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Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth Series #1)

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Wizard's First Rule marks the debut of a new fantasy writer. Truly epic in scope and filled with burning intensity, it is the story of Richard Cypher, a modest woodsman in a world achingly beautiful, alive with the joys of nature: a world the reader comes to love as fiercely as do Richard and those around him. Though a mere woodsman, he is the one destined to battle the ultimate adversary - Darken Rahl, an evil mage who bids to destroy all that Richard holds good and beautiful, dooming him and the rest of the ...
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Overview

Wizard's First Rule marks the debut of a new fantasy writer. Truly epic in scope and filled with burning intensity, it is the story of Richard Cypher, a modest woodsman in a world achingly beautiful, alive with the joys of nature: a world the reader comes to love as fiercely as do Richard and those around him. Though a mere woodsman, he is the one destined to battle the ultimate adversary - Darken Rahl, an evil mage who bids to destroy all that Richard holds good and beautiful, dooming him and the rest of the people of Westland to a living Hell of subjugation and degradation.

Requires fully functioning stereo tapeplayer.

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Editorial Reviews

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Terry Goodkind is one of the hottest writers on the fantasy scene. His popularity is growing by leaps and bounds with each new novel, mostly due to his brilliant, page-turning style. Wizard's First Rule is a brick -- just the way we fantasy fans love 'em. But I'm telling you, you'll gobble this right up -- it flies by with lightning quickness. In this novel, we meet Richard Cypher as he and his trusted companions -- the beautiful and mysterious Kahlan and the zany sorcerer Zedd -- begin their quest to destroy Darken Rahl, an evil mage who bids to control the world by using his dark, magical powers. Goodkind's fantasy is enormously engaging and so, so addictive.
From the Publisher
"Wonderfully creative, seamless, and stirring."—Kirkus Reviews
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423321637
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 8/25/2006
  • Series: Sword of Truth Series , #1
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Wizard's First Rule

Terry Goodkind

CHAPTER 1

It was an odd-looking vine. Dusky variegated leaves hunkered against a stem that wound in a stranglehold around the smooth trunk of a balsam fir. Sap drooled down the wounded bark, and dry limbs slumped, making it look as if the tree were trying to voice a moan into the cool, damp morning air. Pods stuck out from the vine here and there along its length, almost seeming to look warily about for witnesses.

It was the smell that had first caught his attention, a smell like the decomposition of something that had been wholly unsavory even in life. Richard combed his fingers through his thick hair as his mind lifted out of the fog of despair, coming into focus upon seeing the vine. He scanned for others, but saw none. Everything else looked normal. The maples of the upper Ven Forest were already tinged with crimson, proudly showing off their new mantle in the light breeze. With nights getting colder, it wouldn't be long before their cousins down in the Hartland Woods joined them. The oaks, being the last to surrender to the season, still stoically wore their dark green coats.

Having spent most his life in the woods, Richard knew all the plants—if not by name, by sight. From when Richard was very small, his friend Zedd had taken him along, hunting for special herbs. He had shown Richard which ones to look for, where they grew and why, and put names to everything they saw. Many times they just talked, the old man always treating him as an equal, asking as much as he answered. Zedd had sparked Richard's hunger to learn, to know.

This vine, though, he had seen only once before, and it wasn't in the woods. He had found a sprig of it at his father's house, in the blue clay jar Richard had made when he was a boy. His father had been a trader and had traveled often, looking for the chance exotic or rare item. People of means had often sought him out, interested in what he might have turned up. It seemed to be the looking, more than the finding, that he had liked, as he had always been happy to part with his latest discovery so he could be off after the next.

From a young age, Richard had liked to spend time with Zedd while his father was away. Richard's brother, Michael, was a few years older, and having no interest in the woods, or Zedd's rambling lectures, preferred to spend his time with people of means. About five years before, Richard had moved away to live on his own, but he often stopped by his father's home, unlike Michael, who was always busy and rarely had time to visit. If his father had gone away, he would leave Richard a message in the blue jar telling him the latest news, some gossip, or of some sight he had seen.

On the day three weeks before when Michael had come and told him their father had been murdered, Richard had gone to his father's house, despite his brother's insistence that there was no reason to go, nothing he could do. Richard had long since passed the age when he did as his brother said. Wanting to spare him, the people there didn't let him see the body. But still, he saw the big, sickening splashes and puddles of blood, brown and dry across the plank floor. When Richard came close, voices fell silent, except to offer sympathy, which only deepened the riving pain. Yet he had heard them talking, in hushed tones, of the stories and the wild rumors of things come out of the boundary.

Of magic.

Richard was shocked at the way his father's small home had been torn apart, as if a storm had been turned loose inside. Only a few things were left untouched. The blue message jar still sat on the shelf, and inside he found the sprig of vine. It was still in his pocket now. What his father meant him to know from it, he couldn't guess.

Grief and depression overwhelmed him, and even though he still had his brother, he felt abandoned. That he was grown into manhood offered him no sanctuary from the forlorn feeling of being orphaned and alone in the world, a feeling he had known before, when he was young and his mother died. Even though his father had often been away, sometimes for weeks, Richard had always known he was somewhere, and would be back. Now he would never be back.

Michael wouldn't let him have anything to do with the search for the killer. He said he had the best trackers in the army looking and he wanted Richard to stay out of it, for his own good. So Richard simply didn't show the vine to Michael, and went off alone every day, searching for the vine. For three weeks he walked the trails of the Hartland Woods, every trail, even the ones few others knew of, but he never saw it.

