Phantom (Sword of Truth Series #10)

Phantom (Sword of Truth Series #10)

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by Terry Goodkind

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On the day she awoke remembering nothing but her name, Kahlan Amnell became the most dangerous woman alive. For everyone else, that was the day that the world began to end.

As her husband, Richard, desperately searches for his beloved, whom only he remembers, he knows that if she doesn't soon discover who she really is, she will unwittingly become the

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On the day she awoke remembering nothing but her name, Kahlan Amnell became the most dangerous woman alive. For everyone else, that was the day that the world began to end.

As her husband, Richard, desperately searches for his beloved, whom only he remembers, he knows that if she doesn't soon discover who she really is, she will unwittingly become the instrument that will unleash annihilation. But Kahlan learns that if she ever were to unlock the truth of her lost identity, then evil itself would finally possess her, body and soul.

If she is to survive in a murky world of deception and betrayal, where life is not only cheap but fleeting, Kahlan must find out why she is such a central figure in the war-torn world swirling around her. What she uncovers are secrets darker than she could ever have imagined.

Editorial Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
With only one installment left until Terry Goodkind's mammoth Sword of Truth series concludes, the jaw-dropping revelations in Phantom -- the tenth novel in the epic fantasy and the second volume in the Chainfire trilogy -- sets the stage for an equally thrilling and bittersweet finale that readers have been anticipating for more than a decade. (The first volume of the Sword of Truth, Wizard's First Rule, was released in 1994.)

As the Seeker of Truth Richard Rahl continues to look for his wife, Kahlan, and somehow free her from the Chainfire spell -- which, in essence, has made her invisible to those around her and has erased her from the memories of everyone who knew her -- she is unwillingly traveling with three malevolent Sisters of the Dark en route to a destiny that has the potential "to unravel the world itself." On his quest, however, Richard is forced to accept some grim realizations: As he is chasing a phantom and trying to save one person, the rest of the world is descending into unimaginable horror. Emperor Jagang and the sadistic Imperial Order forces are on the verge of subjugating the entire New World and the powerful magic that once flowed across the realm has been tainted and is corrupting everything it comes in contact with. "It's as if all that was this world is passing into a realm of mere legend…"

One of the most ambitious fantasy sagas ever undertaken, Phantom includes bombshells that will have Sword of Truth fans practically climbing the walls in anticipation for the 11th and final volume. You want the Truth? You can't handle the Truth! Paul Goat Allen

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Tom Doherty Associates
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Sword of Truth Series , #10
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By Terry Goodkind, Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Tom Doherty Associates

Copyright © 2006 Terry Goodkind
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-8509-3


Kahlan stood quietly in the shadows, watching, as evil knocked softly on the door. Huddled under the small overhang, off to the side, she hoped that no one would answer that knock. As much as she would like to spend the night in out of the rain, she didn't want trouble to visit innocent people. She knew, though, that she had no say in the matter.

The light of a single lantern flickered weakly through the slender windows to either side of the door, reflecting a pale, shimmering glow off the wet floor of the portico. The sign overhead, hung by two iron rings, grated and squealed each time it swung back and forth in the wind-borne rain. Kahlan was able to make out the spectral white shape of a horse painted on the dark, wet sign. The light from the windows wasn't enough to enable her to read the name, but because the other three women with her had talked of little else for days, Kahlan knew that the name would be the White Horse Inn.

By the smell of manure and wet hay, she judged that one of the dark buildings nearby had to be a stable. In the sporadic displays of distant lightning, she could just make out the hulking shoulders of dark structures standing like ghosts beyond the billowing sheets of rain. Despite the steady roar of the deluge and the rumble of thunder, it appeared that the village was sound asleep. Kahlan could think of no better place to be on such a dark and wretched night than bundled up under bed covers, safe and warm.

A horse in the nearby stable whinnied when Sister Ulicia knocked a second time, louder, more insistently, evidently intending herself to be heard over the riot of rain, yet not so loud as to sound hostile. Sister Ulicia, a woman given to reckless impulse, seemed to be taking a deliberately restrained approach. Kahlan didn't know why, but imagined that it had to do with the reason they were there. It also might have been nothing more than the random nature of her moods. Like lightning, the woman's smoldering bad temper was not only dangerous but unpredictable. Kahlan couldn't always tell exactly when Sister Ulicia would lash out, and just because she so far hadn't didn't mean that she wouldn't. Neither of the other two Sisters was in any better mood or any less inclined toward losing their temper. Kahlan supposed that soon enough the three of them would be happy and quietly celebrating the reunion. Lightning flashed close enough that the blinding but halting incandescence briefly revealed a whole street of buildings crowded close around the muddy, rutted road. Thunder boomed through the mountainous countryside and shook the ground beneath their feet.

