Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind

There are a few fantasy series that most every fantasy fan has read. The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind seems to be one of those series. Every fantasy group on Shelfari seems to have loads of people talking about it and how great it is. Because of this, I decided to pick up the series and give it a try. Wizard's First Rule is the first book in the Sword of Truth series. Richard Cypher is a young woods guide who meets and aids a young woman on the run from a group of men in the forest of Hartland. Little does he know that this encounter is the beginning of his destiny. The woman Kahlan is searching for the wizard that can help her save her land from Darken Rahl. Richard decides to help her and in the process finds out that he is the Seeker. He is given the Sword of Truth (which can only be used by The Seeker) by his wizard friend to aid him in his quest to stop Darken Rahl from opening the Three Boxes of Orden which would give him control over all life and death.

Richard and Kahlan's relationship is very interesting throughout the book. She keeps a secret about herself from Richard because she is afraid that he would not receive the information well. Goodkind did a good job keeping up the suspense and weaving the secret into the story so that I was constantly wondering what it was myself! Almost every chapter ends on a cliffhanger as well so I found it difficult to stop reading. The book's 820 pages read so fast that I didn't even realize how fast I was going. I really got sucked into the story and adventure of their journey. There were a few parts in the book that are not appropriate for younger readers -- there is torture in the book and a few absolutely brutal scenes which might bother a really young reader. An employee at Barnes and Noble told me that there were younger kids around 10-12 that were coming in to get the books because they had seen the Legend of the Seeker show which is based on The Sword of Truth series. If you are a parent, you might want to read the book first to see if your child can handle those parts.

Overall, I thought the book was excellent. I gave the book 4.5 out of 5 stars because there were two things that really irritated me. There was a very Tolkien-esque character in the book which made me groan a little. The Sword is also somewhat similar to Tolkien, but it didn't bother me because Terry Brooks also had a book with a sword that in my opinion, borrowed from Tolkien. Let's face it. Tolkien was great and it's hard not to be influenced by him! There was also another part of the story which made me groan a little because to me it was obvious, but to others it might not be so I am not going to give it away here. Besides those two relatively minor things, I absolutely loved the book and can't wait to pick up the rest of the series.

Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge

TV Show: Legend of the Seeker

As part of the Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge that I'm taking part in this year, I decided to watch the Legend of the Seeker show by streaming it off of Netflix. There are 22 episodes in the first season and to avoid ruining any of the other books for me (I am going to start book two of the series, Stone of Tears in a few weeks), I have only watched four episodes so far, but I feel like I can safely say that the series isn't anything like the book. The characters and their occupations are from the books, but the story is vastly different from the book. I am not very impressed with the series and would prefer if they said that it was "inspired by" the Sword of Truth rather than "based on" the series.

It's not that the series isn't enjoyable. If I hadn't read the books, I might enjoy the series. The producer of the series, Sam Raimi, also produced Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. I really enjoyed the schlockiness and tongue-in-cheekness of Hercules. I just think that too much of the story is completely different from the books to say that it is "based on" the books. That being said, I have only read Wizard's First Rule and have only watched four episodes of the show. It's possible that I could change my mind later on. I think I am just disappointed that Terry Goodkind's masterful story has been taken apart and turned into something that is almost not recognizable as his work.

If you have read the books and watched the series, what do you think?


Anonymous said...

I put this on my TBR list after the group chose it. I don't know when I'll get to it, but I appreciate the review. (and warnings)

Carin said...

It's definitely a worthwhile read. It was really engrossing all the way through. I was never bored.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of this series before, but it looks good. The Sword of Truth sounds like it has a little Excalibur vibe to it as well, which could be very cool. Glad you enjoyed Wizards First Rule, hopefully the next tv episode will be more based on the book rather than inspired.

Sam Wilson | Credit Cards for Students said...

Honestly, I've never known of Terry Goodkind's books. But I've been watching Legend of the Seeker, and was quite surprised when my friend told me "Hey Sam did you know Legend of the Seeker was actually based on a series of about a dozen or so books?" I was like "For real?". It's a little embarassing to admit actually. :)

Carin B. said...

@Sam - I actually hadn't heard of the Sword of Truth books until this year. They are pretty fun books, but I had to take a break after the fourth because they are SO long! Do you think you'll read the books? The first two were really good and while I enjoyed the other two I read, they are not as good as the first too (still good though). I finished the first season of Legend of the Seeker, and I can definitively say that they are completely different in tone from the books. I'd be interested to see what you think of the books!

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