Richard Cypher is in for an adventure when wandering through the forest stumbles upon a women in white who appears to be running for her life. Wizards First Rule takes you into another fantasy world and sets the characters off on an adventure when time begins to run out. How does the first entry of Sword of Truth Series hold up? Let’s dive in and see.
Wizards First Rule is the first book in the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. It was released in August 15, 1994 by Tor books. The book is rather large at a whoppin 836 pages. So what does Terry Goodkind give us in this series?
I want to start by saying that I have not yet read through the entire series so the review on these books is without any knowledge about upcoming events that could potentially change my opinion on earlier books in the series. With that being said, as I review more books in the series, I will be sure to address anything that may change my mind in the future in the upcoming reviews on later entries to the series.
The start to this book is really strong and I really enjoyed it. Terry Goodkind sets up a really unique theme to the world where boundaries separate different portion of the world. These boundaries are really hard to cross but are weakening and the threat of Raul from the east is growing.
Wizards First Rule’s Characters
Richard Cypher is the main protagonist to this story, when he stumbles upon someone who has managed to get across the boundary that separates the west from the midlands. She is being chased by some men and he jumps into action to save the mysterious woman in white.
Things are kicked into higher gear when Richard finds that his place has been sacked and there was someone waiting inside for him seemly there to kill him as he believes was done to his father before him.
The women’s name is Kahlan. She happens to be a confessor which is unknown to Richard and it appears that she, although thankful for Richards effort, still will keep things from her. Richard being oblivious to most magic at this point has no idea what he is about to get into.
The final main character that we are introduced to is Zedd, who is a crazed cloud reader. When seeing Kahlan, the threads begin to unwind and the adventure has to begin.
Terry Goodkind is really good at setting scenes, an entire portion of the story sticks in my head very well with the boundary warden Chase and the adventure westward and the perils that it all leads to. The mystery of the magic system begins to play out from here as well.
Wizards First Rules Magic System
I would not say that the magic system is anything fantastic, in fact I would call the system rather lazy and more used as a plot convenience tool used throughout the entire book. The more interesting ideas of magic come from the other side with the big bad Lord Raul. The magic system was explained to have a additive magic and subtractive magic. The magic of the Boxes of Oden were interesting and the main driver to the plot for this book. The boxes when opened correctly allow for dominance of the world or the death of the one that opens it. So with that, the big bad is going off to get all these boxes as well as the text needed to figure out which to open and obtain the world dominance he desires.
The book really slows down midway through with the introduction of a tribe of characters. This portion of the book went on, and on. It was not interesting to be and after such a solid beginning I was surprised to how fast it fell off a cliff for pacing here. It was also after this that the book didn’t really speed up, but got worse.
There are several things that lead me to believe that Terry Goodkind just blatantly stole ideas to build lore to his world with his inexperience in the fantasy genre. The author has stated himself that this series is not a fantasy series so these plot points needed in his story was stolen and it feels both lazy and there being a lack of care to the way it was all handled.
The climax of the book is not much better as well. The magic system was being abused for plot convenience, dragons are implemented possibly cause there was no other solution that Terry Goodkind could think up or he decided that the series was not fantasy enough. If the dragon was not in this story at all, I probably would have enjoyed it a little more. It was just cheesy and forced to me.
They very end of the book as well steals yet another idea from a very well known series that if I mentioned the series in this review would literally spoil the end to this book. That is how obvious the stealing of that idea was.
With all this said, I don’t think this series is doomed. I will be continuing onward with the series to see how it pans out. Many people say they are fans of this series and for that I will continue on and hopefully be swayed as well. If later books are able to re capture the feeling that the beginning of this book had I could see myself greatly enjoying the Sword of Truth as a whole.
This series has some strengths for sure. The boundary and being chased from the Heart hounds kept me from putting the book down.
But in the end it appears that the entry started strong and fizzled and died halfway through the book with almost zero of the ideas working to restart the engine that this book had humming along to start. Hopefully Terry Goodkind can offer something better as the series continues with the Stone of Tears. Be looking for that book review in the coming weeks.
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I would be very interested to hear what everyone likes about this book. I thoroughly enjoy the beginning segments and world building of the book ahead of time. Without spoilers below do the later books recapture the characters and world building that Terry Goodkind started so strong with? Comment below and let me know!