Fantasy series fans may argue over the relative merits of Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth, George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire, and Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, but in a world of middle books that go nowhere and endless waits between episodes, Goodkind is certainly still serving up some of the best fantasy on today's menu.
The Seeker of Truth and his Mother Confessor sweetie are both looking a little worse for the wear after their chime-hunt in Soul of the Fire. To top that off, Lord Rahl finds himself a reluctant prophet with the vision that their cause, the fight for freedom against the Imperial Order, is essentially sunk. (Chalk that up to part of the Wizard's First Rule: people really are stupid.) The two lovers soon find themselves separated, Richard off to the Old World thanks to treacherous Sister of the Dark Nicci, and Kahlan left behind, forced to betray Richard and his prophecy by raising an army to fend off the approaching armies of Emperor Jagang.
Whether it's fair or not, Goodkind will likely get beaten up a bit for visiting the trough once too often, à la Jordan. But fear not: Faith of the Fallen does progress at a good clip, and its conclusion--while by no means a final payout--should satisfy. --Paul Hughes
From Publishers Weekly
Sequel to Soul of the Fire in Goodkind's popular Sword of Truth series, this extended barrage of sword-swinging fantasy pits the New World's Seeker of Truth, Richard Rahl, and his wife, Mother Confessor Kahlen Amnell, against the lethal totalitarian forces of the Imperial Order under Jangang "the Just" and his gorgeous masochistic minion Nicci, aka Death's Mistress, a dreaded Sister of the Dark. After Richard helps a desperately wounded Kahlen heal in a mountain hideaway guarded by their ill-tempered blonde bombshell bodyguard, Cara, Nicci ensorcels Kahlen and forces Richard to abandon her for inhuman bondage in the Order-dominated Old World. Kahlen defies Richard's prophecy that arms alone will never defeat the Order. She takes command of the D'Haran army, hopelessly outnumbered against Jagang's black-magicked hordes who are invading the New World. Untangling all this gives Goodkind an ample canvas for enough disemboweling, spit roasting and miscellaneous mutilating of men, women and children to out-Sade the infamous marquis. His fansAand they are legionAwill revel in vicarious berserker battle scenes and agonize deliciously as Richard, reduced to slavery by Nicci, toils to establish a bastion of capitalism in the cold gray heart of the Stalinesque Old World. All the ponderous sound and fury of Goodkind's attack on socialist-style do-gooders who are destroying the world, however, founders in a welter of improbable coincidences, heavy-handed humor and a disconcerting dependence on misusing the verb "smirk." For sheer volume of its Technicolor bloodbaths and its bathetic propagandistic bombast, this installment of Goodkind's fantasy saga makes an indelible impact; anyone who yearns for Goodkind is going to be in high clover. $250,000 ad/promo. (Aug.)
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