Finally, against his better judgment, he gave in to the whispers in his mind, and went to the upper Ven Forest, close to the boundary. The whispers haunted him with the feeling that he somehow knew something of why his father had been murdered. They teased at him, tantalized him with thoughts just out of reach, and laughed at him for not seeing it. Richard lectured himself that it was his grief playing tricks, not something real.

He had thought that when he found the vine it would give him some sort of answer. Now that he had, he didn't know what to think. The whispers had stopped teasing him, but now they brooded. He knew it was just his own mind thinking, and he told himself to stop trying to give the whispers a life of their own. Zedd had taught him better than that.

Richard looked up at the big fir tree in its agony of death. He thought again of his father's death. The vine had been there. Now the vine was killing this tree; it couldn't be anything good. Though he couldn't do anything for his father, he didn't have to let the vine preside over another death. Gripping it firmly, he pulled, and with powerful muscles ripped the sinewy tendrils away from the tree.

That's when the vine bit him.

One of the pods struck out and hit the back of his left hand, causing him to jump back in pain and surprise. Inspecting the small wound, he found something like a thorn embedded in the meat of the gash. The matter was decided. The vine was trouble. He reached for his knife to dig out the thorn, but the knife wasn't there. At first surprised, he realized why and reprimanded himself for allowing his depression to cause him to forget something as basic as taking his knife with him into the woods. Using his fingernails, he tried to pull out the thorn. To his rising concern, the thorn, as if alive, wiggled itself in deeper. He dragged his thumbnail across the wound, trying to snag the thorn out. The more he dug, the deeper it went. A hot wave of nausea swept through him as he tore at the wound, making it bigger, so he stopped. The thorn had disappeared into the oozing blood.

Looking about, Richard spotted the purplish red autumn leaves of a small nannyberry tree, laden with its crop of dark blue berries. Beneath the tree, nestled in the crook of a root, he found what he sought: an aum plant. Relieved, he carefully snapped off the tender stem near its base, and gently squeezed the sticky, clear liquid onto the bite. He gave a smile to old Zedd for teaching him how the aum plant made wounds heal faster. The soft fuzzy leaves always made Richard think of Zedd. The juice of the aum numbed the sting, but not his worry over being unable to remove the thorn. He could feel it wriggling still deeper into his flesh.

Richard squatted down and poked a hole in the ground with his finger, placed the aum in it, and fixed moss about the stem so it might regrow itself.

The sounds of the forest fell dead still. Richard looked up, flinching as a dark shadow swept over the ground, leaping across limbs and leaves. There was a rushing, whistling sound in the air overhead. The size of the shadow was frightening. Birds burst from cover in the trees, giving alarm calls as they scattered in all directions. Richard peered up, searching through the gaps in the canopy of green and gold, trying to see the shadow's source. For an instant, he saw something big. Big, and red. He couldn't imagine what it could be, but the memory of the rumors and stories of things coming out of the boundary flooded back into his mind, making him go cold to the bone.

The vine was trouble, he thought again; this thing in the sky could be no less. He remembered what people always said, "Trouble sires three children," and knew immediately that he didn't want to meet the third child.

Discounting his fears, he started running. Just idle talk of superstitious people, he told himself. He tried to think of what could be that big, that big and red. It was impossible; there was nothing that flew that was that large. Maybe it was a cloud, or a trick of the light. But he couldn't fool himself: it was no cloud.

Looking up as he ran, trying for another glimpse, he headed for the path that skirted the hillside. Richard knew that the ground dropped off sharply on the other side of the trail, and he would be able to get an unobstructed view of the sky. Tree branches wet with rain from the night before slapped at his face as he ran through the forest, jumping fallen trees and small rocky streams. Brush snatched at his pant legs. Dappled swatches of sunlight teased him to look up but denied him the view he needed. His breath was fast, ragged, sweat ran cold against his face, and he could feel his heart pounding as he ran carelessly down the hillside. At last he stumbled out of the trees onto the path, almost falling.

Searching the sky, he spotted the thing, far away and too small for him to tell what it was, but he thought it had wings. He squinted against the blue brightness of the sky, shielded his eyes with his hand, trying to see for sure if there were wings moving. It slipped behind a hill and was gone. He hadn't even been able to tell if it really was red.

Winded, Richard slumped down on a granite boulder at the side of the trail, absently snapping off dead twigs from a sapling beside him while he stared down at Trunt Lake below. Maybe he should go tell Michael what had happened, tell him about the vine and the red thing in the sky. He knew Michael would laugh at the last part. He had laughed at the same stories himself.

No, Michael would only be angry with him for being up near the boundary, and for going against his orders to stay out of the search for the murderer. He knew his brother cared about him or he wouldn't always be nagging him. Now that he was grown, he could laugh off his brother's constant instructions, though he still had to endure the looks of displeasure.

Richard snapped off another twig and in frustration threw it at a flat rock. He decided he shouldn't feel singled out. After all, Michael was always telling everyone what to do, even their father.

He pushed his harsh judgments of his brother aside; today was a big day for Michael. Today he was accepting the position of First Councilor. He would be in charge of everything now, not just the town of Hartland anymore, but all the towns and villages of Westland, even the country people. Responsible for everything and everyone. Michael deserved Richard's support, he needed it; Michael had lost a father, too.

