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Publisher's Summary

"How much of this blood is his?"

"Most of it, I'm afraid," a second woman said as they both rushed along beside him.

As Richard fought to focus his mind on his need to remain conscious, the breathless voices sounded to him as if they were coming from some great, dim distance. He wasn't sure who they were. He knew that he knew them, but right then it just didn't seem to matter.

The crushing pain in the left side of his chest and his need for air had him at the ragged edge of panic. It was all he could do to try to pull each crucial breath.

Even so, he had a bigger worry.

Richard struggled to put voice to his burning concern, but he couldn't form the words, couldn't get out any more than a gasping moan. He clutched the arm of the woman beside him, desperate to get them to stop, to get them to listen. She misunderstood and instead urged the men carrying him to hurry, even though they already panted with the effort of bearing him over the rocky ground in the deep shade among the towering pines. They tried to be as gentle as possible, but they never dared to slow.

Not far off, a rooster crowed in the still air, as if this were an ordinary morning like any other.

Richard observed the storm of activity swirling around him with an odd sense of detachment. Only the pain seemed real. He remembered hearing it once said that when you died, no matter how many people were with you, you died alone. That's how he felt now - alone.

Epic edge: listen to more in the Chainfire Trilogy and the Sword of Truth series.
©2005 Terry Goodkind; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio

Critic Reviews

"Bond's somewhat understated style and relaxed, steady pace keep the story moving and help listeners sustain interest from start to finish. The characters' secrets and political maneuverings are in good hands with Bond." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
  • Karanja
  • Silver Spring, MD, USA
  • 06-10-08

Much improved from the Naked Empire

Terry Goodkind spends less time preaching his Ayn Rand derived ideas and more time telling the story. However, there are still significant flaws. While the preaching is much reduced there it still too much of it and it is poorly integrated in to the story. He fails to allow the story to make his points and resorts to having Richard simply "preach" his points. Further detracting from the book is Mr. Goodkind's appalling lack of skill when it comes to writing conversations. It is partly this and partly due to Jim Bond's presentation. The result is that almost every conversation sounds like the village idiot lecturing a slow child. I suspect that most (not all) of the fault is Jim Bond's as Phantom read by Sam Tsoutsouvas is much more palatable. If you like the Sword of Truth series, definitely listen to this book. If you used to like this series and gave up in frustration after the debacle of the Naked Empire (and a few of the books before it), this recording though heavily flawed, is worth hearing to advance the story.

36 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Hudsonville, Michigan
  • 06-17-08

Deja vu all over again.

The speeches are long and redundant. The villains the same. Evil's tool is still the same: to threaten one member of the lovely hero couple while the other suffers. And, of course, the most powerful wizard in three thousand years is still impotent. The only time he can do anything is when the story needs him to or it will end. What's more, it's never intentional. This smacks more of divine intervention than the magic every other wizard in the story possesses. Finally, and most annoying, the story now becomes almost identical to the first book.

Poor Richard - he doesn't know magic, and he can't lay with his wife. He's tortured, poisoned, or driven to madness in every book, and Goodkind makes him give the same speech several dozen times in each book. I'm beginning to think that Goodkind thinks I'm stupid.

Don't get me wrong, I embrace his ideals, but his writing treats them inconsistently. After all, if everyone has the capacity for individual excellence, then surely Goodkind can give his readers the benefit of the doubt that they will not forget his mantra after it has been delivered several dozen times. Surely those of us that have made it to book ten get the point.

This had the potential to be a fantastic and philosophically educational epic. Unfortunately, too many sermons and too little action has destroyed it. Nevertheless, I have to see how the lovely couple suffers through their next two ordeals. Who knows? Perhaps Richard will learn how to light a candle.

26 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Van Dyche
  • Berkeley, CA, United States
  • 09-02-11

Chainfire sputters, sparks, and eventually fizzles

There is a lot of exposition in this story and quite a bit of redundancy. Not enough happens plotwise in and it plods out like a turtle, a long and weary task for the listener (but I am sworn to listen to them all even though I question if there really is enough "meat" to justify the existence of this piece as a separate book, at least not in the form that it stands now). I would advise Goodkind to "show not tell". There are a lot of talking heads in this book and way too much "explanation/conversation". Where are the characters that we fell in love with? {We want Gratch back!} Where is the chemistry? It also feels that this book was created more for the eye than for the ear. And how many times do we have to hear the word "engendered"? I would say unless you are bound and determined to make it through these books through listening (as I am), maybe you should buy the hard copy or e-book version and read it.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lynn
  • CENTREVILLE, VA, United States
  • 09-21-10

Richard, Richard, Richard...

I love the series, but find the level of importance placed on two people nausiating. Not only does the current world revolve around Kahlan and Richard, but the world going back 3 millenia has also revolved around them. I'm also quite tired of hearing this character and that character profess their preachy, undying loyalty to Richard. Richard, Richard, Richard......RICHARD, Richard, Richard. "I would sacrifice my life to ensure he doesn't stub a toe." Good grief. If any character in a book were to mimick Jesus, this would be the one. Yet...he can never use his powers. Then she can't use hers. He and Kahlan are always separated and struggling to get back to each other. It's the same never-ending story.

Having said that, I will always admire the different directions Goodkind has taken this story on other levels. There's always older, more powerful, more complex magic to be found. Ah, I love it. Goodkind has also always had the ability to bring the depths of evil and heights of good to life - make them shocking and real. He's not afraid to let the pendulum swing well beyond what other fantasy writers would.

The narration was done quite well for male voices, but the female voices were annoyingly condescending and lifeless. Let's get real, someone with a great male voice will most likely not have a great female voice. lol I really, REALLY wish companies would employ multiple narrators.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jacob
  • Yulee, FL, USA
  • 06-09-10

Long and drawn out, but the ending made up for it

Same title as my review for the last book. There are not many books I would want to listen to the abridged version, but this is one of them. The story is great and the narration is good. The story line starts with Richard losing something important to him. He gives up everything to get it back. He is faced with an haunting danger while early characters are brought back into the story. The ending gets you ready to listen to the next book.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kenley
  • Dillsburg, PA, USA
  • 05-05-09

Flash Back Horror

In this book, I got tired of hearing about everything that happened in the past. If you didnt read the first 8, Oh Well. Your Loss. But I hate to admit, you would think that Richard, after 8 books, would be kick ass, instead of a pussy. The only thing he does well is TALK, and he does too much of that. I loved the first 8 books, but this one is not so good. 2 more to go so I can endure the much unneeded dialogue to hear what happens. (I wish Kahlan would DIE)

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

whine, whine, whine...

The series had been decent, I made it to book 9 even though it was bubble gummy & draining to listen to so many redundant speeches. But now, sorry Terry, I'm done. I can't take it anymore. Characters became completely uncharacteristic & flip flopped more than my sandals. I know this is fantasy, but this was ridiculous.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

good but....

seemed like they where trying to make the book longer by repeating themselves over and over

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Amazing

I love this book. Such a great twist to this story. I just love this entire series.

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love this voice actor.

The way this activity changes his voice brings the story to life. On to Phantom!

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  • Jay
  • 11-10-17

not the best but

not the best one very long in anything really happening and then when it did it didn't have an ending I'll look forward to the next one though. so hasn't put me off

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  • JustDazza
  • 06-21-17

an exciting installment compared to previous books

an exciting installment compared to previous books which felt as if they dragged on after Temple of the winds.

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  • Peter Scholey
  • 12-07-15

Not the best

A bit too focused on the love story between Richard and Khalan. This is the first book in the series I got bored with at times. I know its the first part of the final trilogy of the story. I just hope the next installment gets better

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  • T
  • 07-19-15

OMG where is Kahlan!

Good narration again from Jimmy Bond licence to thrill! What is Chainfire? Hmmm... Let's see what Phantom has in store.

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  • Aimee
  • 09-07-14

Another fanastic book in the sword of truth series

What made the experience of listening to Chainfire the most enjoyable?

The suspense is thrilling, worth the wait

Who was your favorite character and why?

Khalan and Jagang, so opposite characters and both narrated with both evil and compassion

What does Jim Bond bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The indepth feelings of the characters

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  • L
  • 08-02-13

Awesome series but this book was pointless

Any additional comments?

Love the series. But this book was pure filler, could have given the reader the entire storyline of this book in the first three chapters of book 10.

  • Overall
  • Charmaine
  • 04-07-13

Wonderful listen

This is a great story. Goodkind is fantastic at creating characters and a world that you really care about. The narrator is very monotone but as you get into the book you notice it less and less. It is still worth a listen because the story more than makes up for it.

  • Overall
  • Gareth
  • 12-24-12

Great listen

If you've read or listened to the starting books you'll know you want to read some more, personally I found the reading better than the listening, but these are still a great listen if you don't have the hours and hours to spend reading the books

  • Overall
  • gareth
  • 12-03-12

Good

Not his best work but still a good book overall. Good if you like the collection

  • Overall
  • Rachel
  • 03-07-09

Frustrating

Another good episode in the series. I like it more than the previous, few, best since faith of the fallen. It is a little frustrating, as Richard runs all over the place trying to find answers,but I guess that's just the way that Richard feels too.

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  • Juanita Caban
  • 11-19-15

Such a good series Such a boring chapter

The story was too protracted and by the end of the book I was about ready to kill Sister Niki. The end came clarifying points but in truth it was too drawn out and too slow.

Jim Bond was his usual self being interesting, with a voice that I enjoy listening to. Well done Jim