Kahlan wished that there was something — like the way lightning revealed things otherwise hidden in the obscurity of night — that could help illuminate the hidden memories of her past and bring to light what was concealed by the murky mystery of who she was. She had a fierce longing to be free of the Sisters, a burning desire to live her own life — to know what her life really was. That much she knew about herself. She knew, too, that her convictions had to be founded in experience. It was obvious to her that there had to be something there — people and events — that had helped make her the woman she was, but try as she might to recall them, they were lost to her.

That terrible day she stole the boxes for the Sisters, she had promised herself that someday she would find the truth of who she was, and she would be free.

When Sister Ulicia knocked a third time, a muffled voice came from inside.

"I heard you!" It was a man's voice. His bare feet thumped down wooden stairs. "I'll be right there! A moment, please!"

His annoyance at having been awakened in the middle of the night was layered over with forced deference to potential customers.

Sister Ulicia turned a sullen look on Kahlan. "You know that we have business here." She lifted a cautionary finger before Kahlan's face. "Don't you even think of giving us any trouble, or you'll get what you got the last time."

Kahlan swallowed at the reminder. "Yes, Sister Ulicia."

"Tovi had better have gotten us a room," Sister Cecilia complained. "I'm in no mood to be told the place is full."

"There will be room," Sister Armina said with soothing assurance, cutting off Sister Cecilia's habit of always assuming the worst.

Sister Armina wasn't older, like Sister Cecilia, but nearly as young and attractive as Sister Ulicia. To Kahlan, though, their looks were insignificant in light of their inner nature. To Kahlan, they were vipers.

"One way or another," Sister Ulicia added under her breath as she glared at the door, "there will be room."

Lightning arced through the greenish, roiling clouds, releasing an earsplitting boom of thunder.

The door opened a crack. The shadowed face of a man peered out at them as he worked to button up his trousers under his nightshirt. He moved his head a little to each side so that he could take in the strangers. Judging them to be less than dangerous, he pulled open the door and with a sweeping gesture ushered them inside.

"Come on in, then," he said. "All of you."

"Who is it?" A woman called out as she descended the stairs to the rear. She carried a lantern in one hand and held the hem of her nightdress up with the other so that she wouldn't trip on it as she hurried down the steps.

"Four women traveling in the middle of a rainy night," the man told her, his gruff tone alluding to what he thought of such a practice.

Kahlan froze in midstride. He'd said "four women."

He had seen all four of them and had remembered as much long enough to say so. As far as she could recall, such a thing had never happened before. No one but her masters, the four Sisters — the three with her and the one they had come to meet — ever remembered seeing her.

Sister Cecilia shoved Kahlan in ahead of her, apparently not catching the significance of the remark.

"Well for goodness' sake," the woman said as she hurried between the two plank tables. She tsked at the foul weather as the wind drove a rattle of rain against the windows. "Do get them in out of that awful weather, Orlan."

Streamers of fat raindrops chased them in the door, wetting a patch of pine floor. The man's mouth twisted with displeasure as he pushed the door closed against a wet gust and then dropped the heavy iron bar back in the brackets to bolt the door.

The woman, her hair gathered up in a loose bun, lifted her lantern a little as she peered at the late-night guests. Puzzled, she squinted as her gaze swept over the drenched visitors and then back again. Her mouth opened but then she seemed to forget what she had been about to say.

Kahlan had seen that blank look a thousand times and knew that the woman only remembered seeing three callers. No one could ever remember seeing Kahlan long enough to say so. She was as good as invisible. Kahlan thought that maybe because of the darkness and rain the man, Orlan, had merely made a mistake when he'd said to his wife that there were four visitors.

"Come in and get yourselves dry," the woman said as she smiled in earnest warmth. She hooked a hand under Sister Ulicia's arm, drawing her into the small gathering room. "Welcome to the White Horse Inn."