That afternoon there was to be a ceremony and big celebration at Michael's house. Important people were going to be there, come from the farthest reaches of Westland. Richard was supposed to be there, too. At least there would be plenty of good food. He realized he was famished.

While he sat and thought, he scanned the opposite side of Trunt Lake, far below. From this height the clear water revealed alternating patches of rocky bottom and green weed around the deep holes. At the edge of the water, Hawkers Trail knitted in and out of the trees, in some places open to view, in some places hidden. Richard had been on that part of the trail many times. In the spring it was wet and soggy down by the lake, but this late in the year it would be dry. In areas farther north and south, as the trail wound its way through the high Ven Forests, it passed uncomfortably close to the boundary. Because of that, most travelers avoided it, choosing instead the trails of the Hartland Woods. Richard was a woods guide, and led travelers safely through the Hartland forests. Most were traveling dignitaries wanting the prestige of a local guide more than they wanted direction.

His eyes locked on something. There was movement. Unsure what it had been, he stared hard at the spot on the far side of the lake. When he saw it again, on the path, where it passed behind a thin veil of trees, there was no doubt: it was a person. Maybe it was his friend Chase. Who else but a boundary warden would be wandering around up here?

He hopped down off the rock, tossing the twigs aside, and took a few steps forward. The figure followed the path into the open, at the edge of the lake. It wasn't Chase; it was a woman. A woman in a dress. What woman would be walking around this far out in the Ven Forest, in a dress? Richard watched her making her way along the lakeshore, disappearing and reappearing with the path. She didn't seem to be in a hurry, but she wasn't strolling slowly either. Rather, she moved at the measured pace of an experienced traveler. That made sense; no one lived anywhere near Trunt Lake.

Other movement snatched his attention. Richard's eyes searched the shade and shadows. Behind her, there were others. Three, no, four men, in hooded forest cloaks, following her, but hanging back some distance. They moved with stealth, from tree to rock to tree. Looking. Waiting. Moving. Richard straightened, his eyes wide, his attention riveted.

They were stalking her.

He knew immediately: this was the third child of trouble.

Copyright © 1994 by Terry Goodkind

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

CHAPTER 1

It was an odd-looking vine. Dusky variegated leaves hunkered against a stem that wound in a stranglehold around the smooth trunk of a balsam fir. Sap drooled down the wounded bark, and dry limbs slumped, making it look as if the tree were trying to voice a moan into the cool, damp morning air. Pods stuck out from the vine here and there along its length, almost seeming to look warily about for witnesses.

It was the smell that had first caught his attention, a smell like the decomposition of something that had been wholly unsavory even in life. Richard combed his fingers through his thick hair as his mind lifted out of the fog of despair, coming into focus upon seeing the vine. He scanned for others, but saw none. Everything else looked normal. The maples of the upper Ven Forest were already tinged with crimson, proudly showing off their new mantle in the light breeze. With nights getting colder, it wouldn't be long before their cousins down in the Hartland Woods joined them. The oaks, being the last to surrender to the season, still stoically wore their dark green coats.

Having spent most his life in the woods, Richard knew all the plants -- if not by name, by sight. From when Richard was very small, his friend Zedd had taken him along, hunting for special herbs. He had shown Richard which ones to look for, where they grew and why, and put names to everything they saw. Many times they just talked, the old man always treating him as an equal, asking as much as he answered. Zedd had sparked Richard's hunger to learn, to know.

This vine, though, he had seen only once before, and it wasn't in the woods. He had found a sprig of it at his father's house, in the blue clay jar Richard had made when he was a boy. His father had been a trader and had traveled often, looking for the chance exotic or rare item. People of means had often sought him out, interested in what he might have turned up. It seemed to be the looking, more than the finding, that he had liked, as he had always been happy to part with his latest discovery so he could be off after the next.

From a young age, Richard had liked to spend time with Zedd while his father was away. Richard's brother, Michael, was a few years older, and having no interest in the woods, or Zedd's rambling lectures, preferred to spend his time with people of means. About five years before, Richard had moved away to live on his own, but he often stopped by his father's home, unlike Michael, who was always busy and rarely had time to visit. If his father had gone away, he would leave Richard a message in the blue jar telling him the latest news, some gossip, or of some sight he had seen.

On the day three weeks before when Michael had come and told him their father had been murdered, Richard had gone to his father's house, despite his brother's insistence that there was no reason to go, nothing he could do. Richard had long since passed the age when he did as his brother said. Wanting to spare him, the people there didn't let him see the body. But still, he saw the big, sickening splashes and puddles of blood, brown and dry across the plank floor. When Richard came close, voices fell silent, except to offer sympathy, which only deepened the riving pain. Yet he had heard them talking, in hushed tones, of the stories and the wild rumors of things come out of the boundary.

Of magic.

Richard was shocked at the way his father's small home had been torn apart, as if a storm had been turned loose inside. Only a few things were left untouched. The blue message jar still sat on the shelf, and inside he found the sprig of vine. It was still in his pocket now. What his father meant him to know from it, he couldn't guess.

Grief and depression overwhelmed him, and even though he still had his brother, he felt abandoned. That he was grown into manhood offered him no sanctuary from the forlorn feeling of being orphaned and alone in the world, a feeling he had known before, when he was young and his mother died. Even though his father had often been away, sometimes for weeks, Richard had always known he was somewhere, and would be back. Now he would never be back.

