Wizard's First Rule: Sword of Truth, Book 1 Audiobook | Terry Goodkind | Audible.com
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Wizard's First Rule: Sword of Truth, Book 1 | [Terry Goodkind]

Wizard's First Rule: Sword of Truth, Book 1

In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, Richard Cypher encounters a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, in his forest sanctuary. She seeks his help...and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.
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Publisher's Summary

In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, Richard Cypher encounters a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, in his forest sanctuary. She seeks his help...and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

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.

What the Critics Say

"Wonderfully creative, seamless, and stirring." (Kirkus Review)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Michael Gretna, LA, USA 07-08-12
    Michael Gretna, LA, USA 07-08-12 Member Since 2006

    Commodities broker, father, husband, and avid scifi/fantasy/self help fan.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Stereotypical Fantasy Story, But Well-Written..."

    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.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Diamond Bar, CA, United States 05-24-12
    J. Diamond Bar, CA, United States 05-24-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The most comically awful book I've ever read"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    114 of 157 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John BATON ROUGE, LA, United States 03-06-10
    John BATON ROUGE, LA, United States 03-06-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not for me, but I would recommend it for some."

    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.

    34 of 48 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 09-23-11
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 09-23-11 Member Since 2008

    Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining, but obvious..."

    The book wasn't horrible, but was pretty predictable most of the time...which isn't a deal breaker if the character's are interesting and the story is good. I probably wouldn't read this one again, but rather felt like I needed to finish to justify my purchase. Character development was decent and you cared about the main ones. The antagonist was very weak and non present actually. There were also too many sub-stories that took too long to get back to the main story line. The great performance by the narrator really helps this audio book. Hope this helps!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Silver Spring, MD, USA 12-16-08
    Jessica Silver Spring, MD, USA 12-16-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The story's so nice, I read it...four times"

    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.

    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Billings, MT USA 12-02-08
    Beth Billings, MT USA 12-02-08 Member Since 2007

    plumfanatic

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Amazing"

    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.

    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ripley I Attleboro, MA United States 06-08-09
    Ripley I Attleboro, MA United States 06-08-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "skip this"

    I'm really unhappy about how bad this book is. Yes I did read some bad reviews but most were not and there is a whole series - so I thought it must have some merit.

    If it wasn't for the graphic horror/romance, I would say it must have been written for the young adolescent crowd. There is no depth to these characters - in particular Richard - who isn't even likable. The bad guys are soooo bad and all the author's prejudices are thrown into their characters: vegaterian pedophile communists - a pathetic attempt to sell his "philosophy".

    Don't waste your time, for really good writing, character development, and just new and interesting story lines, get George Martin, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, David Durham's Acacia, David Weber's Safehold, and my personal favorite character writer Lois Bujold - Chalion Trilogy.

    55 of 86 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Williamson Silver Spring, MD USA 04-27-11
    A. Williamson Silver Spring, MD USA 04-27-11 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I can't wait for the book to end"

    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.

    21 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erlend Trussville, AL, United States 02-02-11
    Erlend Trussville, AL, United States 02-02-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If you like Scooby Doo, you might like this"

    In my opinion, this is absolutely terrible, and that's giving it too much credit. The writing seems adolescent, the characters aren't likeable, the plot is beyond horrible, and the whole thing is just a bad rip off of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I made the mistake of buying the first three audio books at once on sale. They're all just as bad, and I wish I could have the time I wasted on this drivel back. The author's name should be Terry Badkind! Go to his website, he seems like a narcissist. For the love of God, stay away from this book!! Check out Robert Jordan, RR. Martin, or Patrick Rothfuss instead.

    21 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joslin Leesville, SC, United States 10-16-09
    Joslin Leesville, SC, United States 10-16-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story, fantanstic narrator"

    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.

    27 of 43 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 229 results PREVIOUS1223NEXT
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  • Barrie
    Dudley, United Kingdom
    11/22/08
    Overall
    "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.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Sandra
    market drayton, shropshire, United Kingdom
    6/20/10
    Overall
    "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!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sean
    Newar-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
    8/27/09
    Overall
    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dominic
    Haywards Heath, West Sussex, United Kingdom
    4/12/09
    Overall
    "Great Listen"

    This book got me hooked into the Sword of Truth series. Well worth the money.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Benjamin
    STOKE ON TRENT, United Kingdom
    10/18/12
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Buckley, United Kingdom
    10/6/12
    Overall
    "Quite entertaining."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nick
    Gloucester, Gloucester, United Kingdom
    4/17/11
    Overall
    "Good story line, boring story length"

    I bought this without knowing it was the base story for 'The Seaker' on TV. It started off pretty good and I only realised what it was after chapter 2. The characters are good and well defined but the descriptions and emotive painting gets very tedious. I wouldn't buy another one I'm afraid.

    Nick G.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Charmaine
    Leicester, United Kingdom
    4/9/11
    Overall
    "Well worth it"

    Brilliantly well read. Very good representation of the book. I spend alot of time in the car and it's a fantastic way to pass the time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. S. A. Archer
    3/22/11
    Overall
    "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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    Sittingbourne, United Kingdom
    3/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So many tears..........."
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Emotional wrecks


    Would you ever listen to anything by Terry Goodkind again?

    Possibly


    What didn’t you like about Sam Tsoutsouvas’s performance?

    Over acted the story


    What character would you cut from Wizard's First Rule?

    Richard, the hero.


    Any additional comments?

    I have never come across a hero who was such an emotional wreck, bursting into tears at the slightest emotion with his love not being far behind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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