The other two Sisters, openly scrutinizing the room, took off their cloaks and gave them a quick shake before tossing them over a bench at one of the two tables. Kahlan noticed a single dark doorway at the back, beside the stairs. A fireplace made of stacked, flat stones took up most of the wall to the right. The air in the dimly lit room was warm and carried the distractingly enticing aroma of a stew in the iron pot hung from a crane pushed to the side of the hearth. Hot coals glowed out from under a thick layer of feathery ashes.

"You three ladies look like drowned cats. You must be miserable." The woman turned to the man and gestured. "Orlan, get the fire going."

Kahlan saw a young girl of maybe eleven or twelve years slip down the stairs just far enough so she could see into the room from under the low ceiling. Her long white nightdress with ruffled cuffs had a pony stitched in coarse brown thread on the front, with a row of loose strands of dark yarn making up the mane and tail. The girl sat on the steps to watch, tenting her nightdress over her bony knees. Her grin revealed big teeth that she had yet to grow into. Strangers arriving in the middle of the night apparently was an adventure at the White Horse Inn. Kahlan dearly hoped that that was all there would be to the adventure.

Orlan, a big bear of a man, knelt at the hearth, stacking on a few sticks of wood. His thick, stubby fingers made the wedges of oak look to be little more than kindling.

"What would possess you ladies to travel in the rain — at night?" he asked as he cast them a look over his shoulder.

"We're in a hurry to catch up with a friend of ours," Sister Ulicia said, offering a meaningless smile. She kept her tone businesslike. "She was to meet us here. Her name is Tovi. She will be expecting us."

The man put a hand on his knee to help himself up. "Those guests who stay with us — especially in such troubled times — are pretty discreet. Most don't give their names." He lifted an eyebrow at Sister Ulicia. "Much like you ladies — not giving your names, that is."

"Orlan, they're guests," the woman scolded. "Wet, and no doubt tired and hungry, guests." She flashed a smile. "Folks call me Emmy. My husband, Orlan, and I have run the White Horse since his parents passed away, years back." Emmy gathered up three wooden bowls from a shelf. "You ladies must be famished. Let me get you some stew. Orlan, get some mugs and fetch these ladies some hot tea."

Orlan lifted a meaty hand on his way past, indicating the bowls his wife cradled in an arm. "You're one short."

She twitched a frown at him. "No I'm not; I have three bowls."

Orlan pulled four mugs down from the top shelf of the hutch. "Right. Like I said, you're one short."

Kahlan could hardly breathe. Something was very wrong. Sisters Cecilia and Armina had frozen dead still, their wide eyes fixed on the man. The significance of the couple's chitchat had not escaped them.

Kahlan glanced to the stairwell and saw the girl on the steps leaning toward them, gripping the rails, peering out, trying to fathom what her parents were talking about.

Sister Armina snatched Sister Ulicia's sleeve. "Ulicia," she said in an urgent whisper through gritted teeth, "he sees —"

Sister Ulicia shushed her. Her brow drew down in a dark glare as she turned her attention back to the man.

"You are mistaken," she said. "There are only three of us."

At the same time she was talking she prodded Kahlan with the stout oak rod she carried, shoving her farther back into the shadows behind, as if shadows alone would make Kahlan invisible to the man.

Kahlan didn't want to be in the shadows. She wanted to stand in the light and be seen — really seen. Such a thing had always seemed an impossible dream, but it had suddenly become a real possibility.

That possibility had shaken the three Sisters.

Orlan frowned at Sister Ulicia. Holding all four mugs in the grip of one meaty hand, he used his other to point out each visitor standing in his gathering room. "One, two, three" — he leaned to the side, looking around Sister Ulicia, to point at Kahlan — "four. Do you all want tea?"

Kahlan blinked in astonishment. Her heart felt as if it had come up in her throat. He saw her ... and remembered what he saw.


"It can't be," Sister Cecilia whispered as she wrung her hands. She leaned toward Sister Ulicia, her eyes darting about. "It's impossible." Her familiar, incessant but meaningless smile was nowhere in evidence.

"Something's gone wrong. ..." Sister Armina's voice trailed off when her sky blue eyes glanced Sister Ulicia's way.

"It's nothing more than an anomaly," Sister Ulicia growled under her breath as she leveled a dangerous look at the two of them. Never ones to be servile, the two nonetheless showed no evidence of wanting to argue with their stormy leader.

In three strong strides Sister Ulicia closed the distance to Orlan. She seized the collar of his nightshirt in her fist. With her other hand she swished her oak rod in the direction of Kahlan, standing in the shadows back near the door.

