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EKUzombiE

Terry Goodkind

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I thought I'd make a recommendation as my first post...instead of the obligatory introduction.

I've been reading the works of Terry Goodkind since...probably 8 years ago (long time for a youngin' like me.) His only real work is in the Sword of Truth series; the first book of which being Wizard's First Rule (soon to be made into a syndicated television series.)

I would describe the Genre as fantasy...but not necessarily in the same league as Tolkien (definitely not Harry Potter either.) This is gritty, realistic, and well articulated fantasy. Goodkind is an excellent writer...a bit more simple than Rand, and just a bit less descriptive (not a master of metaphors and similes like Rand.)

Terry Goodkind is also a self proclaimed Objectivist...has often quoted Rand...and bases the themes of his writings on many of the same themes as Rand deals with.

The Sword of Truth series is the tale of the epic and righteous struggle of Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell, as well as a cast of other memorable characters, against a horde of evil who preach that mankind is born into depravity and should aspire to nothing greater than the lowest-common-man.

Honestly, these books have brought me....6'2" 260lbs...former Law Enforcement Officer...to tears, at some points. After the final book in the series, I was inspired to pick up Atlas Shrugged...and realized that all my life I have been an Objectivist....only I had no word with which to name it.

I highly...HIGHLY recommend....especially if you're a fan of the fantasy genre....even if you're not (Wizards First Rule has been called the 'common man's fantasy novel'), pick up Wizards First Rule, and try to finish it before the TV series starts this fall. I guarantee you'll fall in love with it.

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Terry Goodkind seems to have led many people to Rand's work. :huh:

Sadly, while that is true, they are a minority. Most of the commenters on the forum of the official Terry Goodkind website are far from Objectivists.

On, and welcome to the forum, EKUzombie. I myself love the SoT books and I am quite happy with the ending. What is with the name?

EDIT: Although, i should classify that TG has stated that the series may not yet be over, just that the Imperial Order story arc is over. He said he has other stories he'd like to tell in that world and maybe even with the same set of heroes.

Edited by DragonMaci

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I started reading Phantom, but stopped when someone told me that this was a book very late on in the series, and I should start at the beginning.

It was alright, as far as I got, but can someone tell me why I should read these books? I keep hearing they're good, but why/i]? Fantasy usually really bores me (unless it's a great visual treat like the LOTR films), so what sets this apart? What is funamentally good about it?

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EDIT: Although, i should classify that TG has stated that the series may not yet be over, just that the Imperial Order story arc is over. He said he has other stories he'd like to tell in that world and maybe even with the same set of heroes.

True, but I think the TV Miniseries is going to have a great deal of influence on how the books continue to pan out. Personally, I'm afraid it's going to be a huge disaster (even with the theatrical prowess of Sam Raimi at the helm.) The fact that it will only be broadcast on WGN is a death sentence in and of itself. But, we'll see.

To Tenure, the Sword of Truth series is most certainly adult fantasy. One might assume that this means muscular shaved-chest long-haired fabio-esque men embracing tender delicate women on the cover....but SoT deals with some serious adult philosophical issues, unlike Tolkien, Brooks or for that matter Salvatore. Also, Terry, like Rand, has a talent for visualization and description. I've never been bored...not once...while reading SoT; that's rare for me in literature. Even some parts of Atlas bore me a bit :(

Anyway, as far as philosophical literature is concerned....I would consider Goodkind Rand's understudy. If you liked Atlas...Anthem etc. you'll LOVE Sword of Truth, even if you're not regularly a fan of fantasy.

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I started reading Phantom, but stopped when someone told me that this was a book very late on in the series, and I should start at the beginning.

It was alright, as far as I got, but can someone tell me why I should read these books? I keep hearing they're good, but why? Fantasy usually really bores me (unless it's a great visual treat like the LOTR films), so what sets this apart? What is funamentally good about it?

Because they are books about heroes. Richard and his friends act morally, fighting to protect their freedom -- and the story illustrates the nature of altruism as a threat to freedom. While the books are sometimes heavy-handed in their illustration of Objectivist ideals, it does not detract from the wonder of the story.

One problem with the series, if one is not a fantasy reader, is how long the books take to get to their high point. I very much enjoyed Wizard's First Rule, but the first three or four books in the series are less Objectivist in nature and more just classic fantasy (though very good classic fantasy, with strong characters). I sometimes wonder whether Goodkind discovered Objectivism a third of the way through writing the series. I think it might be frustrating to those who otherwise wouldn't read fantasy (I used to read it a lot, but then quit a few years ago, and SoT is the only series I've made an exception for since).

I think the pinnacle of the series is Faith of the Fallen, which has a nice treatment of Objectivist aesthetics wrapped into a riveting story line. It might be confusing to read that one without reading the previous books in the series. If you find yourself disliking the books, perhaps try reading summaries of the first several, and then read FotF -- I think that one is worth reading by anyone, fantasy lover or not.

Edited by stellavision

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EDIT: Although, i should classify that TG has stated that the series may not yet be over, just that the Imperial Order story arc is over. He said he has other stories he'd like to tell in that world and maybe even with the same set of heroes.

Ops, "classify" should be "clarify".

True, but I think the TV Miniseries is going to have a great deal of influence on how the books continue to pan out.

