possible to overcome them all while the Seeker remains truthful.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
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.
This was my first choice for a fiction audio listen. I was a little worried about a narrated fiction because my own imagination is usually better, but I was not disappointed. In fact, I'm half-way in love with Sam Tsoutsouvas' voice! He narrated this story beautifully, made the characters and story absolutely come alive! I highly recommend this audio book for anyone who enjoys a good escape into another world with the bonus of a wonderful guide found in Tsoutsouvas's voice.
I understand that Goodkind is not always a great wordsmith, but the scope of this epic is just incredible. I first picked up this book in the late nineties and found myself re-reading the first books of the saga so I wouldn't miss anything when a new one was released. Sam Tsoutsouvas brought a new life to the characters that made this, my fourth time through this book, even more special than the first three. My only disappointment is that he does not narrate the next book, and I fear for the continuity of the the characterization. I will, however, hold off on my judgment until I've heard Jim Bond strut his stuff.
This is one of those books that I should have read. It's been on my list for forever. I've had the audiobook since about 2008 but I just never got around to listening to it. But now I finally did! And what an experience this was. I will admit that it took me about three hours to get into the audiobook. There was a lot of build up and I wasn't sure what was happening and didn't get the story. But once I figured it out, this was a terrific audiobook and story. Goodkind built a magnificent and layered world. He didn't spare his main character from pain and suffering. And the happy ending still left tons of questions and openings for the future stories. Yes, I will definitely be recommending this book to other fantasy lovers (if they haven't already read it) and I will be picking up the other books. Although the narration of the audiobook was terrific, I will be reading the others in physical books. I can just read them so much faster than the story gets read to me and these books are huge commitments.
The sign of an exceptional author is one that can write around his or her own worn plot, and still breathe life into it, In this case, Goodkind can really write a novel, despite the somewhat tired premise. Once again, an unsuspecting hero comes into his own, as his future destiny will shape and save a nation. Hmmm. We've heard this before from other audiobooks, but in this case, Goodkind takes the prize. You'll look past this issue, and love the way he brings the story, characters and magic together to create a powerful listen. And even better news - there are MANY other audiobooks in this series, and the plot DEFINITELY gets better at times.
So, this sweeping epic saga begins with this single audiobook, and is well worth your time.
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.
People do not act this way. Every few sentences something terrible happens, and every time someone reacts with extreme anger, and/or overwhelming terror. Sometimes both. The main character is automatically good at everything. Magic is generically all powerful, but without any thought about how or why it might work... it's just magic. When a wizard was treating the hero for an injury, he "put some magic on it". That's like saying a carpenter builds houses, repairs furniture, and produces toys by "putting some woodworking on it". I understand that this writer is considered a grand master of this genre, but it seems like at this point in his career he had no understanding of how people interact, or how stories are crafted. It's the worst example of male power fantasy gone bad. One day you wake up and evil forces are threatening everyone. Suddenly you're magically good at everything, everyone obeys you, and the world's most beautiful girl falls in love with you after you save her from the evil dark lord! Ridiculous, and a wast of my valuable reading time.
"Very Good. For adults only though."
Very enjoyable. I wasn't sure about the reader at first but once you get used to his style it turns out he's quite good.
The story is standard fantasy fair.
There's an ordinary guy for a hero who turns out to have a big destiny and a secret past.
There's a beautiful heroine with a dark secret.
There's a love story of doomed love.
There's an old wizard very much like Gandalf.
There's a magic sword.
I defy anyone to not think the Samuel character isn't a copy of Gollum from LOTR.
There's a mega baddy wizard for the enemy.
There's quest for a magic item needed to beat the baddy.
However despite all this standard fantasy stuff, it is a very entertaining and gripping story.
I did find the early chapters of part 4 heavy going with its graphic descriptions of torture and abuse. This part may have gone on a bit too long for my liking. There's also an attempted rape later on towards the end of part 4.
Not for children, this book.
Anyway, I must have enjoyed it as I've just bought the second book on Audible too.
"Not normally a fantasy fan"
This book was a really refreshing change from my normal choices. I am not normally in to this type of book. I find this much easier to follow than Terry Pratchett, which I struggle with. This is enough like our world to be easy to follow, and has loads of magic, adventuring and questing to make it a really good read.
"Good start, slow middle, great ending!"