"What does she look like?"

"Like a drowned cat," Orlan said in ill humor, obviously not liking her hand on his collar.

Kahlan knew without doubt that using such a tone of voice with Sister Ulicia was the wrong thing to do, but the Sister, instead of exploding in a rage, seemed to be just as astonished as Kahlan.

"I know that, but what does she look like? Tell me what you see."

Orlan straightened, pulling his collar away from her grip. His features drew tight as he appraised the stranger only he and the Sisters saw standing in the weak light of the lanterns.

"Thick hair. Green eyes. A very attractive woman. She'd look a lot better if she were dried out, although those wet things on her do tend to show off what she's made of." He began to smile in a way that Kahlan didn't like one bit, even if she was overjoyed that he really saw her. "Mighty fine figure on her," he added, more to himself than the Sister.

His slow and deliberate evaluation made Kahlan feel naked. As his gaze roamed over her, he wiped the corner of his mouth with a thumb. She could hear it rasp against his stubble. One of the sticks of wood in the hearth caught flame, brightening the room in its flickering glow, letting him see even more. His gaze wandered upward, and then caught on something.

"Her hair is as long as ..."

Orlan's bawdy smile evaporated.

He blinked in surprise. His eyes widened. "Dear spirits," he whispered as his face went ashen. He dropped to a knee. "Forgive me," he said, addressing Kahlan. "I didn't recognize —" The room rang with a crack as Sister Ulicia whacked him across the top of the head with her oak rod, dropping him to both knees.


"What's the matter with you!" the man's wife cried out as she rushed to her husband's side. She squatted, putting an arm around his shoulders to steady him as he groaned and put a big hand over the bloody wound on the top of his bowed head. His sandy-colored hair turned dark and wet under his fingers.

"Are all of you crazy!" She cradled her husband's head to her breast, where a red stain grew against her nightdress. He appeared stunned senseless. "Unless you travel in the company of a spirit, there are only three of you! How dare you —"

"Silence," Sister Ulicia growled in a way that gave Kahlan an icy shiver and made the woman's mouth snap closed.

Rain pattered against the window while in the distance a slow rumble of thunder rolled through the forested hills. Kahlan could hear the sign squeaking as it swung to and fro each time the wind gusted. Inside the house it had gone dead silent. Sister Ulicia looked over at the girl, now at the bottom of the steps, where she stood gripping the simple, square, wooden newel post.

Sister Ulicia fixed the girl in a glare that only a sorceress in a vile mood could marshal. "How many visitors do you see?"

The girl stood wide-eyed, too frightened to speak.

"How many?" Sister Ulicia asked again, this time through gritted teeth in a voice so threatening that it made the girl's grip on the newel post tighten until her fingers stood out white and bloodless against the dark wood.

The girl finally answered in a meek voice. "Three."

Sister Armina, looking like bottled thunder, leaned close. "Ulicia, what's going on? This isn't supposed to be possible. Not possible at all. We cast the verification webs."

"Exterior," Sister Cecilia corrected.

Sister Armina blinked at the older woman. "What?"

"We only cast exterior verification webs. We didn't do an interior review."

"Are you out of your mind?" Sister Armina snapped. "In the first place it isn't necessary and in the second place who would be fool enough to be the one to do an aspect analysis of a verification web from an interior perspective! No one ever does such a thing! It isn't necessary!"

"I'm only saying —"

With a withering look, Sister Ulicia silenced them both. Sister Cecilia, her wet curls plastered to her scalp, looked like she was about to finish her complaint, but then decided instead to remain mute.


