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The Sword of Truth

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LucentBrave
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Good news for Terry Goodkind fans:

Book 9 of the Sword of Truth series, entitled "Chainfire," was released on January 4th. I recently ordered it, and I'm anxiously anticipating it's arrival.

P.S. It's good to see everyone again. The military life has kept me quite busy these past few months.

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I've heard of Goodkind, and want to give him a try. Which book would you fans recommend I start with? (Let me know which book is the first book in a series -- I hate to buy a book, get all psyched to read it, and then discover that I've got to go back and find the previous book).

I'll come right out and boast my vast knowledge of the series by giving you a full list of past and future titles:

1) Wizard's First Rule

2) Stone of Tears

3) Blood of the Fold

4) Temple of the Winds

5) Soul of the Fire

6) Faith of the Fallen

7) Pillars of Creation

8) Naked Empire

9) Chainfire

10) ?

11) ?

That is to say, that there are only two more books to go.

The best (both by my own and by popular opinion) title is Faith of the Fallen, as well as being the most philosophically and emotionally compelling. This is the first novel where the Objectivist influence is not merely hinted at, but comes on full force.

I've heard at least one person on this board complain that they weren't very fond of the first few titles. If you think you'll only read these books for the Objectivism in them, try Faith of the Fallen. You can always pick up the first book later. If you enjoy fantasy novels anyway, start with the first book and read the series start to finish.

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I'm currently on the third book in the series (after a LENGTHY pause after reading the first two) and I'm not really enjoying them very much. His writing is very heavy-handed (according to me) and at least twice he stops the story entirely for topical vignettes about, it appears, his favorite gripes.

The writing reminds me too much of stereotypical "series" fantasy: David Eddings, Robert Jordan, Mercedes Lackey . . . I don't know whether I'm developing better taste or just losing patience.

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I'm currently on the third book in the series (after a LENGTHY pause after reading the first two) and I'm not really enjoying them very much.  His writing is very heavy-handed (according to me) and at least twice he stops the story entirely for topical vignettes about, it appears, his favorite gripes.

The writing reminds me too much of stereotypical "series" fantasy: David Eddings, Robert Jordan, Mercedes Lackey . . . I don't know whether I'm developing better taste or just losing patience.

That's pretty much my reaction to the novels as well. They plod on endlessly, one battle after another after another after another. It's like one 10,000 page novel, and that's way too much. I read the first five books, and regretted the time spent on every one of them. I have the next three as well, but can't force myself to read them. I know the next one in line, Faith of the Fallen, is the one most praised by Objectivists. But there are limits to my "glutton for punishment" tendencies. Goodkind has disappointed me one time too many.

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That's pretty much my reaction to the novels as well.  They plod on endlessly, one battle after another after another after another.  It's like one 10,000 page novel, and that's way too much.  I read the first five books, and regretted the time spent on every one of them.  I have the next three as well, but can't force myself to read them.  I know the next one in line, Faith of the Fallen, is the one most praised by Objectivists.  But there are limits to my "glutton for punishment" tendencies.  Goodkind has disappointed me one time too many.

I enjoyed the first two a lot, the third was OK, the fourth and fifth were largely a waste. Faith of the Fallen was a lot of fun, though, in a fugly Rand-pastiche sort of way. There's a nice extended sequence in it concretizing the harmony-of-interests principle which I think is far and away the best thing Goodkind's written so far. I haven't read beyond that, though.

It's kind of scary to think that Goodkind is the most commercially successful living Objectivist novelist by a wide margin.

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  • 4 weeks later...
I've heard of Goodkind, and want to give him a try. Which book would you fans recommend I start with? (Let me know which book is the first book in a series -- I hate to buy a book, get all psyched to read it, and then discover that I've got to go back and find the previous book).

I encourage you not to listen to the gripes people on here have posted. Try it for yourself by reading Wizards First Rule. What they don't like could bring you great joy. I know for me, Terry Goodkind has filled my life with tremendous happiness. His ability for conflict, drama, and creating vivid pictures is unmatched. There is no more prolific and popular Objectivist fiction writer then Terry Goodkind. I know there are not many Objectivist fiction writers, which makes him even more special.

The writing reminds me too much of stereotypical "series" fantasy: David Eddings, Robert Jordan, Mercedes Lackey . . . I don't know whether I'm developing better taste or just losing patience.

It could be that you don't know enough about David Eddings or the other popular fiction authors. I'd really like to see you back this snipe remark with some facts. Terry is a class of his own compared to them. Just because there's magic and monsters involved, does not all of a sudden make him 'just another fantasy author'.

P.S. Hold on iouswuoibev! It's such a great book, and you really wont want to know any spoilers. If you haven't already recieved the book.

Edited by Michelangelo
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Ok, TG and AR fans, answer me this: Which Ayn Rand character is Terry Goodkind's Dalton Campbell (book 5, "Soul of the Fire") most like?

A) Gail Wynand

:huh: Andrei Taganov

C) A little bit of both.

Campbell liked to "work the crowd" (i.e. sought power for its own sake), and this eventually backfired on him. (Similarity: Wynand.)

Also, Campbell finally saw the depravity of his "ideals" when his wife, who believed in them consistently, whored herself out to the "Sovereign." (Similarity: Taganov. Sort of.)

I think I'd have to go with A, mostly.

And the best part: the brief conversation between Richard and Dalton at the end:

Dalton: "I think we could have been friends, had circumstances been different" (kind of like Roark and Wynand.)

...

Dalton: "You may kill me now, if you wish."

Richard: "No, I'm going to do something much worse: I'm going to leave you to the consequences of your own actions." (AS, italics mine.)

My thoughts on the series: the first two were excellent, the third, fourth, and fifth were terribly boring (except for the psychological profile of Cambell in #5, discussed above), and the sixth was like a new presentation of Atlas Shrugged (in other words, no original philosophy, but still worth reading for some of the plot and dialogue.)

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I loved the whole series. I got Chainfire on the day of it's release, and read it within less than a week.

There is too much explicit philosophy IMHO in Naked Empire, and in various places along the series.

However, altogether this is one of the best fantasy series I've read - if not the best. And the characters and events are unforgettable.

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I loved them all. I've read the entire series twice and a number of them three times and I just love the way he tells stories. Very inventive and adventurous. I think there is a huge plus in being able to continue stories over a series because you can reveal more of the characters in a number of different situations. The fact that Richard is fighting battle after battle (although very different battles in very different ways) shows that life is a constant process of motion and of achieving values. They are essentially adventure stories and what kind of adventure has no battle (in any form)?

I think saying that Faith of the Fallen was another presentation of Atlas Shrugged is completely off base. There may be the same philosophy behind it (because it is the philosophy of life) and it may be approaching the same topic but both Rand and Goodkind do it in their own way. There is a lot of Goodkind's sense of life in his stories that really shine through.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I love this series, and indeed it is my favorite fantasy series. The characters, wiith all of their evident flaws and strengths, locked in the fantasy equivelent, in many cases, of those we face as invividuals or as a society, are compelling.

Few authors portray real characters that act so human, as Goodkind. And this, despite their fantasy context and often fantasic powers, make them more beleivable than many characters in even non-fantasy novels.

That and the themes and messages of the novels, are largely ones I agree with, Ie the Wizards Sixth Rule.

He breathes a rare light to the fantasy genre - by bringing often deep , philosphical meaning to his work. Fantasy is merely the vessel for the expression of his world view, a vehicle that sweeps up the reader in its path and takes him or her on a tour or human nature and the value of reason and Terrys beleif that life is of the highest value...both being concepts that I suspect are familiar to you.... :)

Though I will say one thing that is not so praising. he seems to be stumbling with the progress of the novels, seemingly up until Chainfire possibly (I have yet to read i.

Edited by KantSpell4...
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I've read the series up to Naked Empire, then stopped. Faith of the Fallen was brilliant. Pillars of Creation and Naked Empire? Predictable, pedestrian, nonsensical trash in my humble opinion. I have no idea what happened to him between FotF and PoC, but for some reason, those last two books were painful for me to read -- especially when compared against Faith of the Fallen, which was spectacular.

Am I alone in thinking the last two entries were just atrociously awful when compared to the other six?

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I've read the series up to Naked Empire, then stopped. Faith of the Fallen was brilliant. Pillars of Creation and Naked Empire? Predictable, pedestrian, nonsensical trash in my humble opinion. I have no idea what happened to him between FotF and PoC, but for some reason, those last two books were painful for me to read -- especially when compared against Faith of the Fallen, which was spectacular.

Am I alone in thinking the last two entries were just atrociously awful when compared to the other six?

No, they are regarded by the majority of people as being the two worst books in the series. Though I don't hate them, they don't stand up to any of the others.

Why did you stop just because two books were bad, when you enjoyed the previous six? The odds are still good that the next book will be worth reading, and indeed, Chainfire is.

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I do not think that the last two before Chainfire were bad as such, Pillar of Creation was one of the worst book in the series. However, I would not say they were bad, they might have stumbled abit, and the plot development might be flawed to some extent, but still were of merit.

I have heard it said that seven and eight were almost like press releases, stating yet more of Terrys world views, and answering a few questions, such as those relating to the Old World., and not advancements of the series.

I dont think that is quite true, the Naked Empire definetely does a litle for the progress of the series, and I admire Terry for taking an different standpoint for Book Seven, giving us a break from Richard and Kahlan, and a good insight into De Hara. And NE answered a key question - is it possible to recreate weapons of magic? And of course ,it is, a chilling thought.

Hopefully, after taking a different stance for a while, im hoping that with Chainfire, he has picked things up and will start a satisfactory end to the Order storyline. Personally, I dont know what enemy he might use if he does indeed resume the series after Book Eleven, the end of the planned series, but Im sure he will think of something.

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Actually I enjoyed Pillars of Creation and Naked Empire emensely. I know many people feel that these books didn't "move" the plot along in the way the fans would have hoped and liked. Also if you think about the books in a strict military sense, especially Naked Empire, Richard was able to take a valuable resource away from the Order.

Yet, it is also my contention that many a fan don't understand the shift of the plot that the story had to take in once the Order is introduced the plot is no longer something straight forward nor even the war itself. The reason for this is found in the opening chapters of Faith of the Fallen when Richard Realizes the Sixth Rule for himself and the results of the aftermath of what occured in Soul of Fire. Also it is rather ironic that goodkind shifted the series in this direction because one can draw a comparison in the later books to the so called war on terror.

Edited by Richard Roark
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Hi, I read Wisards First Rule several years ago but was sidetracked by "Wheel of Time". I see that "Faith of the Fallen" is the most liked on this forum, can you skip through the series and read FotF on its own?

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Hi, I read Wisards First Rule several years ago but was sidetracked by "Wheel of Time". I see that "Faith of the Fallen" is the most liked on this forum, can you skip through the series and read FotF on its own?

Yes, they are all complete, stand-alone novels, with the exception of Chainfire.

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Yes, they are technically stand alone novels and terry does a good job of going through letting people know what happens in previous books. Yet, it is still apart of an overall series and as such i suggest you reading the from where you left off at. On a side note how far did you go into The Wheel of Time?

Edited by Richard Roark
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