I agree with much of what the other reviewers have said, however having now listened to the second and third books, I would say that it is a little slow to get going. The opening is sufficiently interesting, however like the first LotR book, the whole 'travelling endlessly through the wilderness' bit gets a bit tiresome!
Seriously though, stick with it to the end. Yes, there is the whole graphic torture bit, however I disagree that this is pointless like others have said, and it's purpose becomes clear as you read on into later books.
All in all, a good book, but the subsequent ones are better, so haste ye through this one and get one with them!
"Better read than listened to."
I agree with many of the other reviewers in that there are clear LOTR parallels and that the torture aspect goes on for far too long. Of course, when you read it yourself is isn't so blatant somehow and doesn't last for so very long so it is less painful. The descriptions are rather drawn out on an audio book (naturally) so it doesn't always have pace. Having said this, the scenes with Rachel are really enjoyable and sufficiently tense. I am still finding that I enjoy listening to books I have enjoyed reading rather than coming cold to them. That way, your own impression of the characters isn't coloured by the narrator's depiction. From the reading, Richard is one of my favourite characters ever - and I'm an Austen fan! Still the narration hasn't put me off - I am just finishing book 2 and about to download book 3. Book 2 changes narrator and he doesn't do women too well, and I notice there is yet another narrator for book 3!
"Had to give up! Dissapointing and over rated"
Maybe it's because I'm British and find the narrator's voice very annoying but this was simply too annoying to even finish. I found that the narration emphasised all the wrong expressions in the narrative leaving me with the impression that the characters had no depth and little to distinguish them from each other.
Maybe I was spoilt by reading all the game of thrones books and guilty of trying to find something that might kill the time waiting for Martin's next book, however I listened to The name of the wind by Patrick Rothfuss and found it brilliant. This is not a patch on either so I'm still looking for the next series, preferably with British narration or at least someone with the concept of how to pause, express punctuation and build characters with their voice.
This book got me hooked into the Sword of Truth series. Well worth the money.
"Not for me ......"
Never again! This book has totally put me off Terry Goodkind. It was the first of his books I had downloaded and it will be the last. It didn't even inspire me to finish it. My original intention was to work my way through the whole series.
I like descriptive detail in a book but this book is ridiculous. A moment that would have passed in about 10 seconds is described for 5 minutes comparing it to every possible thing the author could think of to compare it to! You left thinking - JUST GET ON WITH IT!!! If I was reading and not listening I don't think I would have got past the first couple of chapters.
The narrator was awful. His type of voice and the way he read it was totally out of context of the book. He would, I'm sure, be great a children's books. I kept thinking, will you just shut up!
None of the characters need cutting, the detail needs to be cut down. And some of the things the characters do, you are left thinking why? what was the point in that? And it doesn't make sense - unless I misunderstood it due to my lack of interest. It tells you Richards tooth prevents the creatures of the underworld from seeing him and yet before he went across to the midlands the creature pretending to be his father saw him and tried to draw him in to the underworld.
Perhaps my opinion is tainted because I quite simply couldn't bear the sound of the narrators voice. I love this type of story and have been reading them all my life. I'm sure it would be a great book if it was a third of the size. Words for the sake of making the book longer in my opinion. Boring boring boring.
Big, dramatic, enthralling
Richard and Kahlens first meeting.
Zeds voice - perfect!
Richard and Kahlens developing love and the realisation they could never be truly together.
I was not really expecting a huge amount from this book. The reviews all said it dragged on and the narrative was just too in depth. The narrator brought everything to life, especially Zed whose portrayal he nailed exactly! I love this series and an on a mission to complete all 11 books one way or another.
"starts promising but badly disappoints"
The narrator is excellent and his voice acting is superb. The quality of the production is also excellent. The story starts out good with lots of promising characters and imagination. Unfortunately in the later half of the book the story falls apart and the writer seems to give in. After unbelievable plot coincidences and further unbelievable failures by the characters the story takes hours to arrive at a dull and predictable end. Very disappointing.
I found this story to be quite easy to follow though as some have mentioned it was a little boring in places. When the narrative did become interesting the spell was often broken by the use of Americanisms which soon became an irritation. The use of 'real bad' instead of 'really bad' and 'I guess' instead of 'I suppose' to name just two. The number of times characters 'scrunched their eyes up' I lost count of.
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