Wizard’s First Rule — Chapters 1-7

Yes, I just began Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind a few days ago, and I’ve decided to keep an ongoing journal about my reading experience with it. In the past few months, I’ve begun other fantasy books but wasn’t able to get into it. I know I’ll be going back to them at some point, but for some reason, this book has been sitting neglected in my library for far too long and putting those other books on hold, I decided to begin. There are spoilers in my reviews so if you haven’t read or plan on reading the series, I’d skip these for now.

Also, I had to mention this: as I’m reading through the first couple of chapters, the word “Seeker” came up. Now I know this is called the Sword of Truth series, and that’s all fine and dandy. But the word “seeker?” Does this story have anything to do with the television show “Legend of the Seeker?” And indeed, it does. But I only watch the news and PBS kids (and Fringe) on TV, so go figure. Consequently, I haven’t the slightest idea of what’s going to happen in the story. Anyone watch Legend of the Seeker and have also read the books? How do the books and tv show compare?

So moving along, in two days, I got to the end of Chapter 7. I’m always amazed by how some authors are able to take up a hundred pages or more with only the events of a single day (but it’s surprisingly not as hard as it seems, I’ve come to learn!). I’m enjoying it very much so far, and I wish I had written this review yesterday at the end of chapter 6 because I did correctly foresee that Zed is in fact the ancient and annoyed wizard.

Pros:

  • Goodkind does an excellent job pulling you in. That is, if you’re ready to dive into an 800+ page epic fantasy story.
  • I love all the details he’s placed so far and the amount of questions that have been raised but not yet answered. To be more specific, the thorn, Kahlan’s status as a Confessor (still not exactly sure why it is such a threat to Richard!), the sprinkles of what magic is in his world, the politics and titles that go along with all that, what exactly does that book foretell, is Michael going to be a good or bad guy, etc..
  • I was hoping the thorn would not transform Richard into some blessed creature, and thankfully, that were not true. I love foreshadowing but not when it’s used that badly.
  • The magic is good, but I have yet to determine if it’s outrageously over the top.

Cons:

  • The woman-in-need scenario. Now while I don’t feel too strongly about it, I do find the man-saving-woman-in-need to be a little cliched and dull. At least Kahlan can kind of hold her own.
  • And I also get this feeling that this is such a typical fantasy storyline — I mean, the Joseph Campbell Hero’s Journey. This is when I regret not reading enough fantasy because I really can’t base that opinion on anything. I spent my entire high school career reading the Dragonlance series and RA Salvatore, which I suppose was alright. I can “fondly” look back on those as I do my teenage years. I just wish I’d been exposed to work like Mccaffrey, Elric, and things more classic fantasy earlier in my life rather than reading contemporary work. But we all have to start somewhere, right? Anyway, so a lot of fantasy stories are a play on Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, so I’m not going to hold this one against him. I’ll just know what to expect, I think.
  • Some of the dialogue between Richard and Kahlan feels a little forced and unnatural, but no one’s 100% spot-on, yeah? His storytelling more than makes up for it.
  • His cat padded across the floor. If you know me and my word peeves, you know that I detest anyone or any thing that pads across a floor. Padding across floors, nuzzling noses, scratching behind ears, furrowing eyebrows, they all make me cringe like nails on a chalkboard. There are cliches, and there there are cliches. GRR Martin, I’m looking at you and your Game of Thrones. My face almost turned into a permanent grimace after reading through that one with all your wolves and pets and whatnot.
  • Only one semi-long description of foods and dishes on a table. I hate descriptions of food.

Predictions:

  • So I missed out on predicting that Zed would be the grand wizard that cast a spell on everyone to forget his name. I found that rather convenient but in any event, I predict that Richard will fly over the Boundary. I’m jumping pretty far ahead, but well obviously, Richard is the Seeker and he will proclaim it in (let’s get cocky here) 2 chapters.
  • Michael will work against Richard in the long run. Also, I’m pretty convinced that Michael does know about Darken Rahl and the three boxes.
  • A special assassin is trying to find the third box (book). Maybe someone not even working for Darken Rahl, oo ~ and I haven’t the slightest idea what a Confessor is or does.

 

It’s good, I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 stars right now. I’m picky, what can I say, and I’m hardly even an eighth of the way through. Thankfully, it’s nothing like Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. I’ve read the Eye of the World and found it relatively interesting. And then I read this scathing review of the rest of the 10 books and well, quite glad I never wasted my time or money on them. But like Sir Punkadiddle, I will attempt to read each and every Sword of Truth book, however good or bad it gets.

Onward!

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About Jessica M


3 responses to “Wizard’s First Rule — Chapters 1-7

  • T.j. Keegan

    I’d agree with your assessment that the first book sort of follows the Hero’s Journey. The twelve (soon to be thirteen) books that follow don’t seem to follow it at all. At least, not to my mind. It’s a page turning journey that will absolutely pay off in the long, long, long….LONG run.

    Also, another reading recommendation, one I make to anyone I know that reads. Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. If you like the idea of a Magic-Fantasy-Noir-Comedy-Philip Marlowe detective series, then you’ll love it.

    http://www.jim-butcher.com

    This is my all time favorite series of books.

    • Jessica M

      Glad to hear that the preceding books don’t follow the same kind of storyline! I’ll be looking forward to that. But holy wow, I didn’t realize there are 13 more. No matter, I’m going to make it a point to finish another fantasy series again. It’s been too long since I’ve stuck with a series and I think this one deserves the attention.

      Butcher, you say? I was getting an oil change and someone had left Storm Front on the seat next to me. I picked it up and scanned it because I’ve heard of the series before and I have to be quite honest with you. I wasn’t keen on his writing style. While the storyline seemed relatively interesting, I’m not really into a lot of contemporary urban fantasy that’s out there. But asides that point, in the 15 minutes I spent reading the first chapter and skimming the rest, it just didn’t do it for me. But that’s just me :)

  • T.j. Keegan

    He only gets better and better and better as the series progresses. And he’s not exactly Philip Marlowe…Harry Dresden is more like he WISHES he was Marlowe.

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