Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind

This book is the first book in the Sword of Truth series.

Summary: In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeking help...and more.  His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, 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.  (Summary from book - Image from barnesandnoble.com)

My Review:  About a decade ago, The Sword of Truth novels were top sellers at the college bookstore where I worked.  So, when I found a special edition of Wizard's First Rule, the first book in the series, I purchased it, shelved it, and promptly forgot I owned it.  Then, a few years ago, ABC produced a TV show called Legend of the Seeker that was based on The Sword of Truth series.  Now, normally I’m one of those people who likes to read the books before watching the television version, but in this instance I made an exception.  You see, the male lead, Richard Cypher, was hot.  Go ahead.  Google him if you don't believe me.

Anyway, I watched the series for the next two years until it was cancelled and I was left hanging, wondering if I was missing out by not reading the books.  Finally, in Seeker-withdrawal, I decided to read that long-neglected book on my shelf.  I was so ready to be blown away that I even bought the next two books in the series just so that I could move from one to the other without having to get up off the couch.  It turns out that investment was a bit premature.

The fact is that, even though I enjoyed the TV show, I didn’t like the book at all.   The book’s antagonists were much more depraved and sadistic than their tv counterparts, making Wizard’s First Rule much more violent, gory, and sexually explicit than I expected.  If the tv series had stayed true to the book, it wouldn’t have been remotely suitable for television.   In the show, Richard was tough, but noble, and Kahlan was a butt-kicking, knife-wielding heroine.  In the book, their relationship felt affected and they were rather more weepy than I expected.  Call me crazy, but I don't think fantasy characters should sob like an infant at the slightest provocation.  Or really, ever.

Overall, Wizard’s First Rule read less like and epic quest and more like a series of random obstacles thrown into the path of two star-crossed lovers.  Each complication felt like a stall tactic and it wasn’t until somewhere around the 600th page (of this 820-page book)  that I felt any sort of interest in how the story would turn out.  That’s a really long time to wait.

I’m not sure how people unfamiliar with the series will feel about Wizard’s First Rule but I do know that fans of Legend of the Seeker won’t necessarily find much of their favorite characters (or story) in this book.  Overall, it just wasn’t my thang.  Yes, I said thang.  I’m in a mood.  Deal with it. 

My Rating: 2.25 Stars.

For the sensitive reader:  Violent, gory, and sexually explicit.  Two or three instances of profanity. 

Sum it up:  A disappointing beginning to a series I don’t plan on finishing.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Worst review ever written, user based their review off from a tv show. The tv show didn't follow the series and was a disappointment. The sword of truth series was not meant to have the childlike representation the tv show gave it. This is a series that most readers couldn't set down until they had finished over 4000 pages and wanted more.

MindySue said...

Wow. Worst review ever, eh? That smarts. Not really.

I can see how a fan of the book series would have HATED the TV show with a fiery murderous passion. The fantasy genre does attract its rabid fans. As I stated in the review, I'm not usually one of those people who likes to watch any sort of film representation of a book without actually reading the book first because I believe it taints the book experience. I'm sure that if I had read the books first and liked them this review would have been different in some of its aspects. However, I didn't and I can't change that. The fact remains that I liked the television series and I picked up the books expecting a moderately similar representation of what I had watched. I didn't get it and was disappointed. I feel that I was pretty clear about that and I'm happy with the review. It perfectly represents my thoughts on the book. I don't pretend to be able to give the opinions of thousands -- just my own.

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