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Terry Goodkind "Sword of Truth"

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Answer truthfully - which is your favorite of Terry Goodkind's novels?  

52 members have voted

  1. 1. Answer truthfully - which is your favorite of Terry Goodkind's novels?

    • Wizard's First Rule
      3
    • Stone of Tears
      7
    • Blood of the Fold
      1
    • Temple of the Winds
      1
    • Soul of Fire
      0
    • Faith of the Fallen
      17
    • The Pillars of Creation
      0
    • Naked Empire
      0
    • Debt of Bones (Novelette)
      0


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Yeah, I do -- and I hardly slept during that time.

Matt - why do you think SOT is so suspenseful?

Whether or not he's read it, Goodkind follows Rand's advice from Art of Fiction: if you wish to create drama, make life as hard as possible for your characters. It's actually sometimes hard to read Goodkind's books when he really starts to pour it on... he's uncomfortably good at it. He also does good work with standard literary devices like foreshadowing (prophecies).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Overall I enjoyed Stone of Tears the most.

I give it bonus points for the way it started. The plot of the first novel centered around trying to prevent the villain from opening a magic box that would grant him tremendous power. The second book starts with the heroes standing around the open box, scratching their heads and saying (in essence) "So now what do we do? Close the box, or what?"

That just strikes me funny for some reason.

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That's a real shame. The series as a whole is a masterpiece. It's a must for anyone interested in philosophy. Most of the *meat* is held in the fourth book, "God Emporer of Dune," whic could conceivably be read independently from the others. Although the last two, "Heretics of Dune" and "Chapterhouse: Dune" may be of most interest to Objectivists, as they focus a lot on the philosophy of Herbert's Mentat logicians, and the pitfalls of the Bene Gesserit's mysticism.

I read the first three volumes of Dune a long time ago. Weren't all subsequent books in the series by Frank Herbert's son? It looked to me like the son was just cashing in on his father's legacy, so I didn't bother to read them. Perhaps I will have to do so now, however.

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I read the first three volumes of Dune a long time ago.  Weren't all subsequent books in the series by Frank Herbert's son?  It looked to me like the son was just cashing in on his father's legacy, so I didn't bother to read them.  Perhaps I will have to do so now, however.

Frank Herbert actually wrote 6 Dune books:

Dune

Dune Messiah

Children of Dune

God Emporer of Dune

Heretics of Dune

Chapterhouse: Dune

He had a 7th in the works (working title was Dune 7), before his death. The structure was supposed to be as follows:

1 trilogy that takes place within a fairly short time span (30 years)

3000 years pass

God Emporer of Dune

It is set apart choronologically from the rest of the story for a reason; God Emporer of Dune is what Dune is about; its corollary in Rand's works would be Galt's speech.

another few thousand years pass

Another trilogy that takes place within a fairly short time span, which went unfinished.

Herbert's son, Brian Herbert, did capitalize on his father's fame by writing other "Dune" books , but they are little more than fan-fiction and have many, many, many glaring contradictions with the original series. I read two of them before giving up out of disgust. He is currently working on Dune 7, using his father's notes as a guide. I would much rather see the notes published. It breaks my heart to see this story go unfinished. It's one of the most profound things I've ever read.

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I am thinking of reading Goodkind's novels. Where should I start? Should I start at the first one and read them all in sequence? From what I hear he has improved as a novelist since his first books. Would it be necessary to go back that far? Also, are his novels self contained or is it necessary to read the whole series like Tolkein.

Another question, what do people here think of Michael Moorecock and his albino Prince Elric of Melnibone? I remember reading these novels in highschool. They are much darker than Tolkein and far more tragic, but I do remember them being well written. Elric suffers like no other fantasy figure I've seen.

Update: I have been researching Goodkind at Amazon. Of all the books of the series, The Faith Of The Fallen looks the most interesting. It seems to be an expose of collectivism. Also I get a kick at the reviewers. Many criticize the book for being a "political pamphlet" and negatively portraying communism which they say is like beating a dead horse. (These reviewers are probably liberals or libertarians.) If I knew nothing else about the book other than it pissed of liberals, that would make me want to read it alone.

I'd like to start with Faith Of The Fallen and see how I like the series. Can I do that and not compromise my enjoyment of Goodkind's work? I don't really have time to read 8 novels of 800 page length.