Michael wouldn't let him have anything to do with the search for the killer. He said he had the best trackers in the army looking and he wanted Richard to stay out of it, for his own good. So Richard simply didn't show the vine to Michael, and went off alone every day, searching for the vine. For three weeks he walked the trails of the Hartland Woods, every trail, even the ones few others knew of, but he never saw it.

Finally, against his better judgment, he gave in to the whispers in his mind, and went to the upper Ven Forest, close to the boundary. The whispers haunted him with the feeling that he somehow knew something of why his father had been murdered. They teased at him, tantalized him with thoughts just out of reach, and laughed at him for not seeing it. Richard lectured himself that it was his grief playing tricks, not something real.

He had thought that when he found the vine it would give him some sort of answer. Now that he had, he didn't know what to think. The whispers had stopped teasing him, but now they brooded. He knew it was just his own mind thinking, and he told himself to stop trying to give the whispers a life of their own. Zedd had taught him better than that.

Richard looked up at the big fir tree in its agony of death. He thought again of his father's death. The vine had been there. Now the vine was killing this tree; it couldn't be anything good. Though he couldn't do anything for his father, he didn't have to let the vine preside over another death. Gripping it firmly, he pulled, and with powerful muscles ripped the sinewy tendrils away from the tree.

That's when the vine bit him.

One of the pods struck out and hit the back of his left hand, causing him to jump back in pain and surprise. Inspecting the small wound, he found something like a thorn embedded in the meat of the gash. The matter was decided. The vine was trouble. He reached for his knife to dig out the thorn, but the knife wasn't there. At first surprised, he realized why and reprimanded himself for allowing his depression to cause him to forget something as basic as taking his knife with him into the woods. Using his fingernails, he tried to pull out the thorn. To his rising concern, the thorn, as if alive, wiggled itself in deeper. He dragged his thumbnail across the wound, trying to snag the thorn out. The more he dug, the deeper it went. A hot wave of nausea swept through him as he tore at the wound, making it bigger, so he stopped. The thorn had disappeared into the oozing blood.

Looking about, Richard spotted the purplish red autumn leaves of a small nannyberry tree, laden with its crop of dark blue berries. Beneath the tree, nestled in the crook of a root, he found what he sought: an aum plant. Relieved, he carefully snapped off the tender stem near its base, and gently squeezed the sticky, clear liquid onto the bite. He gave a smile to old Zedd for teaching him how the aum plant made wounds heal faster. The soft fuzzy leaves always made Richard think of Zedd. The juice of the aum numbed the sting, but not his worry over being unable to remove the thorn. He could feel it wriggling still deeper into his flesh.

Richard squatted down and poked a hole in the ground with his finger, placed the aum in it, and fixed moss about the stem so it might regrow itself.

The sounds of the forest fell dead still. Richard looked up, flinching as a dark shadow swept over the ground, leaping across limbs and leaves. There was a rushing, whistling sound in the air overhead. The size of the shadow was frightening. Birds burst from cover in the trees, giving alarm calls as they scattered in all directions. Richard peered up, searching through the gaps in the canopy of green and gold, trying to see the shadow's source. For an instant, he saw something big. Big, and red. He couldn't imagine what it could be, but the memory of the rumors and stories of things coming out of the boundary flooded back into his mind, making him go cold to the bone.

The vine was trouble, he thought again; this thing in the sky could be no less. He remembered what people always said, "Trouble sires three children," and knew immediately that he didn't want to meet the third child.

Discounting his fears, he started running. Just idle talk of superstitious people, he told himself. He tried to think of what could be that big, that big and red. It was impossible; there was nothing that flew that was that large. Maybe it was a cloud, or a trick of the light. But he couldn't fool himself: it was no cloud.

Looking up as he ran, trying for another glimpse, he headed for the path that skirted the hillside. Richard knew that the ground dropped off sharply on the other side of the trail, and he would be able to get an unobstructed view of the sky. Tree branches wet with rain from the night before slapped at his face as he ran through the forest, jumping fallen trees and small rocky streams. Brush snatched at his pant legs. Dappled swatches of sunlight teased him to look up but denied him the view he needed. His breath was fast, ragged, sweat ran cold against his face, and he could feel his heart pounding as he ran carelessly down the hillside. At last he stumbled out of the trees onto the path, almost falling.

Searching the sky, he spotted the thing, far away and too small for him to tell what it was, but he thought it had wings. He squinted against the blue brightness of the sky, shielded his eyes with his hand, trying to see for sure if there were wings moving. It slipped behind a hill and was gone. He hadn't even been able to tell if it really was red.

Winded, Richard slumped down on a granite boulder at the side of the trail, absently snapping off dead twigs from a sapling beside him while he stared down at Trunt Lake below. Maybe he should go tell Michael what had happened, tell him about the vine and the red thing in the sky. He knew Michael would laugh at the last part. He had laughed at the same stories himself.

No, Michael would only be angry with him for being up near the boundary, and for going against his orders to stay out of the search for the murderer. He knew his brother cared about him or he wouldn't always be nagging him. Now that he was grown, he could laugh off his brother's constant instructions, though he still had to endure the looks of displeasure.

Richard snapped off another twig and in frustration threw it at a flat rock. He decided he shouldn't feel singled out. After all, Michael was always telling everyone what to do, even their father.

