The former landscape painter has told us how he isn't a fantasy author in every interview he's ever given: "The books I write are first of all novels, not fantasy, and that is deliberate; I'm really writing books about human beings."(1) "To define me as a fantasy writer is to misunderstand the context of my books by misidentifying their fundamentals."(2) "The stories I'm telling are not fantasy-driven, they're character-driven, and the characters I want to write about could be set in any world. . ." Then the interview usually devolves into a discussion of Ayn Rand and 'the meaning of art', just in case you missed the pretension of declaring fantasy books 'not fantasy!' The guy certainly has a chip on his shoulder, but it makes me wonder whether he has actually read any fantasy. (but still super sexy, right?)" Porn for porn's sake is fine, but remember, Goodkind isn't some escapist fantasy author, these are 'real stories about real people' so he has to act like his magic porn is somehow a reflection of real life. Goodkind's books are cookie-cutter genre fantasy, but the first few aren't that badly done, and if you like people narrowly missing one another, bondage, masochism, rape, and dragons, it might work for you, but the series dies on arrival part-way through, so prepare for disappointment. If you are enjoying the series, you should probably avoid reading any of his interviews, as he rarely misses an opportunity to claim that he is superior to all other fantasy authors, and never compare him to Robert Jordan, because "If you notice a similarity, then you probably aren't old enough to read my books."(4) Goodkind truly lives in his own fantasy world if he thinks his mediocre genre re-hash is 'original' or 'deep'. Despite what he says, nothing separates his work from the average modern fantasy author, and like them, his greatest failing is the complete lack of self-awareness that overwhelms his themes, plots, and characters.
Terry Goodkind is a grossly inept writer, with the writing ability of a somewhat intelligent seventh-grader, but he jumped into the wide-open fantasy field when there were hardly any good fantasy writers (a state that hasn't completely changed, btw) and he has the persistence to turn out 600 page novels, and so he got published and now he's grandfathered in, because some people don't have better taste than to buy his novels. And finally, after about four novels or so, Goodkind sacrifices story-telling on the altar of making a political point, and since then every book has been a thinly veiled objectivist, anti-religious and anti-altruism rant. I don't care that he has a point of view, or that he occasionally slips it into his writing, but his evil characters have become now, not caricatures of evil, but mean-spirited caricatures of the philosophy he opposes.
There are books you love and want to share this love with the entire world. And then there are books that are so precious to you that talking about them feels like sacrilege, like exposing your bare soul and instead you safeguard them like a treasure. The only reason I decided to write a proper review is because it's a series that readers either love or hate, and I wanted to show you that despite the negative reviews there is something worth reading here, a gem that not everyone can appreciate but the ones who do, they will never be the same again. The tyrant of D'Hara is about to put together the pieces of an ancient puzzle that can either give him unlimited power to control the world of the living or destroy life itself. The wizards have fallen, and the only person that stands a chance against him is the Seeker of Truth, the wielder of the Sword of Truth, a weapon forged with magic destined only for those that are deemed worthy. When I read his books, I feel like he's talking to me, he unravels the multiple layers of my soul and when he puts them back together, his story is among them. What makes Sword of Truth stand out, is that the enemy isn't a dark, inhuman lord who commands legions of nightmarish creatures. He is kind and noble, he can forgive his enemies and fight for people he never met and above all, he is the smartest character I have ever met. Love is not about what you want. As soon as I read the first pages of Wizard's First Rule, I knew that my life was about to change.
Wizard's First Rule is a good example of why people think all post-Tolkien Fantasy is trash. At its best, it is a clunky and self-indulgently obtuse hero's journey.
Well, that still seems sensible." Kahlen: "My sentiments exactly!" Days Four through 20: Richard: "Love, love, love." Kahlen: "I love you, but we can never be together ever because of the magic." Days 21 through 30: Random Mord Sith comes in out of nowhere. Five years ago, I still would have really really liked it. While I enjoyed Goodkind's twist on this traditional tale, it was still a bit much for me at times. Okay, he's a wilderness guide, so he's good at tracking and woodsy stuff (that's the technical term, believe me, I'm a woodsy guide). There's the ultimate good versus bad tale going on, but to get to the end, there's so much padding with multiple adventures in between.
While I didn't personally like the book and couldn't get into it, I really went for it in this review. Sometimes you think you wrote something amazing, and then someone will come around and tell you they'd rather lick their own dog's teeth than read what you wrote. I'm leaving my review up below because I think it's a good lesson. Thankfully, you have so many fans out there that love your book and will stand by it, even when little shits like me throw out a mean review. I found the writing unbearable, as I would rather smell my dog's breath and lick his teeth than have to read words written by Terry Goodkind. I wasn't too keen on your book, and I'm sorry this attack on your book was personal to your writing style and abilities.
This book reads like a game of Dungeons and Dragons. I just have to wonder what kind of person decides to spend something like eight chapters on very descriptive and imaginative torture of one character, when the great love that supposedly drives the story took a comparative flash to develop. When the author isn't describing pain or evil, a sitcom-like feeling prevails. If you love Dungeons and Dragons, or if you're someone who enjoys causing or experiencing pain, this book is for you.