Excerpted from Phantom by Terry Goodkind, Patrick Nielsen Hayden. Copyright © 2006 Terry Goodkind. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Phantom (Sword of Truth Series #10) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 324 reviews.
love-to-read-teen More than 1 year ago
I love all terry goodkind books, although pillars of creation was a little boring only because it was all about jensen, but i think that the author has a great imagination and sense of creation that he writes into these books. Some of these things I would have never thought out. I'm sad that there is only one more in this series, that I still have to get to, because I have fallen in love with Richard and Kahlan and several others characters I though I never would, like Chase, Nicci, and Cara. This story is about Richard trying to find Kahlan, and dealing with the 'final battle the seeker must lead.' Shota is involved in this book, and so is Samuel. You also see Kahlan's chapters and get another look and Jagang, just so you can hate him more. I recommend this book, but only if you've read the first 9.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
On each of the books of this series, the plot revolves around Richard or Khalan being held captive. It seems the author has no more ideas than this. TG it seems cant think of any other way to make his plots. Such redundant plots makes this series annoying.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read every single book in this series. It has continued to go down hill and like others, I am wondering, when will it end? I have read that there is one more book in the final trilogy. I intend for that to be the final book I read from this author. Like in the Wheel of Time saga, it has gone on far too long. I found myself skimming through much of the book because I got tired of hearing about one lady's personal observations in the war camp. The side tracks that takes you away from the story are unimportant and although a previous reviewer says it is all for a purpose, I can say there is no way to tie in all the side tracks and make it worth my time. I found myself wanting to skip paragraphs, then pages and eventually a whole chapter that I simply skimmed over. If I am going to pay the extra money for a hard back edition for my collection, I would like very much for it to be worth the money. I am tired people. Let it end. If the dream walker doesn't die in the next book, I am going to take care of him myself. Jajang must die....
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first 200 pages are potentially the most tedious first 200 pages I have ever read. We go from an advanced lesson on the complicated workings of spell analysis, to a detailed, gory narration of the Order¿s atrocities that makes you want to throw up, to a lecture on the Order¿s philosophy and why it¿s very bad, and finally, Shota shows up. Richard and Shota proceed to ramble over about ten different topics that are loosely connected and rather jarring. I thought the whole book might take place in that one room. The single most annoying problem with this book is the repetition. This occurs in four main ways: (1) repeated lectures that go on and on, (2) constant repetition of information that¿s already been established, (3) simple repetitive writing, and (4) repeated dialogue. (1): Goodkind spends way too much time on lecture. We understand why the Imperial Order is bad and why life is good one lecture would suffice and then showing-and-telling would carry us nicely through the whole book. But instead, everywhere Richard goes, every new person he encounters, we have to wade through the whole lecture again. (2): Goodkind constantly repeats information we already know, as if we¿re idiots and can¿t remember something he said the page before. And I kid you not, he repeats bits of ¿critical info¿ pages apart. Along that line, he is also obsessed with reminding you of things every chance he gets. My favorite involves Magda Searus. Berdine if you will: ¿Magda Searus. You know, the one who was made into a Confessor.¿ In case you missed that: Again, Nicci, if you please (one page later): ¿Magda Searus, the woman who became the first Confessor...¿ Now, do people having conversations really keep repeating things to each other they already know? The book is full of this. (3): The third repetition is simply stylistic. Goodkind seems obsessed with making absolutely sure you got what he wrote, so he repeats certain concepts and descriptions repeatedly, sometimes in the same paragraph, as if the first mention wasn¿t powerful enough. The writing therefore lacks confidence and weakens itself when he¿s trying to make it strong. And then there¿s dialogue (4): The best example of this are cases in which Richard says something like this: ¿Is there anything, anything at all you can tell me about such-and-such, any last scrap that might help?¿ Shota (for example): ¿Sorry, Richard, that¿s everything I could possibly, conceivably pull from my brain.¿ They continue to talk, then Richard asks again: ¿Is there anything more, anything you can tell me?¿ Shota: ¿Oh, well, there is this one thing...¿ Why didn¿t she say so before!? The dialogue is very disorganizes and instead of editing the conversations to flow in one direction, characters keep remembering information where before they had said everything. Overall, this book is very sloppy. I am almost certain he did not read through and give his finished work that much editing, nor did the publishers. It shows. I even found a lot of typos and missing words, more than I usually do in published books. That being said, the latter half of the book does get better as characters start going off on adventures and the plot thickens as they say. True fans will be able to look through the mess and get a feel for that ole¿ Goodkind plotting and puzzle solving, and even grip the book to find out where it all leads, but you do at all times have to read through the mess. Familiar themes appear, familiar situations, the separation, the captivity and torture, even familiar evils appear (hello boxes of Orden). But this book felt more suitable to a child audience this time around (if it weren't for the sickening gore). I¿m saddened at what¿s become of the Sword of Truth series. The first four were great, then he started to lecture, then he had two books that you may as well skip. With Chainfire I thought he had it again, but he lost it again with Phantom. This book is the Phantom. Goodkind cast the chainfire spell on book 7
Guest More than 1 year ago