He pushed his harsh judgments of his brother aside; today was a big day for Michael. Today he was accepting the position of First Councilor. He would be in charge of everything now, not just the town of Hartland anymore, but all the towns and villages of Westland, even the country people. Responsible for everything and everyone. Michael deserved Richard's support, he needed it; Michael had lost a father, too.

That afternoon there was to be a ceremony and big celebration at Michael's house. Important people were going to be there, come from the farthest reaches of Westland. Richard was supposed to be there, too. At least there would be plenty of good food. He realized he was famished.

While he sat and thought, he scanned the opposite side of Trunt Lake, far below. From this height the clear water revealed alternating patches of rocky bottom and green weed around the deep holes. At the edge of the water, Hawkers Trail knitted in and out of the trees, in some places open to view, in some places hidden. Richard had been on that part of the trail many times. In the spring it was wet and soggy down by the lake, but this late in the year it would be dry. In areas farther north and south, as the trail wound its way through the high Ven Forests, it passed uncomfortably close to the boundary. Because of that, most travelers avoided it, choosing instead the trails of the Hartland Woods. Richard was a woods guide, and led travelers safely through the Hartland forests. Most were traveling dignitaries wanting the prestige of a local guide more than they wanted direction.

His eyes locked on something. There was movement. Unsure what it had been, he stared hard at the spot on the far side of the lake. When he saw it again, on the path, where it passed behind a thin veil of trees, there was no doubt: it was a person. Maybe it was his friend Chase. Who else but a boundary warden would be wandering around up here?

He hopped down off the rock, tossing the twigs aside, and took a few steps forward. The figure followed the path into the open, at the edge of the lake. It wasn't Chase; it was a woman. A woman in a dress. What woman would be walking around this far out in the Ven Forest, in a dress? Richard watched her making her way along the lakeshore, disappearing and reappearing with the path. She didn't seem to be in a hurry, but she wasn't strolling slowly either. Rather, she moved at the measured pace of an experienced traveler. That made sense; no one lived anywhere near Trunt Lake.

Other movement snatched his attention. Richard's eyes searched the shade and shadows. Behind her, there were others. Three, no, four men, in hooded forest cloaks, following her, but hanging back some distance. They moved with stealth, from tree to rock to tree. Looking. Waiting. Moving. Richard straightened, his eyes wide, his attention riveted.

They were stalking her.

He knew immediately: this was the third child of trouble.

Copyright © 1994 by Terry Goodkind

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1057 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Wizard's First Rule: People are stupid....

    That is if they don't read this novel. I must admit that I first got into this because of the show Legend of the Seeker. Which got me hooked on from the very first second of the opening. As the show progressed I found out that it was based on novels and I quickly searched for them and added them to my list of books to buy. I finally bought all of the books and finished Wizard's First Rule and Holy Mother Confessor it is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. Each character is so unique but so connected to each other that you would think they were real people. The way they are written and how they interact and how they react to each other, everything just makes them believable. I feel as if I know them in real life. But it's not only the characters that are just WOW! It's the plot, the story, the lands. EVERYTHING! I don't want to give anything away, but watching the show I kind of knew how things ended. I mean, I know that the show and the books are totally different but I knew what happened to the characters. But at times when they were in danger I still held my breath and grew worried that they would be gone. Not only from the novel but from my life. Terry Goodkind is an amazing writer who created an amazing world full of loveable characters. This is one book I say you HAVE to read. That is if you want to know what great literature is. I did find a few grammar mistakes and such but they were very minor like a letter missing or a word was repeated. But put that aside, and you have a masterpeice in your hands. I will definatly have to re-read this book again in the very near future. Watch the show and read the books.

    35 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2009

    Couldn't get past the graphic torturing of young boys.

    I really thought this book was good until about a third of the way through it. I was appalled by the grown man who likes to rape little boys and likes to "feel them squirm", but I couldn't read past the part where Darken Rahl murders a young boy, then proceeds to (in graphic written detail) cut him open and remove every organ in his little body from his brain down to his testicals. <BR/><BR/>I get that the villains in books are going to preform abhorrent atrocities, but I can't stomach them being written in such graphic detail. This is definitely an author and series that I'll avoid with great berth in the future.

    21 out of 62 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2010

    Great stories, awful writing.

