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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, yet formulaic
This book created quite a stir in the fantasy genre. Some people loved it and some hated it. I wanted to give it a fair chance and just finished it. I can't tell you whether you'll like it or not, because this is a book where it really depends on what you want from a story. So I'll tell you what it offers and where it comes up short.
First you need to know it follows...
Published on April 12 2004 by Aaron Lohr

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars one of the dumbest storylines ever
I just figured I'd share -- I tried five or six times to try and read this book because it has gotten such good reviews. However, the storyline and characters are atrocious. Clue 1: Richard's evil politician brother early on delivers a diatribe against the evils of fire and how they have to strive against it, and the people listening to him don't think he sounds like a...
Published on March 19 2003 by J.H. "Jon"


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, yet formulaic, April 12 2004
By 
Aaron Lohr "Visionary" (Maryland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wizard's First Rule (Hardcover)
This book created quite a stir in the fantasy genre. Some people loved it and some hated it. I wanted to give it a fair chance and just finished it. I can't tell you whether you'll like it or not, because this is a book where it really depends on what you want from a story. So I'll tell you what it offers and where it comes up short.
First you need to know it follows an over-used fantasy theme. An unknown man who doesn't want to be a hero, finds out he is very special and needed to save the world. He ends up being a fierce warrior who wins the heart of the beauty. The bad guy is super evil, and the good guys are super pure. There is an old man who serves as the mentor and he's wise yet spunky.
Many of you will be turned off at this point. But hold on. As formulaic as it is, Goodkind really does string together a nice adventure. Just when I would begin to think it was getting mindless, he would have a really beautiful scene.
There are torture scenes that are vivid, and I was wary of that going in. But he doesn't use them for shock value as some may think. He has a point and makes it very well. It was one of the only scenes that really gripped my emotions. It was quite inspiring.
The female roles in the book are fairly weak. The leading lady is often controlled by her emotions and love for the main character. Lots of crying.
The world Goodkind has constructed, the different creatures, and the way he uses magic are unique and creative. He often explains why magic works the way it does, and it isn't too way out there.
And while this book is one in a series, you can read just this one and it ends well enough so you don't feel you have to read the next one. So it doesn't hurt to give it a chance. If you like this kind of story, you will certainly enjoy this book. I think it is a good one. However, if you're tired of this storyline, you may want to check out something else. I hope this was helpful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars one of the dumbest storylines ever, March 19 2003
This review is from: Wizard's First Rule (Mass Market Paperback)
I just figured I'd share -- I tried five or six times to try and read this book because it has gotten such good reviews. However, the storyline and characters are atrocious. Clue 1: Richard's evil politician brother early on delivers a diatribe against the evils of fire and how they have to strive against it, and the people listening to him don't think he sounds like a dork, railing against fire? give me a break. Clue 2. After the aforementioned speech, the brother goes over and [touches] Richard's new woman friend Kahlan upon being introduced to her, and while Richard and Kahlan are naturally surprised, their reactions are very inauthentic, and the narration does not bother to point out how ridiculous it is for the brother to come over and [touch] a woman he's never met right in front of his brother. Clue 3: Richard, who is not the adventuring sort, gets the Sword of Truth; he and the woman Kahlan meet up with some ranger friend of Richard's, who despite knowing that Richard is not the adventuring sort, listens to Richard explain how he must go on a quest for about 2 minutes and then very solemnly declares that he will protect them -- as corny as it gets. Other clues -- there's very little originality in the book. Maybe if it had an original concept or magic this would redeem it, but it doesn't. Even the bad guy Darken Rahl has a very derivative name.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, Book 1, Jan. 2 2004
This review is from: Wizard's First Rule (Mass Market Paperback)
I saw another review on this book and did not like what it had to say. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so now I will share mine. This book is very well written. It keeps you wanting to read more. The charecters are well developed throughout the story. You must keep reading to learn more. It brings back even the slightest details you may have found un important earlier in the book, and make them very important later. I was given this book by a freind who said it was the best book he read, until the next in the series. I have passed this book on to three other individuals, who also like it as much. Terry Goodkind is a very entrapping writter. It is hard to put the book down, even when you must. The charecters continue developing in the next book as well. The plot is a good one, and the review that I read saying that the interesting points where with secondary charecters was way off. Then the person took it further to make those encounters seem borring. The whole book is exciting, and some of those secondary cherecters beome main cherecters in the next book. Some of the secondary cherecters return as secondary charecters in the second book. One of the main cherecters from this book, becomes a secondary in the next. It is ever changing with Terry Goodkind. The plot is original, the review that I read may have been talking about one peice of the whole plot that was not original, but the plot as a whole is original, and very well written. I would suggest to everyone to read this book, even if you do not like fantasy type books. I would also say that the whole set is worth getting. One person I gave this book to, does not even like fantasy novels, but loved this one and now owns the set. I give this writter and this whole set a very high mark, and as for this book it is great. So you have read the other guys review, and mine. It can't hurt to try it out. I think you will like it, I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Annoying, Jan. 21 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Wizard's First Rule (Mass Market Paperback)
I really tried to like this book. Yet, right from the start, I found the protagonist, Richard, extremely annoying. He's just another in a long list of whiny, crying, vomiting main characters that often turn up in fantasy novels, which lead you to find some secondary character to latch onto. Unfortunately, neither Zedd nor Kahlan themselves are all that interesting. Zedd is your stereotypical wizard-type who can do all sorts of magical things and speaks in riddles. Kahlan is a little better, but then Goodkind kills it by making her the "Madonna" who can't have sex. I was very troubled by Denna as well, the dominatrix-type who tortures Richard in a sequence that went on way too long. She plays the "Whore" to Kahlan's character. Of course, Richard breaks his torturer (Denna), she falls in love with him and then he kills her. I don't know what kind of message Goodkind is trying to send with this but, then again, maybe I do. Once again, women are defined by their sexuality. All in all, I didn't find Goodkind's world very imaginative, but if you like your main character crying, pleading, begging for his life and then in the next microsecond killing people, maybe this is for you. Ridiculous.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic beginning to a wonderful series., April 18 2012
This review is from: Wizard's First Rule (Mass Market Paperback)
Following the story of Kahlan and Richard is an amazing experience. As both a reader and writer of epic fantasy, I can truly say that this is one of the few books in the genre that I just could not put down, powering through the book in mere days, to the exclusion of all other responsibilities for that weekend. The last time a series gripped me the way Sword of Truth has would have to be as a teen in the mid 1990's with my discovery of the late Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time.

