The Law of Nines

The Law of Nines

by Terry Goodkind

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101109007
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/18/2009
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 145,150
File size: 563 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Terry Goodkind is a #1 New York Times—bestselling author. He lives in Nevada and Maine.

From the Paperback edition.

Read an Excerpt

1 .

It was the pirate flag flying atop the plumbing truck that firstcaught his attention. The white skull and crossbones seemedto be straining to keep from being blown off the flapping blackflag as the flatbed truck, apparently trying to beat the light, cannonballedthrough the intersection. The truck heeled over as it cutan arc around the corner. White PVC pipe rolled across the diamondplate of the truck bed, sounding like the sharp rattle of bones.At the speed it was traveling the truck looked to be in danger ofcapsizing.

Alex glanced to the only other person waiting at the curb withhim. With his mind adrift in distracted thoughts he hadn’t beforenoticed the lone woman standing just in front of him and to theright. He didn’t even remember seeing where she’d come from. Hethought that he saw just a hint of vapor rising from the sides of herarms into the chill air.

Since he wasn’t able to see the woman’s face, Alex didn’t know ifshe saw the truck bearing down on them, but he found it difficult to believe that she wouldn’t at least hear the diesel engine roaring atfull throttle.

Seeing by the truck’s trajectory that it wasn’t going to make thecorner, Alex snatched the woman’s upper arm and yanked her backwith him.

Tires screeched as the great white truck bounced up over thecurb right where Alex and the woman had been standing. The frontbumper swept past, missing them by inches. Rusty dust billowedout behind the truck. Chunks of sod and dirt flew by.

Had Alex hesitated they both would have been dead.

On the white door just above the name “Jolly Roger Plumbing”was a picture of a jovial pirate with a jaunty black patch over one eyeand a sparkle painted in the corner of his smile. Alex glared back asthe pirate sailed past.

When he looked up to see what kind of maniac was driving heinstead met the direct, dark glare of a burly passenger. The man’scurly beard and thick mat of dark hair made him look like he reallycould have been a pirate. His eyes, peering out of narrow slits aboveplump, pockmarked cheeks, were filled with a kind of vulgar rage.

The big man appeared infuriated that Alex and the womanwould dare to be in the way of their off-road excursion. As the doorpopped open there was no doubt as to his combative intent.

He looked like a man stepping out of a nightmare.

Alex felt a cold wave of adrenaline flood through him as he mentallychoreographed his moves. The passenger, who seemed to begetting ready to leap out of the still-moving truck, would reach himbefore the driver could join in, making it one against one—at leastfor a brief time. Alex couldn’t believe that it was happening, but itwas and he knew that he was going to have to deal with it.

Calm fury filled him as he prepared himself for the unavoidable. Everything slowed until each beat of his heart seemed to take aneternity. He watched the muscles in the man’s arm bulge as he heldthe door open. In response, Alex’s own muscles tightened, ready tomeet the threat. His mind was cocooned in silence.

Just as the passenger’s stout leg swung out the open door, flashinglights and the sudden wail of a siren made the burly man turn hisattention away. A police car, tires squealing, launched across the intersectionin a way that suggested the cops were angered by the truck’sstunt. The police car had been parked beside a hedge to the side of thedrive into the parking lot across the street. As they had sped past, themen in the truck apparently hadn’t seen the parked police car watchingtraffi c. Lost in his own thoughts, Alex hadn’t, either.

The loudspeaker crackled to life. “Pull it over!”

The world seemed to rush back in.

The white plumbing truck, trailing a fog of dust, slowed as itrolled off the curb up ahead, the black-and-white police car rightbehind it. As the truck stopped, two policemen leaped out, handsresting at the ready on their guns as they approached from bothsides of the truck at the same time. They yelled orders and both mencarefully emerged with their hands up. In an instant the officers hadthem out and leaning on the front fenders of the truck.

Alex felt the tension drain out of his muscles, leaving his kneesfeeling weak.