This started out as an incredible series. Original premise, interesting 3 dimensional characters and a unique world. I don't know what happened, but by Pillars, he was sliding. But I still cared about the people. But PHANTOM continued the slide down unfortunately. The lecturing is even worse then Chainfire. Shota the witch, spends 60 pages telling Richard that the Order is filled with bad people. And if you didn't get that message, Kahlan and others have experiences that show that the Order is filled with bad people. And if you STILL didn't get the message, we finally meet Jagang and he ponderously makes it clear that he is a bad person. The other thing that has grown is the arguing. Remember Chainfire where everyone spent their time arguing with Richard (you know the guy they are trusting as their savior). Well know everybody is arguing with everyone, often spending pages arguing about how certain spells work or don't work. Who cared other then TG? I was frustrated with page after page and only found about 30 pages to be interesting. The best line in the whole book? At the end, when they let us know that the next book is the final one! Thank goodness, we can put this tortured dog out of its misery. What a shame. He took an excellent concept and for whatever reason drained it of any interest. Personally, I blame the publishers, they had to know how bad it was getting. Of course, that's maybe why I got it for 40% off when it came out!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't know why I do this to myself. I loved the first book in this series, even though the writing was clunky, because it was passionate and interesting. Now after so many 'Richard is searching for missing Kahlan' stories I truly can't stand it anymore. Goodkind is clearly making this stuff up as he goes along and is stringing it along to milk it for the money. The person who said it was becoming a comic book is so right. There just nothing left to this story anymore. Long past time to end the series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, I have never read the first of this series. I was walking through the B&N store and decided to judge a book by its cover. So, i ended up reading the third book first. After that, it was pointless to read the first one. May I add, what a fantastic artist for the covers. BravO!!! Well, about Phantom, sometimes Terry just drags on and on with borrying details. Some characters sound really dumn at times when Richard has to explain every single detail. If I understand, then a wizard or Kahlan should as well. And, I thought he said this was his last book. I read and read and reached the last chapter realizing he couldn't possibly finish the story in one chapter. I was really, REALLY, disappointed and felt like he is taking advantage of some good readers. Not good :( Also, when is he going to release the last book after all? I am tired of waiting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I stopped reading after Pillars of Creation. I loved this series with a passion up until then. Goodkind has dragged this series out. I love long never ending series as long as stuff happens but ever since the blood of the fold nothing has progressed. Darken Rahl had a much stronger grip on the world than Jagang and Richard took care of him in one book. Why has this namby pamby Emperor been such a problem when Richard has an army and powers to fight back with? Oh and whatever happened to Kahlan having a baby? I thought that a male confessor with both sides of magic would have been a great story. Imagine Richard and Kahlan having to fight their own son. That would have made a much more interesting story. Come on Terry please write something interesting and quit patting yourself on the back for being so intellectual. I have a bible and if I need some moral lessons I'll read it or my poly sci book. My advice to new readers is to stop after wizard's first rule.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of this series since I started in on it years ago. This book is a total let down when compaired to all other books that preceded it. I ditched work early the day of its release just to pick up this book. Sad to say I should have stayed later for the hours. I probably skimmed thru a solid 7 chapters of just plain non sense and meaningless filler. Sure, there was plenty of action and story building going on here, but for the most part I couldnt manage to stay awake to enjoy this latest from Mr. Goodkind. On the bright side, I am looking forward to the next and 'last' volume in this series. Don't want to spoil it for anyone reading, but the last few chapters of this book were just amazing, its just too bad that the rest of the book was just filler.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have anticipated this book, purchased it immediately and was very disappointed to be treated to the endless captivity and humilation of the main characters. As an avid reader of the series, I feel that the author has mistreated his readers, mistreated his own craft and dishonored the story. This should have been the last book. Enough with the mild S&M fantasies of capture, torture and humiliation of the main characters. As a reader I feel as trapped and abused as the characters. I am now searching the previous books to find other characters mentioned so I can be prepared when they are brought back, mentioned and rewriten just to sell another in the series. There is a point even in torture where they execute the prisioner.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First off I enjoy these books and I'll read this one, but mainly because it's supposed to be the last. Every book in this series is a small peice of the larger story, I get that, but 80-90% of each book is not really needed to move the larger story along. There's alot of fill. For instance, the Pillars of Creation did nothing for the story line. A few characters were added and some 'action', but nothing that seems necessary was added. I'm also bored with the love story. The most interesting part of any love story is the anticipation of the two people getting together. Once they get together it's boring. I think he realized that he actually got them together way too soon in the story line and had to manufacture things to separate them to then artifically create separation anxiety. If it's so easy to separate them why hasn't one of them been killed? They are so vulnerable yet still remain indestructable. That's very run of the mill tension but it's hidden in lofty writing. I also find that Richard has been given a 'superman' persona. Everytime he's faced with somethingn surely insurmountable, he 'mysteriously' has some other power that we didn't know about (even he didn't know about) that is used to neatly solve the problem. Oh, and we usually find out about that in the last few chapters. There are some very redeeming qualities to this series though which do make me come back to the stories. Things like the Mord Sith and the Palace of the Prophecies, etc. But unfortunatly all of these were burned out in the first few books. I think that he should've wrapped up a first series with the defeat of Darken Rahl and then started a second series against Jagang and the Order. Overall these books are a good read and I recommend them, but the middle books are contain many similar situations with endings that wrap things up but in most cases just 'happen'. It's like he's trying to create a twist but misses it. A good twist is one that should be obvious and with plenty of clues but you miss it and then when it happens you realize 'Oh yeah! How did I miss that it was so obvious.' With these twists you really aren't given the information you need so you have no way to guess at what might happen. So it's less of a twist or more of a 'i'm going to make stuff up to wrap this up in the next two chapters'. Just my two cents. The first few books are GREAT, then they trail off and we'll see about the last one.
Septamus More than 1 year ago
Goodkind likes to hear himself talk; he should stop preaching and try a little editing. I've read them all and they just seem to get progressively worse. Maybe I'm tiring of his over emphasis on torture and a sadistic, uber hate complex going on with the women. Dude, enough of the rape thing; move on.

