• Naked Empire

  • Sword of Truth, Book 8
  • By: Terry Goodkind
  • Narrated by: Jim Bond
  • Length: 22 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (4,990 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"'You knew they were there, didn't you?' Kahlan asked in a hushed tone as she leaned closer. Against the darkening sky, she could just make out the shapes of three black-tipped races taking to wing, beginning their nightly hunt. That was why he'd stopped. That was what he'd been watching as the rest of them waited in uneasy silence.

"'Yes,' Richard said. He gestured over his shoulder without turning to look. "There are two more, back there." Kahlan briefly scanned the dark jumble of rock, but she didn't see any others. Lightly grasping the silver pommel with two fingers, Richard lifted his sword a few inches, checking that it was clear in its scabbard. A last fleeting glimmer of amber light played across his golden cape as he let the sword drop back, in place. In the gathering gloom of dusk, his familiar tall, powerful contour seemed as if it were no more than an apparition made of shadows.

"Just then, two more of the huge birds shot by right overhead. One, wings stretched wide, let out a piercing scream as it banked into a tight gliding turn, circling, once, in assessment of the five people below before stroking its powerful wings to catch its departing comrades in their swift journey west. This night they would find ample food."

Epic edge: listen to more in the Sword of Truth series.
©2003 Terry Goodkind (P)2003 Brilliance Audio

Critic Reviews

"Jim Bond's narration imparts a mythical quality while transporting the listener to a world of wizards, soul-stealers, potions, and magic." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about Naked Empire

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Tired...

I was devistated when I started book 2 in this series and Sam Tsoutsouvas was replaced by Jim Bond as the narrator. I can't stand how Bond gives everybody with magic the voice of a simpleton and somehow makes Richard sound like Superman from an old cartoon show. He has done no better with book 7 and book 8. At least Bond can pronounce Kahlan correctly (ref: Book 4 narrative disaster). Can I honestly endure another book with Jim Bond narration to get back to Sam in book 10? Maybe I could, if the series it's self was not spinning out of control into garbage.

As for Terry Goodkind and this series, I have had enough. I can not stand the fact that 50% of this book is a pile of repeated social lecture and babble. I literally stopped countless times to cry out in frustration as Richard goes ON AND ON AND ON AND ON...blah blah blah blah blah. It's horrible. The story is also completely predictable and nothing gets accomplished. So I was just counting pages waiting for Kahlan to try to kill herself to save Richard just like every other book. It's pretty pathetic writing in my opinion and Goodkind is just cashing in on the first books as we're all compelled to see how it ends. Don't start this book expecting any real progress in the series. You start and finish in the same place. When the story does move it goes in circles and is frequently blocked by endless babble...kind of like this review. I've said enough.

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

No more Jim Bond

Ok so I just got read a story by someone that sounds like a damn speak an spell. No more Jim, shhhh just no, stop!

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

One word: PREACHY.

When I started to read this series, I had great expectations from Terry Goodkind.

The first five books of the series were excellent, the sixth a little long-winded, yet still a pretty masterful work, but by the time he wrote Naked Empire, Goodkind had devolved into shameless preaching that takes up a good 95% of this installment. Not only is it annoying, it's insulting: he repeats the same philosophical material over and over and over, while the reader (listener) starts to feel like they're being beat to death with a blunt object. While he has a few good nuggets and zings, most of the dogma could have been summed up in a paragraph or less, making the story about fifty pages (and an hour) long. I'm extremely disappointed that such a talented writer doesn't know better or have editors who know better than to publish this kind of self-indulgent rant. It's like being in purgatory for a reader or listener.

As much as I've liked Jim Bond's narration, the whiny condescending tone he lapses into during the dogmatic sections gets extremely annoying really quickly.

Lobby for an abridged version and hope those editors had better judgment-- avoid this one.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

A little less talk, a lot more action

I've been a fan of this series, but the last two books 7 and 8, are very weak. I'm about 80% through this book, and have found it to be very disappointing. My main issue, is the same issue mention by other commentors - too much talk (preaching). For me the main issue is that Goodkind just repeats the same philosophical statements over and over and over and over ... As an example, when Goodkind mentions the 'Order', you can expect a paragraph or two follow-up regarding their misguided philosophies. Of course, the problem with this is that the Order is mentioned quite a bit, so we continually hear the same thing over and over and over. He does this with a multiple of other characters and philosophies as well, continually repeating the same statements, the 'pristinely ungifted' are just another example of this, continually reminding us what they are. It's as if Goodkind has forgotten what's already been stated ... numerous times over.

Additionally, with all the philosophical talk, it leaves very little room for action, which there is surprisingly little, which makes the book somewhat boring.

I will finish the book, because I've previously enjoyed the series, but I may have take a break from Goodkind once I finish this book, especially if the ending is more of the same.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good, but getting redundant

It's great that we're back to the main plot, but the long speeches on individual rights, while inspiring, are getting old.

The most frustrating, however, is Richard's continued impotence. The most powerful wizard in 3000 years can be pretty boring and weak.

15 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Someone stab me with the Sword of Truth

Would you try another book from Terry Goodkind and/or Jim Bond?

I really don't think so. I gave it every chance, but putting words on a page and using previous write ups to fill each new book is a waist of everyone's time.
I'm done with this series

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Moving On

Small talk, repetition of ideas not only from prior books but with in this book itself and continued repeats of story line take up half the book with very little value except to fill pages. I am aware that a small amount is needed for people that jump in to the middle of a series but this goes way beyond that. I have been expecting more since the 4th book but this is going down hill.