As he turned his glare from the men being frisked, he found thewoman’s gaze fixed on him. Her eyes were the luscious color of hisfinest sable artist brushes. It was clearly evident to him that behindthose sensuous brown eyes she appraised the world around her withan incisive intellect.

She glanced deliberately down at his big hand still tightly grippingher upper arm. He had intended to toss her back out of harm’s way so that the passenger couldn’t hurt her, but the police hadshown up first.

She looked up at him in silent command.

“Sorry,” he said, releasing her arm. “You were about to be rundown by pirates.”

She said nothing.

He had meant his comment to be lighthearted, to ease the frightof what had nearly happened, but by her calm expression she didn’tappear to be the least bit amused. He hoped he hadn’t hurt her arm.He knew that sometimes he didn’t realize his own strength.

Not knowing what to do with his hands, Alex combed his fingersback through his thick hair as he stuffed his other hand in a pocket.

He cleared his throat, changed his tone to be more serious, andstarted over. “I’m sorry if I hurt your arm, but that truck would havehit you if I hadn’t pulled you back out of the way.”

“It matters to you?”

Her voice was as captivating as her eyes.

“Yes,” he said, a little puzzled. “I wouldn’t like to see anyone gethurt in an accident like that.”

“Perhaps it wasn’t an accident.”

Her expression was unreadable. He could only wonder at hermeaning. He was at a loss as to how to respond.

The memory of the way she’d been standing at the curb still hungin the shadows in the back of his mind. Even lost in distant, dejectedthoughts at the time, he had noticed that her body language hadn’tbeen quite right. Because he was an artist, a person’s balance, eitherat rest or in motion, stood out to him. There had been somethingout of the ordinary about the way she had been standing.

Alex wasn’t sure if, by her answer, she was simply trying to do thesame as he had been doing—trying to lighten the heart-poundingscare of what had nearly happened—or if she was dismissing hischivalry as a presumptuous line. He imagined that a woman asattractive as she was had to deal with men constantly trying cleverlines in order to meet her.

The satiny black dress that hugged her curves looked to be eitherhigh fashion or oddly out of time and place—he couldn’t quitedecide which—as did the long, deep green wrap draped over hershoulders. Her luxuriant fall of soft, summer-blond hair could havegone either way as well.

Alex figured that she had to be on her way to the exclusive jewelrystore that was the anchor of the upscale Regent Center acrossthe street. The slanted glass façade was just visible beyond the shadeof ash and linden trees spread across the broad grounds separatingthe upscale shops from Regent Boulevard.

He glanced over at the plumbing truck sitting at the curb. Thestrobing lights from the police car made the white truck look alternatelyblue and red.

After getting handcuffs on the passenger, the police officerpointed at the curb and told the man to sit beside the driver. Theman sat and crossed his legs. Both wore dark work clothes coveredwith grime. While both men quietly did as they were told, neitherlooked to be the least bit cowed.

One of the officers started toward Alex as the other spoke intothe radio clipped to his shirt at the shoulder.

“Are you two all right?” the man asked as he approached, hisvoice still carrying an adrenaline edge. “They didn’t hit you, didthey?”

Both of the cops were young and built like weightlifters. Bothhad bull necks. Black, short-sleeved shirts stretched over the swell oftheir arms served only to emphasize the size of their muscles. “No,” Alex said. “We’re fine.”

“Glad to hear it. That was quick thinking. For a minute I thoughtyou two were going to be roadkill.”

Alex gestured toward the men in handcuffs. “Are they beingarrested?”

With a quick glance he took in the woman, then shook his head.“No, unless they come back with warrants. With guys like this younever know what you’ve got, so we often cuff them for our ownsafety until they can be checked out. When my partner is finishedwriting up that ticket, though, I don’t think they’ll be in the moodto pull a stunt like this again for a while.”

That two cops this powerfully built would be worried about theguys in the truck to the point of cuffing them made Alex not feel sobad for being spooked when he’d looked into the dark eyes of thepassenger.

He glanced at the badge and extended his hand. “Thanks forcoming along when you did, Officer Slawinski.”