Terry Goodkind does a fantastic job of making us love his hero's and hate his villains. The story encompasses all of the things that make epic fantasy the lovely genre it is. Love, hate, moral dilemma's, and a fantastic plot that binds the characters together in ways that would never have been expected in the beginning of the book. The story encompasses everything readers enjoy about fantasy, without making it overly complex in the vein of 'Wheel of Time' or 'A Song of Ice and Fire', something that has turned many readers off from those series.

Without a doubt, if you enjoy fantasy you need to pick up this book. I promise that by the end of it, you will be scrambling to find Stone of Tears, the second volume of Mr. Goodkinds fantastic series of novels.

Grab a glass of wine, sit back in your most comfortable chair, and fail to notice the hours flying by. This book is a definite buy.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach., July 5 2004
By 
W. Schardein "Whisper" (Louisville, KY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wizard's First Rule (Mass Market Paperback)
I had a lot of trouble putting this book down. The times when I did were times when I absolutely could not stand the torture being put on characters I loved.
This novel, as far as genre novels go, is pretty cliche. There aren't a whole lot of big surprises. You have your ranger, your wizard, your evil baddie who's so strong they have to work up to him, yadda yadda yadda. You have your impossible quest, your beautiful woman, and even a dragon. Yippee!!
All that being said, this was a wonderful, character-driven piece that had me on the edge of my seat. Every single character lived and breathed with his or her own personality, and there wasn't a weak character in the batch. The good guys were *so* good and so charismatic that at times I had to get up and walk away because I couldn't stand what was happening to them anymore, and with one exception, the bad guys were *so* bad that I rejoiced when bad things happened to them. I have no problem with black and white, and there was no doubt in this one who the good guys and bad guys were.
The sole exception was the Mord-Sith, Mistress Denna, who had more layers than you normally see in a genre novel. At first, I hated her and really wanted to hurt this fictional character. But by the end, I nearly wept for her and what her life had been.
Warning: The torture and murder scenes are graphic. If, like me, you have a vivid imagination and can't stand the thought of someone being in pain, open the book at your own peril. If you love children and can't stand the thought of anyone hurting them, think twice before you read the book. But if you love a good, character-driven story where you really get to know the people in the book, it's a wonderful read, and a fast one, considering it's an 800-pager.
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4.0 out of 5 stars more than meets the eye, less than expected, June 11 2004
By 
Lucinda A. "lucinda2002us" (Philadelphia, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wizard's First Rule (Hardcover)
I did not mean to write a review, especially when noticing that Wizard's First Rule is but the first installment in a lengthy fantasy series (something which rings alarm bells for all disenchanted fans of Jordan's). And then I came across the editorial review from the Publishers Weekly. While this book is by no means the best fantasy I've ever read and not in the top 20 either, I also think the said review does the author an injustice. Big the book may be, bland perhaps, but in my opinion not exactly hackneyed. For me, the first rule (which the editorial review disclosed as proof of the book's triteness) was actually the key for a metaphor superimposed on the sword & magic conventional action. I had the impression that the author also meant to make a statement about the power of unchecked ideologies, be them extremes of religion (personified by Kahlan), rational inquiry (personified by Richard) or politics (personified by Rahl). Not coincidentally, I thought, the roles of both the Mother Confessor and the Seeker were to arrive at the Truth through their different means, ultimately as invasive and inhuman as Father Rahl's (allusion to Father Lenin) totalitarian despotism. At least that is what passed my mind halfway through the book. Now that I finished it, I am not so sure whether to give the author extra points for attempting a social critique, or to subtract points for him not succeeding very well.
