Temple of the Winds - Terry Goodkind

I started reading the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind at the beginning of this year because a friend from Shelfari highly recommended the series. Temple of the Winds is the fourth book in the series and continues the story of Richard and Kahlan and their adventures through the Midlands. A terrible plague has broken out in the Midlands and threatens to kill many inhabitants. Through investigation, Richard and Kahlan learn that the Emperor Jagang has unleashed the plague through the use of magic. Men, women, and children alike are all afflicted and few recover. In addition, a prophecy has been revealed that Richard will either have to let the plague go unchecked in which case he will die, or if he chooses to try to find a cure for the plague he will be destroyed in the process. Richard and Kahlan also find out that another prophecy has said that they are both destined to marry other people.

The prophecies themselves made the book quite interesting. They are revealed quite early in the book so I was really interested in finding out how it would all play out. The storyline was more compelling in Temple of the Winds than in Blood of the Fold and I found that I liked this book better than Blood of the Fold. There were some characters that I wasn't overly fond of (Nadine) and a storyline that I thought was extraneous (Zedd and Anne). In addition to the plague, there is a serial killer on the loose that is murdering women. I really found that storyline to be the most compelling in the book because it was the most mysterious. I found myself trying to figure out who it was through most of the book and actually wished Goodkind had written a little more of that story. The politics of the novel was definitely interesting if a little underdeveloped, but overall I like reading how Richard chooses to lead the Midlands and how he deals with people from other lands.

I have to admit that overall I am needing to take a break from The Sword of Truth series. The books are anywhere between 600-800+ pages so I am feeling the fatigue of reading the books. Since it is a series, there is a lot of repetition in the books. I'm sure they were written that way to remind the reader of what happened in the previous book since there was an obvious delay between publication of each book. When I read them one after another, I get kind of tired of the constant reminding of what happened. I also am just ready to read something shorter because I feel like I spend half my month just reading one book. I'm also ready for a little more variety in my reading so I am going to take a break for a month or two from this series. I want to be able to honestly review the book rather than get bitter about series because I'm finding it to be a burden.

I am told that the sixth book, Faith of the Fallen is fantastic so I will continue reading the series. I'm enjoying it, but I will say that it's not my favorite fantasy series that I've read (that honor would go to Mr. George R.R. Martin and his Song of Ice and Fire series). Still the books are adventurous and interesting enough that I want to keep reading it. Also, Kahlan at one point in the series was about the most awesome female character I've ever read (the book I'm referring to is Stone of Tears where she leads a young, inexperienced army into battle--simply amazing). I'm hoping that she regains some of her greatness because at this point, Goodkind's exploration into her humanness has begun to overshadow her role as the Mother Confessor and the awesome inner and outer person that it makes her. I am definitely still wanting to know how all the characters continue to develop so the series is compelling. I just need a break!


scrabblequeen said...

I finally finished Wizard's First Rule, and I'm definately (at least) taking a break. I don't really like dark fantasy, and Goodkind definately does!

Carin said...

Yeah, his fantasy is definitely dark. It's not appropriate for children to read. Honestly, it stays pretty dark. I saw you wrote on Shelfari that your enjoyment definitely decreased when the Mord Sith came into the story. If you really hated that part, I'm just going to warn you that there are portions in each book that are equally dark. Like I said, I enjoy the series, but it's not my favorite. There are so many books out there that if you don't like SoT try something else instead! Life is too short! :)

Cam said...

Love your review Carin!

It does get darker... though that doesn't bother me so much. I'm glad you've made it through Temple of The Winds! I hope you can take a descent break before jumping back into the series!

Arborescence said...

What are you reading next?

Carin said...

I am currently reading The Pacific by Hugh Ambrose and Middlemarch by George Eliot. I might post Middlemarch in sections because I'm reading it with someone from Shelfari and we are setting intermittent goals for ourselves.

@Karen (Arborescence)- What are you reading now?

Kah Woei said...

Hmm ... I've yet to read the Sword of Truth series although it looked interesting when I first heard about the books. But at the time I was already reading and following quite a few fantasy series, so I thought I'd wait. Now, I've been hearing that the last few books aren't quite as good as the first ones. Is this true ?

Carin said...

I haven't finished reading through the series, but I will say that Wizard's First Rule and Stone of Tears were both really good. Blood of the Fold was just ok and Temple of the Winds was a little better than Blood of the Fold. I've heard Faith of the Fallen is great so I'm going to keep reading, but I don't suggest reading them all in a row because Goodkind can be repetitive.

John Loyd said...

My buddy was visiting many years ago and I gave him a Borders gift card (That's how I redeem my Discover cashback bonus). He immediately went out to Borders and brought back A Game of Thrones and told me to read.

We regularly talk on the phone and once every six months or so he'll ask if I've started a game of thrones. To which my reply is usually "I'm waiting for you to make the first move."

Now that I see you're giving it higher praise than SoT, I'll have to get around to reading it.

Carin said...

@John - I cannot sing the praises of George R.R. Martin enough. Game of Thrones is amazing! When you get to it, let me know! I really want to know what you think of it!

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