    I'll comment on the whole series for anyone who's thinking of reading all the books (11 full-length novels and one novella). These are (mostly) great stories combined with awful writing. Conversations and monologues ramble on. A character asks someone what it's like to be old. The answer rambles on and had nothing to do with the story. A Mord-Sith hits a subject with her Agiel a mere 5 times and he is fully broken. In the first book, Denna's subjugation of Richard went on ad nauseum for 50 mind-numbing repetitive pages. At one point, two characters subdue a bad guy and then engage in a debate about the difference between love and loyalty. Had nothing to do with story. (Needless to say, the bad guy who had been incapacitated made his escape.) Here is an excerpt showing what could be the worst paragraph+ ever to appear in a fantasy novel; the women in question had earlier been naked for no reason): They were, after all, wearing their finest dresses: WOMAN1 in a dark dress slimming to her size; WOMAN2, her brushed and neat gray hair complementing her deep green dress banded with lace at the collar; WOMAN3 in a simple dress, black, as her dresses always were, laced at the bodice in a way that accented the shape of her bosom; WOMAN4 in a red dress, a color she favored, and with good reason, the way it set off her thick mane of dark hair, to say nothing of exhibiting her exquisite form; WOMAN5 in a dark blue dress that revealed her reasonably shapely figure and went well with her sky blue eyes; and WOMAN6 in her own becoming attire, a shade of blue much lighter than WOMAN5's and trimmed with tasteful ruffles at her cleavage and wrists, and unadorned at the waist so as not to hide her well-formed hips. ("tasteful ruffles"???) "Richly detailed" is one thing, but this is beyond the pale. Goodkind repeats then repeats and repeats then repeats ad nauseum. He rehashes facts which have already been presented, often when it had nothing to do with what was taking place at the moment. The graphic violence and sex could have been dispensed with as being gratuitous. ("tasteful ruffles"???) Richard and Kahlan are powerfully in love--that is relevant to one sub-plot. But it's taken to a ridiculous level. During a pitched battle, they exchange "I love you"'s. One time they walk through the hall surrounded by others, and stop, to make out. One time they question a possibly dangerous and threatening individual, and they think about making out. When they're in the same room, Kahlan thinks of having Richard in her bed or being in his arms. This is a fantasy epic, not Danielle Steele. In the first book, we have a scene of Kahlan crying her eyes out. It was truly a bad situation, but Kahlan is really "more than a woman"--instead of bawling like a baby, she could have (and should have) shown steely, stoic resolve or defiance. Not to mention countless times she, and other (more-than) women, cry, or have a "tear ran down her cheek". ("tasteful ruffles"???) Plot-wise, parts were overtly political and religious--perhaps that could've been cut down. So why did I read (plod through) these books? Because generally the stories are fantastic--exciting, full of action and mystery, with interesting twists. At one point two characters are described: "They both spoke with a quiet economy of words that added an air of nobility to their bearing.&quot

    17 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    And to think that a tree died for this.

    I've read a lot of books. I'm particularly fond fantasy and sci-fi and will finish a thousand page novel in a day or two if it captures my interest. I've read through several Goodkind series in my youth and after seeing such glowing reviews for this one thought I might revisit my old stomping grounds. I only got about half way through the book before I traded on SwapTree.

    Where do I even begin? Besides not finding a single original idea in the first 400 pages of the book:

    The characters were drab, unemotional and altogether unbelievable.
    The plot was static, predictable, and quite linear.
    The writing was uninspiring and not particularly eloquent.
    And finally, I had to force myself to continue reading as long as I did.

    Case in point, the description of the potion made from the brain, heart, and testicles of a young boy so that our arch-villain could cross over to the "other side" was downright insulting to me as a reader. Not because it was overly graphic or obscene, but because it was a cheap attempt to inspire enmity for a villain who, up to that point, was BORING! I'm sick and tired of the pathetic attempts of authors to shock their readers by adding a few graphic details to their meaningless plots.

    What these cheap tricks tell me is that Goodkind feels that his readers are unimaginative idiots incapable of coming up with even more psychologically thrilling conclusions than his testicle potion. You know why Hitchcock is still a household name? It's because he allowed his audience to fill in the gaps in his stories with their own twisted ideas.

    Perhaps the most disturbing thing about this book is the rave reviews its had by other readers. There is nothing interesting or remarkable about this book any more than there is about a McDonald's hamburger. I suppose millions of those get eaten every day too though. At least the hamburger only represents an investment of about five minutes though. I wish I had the hours back I wasted hoping that this book would take me somewhere. If you want a truly original story, check out some of my recommends. You should immediately be able to see the difference between a work of art and the unfortunate and needless death of another tree.

    15 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2010

    This product was purchased in your teen section and my recommendation is for B&N to get it off its shelves, period.

    This product was purchased in your teen section, and I bought two of them-one for my grandson (14) and one for me. Having first read about 1/3 of it, I tore out chapters in both books and destroyed both new books without returning them to B&N, because some parts should not be read by anyone-adults included (the torturing of a child).

    14 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    Origin of "Legend of the Seeker"

    Let me begin by saying I'm not a professional critic. I loved this book as I loved the television series it spawned - "Legend of the Seeker". It's full of action, romance and is packed with lessons that the right thing to do is not always easy. If you are looking for a "feel good" book with a little fantasy action and romance you'll enjoy reading "Wizard's First Rule"

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Sword of Truth series

    I have read books 1-5 of this series by Terry Goodkind. all of the books have intriguing twists and plots and i keep reading the books. Over all out of the books of this series that i have read so far i think the first may be my favorite.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2010

    This book is the best. That's the truth!

    Richard Cypher encounters a mysterious girl, Kahlan, being attacked. After defeating them, she tells Richard that she is from across the boundary: a magical block that is meant to separate their lands. Kahlan has an important task-- to find the wizard so he will name a Seeker. She talks of an evil man, Darken Rahl, who wants to rule the world and the Seeker must stop him. After finding the wizard, Richard is proclaimed Seeker. He must find a way through the boundary, travel through foreign lands, and all before the first day of winter. Terry Goodkind makes his characters come to life and adds enough plot twists to keep any reader interested. He gets his message across by using flaws in his characters, making them easy to relate to. He also uses the antagonists as counter-examples to his themes which can be gruesome at times. Near the middle of the book it seems like the author goes off on random tangents that do not seem to fit in the book until near the end. Major themes in the book include power and truth. Darken Rahl seeks power over all the lands, but Kahlan and Richard do not want him to have power. They seek power to prevent him from getting power by getting people to trust them. Rahl does the same, except he lies to the people to get them to follow him. This leads to the next theme, truth. The Seeker seeks the truth. He finds the truth by all means necessary. A main part of the book is the wizard's first rule which can be summed up as people will believe almost anything. It is truly a clever book and a great book for anyone that is interested in reading about adventure, romance, or fantasy.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Magnificent...An Enchanting, and Magical Epic, The Sword of Truth.!!!