He has some good stuff, but it's hard not to start skimming through his 8th grader dialog. Choke down the fluff, and move to the good parts, and it's worth sitting through all 10, 11, or 12 of them; whatever.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok, Mr Goodkind, it is time for an end to your tale.. I did rate Phantom as reccomended, but with reservations... but with reservations...but with reservations. Now does that sound familiar... WE KNOW THE BIG BAD DUDE IS EVIL..So please end a good story (but with alot of repitions) Just a little request...make attempts at'll sell a heap of them
harstan More than 1 year ago
When Khalan Amnell awakens she remembers nothing except her name. Her spouse, the Seeker of Truth, Richard Rahl needs to liberate Khalan from the Chainfire spell that devastated her memories and that of those who knew her before the enchantment in other words ¿hid¿ her in plain sight. ------------- While Richard lives a nightmare trying to save the only person he seems to care about, Khalan accompanies the evil three Sisters of the Dark (Armina, Cecilia, and Ulicia) though she is confused as to why. The malevolent trio has plans for the powerful Khalan who can destroy the current world replacing it with the dark forces. At the same time that a despondent Richard searches in a phantom zone and Khalan journeys towards her destiny, Emperor Jagang pollutes the pure magic in order to conquer the world only Richard and Khalan can stop the Emperor and the Three Sisters, but he must find her and his stripped magic while she must find her memory and control of her magic.------------------- Though in some ways PHANTOM feels like a set up novel bringing the threads closer together until the final climax (allegedly the next book) and the subplots include repeats of the back story, fans of Terry Goodkind¿s long running epic will appreciate what is happening to Khalan and Richard. The story line is character driven by the ensorcelled Khalan and the frightened for his wife Richard. Readers will want to peruse this entry that is the salad for hopefully a gourmet delight.-------- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Sword of Truth series has captivated many readers for over a decade. Terry Goodkind has, thus far, masterfully depicted a world of deception and betrayal, where life is not only cheap but fleeting. Still, the world closely mimics our own in terms of attitudes and social issues. He has a strong theme of nature versus nurture, love over coming all and the right of individual freedom. He has done what most overlook when creating a protagonist he has depicted Richard Rahl as a man of morale fiber unmatched in todays society. He has created a man who you want to read about and want to cheer for, someone who you can look up too. You will find yourself wanting to live up to his ideals in the real world and find the Wizard's Rules a useful guide down lifes journey. Phantom has the potential to be a great book. My personal favorite in the series thus far is Faith of the Fallen, but all have been entertaining, mentally stimulating and thought provoking. In spite of the fact that this is the tenth book in a series of novels which are usually close to 1,000 pages in length, I look forward to this sequel. Having read all ten of his previous stories, I can say without a doubt, that if you even remotely liked any of his previous works, Phantom will be a must purchase. SIDE NOTE: if you ever get the chance to hear him speak, it will be worth the trip. I traveled from St. Paul Minnesota to the Omaha Healing Center in Nebraska, which his sister owns, and he lectured for over three hours. A very intelligent man of unwavering convictions who strongly believes in every word he writes. I Strongly recommend these William Shakespeare titles in addition to the related titles below Hamlet, MacBeth and Much Ado About Nothing. Related titles: The Death Gate Cycle and the Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Wies and Tracy Hickman The Dark Elf trilogy, The Icewindale trilogy and The Demon Wars saga by R.A. Salvatore The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien & The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dremagin More than 1 year ago