I don't think so. TG writes from his own ideas, not other people's and he is not have any responsibility to make the future books consistent with the TV series (it is a 22 episode TV series (about 42 minutes per episode plus ads, not a mini-series). If anything the Sam Raimi has the responsibility to make the TV series consistent with the book series.

On the subject of the TV series, TG says the TV series will be able to fit material in it that wasn't in the book. He gave the example of actual footage of George Cypher stealing the Book of Counted Shadows.

Personally, I'm afraid it's going to be a huge disaster (even with the theatrical prowess of Sam Raimi at the helm.)

Personally, I am worried that it will be a failure because Raimi is at the helm. I am not a fan of the only other works of his that I have seen (Spider Man and Spider Man 2).

The fact that it will only be broadcast on WGN is a death sentence in and of itself. But, we'll see.

Actually, TG said it is being syndicated to many TV networks depending on state and country.

Anyway, as far as philosophical literature is concerned....I would consider Goodkind Rand's understudy. If you liked Atlas...Anthem etc. you'll LOVE Sword of Truth, even if you're not regularly a fan of fantasy.

I think that is true for many people. It certainly is for me. I used to be a big fan of fantasy (with the unusual exception of LotR), but now the SoT series, my own works, and a friend's works are the only fantasies I like. But then, to use TG's wording, most fantasies are fantasy for fantasy's sake, SoT is not. TG uses fantasy as a philosophical medium. He said he could of just as easily chosen a different genre and probably will in the future.

Edited by DragonMaci

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Because they are books about heroes. Richard and his friends act morally, fighting to protect their freedom -- and the story illustrates the nature of altruism as a threat to freedom. While the books are sometimes heavy-handed in their illustration of Objectivist ideals, it does not detract from the wonder of the story.

This is proven by the fact that the vast majority of SoT fans are not only not Objectivists, but have in fact never heard of Objectivism, though almost all of his fans at the official forum have.

One problem with the series, if one is not a fantasy reader, is how long the books take to get to their high point. I very much enjoyed Wizard's First Rule, but the first three or four books in the series are less Objectivist in nature and more just classic fantasy (though very good classic fantasy, with strong characters).

Furst five really. It isn't until Faith of the Fallen (which actually had a song written about it) that TG really gets into obvious Objectivism. However, I think it is unfair to call it "classic fantasy". Right from the beginning the series was meant to be a medium for philosophy rather than fantasy for fantasy's sake, which is what classic fantasy is - and he succeeded right from the beginning. He started early on with the Zedd's trick against the maruders and his statement of the Wizard's First Rule and continued from there. Actually, there were traces even before then, but that was the start of philosophy being a big part of the series.

I sometimes wonder whether Goodkind discovered Objectivism a third of the way through writing the series.

He didn't. I have seen transcript of an interview him on the official site and he says he discovered Objectivism as a teenager and according to either the same interview or a different one he started the series as an adult when he was building a house for him and his wife. At the time he had only planned to do WFR and only for himself. But then halfway through writing it he realised that others would want to read it, so he decided to submit it to a publisher.

I think the pinnacle of the series is Faith of the Fallen, which has a nice treatment of Objectivist aesthetics wrapped into a riveting story line.

No disagreement there. It is the most explicately Objectivist book of the series. However, I think all three of the Chainfire Trilogy (for Tenure, that is Chainfire, Phantom, and Confessor, the last three books of the SoT series) come close. In fact I think Richard's speech at the end of Confessor is better than the one he gave at the end of Faith of the Fallen. I also think that the Wizard's 9th and 10th Rules are almost as good as the 6th Rule, especially the 10th.

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I did enjoy Richard's speech at the end of Confessor very much. To say why would be to spoil the ending, though, so I'll say no more :D

Yes, it would, which is why I said no more. All I can really say without giving even a tiny spoiler is that the speech was better than the one in Faith of the Fallen and only Galt's speech beats it. I was really impressed with Goodkind.

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Sorry to bump such an old topic, but I think I should point out that the reason so many people who aren't ordinarily fantasy fans like TG is because he is not a fantasy author. He claims to be a general fiction author with only a fantasy element to his writing. He himself is not a big fan of fantasy. His work outside the fantasy genre is at least as good as his work inside, as you can see if you read The Law of Nines.

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Goodkind was were I got my introduction to Objectivism. I have the important Wizard's Rules tucked away in my memory for personal use.

They didn't make me an Objectivist, however. I read them, and the later discovered that they were related to this philosophy called "Objectivism". I searched wikipedia and skimmed through the article on Rand's philosophy and didn't really take much from it.

Having now read Atlas Shrugged, the Fountainhead, VoS, part of OPAR etc I can say that it's no wonder the guys who come straight from Goodkind are Objectivists in their self-proclamations only. Goodkind hardly scratches the surface of what is a vast well of insight into the human condition and life in general.

The only problems I do have with Goodkind's SoT series is that I felt some of the speeches Richard gave seemed possibly a little out of character. When Galt made his speech, it made perfect sense given the total context of the story. Every event had been in some way leading to Galt's speech. Not so much the case with Richard.

Also, when you stop and think about the plot of each book... well lets just say it starts to get kind of repetitive after the sixth of seventh book.

And according to Goodkind's website, there is a new Richard + Kahlan book to come.

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