    "You may pass, boy. Our business is with the girl" The man's voice was deep, almost friendly. Nonetheless, the threat was as sharp as a blade.
    "keep between them, don't let them all come at me at once," She whispered, "And be sure you aren't touching me when they come"
    They charged in a frightening rush, the one with the short sword swung it high, coming at Richard, He could hear one of the men behind him grab the woman as the man with sword raced toward him.
    And then, just before the man reached him, there was a hard impact to the air,
    like a clap of thunder with no sound. The violence of it made every joint in his body cry out in sharp pain.
    Dust lifted around them, spreading outward in a ring.

    Terry Goodkind's "Wizard's First Rule" is Magnificent!!!
    In the first installment of the sword of thruth series, Goodkind takes readers into a magical tour through the Eyes of Richard Cypher And Khalan Amnel. A magical journey to the Westlands, Midlands and concluding in the Garden of Life at the People's Palace. D'HARA.
    In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, has crossed the boundary through the westlands seeking help, in search for the old wizard of the first order, "Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander" to stop the evil Darken Rahl.

    In a world surrounded by prophesies, legends, mystical beasts, wizards, witches, kings, queens, Mord-Siths, spirits, and the power of magic for those trying to dominate the world.

    Goodkind's "Wizard's first rule", has set the foundation for one the most beloved sci-fi stories of today. He touches on the most darkest subjects of human kind, very or too graphic at times, but neccessary. Describing a world not too far different from ours. But at the same time, he also gives readers one of the most unforgettable love story in any book franchise.

    In a race against time, The seeker, the mother confessor, the wizard of first order with the help of the sword of truth will fight " an ancient and danguerous magic of immense power. a magic spawned from the earth, from life itself. A magic held in three vessels called the three boxes of Orden" A power that will give Darken Rahl total dominance of the world.

    "Wizard's First Rule" is a well written epic, slow paced, but a page turner. With many twists and turns througout the entire book. Goodking has a magic touch in developing the main characters. Richard and Khalan's love for each other is genuine and magical, Goodking doesn't take or give their love for granted. He also does a wonderful job with all the characters in the novel, describing the cruelty and nobility in all, making them unforgettable.
    The author doesn't miss a chapter to remind readers, they are witnessing the beggining of a legend, the book is all about the "True Seeker, a person who answers to no one but himself, the sword of truth is his to wield as he wishes, to seek answers to help others, not just himself. The purpose of the seeker is to be free to quest on his own, find answers to what he wants to know, and if need be, do whatever it is the answers demand"
    As stated before, "Wizard's First Rule" is enchanting and magical. Goodkind has all the characters needed, the book is beautifully written, and Khalan and Richard's story is exceptional.
    For those fans of the Show "Legend Of The Seeker", the book has many great surprises, and doesn't add or diminish the show. In addition, the writing of the books makes the story of "The True Seeker" meaningful.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    Not for young teens...

    Perhaps when you read some of reviews for this book you may be lulled into thinking, "What a great jumping-off-point this might be after my teenager finishes reading (for example) the "Inheritence Series" written by Christopher Paolini." I felt like this myself when I bought this book. I let the combination of the cover-art, the title and the reviews convince me that I was making a good choice in purchasing "Wizards First Rule" (it was a surprise gift) but after learning how this book is written I can see that I was wrong.

    Let me put it this way: If I had a friend who wanted to buy this book for their young teenager (my son is 13) I would caution him or her to keep their childs emotional age in mind before delving into Terry's eleven-book-series. Even though my son is pretty mature for his age, and even though I cannot deny that Mr. Goodkind is a brilliant writer by giving his readers plenty of magical creatures and wizards to read about, this doesn't mean that the same morals that were found in any of J.K. Rowling or Christopher Paolini books will be found in Terry's books as well. Far, far from it.

    So, although as an adult I may admire Terry's work, as a parent, I cannot have my young son read something so blatently and unapologetically violent. Wizards First Rule is a story which is filled with bloody-gore, murder, decapitation and "other" disturbing situations of...shall I say, personal invasion....that may leave you feeling that you gave your young teenager a "too much, too soon" scenario for him or her to be exposed to.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Wizard's First Rule = "Writers are not Created Equal"

    A friend recommended this book to me as fun, easy read that told a story of a great hero who gets to be the ultimate good guy until the very end.

    I agree with this book being an easy read. It didn't take anytime at all to plow through this 800+ page paperback. It's not pretentious in the slightest, not complicated to follow and is easy to put down and pick back up.

    From the beginning, I didn't have much buy-in for the main characters due to the unrealistic emotional connections made almost instantaneously.

    I'm a big fan of getting lost in a book of complete fantasy or other outrageous fiction, but this book just didn't leave me wanting more. It's the first in a long series, but I have no interest in reading more.

    If you're looking for a great creator of fantasy, please check out Dan Simmons. He's an amazing writer.

    Hope this was helpful.