“Sure thing,” the man said as he shook Alex’s hand. By the forceapplied to the grip Alex figured that the man was still keyed up.Officer Slawinski turned away, then, eager to get back to the pirates.

The driver, still sitting on the curb, was thinner but just as mean-lookingas the burly passenger. He sat stone-faced, giving briefanswers as the officer standing over him asked questions while writingthe ticket.

The two officers spoke briefly, apparently about the results of thewarrant check, because Officer Slawinski nodded, then uncuffedthe passenger and told him to get back in the truck. After climbingback in, the passenger rested a hairy arm out the side window as theother cop started uncuffing the driver.

In the truck’s big, square side mirror, Alex saw the man’s dark eyes glaring right at him. They were the kind of eyes that seemed tobe out of place in a civilized world. Alex told himself that it had tobe that in such a newly built, luxurious part of town the work-wornconstruction vehicles, despite there being a lot of them, all seemedto be out of place. In fact, Alex recalled having seen the Jolly RogerPlumbing truck before.

Alex’s small house, not far away, had once been at the outskirtsof town among a cluster of other homes built in the seclusion ofwooded hills and cornfields, but they had long since been swallowedby the ever-expanding city. He now lived in a desirable area, if notexactly on a desirable street or in a desirable house.

Alex stood frozen for a moment, staring at the grubby, beardedface watching him in the truck’s mirror.

Then the man grinned at him.

It was as wicked a grin as Alex had ever seen.

As the black flag atop the truck lifted in a gust of wind, the skullalso gave Alex a grim grin.

He noticed then that the woman, ignoring the activity, waswatching him. As the light turned green, Alex gestured.

“Would you allow me to escort you safely across the street?” heasked in a tone of exaggerated gallantry.

For the first time she smiled. It wasn’t a broad grin, or a smilethat threatened to break into laughter, but rather a simple, modestcurve of her lips saying that this time she got the lighthearted natureof his words.

Still, it seemed to make the world suddenly beautiful on whatwas otherwise a rather depressing day for him.

