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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 was never a big reader, when i was introduced to this book by my cousin i payed him no mind. one day at work a friend of mine was on break reading the last book to the series. i figured if two people i know liked it maybe it was worth getting into. im so happy i did! this book/series changed the way i feel about reading and listening to books! sam tsoutsouvas is amazing too, i wish he would have done all the books! GET THIS BOOK!!
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