Leaving these musings aside, which may well be misreadings, I found the fantasy plot entertaining and easy to follow. Richard Cypher has powers he doesn't know about. As we might expect, as innocent as he may be, he is also the key to a cataclysmic conflict between good and evil and he has to undertake many journeys and trials to grow into his heritage. I thought the trial of pain administered by Mistress Denna was a neat piece of writing which, contrary to some dire predictions, did not shock my sensibilities. While Richard is well developed as a character, the others are less so. The inevitable traitor (whose identity wasn't that hard to figure out) has a paper-thin motivation. Kahlan's "awful" secret failed to convey to me a sense of drama. I also thought the episodes with Father Rahl were insufficiently developed. For all the terror we are supposed to feel for Father Rahl, he certainly fizzled out in the end. However, I did stay up all night immersed in the action, which suggests that, if one makes allowances for the inevitable missteps of a first book, the book is ultimately a worthy read. Can't wait to read the next volume.
I think the book should have a 3.5-star rating, but I give it 4 to offset some overly harsh reviews.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Cliche and Drab, but promising, May 26 2004
By 
Zdenko Juskuv (Rhode Island) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wizard's First Rule (Hardcover)
Well, this is definitely someone's first book. Obviously Goodkind felt the urge to write a Fantasy novel and hacked together all the cool stuff he in Lord of The Rings, Earthsea, and maybe Wheel of Time. The thing is, I don't think he took a hard look at the book and failed to insert enough of his own unique vision into it.
This book hits almost every fantasy cliché: Old wizards, a blurry and ill defined magic system, prophecy that is conveniently vague, big, sweaty heroes, sexy and submissive women that fall in love with the men instantly as if they were walking gods of sex, villains evil to the point of silliness, magic swords only certain people can wield, and of course, dragons that are evil and capricious creatures of fire and magic.
His plotting is kind of retarded: You can see every twist coming and the heroes discover or reveal a new kind of magic every time they get into a fix.
Still, there are a lot of points in the book that are very cool and this makes his second book look promising. The bottom line is that if you really like the Fantasy Genre, especialy its hokey conventions, then you will tolerate or even like this book. But if you are unsure of fantasy or just tired of cliché, then skip this one for Eye of the World or Gene Wolfe.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but the sadism is intense and over the line., May 25 2004
This review is from: Wizard's First Rule (Mass Market Paperback)
I have read fantasy by Brooks, Tolkien, Feist, Jordan, Weis and many others. Goodkind's first book was, to me, good but not great. While I do agree with many of the other harsh critiques, I still enjoyed the book overall. I was engaged with the characters and the plot. I could even handle the brutal torture (of the adults) and felt that, while excessive, IT did contribute to the characters' development. But there was one side plot that bothered me - almost enough to not buy further sequels. Innocent children were involved in sick torture and abuse. While this did make me loathe the characters involved, it also ripped away much of the enjoyment I took from the book. Really folks, it was over the line from my perspective. In scenes children are raped (rather it is hinted at) and in one scene motlen lead is poured into a child's mouth.
They are so brutal that in the end, you may be haunted by the scenes. As a child psychologist who has seen lots of bad stuff, this still bothered me greatly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A decent start to a fantasy series, April 14 2004
By 
Edrick (Troy, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wizard's First Rule (Mass Market Paperback)
I give this book (and the series) more credit than many do.
I have read alot of fantasy, and after a while the genre does get a bit crowded and repetative...I might read a handful of books a year that seem to me to be very original and creative.
If this is your first trip into fantasy reading, then odds are you will like it. If you have read lots of other series, then you may find it to be repetative or cliche.
I think the importance of the series lies in the fundamental principles, philosophy, and psychology of the characters, and the underlying ideals brought out through them. There are alot of ideas here I have not read before, and that Goodkind does a great job of illustrating.
I see a great deal of crossover from Robert Jordan, and some from Tolkein, probably at least some of which is not coincidence, and that bothered me, but aside from that, I had no major complaints.
The series gets more original with time, and it's obvious by the writing style that this is his first book, so I give him credit where credit is due and will not bash Wizards First Rule into the ground for traits that most authors exhibit early on in something new.
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Wizard's First Rule
Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind (Mass Market Paperback - July 15 1997)
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