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Law of Nines 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 237 reviews.
Richtor More than 1 year ago
I didn't know what to expect upon my first read-through of Terry Goodkind's new book, which promised to be a break from his long-standing fantasy genre and epic 'Sword of Truth' series. Simply put, I was astounded. Goodkind's first mainstream work is a great thrill, rife with captivating characters, sinister antagonists, a well-executed plot, and the same enchanting writing I had grown to love this author for, from his 'Sword of Truth' masterpieces. Fans of "the good" Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and other modern thrillers will not want to miss this book. It's a great read and a refreshing take on an under-served mainstream segment. I hope to read much more of this "evolved" Goodkind for many years to come.
OilipareS More than 1 year ago
Like the previous reviewer (Richtor), I was not sure what to expect from 'The Law of Nines'. It is clear from the success of the 'Sword of Truth' series that Goodkind is a very talented author, but initially I was unsure if his gift for fantasy would lend to an easy transition to more mainstream thrillers. 'The Law or Nines' is a fantastic first showing for mainstream Goodkind. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This action packed story has a well developed plot and a riveting cast of characters. Look out Stephen King and Dean Koontz! If you enjoy the works of these authors you should definitely give it a read. I will certainly add Terry Goodkind to my list of go-to authors for a satisfying thrill ride!
25in More than 1 year ago
I've never read Terry Goodkind but this book landed in my lap for review last week and I was just blown away. The level of detail in which Goodkind writes is just astounding. He is very passionate about his characters and it shows. Alex is a wonderful character of surprising depth and Alex is one bad-ass chica. I thoroughly enjoyed this light read and I'll certainly consider stepping into Goodkind's earlier works as a result. I was at first a bit worried knowing the author hails from a dominately fantasy background, but all preconceptions were thrown aside by the conclusion of the first chapter. This is a vibrant, colorful, exciting story with wonderfully grounded elements wrapped around a fantasy/horror element that is carefully woven into an undoubtedly real world. A+. I would recommend this book to any thriller fans and agree with the earlier review that suggested Stephen King and Koontz. Very much in the same spectrum but better! More detail and a faster-paced story than the traditional arcs of the aforementioned.
MinnieR More than 1 year ago
Received this book as a buyer for Minnie's Books in California last week. The editor's review suggested Terry Goodkind's first step into the mains tream thriller segment would please Stephen King fans and boy did this book ever! I have been a long time SK fan beginning with Dead Zone and Law of Nines brought me back to that wonderful period. Fastly writ, wonderfully engrossing, and highly entertaining this story is a must read for fans of thrillers. Stay sharp Goodkind, I will keep reading for more.
LangleyVA More than 1 year ago
Great read, quick book, easy page turner with lots of great plot twists. Definitely the best read of my summer so far. Falls right into my top recommended list for 2009.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you haven't read Wizard's First Rule...... stop now. This book i feel will ONLY be appreciated by people who have connnected to the characters of the Sword Of Truth series... and it wont make much too much sense overall unless you were able to keep up with the chainfire/orden story arc at the end of the series. I've read the entire SOT saga multiple times, including Debt of Bones, and this was stilll almost a painful read (partly cause I had such high hopes). Felt like Terry was just grasping at straws. The world he created in his epic lives on but this book does not do it justice. Start at the beginning with First Rule and I almost guarantee you will buy the next 6 books.... Pillars of Creation was a bit of a drag but a least added a lot to the story. Things get complicated after Naked Empire. And richard gets way too long winded. However, there are elements of a good story here but I don't know which book left me with more questions or confusion: this or Omen Machine. Bottom line: if you randomly found this book; stop and go get Wizard's First Rule. If you're already a true fan, you're going to read this anyway just like you probably read Omen Machine
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've always been a huge fan of goodkinds writing, the sot series is probably still my favorite. That said, this book fell pretty short of the mark. It seemed almost hurried in some parts and slower in other. It also seemed almost like a contemporary rehashing of the SOT series and left some things lacking such as the deal with the mirrors, and any number of other things, alex not being able to go to her world made no sense given the pillars of creation... anyway it wasnt a bad book, it just didnt hold up compared to the SOT series and some parts were very good and some were even funny. In brief, it definately isnt the SOT series, but it is a reasonable book.
NancyJCohenFL More than 1 year ago
Alex finds his world turned upside down when he shoves a woman to safety out of the path of a rampaging truck. The near hit wasn't an accident, and soon they're both fleeing for their lives. Jax explains how Alex is a target because he's the prophesied savior according to the Law of Nines. She's here to protect him. Alex scoffs at her story at first. He's an artist, and even though his grandfather taught him how to defend himself, he refuses to believe her story, until men materialize right before his eyes and try to kill him. He accepts his destiny and joins Jax's quest to save both their worlds. From their last names, I am wondering if this is a sequel thousands of years into the future of when Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth finishes. I'm only on book five of that series so I won't know for a while, but it certainly seems as though this brings the action to present day.
Collage More than 1 year ago