Sadly I am cutting my losses at this point and will not be completing this series. If you like the story theme, try 'The Wheel Of Time' series by Jordan.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

ugh

Would you try another book from Terry Goodkind and/or Jim Bond?

Nope. Moving on!

What could Terry Goodkind have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

1) cut the 2.25 hour preaching dialogue(s) to a concise concept that the moronic characters can understand and that the reader can tolerate. I drove across the state hearing " but Lord Raul" and Richards pleading imploring preachiness. One conversation was 2.5 hours. At some point I tuned out the stupid book and found the road noise more enjoyable. How bad is that!
2) at some fricken point Richard has learned some magic. For pity's sake start developing the characters. Stop keeping him back in book 2.
3) Kahlin is a wimp. Kill her off already if she hasn't figured out how to actually be the Mother Confessor she claims to be.
4) Start treating the books as a series. Stop reintroducing primary characters over and over again.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Preaching repeatedly the same thing over and over

and over and over and over and over and ... get's annoying doesn't it? I agree with the concept but repeating it in every conversation has made me hate this series!

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

I'm done

The series started out pretty well. At this point though, I'm done. Goodkind has started to preach... nonstop! I get the point already. Quit the ... whining!

6 people found this helpful

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  • MissyGful
  • 08-04-18

Just get on with the story!!!!

One of my least favourite books from the series. Only slightly above Pillars of Creation as it actually has the main protaganists that we have come to know and care about in it. However this book is used as a mouthpiece for the author to share his personal views on communism, capitalism and passivism, which is nothing new for writers throughout history except the good ones don't do it at the expense of the pace and narrative.

Far too many chapters of long speeches that have nothing to do with the plot, characterisation or driving the narrative forward. The editor needs to be shook as this book is waffle and I found myself drifting in and out. I watered the whole garden without really listening and didn't feel the loss of it. in fact I was glad that I was a closer to the end of the book.

The point of Jensen still eludes. I can't stand her character. Whiny, ineffectual and judgemental. The entire boring and pointless episode of being stuck in the rock I kept shouting LEAVE HER THERE!!

If I hadnt read the series of books before I would have jumped ship at this point but I know the series gets better and I I don't like to quit so easily. The character's of Cara and Khalen are sorely underused and come across as Richard's fan club rather than the powerful intelligent women that they are. I love their double act and when they are on form some provide some of the best moments of the series. I don't like the character inconsistency of Khalen. I love her as valkerie warrior and playful lover/ wife or sister of the agiel to Cara, merciless, but it seems daft when she is all doubt and indecisive or despite Richard's track record constantly doubts his instincts.

However I am a fan of the series and the baddies Jagang and The Slide are thoroughly worth the effort and the narrator does an excellent job at bringing them to life so I will buckle down and cross fingers that the editor wakes up for the next one as I am starting to seriously doubt whether or not I even like this author anymore.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachel
  • 02-18-09

another good book in the series

Best thing about this was the great side plots woven in to the main Richard plot. Lots of philosophizing which can be a bit mind numbing at times, but it was gripping as most of these books.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • darren
  • 06-02-20

narration is utterly devoid of emotion.

They need to use a different narrator. it's like he is reading you a shopping list.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-30-21

Return to form

a much better installment than the previous, interesting story and some tense moments. Zedd and Addys story is particularly heartbreaking this book

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike W
  • 07-26-20

A real hard slog to get through.

So boring.Wish he would just stick to telling a good story and not bother with the endless monologues explaining the gift.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss Charlotte Lanny Bezant
  • 06-23-20

epic series

An epic book full of every element you need for a great piece of writing; magic, action, love, grizzly scenes, as well as moral concepts. All these books feature wonderfully imagined lands with rich histories that add to the book's realism and make it difficult to put down. There are strong characters that have a lot of depth to them and the narrator tells the story with ease and expression the compliments the story well. I'm looking forward to the next book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ryan Bray
  • 09-16-19

excellent beheading!

very enjoyable as with the whole series. and this one has a goat, couldn't ask for more really.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • "sharky18"
  • 03-19-19

Prepare for a dull read until the end

This isn't much better than Pillars of creation unfortunately. The only quality is that Richard and Kahlan are back on the scene.

I don't know why Terry Goodkind has to continually over explain things to the point of it being painful. Telling us things over and over again that we've read in past books.

I wanted to give up on this book several times, especially when Richard is trying to convince Owen and his men about ...'their ways.'
But the last few chapters saved it self and has reignited my interest in the sword of truth series. I now feel that I want to go on and listen to Chainfire. Its just a shame that I didn't enjoy the whole book. I don't think that Jim Bond helps either. His narration can be wooden and irritating at times.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sam Edwards
  • 12-27-17

long winded in places

bit long winded in places. narrator made the women sound a bit damp. bit too rambly

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jay
  • 08-18-17

good but

not my favourite of these books little boring in places but it is part of the books so part of the whole story it has not put me off for the next one so I look forward to the next book

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-02-21

Another brillant book.

Once again Trerry Goodkind has delivered us a brillant book. The highs and lows I was indulged in the book. Can't wait to get into the next book. Also Jim Bond has improved greatly and I enjoy him narrating the book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • coatzie
  • 04-12-18

Goodkind

I have red this series and listed to the audiobooks and it just keeps getting better.

.