    6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Goodkind Rocks with Wizard's First Rule

    Outstanding writing and continuing plot.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2000

    I am embarrassed that I read the 2nd one, too

    Summing it up - simplistic characters that are stereotypes (the old fuddy-duddy wizard is so classically from D&D campaigns), a few interesting monsters, prophecies that feel pretty lame instead of feeling epic, and a very, very weak love story that is vapid, like many romantic movies that claim to be about love, but are mostly just about physically attraction and sex.

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Nook Please!

    Please make this available for the nook. You'll make a lonely woman with too much time on her hands very happy.

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great epic fantasy!

    This book, though an older title, is one of the best fantasy books that I have read. With 848 pages of thrilling adventure, who could resist? It has everything that any fantasy reader could ask for: dragons, wizards, sword fighting, magic creatures, even an evil overlord. Seriously folks, this one you shouldn't pass up!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    EPIC!!!

    Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series is a one of a kind masterpiece. The characters are realistic. The development of the characters is amazing; the story plot is intriguing, mystifying, and on a wide scale. The writing style is fast-paced and there is never too long of a dull moment. Once it gets your attention, the action doesn't stop. If you are out of books to read and looking for a good series, this is it. If you never read a book and is thinking of checking one out, start here.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wizards First Rule

    I accidentally found Terry Goodkinds, Wizards First Rule about 3 weeks ago, and am now listening to Blood of the Fold, which is the third book in a series of Ten. I absolutely love this series, and it seems just as if you are attending a play, while listening to it. Wizards First Rule is about Richard, a woodsman, who spots a woman in white, who is being stalked by four men. Richard runs to warn Kahlann, who is the Mother Confessor and is the first man, who has ever treated her as an ordinary woman, which she is NOT!! Richard is also not an ordinary man, but he doesnt know it in the first part of the book.

    Wizards First Rule, introduces us to Richard, Kahlann, Zedd the WIzard, Darken Rahl (who has many secrets), the dragon and the mud people. The book describes the growing relationship between Richard and Kahlann,how they come to love and respect one another, and the many trials and tribulations they encounter. I was absolutely intrigued by the first three books but Wizards First Rule is my favorite, so far. If you are looking for a book you can sink your teeth into, you will love this one.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2009

    Awesome!

    I could not put it down. It gripped me from the get go and did not release its hold. It still hasn't. I bought the second and third book and will be getting the rest of the series. The characters are real and the author pulls no punches as he raises the stakes, keeping me riveted page after page. Do get this book and its sequels. You will not be disappointed.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind

    Dispite the rave reviews on the jacket cover, this author does not hold a candle to Tolkien, Rowling or any of the really good fantasy writers. I found this book to be depressing and did not appreciate some of the subject matter. Goodkind could not decide whether to make this a children's book or an adult book, went with adult about one third of the way through which is about where I decided it was rubish and started another book.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2012

    Terry Goodkind is simply amazing. He is an artist. The character

    Terry Goodkind is simply amazing. He is an artist. The characters in his books are so human, so real. The depth of his writing is beautiful. There are messages to live by in these books.&quot; Focus on the solution and NOT the problem&quot;, &quot;Accept truth. Don't be a blind follower&quot; &quot;By rejecting truth one embraces death&quot;... They are highly philosophical. I can honestly say that I have come to appreciate life...to love life because of them. They opened my eyes to a whole different view of things. They have made me more confident in who I am. The power of oneself, once realized, can be one of the most powerful forces out there. &quot;My life is my own.&quot;

    That being said, I can see why they are so hit and miss. I believe, to truly appreciate Goodkind's power of writing, you must hold both literature and philosophy highly. Where they are a great story, a true EPIC FANTASY, they have a depth to them that isn't grasped by a lot of people... These are not books you pick op and skim through, or read fast. If you are that kind of reader, I wouldn't expect much out of this series. You will lose the beauty of it, the underlying genius. More often than not, I hear that these books are &quot;okay&quot;. My enthusiasm usually goes overboard at that point...&quot;I LOVE THESE BOOKS!&quot;

    I read some comments about the graphic nature of these books... Life is pretty graphic people. I don't believe in sheltering oneself from the truth. These novels are a little graphic, but for anyone that hasn't had a comfy life, or who realizes that what happens, happens to show you just how twisted certain characters are. It's supposed to set us on edge. Good writing has the capability of touching our deepest emotions. If a book doesn't make one feel, weather it's amazed or horrified. The writer has no talent. The fact that Goodkind knows how to touch ones emotions and isn't afraid of doing so, shows how talented he is as an author. Not many people have the guts to turn their nightmares into art, and if any of you have tried you know it isn't easy. I write poetry, among other things, and you HAVE to have tons of emotion in what you write if you want it to stick (especially in a poem, where you are given significantly less opportunity to do so) Writing things that scare us has a HUGE impact on readers. It doesn't make the writer evil or horrible (often times it scares us more, knowing it came from us) Just look at H.P. Lovecraft (only one example, but almost all thriller, suspense, science fiction, and horror writing is greatly influenced by his work.) If you can't handle it and aren't able to take it for what it is. Leave these books be.

    I highly recommend this series to anyone who doesn't just pick up books and read them, but LIVES the books AS they read them. For those who let what they read really sink in and not just regurgitate what they see to their brain...DON'T PASS THIS SERIES BY!! Mr. Goodkind has given us something beautiful, and I for one will treasure it always.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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