Also, is there any truth to some of the claims that Goodkind plagerized Rand? Some pro-Rand reviewers actually criticized the book saying that the characters were straight out of The Fountainhead.

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Frank Herbert actually wrote 6 Dune books:

Dune

Dune Messiah

Children of Dune

God Emporer of Dune

Heretics of Dune

Chapterhouse: Dune

He had a 7th in the works (working title was Dune 7), before his death.

Wow, I guess I was mixed up about that. I remember it as a classic science fiction novel with two super-fighting nations: the Imperial Sardaukar, and the desert tribe Fremen. Into that came the noble family of Atreides, Duke Leto, and his son Paul. There were a lot of philosophical asides, written as extracts from old chronicles, or sayings of the Bene Gesserits, used as introductions to all the chapters. I will definitely look into the next three books. Thanks for the information.

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Also, is there any truth to some of the claims that Goodkind plagerized Rand? Some pro-Rand reviewers actually criticized the book saying that the characters were straight out of The Fountainhead.

I don't believe he's ever done that - some of the stuff in FotF is almost paraphrasing stuff from VoS, and I believe he uses "A is A" once or twice, but I certainly don't think that there was any explicit and, furthermore, deliberate, copying.

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  • 3 weeks later...

argive99 said:

"I am thinking of reading Goodkind's novels. Where should I start? Should I start at the first one and read them all in sequence? From what I hear he has improved as a novelist since his first books. Would it be necessary to go back that far? Also, are his novels self contained or is it necessary to read the whole series like Tolkein."
I would recommend that you read them in sequence, 1st-8th. The flow from book to book is extremely tight. The beginning of the third was eight hours after the end of the second (correct if I'm wrong, but it's been awhile). He does recap quite a bit though, so you wouldn't be completely confused. So my final answer would be to read them in order. His early books are so good, you won't want to miss them, and by the time you get to the eight book, you will be rooting for them from start to finish.

argive99 said:

I'd like to start with Faith Of The Fallen and see how I like the series. Can I do that and not compromise my enjoyment of Goodkind's work? I don't really have time to read 8 novels of 800 page length.

If you can't read them all then go ahead and read Faith of the Fallen. It is the most philosophically challenging of his books.

argive99 said:

Also, is there any truth to some of the claims that Goodkind plagerized Rand? Some pro-Rand reviewers actually criticized the book saying that the characters were straight out of The Fountainhead.

The only thing he 'copied' is the heroic nature and there love for life. The concepts that made Rand's characters so great are similar to Terry's but that is not plagiarizing.

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  • 1 year later...

I am looking for a short (say, 500 word) write-up that has the following message: if you love Terry Goodkind, take a closer look at Objectivism.

Ideally, such a write-up would show the key elements in one or more Goodkind hero, and summarize that hero's philosophy. Of the Goodkind fans who are aware of Objectivism, but are not Objectivists, are there any common misconceptions about Objectivism? If so, such a write up would (ideally) address the misconception briefly -- just enough to let someone think that they should take a closer look to judge the facts for themselves.

I have never read any of Goodkind's books, so I cannot do this myself. The posts on the Terry Goodkind fan site have assorted snippets. A search of the web brings up links where Goodkind says (or others say) his philosophy is Objectivism. Is there something on the web that would be more like what I have described?

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That would be a very good tool. I've read all the published books, and spoken with non-Objectivist Goodkind fans. This doesn't answer your question, but I'd say the thing that stands out about these people is their interpretation of what Goodkind calls "Wizard's First Rule." His wizards have a set of rules, and this one is "People are stupid. They will believe anything they want to be true or fear to be true." With this rule, I've noticed these fans approach people as generally "stupid until proven otherwise."

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... People are stupid ...
Does this mean people are stupid as opposed to wizards?

As part of my experiments with Google Ads, I ran a teaser using a Goodkind search and another using a Heinlein search. I found that both get pretty good conversion rates. The number of impressions for Goodkind ads far surpassed my expectation, and many times the impressions of Heinlein ads).

It's really important that the "clicker" comes to is a place that creates interest. If someone clicks on a "Terry Goodkind is an Objectivist" ad, they should be presented something that validates that narrow teaser and creates interest. If they land at a place where they see something too general about Objectivism, it can actually backfire... the person could feel duped, consider the ad to have been spam and end up with a slightly reduced chance of ever clicking on Objectivism again.

Hence my thought that to "productionize" such an ad, I would need a write-up like I described.

Having slept on it, I think that a gimmicky write-up might work well: e.g. something written in an overtly Goodkind style, with Goodkind heroes talking .. like ad-copy that we see... which we sometimes read even though we think we probably don't want to buy the product.

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I first encountered it a number of years ago and became more and more a fan of it as the books progressed.

This was before I had encountered Objectivism (which sadly is almost totally unheard of here. I would estimate about one in a few thousand people here have any idea what it is). I realised though that the philosophies key to the novel and the series as a whole were valid and so I made a greater effort to live my life according to such principles. Before encountering Goodkind I had lived my life by a number of them (for instance I had beleived that selfishness as Ayn defines it is a a virtue).

Then I encounterd Objectivism through Goodkind, through a link on his website. And I found that I had received a comprehensive introduction to the philosophy. This is one of the reasons I love the series. Because he presents Objectivism in such a great way, using a reasonably interesting abstraction along with great characters.

My favorite was book six, Faith of the Fallen. It was in this book that he best presented his interpretation of Objectivism. Faith of the Fallen, as the Sixth Rule is the pivotal point of the novels, is in many ways the pivotal point of the series.

About the only complaint I do have is that the last two, Pillars of Creation and Naked Empire have been relatively poor compared to the rest. I have yet to read Chainfire, but I have heard it is quite good with a particulary good message (Wizards Rule).

Edited by Prometheus98876
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Does this mean people are stupid as opposed to wizards?

It means that people generally are stupid or that they tend to act in a stupid manner alot of the time. This in theory does not include trained wizards as the Rules and various other parts of their training should mean that this does not imply to them.

Here is how I interpret the Rules:

The Rules exist for this reason, to ensure that wizards are aware of the many critical failures of people and what these failures are. The wizards are expected to fully understand the Rules and every aspect of them and how they apply to every decision they may make as a wizard. For it is the mastery of the Rules, and the wizards duty to the rational behaviour demanded by the Rules, that set the wizards aside almost as much as the wizards ability to use magic.

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I would recommend that you read them in sequence, 1st-8th.

I just started the series by reading "Wizard's First Rule".

...  what Goodkind calls "Wizard's First Rule.".  His wizards have a set of rules, and this one is "People are stupid. They will believe anything they want to be true or fear to be true.".

It means that people generally are stupid or that they tend to act in a stupid manner alot of the time. This in theory does not include trained wizards as the Rules and various other parts of their training should mean that this does not imply to them.

See these quotations from the book:

[Darken Rahl] uses the Wizard's First Rule to do most of the work for him.  This is what makes our job so hard.  He gets people on his side because people don't care about the truth; they do his bidding because they believe what they want to, and fight to the death for these beliefs, despite how false they are.

"Wizard's First Rule," Richard announced with a wisp of a smile.  "The first step to believing something is wanting to believe it is true ... or being afraid it is."

................

"You have tricked a wizard with his own rule.  Not one of my wizards was ever able to do that."

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I just started the series by reading "Wizard's First Rule".

See these quotations from the book:

OK... it does include Wizards as Book One shows, but in theory it is supposed to minimise the chance of this happening. Though of course it still does happen from time to time...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello to all at the forum here (first-time poster). I also was introduced to Ayn Rand through Terry Goodkind and I have enjoyed all his books and the 3 fictions I have read of Miss Rand's (I haven't gotten a copy of We the living as yet).

The Sword of Truth series is now on book 9 and will finish the last 3-book story-arc with book 11. Since looking into O'ist philosophy I have found very little that contradicts it in the actions of Richard Cypher and I think Mr Goodkind shouldn't be scorned for a percieved lack of vision in his earlier books. Try rereading them to see if you missed the small points he was making even in WFR; you'll probably find that he has just clarified the essential philosophy as the series has progressed- as someone on the fan-forums said, the books are a good "primer for philosophy". Also, since he is one of the few authors of today writing (successful) fiction with O'ist intentions perhaps a little more respect should be due for the guy with the vision and talent to bring it back into popular, and widespread, reception.

Anyway, I'm glad to have found this forum and look forward to learning (and maybe posting) more in the future.

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