left me wanting more
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
tigerkin More than 1 year ago
I have read the whole series up to the point of “Phantom” and I find myself completely desensitized to the rampant violence. This book was particularly tedious in the pages and pages (and pages!) of descriptions of violence, which the author lovingly lingers over to the point that it’s creepy. We get it. The Order is evil. We get it. They’re rapists. We get it. They’re insane. We get it. They have no limits to their brutality. No, really, we DO get it. This has been hammered in ad nauseum for quite a few books now. I’ve read horror novels with less gratuitous brutality, all expanded upon with ever-increasing numbers of adjectives until you wish everyone would die already and stop describing it. At one point, a character decides that another character doesn’t “understand” just how horrible the Order is. Oh, god, here we go again….. 40 pages of *more* beheadings, rapes, abuse, beatings, psychological torture…. Again…. And again…. And again… Am I reading an Al Jazeera textbook published for ISIS and Boko Haram? There’s certainly enough beheading. Honestly, the storyline itself isn’t bad. It’s a decent hero storyline, complete with the whole gamut of Joseph Campbell’s requirements for the hero myth. I am rather enjoying the twists and turns of the story, even though there are a lot of coincidences that are just convenient plot devices. Sadly, the decent storyline is muddled by the execrable writing. The characters are ridiculously two-dimensional; Richard is *perfect*. Kahlan is *perfect*. Zedd is a walking caricature and Ann is a snapping stereotype. The only characters with any depth are the Mord-Sith. I find myself caring far more about their romances and lives than the main characters. The description is also overdone. I love descriptive writing (think Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series, for instance) and even I am getting bored with the repetitive description that Mr. Goodkind feels necessary to use to bog down every page. Did I mention repetitive? Repetitive? Repetitive? It’s repetitive to the point of using the exact same wording to describe things. Additionally, the copy-editor needs to be sacked and replaced with someone else, as the constant typos (“great” rather than “greet”, “advise” rather than “advice”, “insure” rather than “ensure”, “one in the same” (which doesn’t even make linguistic sense) rather than “one and the same”, for a few examples) as well as awkward sentences, missing words, and incorrect tenses pervade the *entire series*. Please, sack the copy editor and find one that uses their brains rather than spell check! Sheer laziness. I am also getting tired of being bludgeoned over the head with Goodkind’s political agenda, but now I’m committed…. I will at least finish the SoT series; I get stubborn about finishing what I start. Mr. Goodkind: Less is more. Remember the old sci-fi and horror movies where it was in the shadows that you never suspected was there that was scariest? Now, in modern horror movies, they linger on every drop of blood in gorgeously coloured 3-D? Which was scarier? This book crossed the line into bored desensitization to the evil of the Order. Yawn. Oh, look, she got raped. Oh, look, he got beheaded Yawn. When are we going to get to the actual ****STORY**** and get on with the solving the problem? Because so far, it seems that you, the author, are guilty of breaking Zedd’s reminder to look at the SOLUTION…. Not the problem.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have really enjoyed this whole series. The characters are earnest and the storyline is entertaining, if perhaps a bit predictable. By the end of this book, I was getting a little weary of being beaten over the head with the Ayn Rand-ian lectures. Nonetheless, it was a very engaging part of the series, and I couldn't wait to pick up the next book when I finished.
LinzGTX More than 1 year ago
This series is awesome, I have re read the entire thing 4 or 5 times now. Richard and Kahlan are such dynamic characters that it's hard not to love them. And really all the secondary characters are so lovable too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago