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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,518
  • 4 Stars
    705
  • 3 Stars
    300
  • 2 Stars
    80
  • 1 Stars
    54

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    1,172
  • 4 Stars
    494
  • 3 Stars
    213
  • 2 Stars
    60
  • 1 Stars
    46

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    1,199
  • 4 Stars
    475
  • 3 Stars
    231
  • 2 Stars
    53
  • 1 Stars
    43
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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!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not the Good Kind of Naked

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would not recommend this book unless they really wanted to complete the series.

Has Naked Empire turned you off from other books in this genre?

Yes, somewhat, but since I have been reading since the first book, I feel like I want to finish the rest of the series, even if it's painful.

Would you be willing to try another one of Jim Bond’s performances?

I don't want to, but I will have to if I want to finish the series.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Probably not. The plot was very preachy and slow.

Any additional comments?

I really do not care for Jim Bond as the narrator. His female voices are especially bad, but his voice for Richard also sounds very pompous. Part of that can be blamed on the writing, however. I remember when Richard was a character you liked and cheered for. Now he sounds like a self-righteous jerkwad. The pacing is also slow as molasses. The entire first two thirds of the book is filled with Richard's sermons and a dreadfully long and boring voyage. I sure hope Goodkind can redeem himself after this flop.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Hudsonville, Michigan
  • 06-16-08

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.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Scott
  • Vienna, VA, United States
  • 02-25-12

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.<br/>I'm done with this series

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Maria
  • BATON ROUGE, LA, United States
  • 03-08-16

Loved it!

This was a great addition to the series. A roller coaster ride of emotions, all of your favorite characters, I even enjoyed the triumph over mindless mob mentalities. A+ in my book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Michelle
  • Rockford, IL, United States
  • 08-14-13

Repeat, Repeat

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A better narrator and no repeated passages.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jim Bond?

George Guidall

What character would you cut from Naked Empire?

none

Any additional comments?

There are multiple times in this recording that entire sentences and paragraphs are repeated exactly in what appears to be very poor editing. <br/><br/>The narrator has a very nasally whiny and monotone voice whenever narrating side characters and makes it difficult to tolerate at times.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kevin
  • Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • 12-31-08

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.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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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 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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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  • T
  • 07-09-15

One of the best in the series!

This book is great, good mix of new and old characters. Even the narrator Jim Bond isn't too bad :)

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  • Aimee
  • 09-07-14

Book 8 Enlighting, Enchanting, Captivating

Would you listen to Naked Empire again? Why?

I am a big fan of the sword of truth series, having read the books the suspense created by the narrator is amazing

Which scene did you most enjoy?

All of them this is a must read series from book one to eleven I could not stop reading/ listening

  • Overall
  • Charmaine
  • 04-07-13

Brilliant

A wonderful book. Once again the author creates characters of interest and depth. The world created and the politics of the world are fascinating. He gives both sides of the story here, allowing you not to see the bad guys as solely evil! Brilliant. The narrator is quite monotone but once you are into the book you don't notice 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