In this book, Goodkind is at his worst. The plot is not only a ripoff of his earlier works but the author dosen't even attempt to have it make sense. People from his old universe invade our world hundreds if not thousands of years after the victory of Richard Rahl. Amazingly, they speak english perfectly (and write it!!) The Rahl line still exists unchanged after hundreds years (they even have the exact same name!!).The bad guy's are not only ridiculously brutal but amazingly stupid (and trust me the "good" guys aren't much better!!). Then we are supposed to admire a man who cares more about a woman he just met than his own mother!! As if this were not enough, we are continuously boombarded with Goodkind's conservative/humanist agenda. Frankly, for someones who's characters are always ranting about man's ability to reason, I found none in this novel.
HelloEileen More than 1 year ago
I'm a rep for B&N Upper Darby and received this book as an advanced reading employee copy. Its the first thriller type book Ive read in months and I LOVED-LOVED-LOVED it! Jax is a super cool riotfemme and I loved the story of her and Alex. There were lots of great twists and a few fun surprises. It's my first Terry Goodkind book and I liked it A LOT. A+ recommended!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The worst book I have ever read! The author kept repeating himself as if writing for a bunch of idiots, which I guess I am for wasting my time reading this stupid book! Ugh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In 1 word. Boo
golfnut More than 1 year ago
If one was awed by the Sword of Truth series, they may not be as excited at first with the Law on Nines book. But the writer Terry Goodkind that we all love comes through by the time you finish. I am hungry for more and hope he makes this a series. PS if you go to his website and click on the video link (after you get past page 155) there is a really well done video of part of the book.
kaetc81 More than 1 year ago
My first experience with this author, I was pleasantly surprised. The characters were most realistic and it was so well done that you start to believe the concept of parallel worlds.
ReadingPatti More than 1 year ago
I am loving this book. I have not read his other books but I plan on doing that sometime. I love the premise of the book. To think that there are other worlds out there besides our own is an idea we should think about. For who knows but God if there are other people out there. It is a great read for escaping. I hope more people will read this book and give it a chance and not judge it against his other work. It should be judged for itself. I recommend this book. It is a great read and very intriguing. Patti
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did like this book, it was a quick captivating read. However, when they said Goodkind's thriller I was thinking like Stephen King thriller. So I read it because I am an avid fan of the Sword of Truth series. I was surprised by how much Goodkind's SOT books and Law of Nines related. I felt this book lacks originality. I was able to figure out the entire plot based on the fact that I had read the SOT books. Goodkind would've been better off sticking to the story of Richard and Kahlan, this is just a convoluted form of their story with vague refers to the House of Rahl, and the Mother Confessor. Overall acceptable attempt, good read, but I was expecting more...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First, let me say that TG is my favorite author and I have been a fan for a very long time. Also, I'm not the type of reader who can only read one genre to be happy. I was really looking forward to this book. I was excited to see TG attempt to go "mainstream". Unfortunately, I was beyond disappointed with this book. I thought that Law of Nines was a dumbed down, pathetic copycat, Reader's Digest version of the story of Richard and Khalan. When I finished that book, my first thought was, "What a waste of my time and money." I was shocked that a man known for such rich characters and captivating stories had written such drivel. If this is an example of his "mainstream" writing, then I hope when he's finished with the 3 books he's contractually obligated to write he has the good sense to go back to what he's good at....because this book was not good. I tried very hard to like it. I really did, but it was an awful book, with one dimensional characters and a plot that was a rip off of his better books. I don't know, maybe he thought he had to write a cheap rip off of WFR in order to keep his readers, or maybe some moron at Putnam this story would be the best way to start out in either case, the book was an insult.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had been awaiting the release of this book because I am a huge fan of the Sword of Truth series. I actually put Law of Nines on reserve at my local library and they called me on 8/14 to say that it was available... a full 4 days before it's general release! I have read all of the Sword of Truth books and just re-read Wizard's First Rule, so Terry Goodkind's writing style was fresh in my mind. I must say that it almost seems that a different author wrote Law of Nines. The book was enjoyable, but I didn't think the writing was as good as his other works. The ties to Sword of Truth were interesting, but I had it figured out pretty early on. I will continue to read Goodkind, but in general this book was a bit of a dissapointment because of how much I had come to expect from his novels.
Just_Jerry More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book as soon as the store opened the day it came out (yesterday) and read as much as I could to finish it by tonight. I must say that it was a GREAT book and I couldnt put it down. I am a little miffed about a few things people are saying about the book that apparently I just dont understand. I do see how the book could be considered a "Thriller" with all the suspense and action taking place, but there are very strong fantasy threads holding it in line with the sword of truth series. Actually, this is nothing more than an extension of the same world in the sword of truth. *SPOILER* If you read the sword of truth, you would understand that at the end of the series, our world, where The Law of Nines takes place, is the world created by Richard. This is explained more than a few times in the Law of Nines. Some "easter eggs" in the book directly reference the sword of truth. Alex is from Orden, Nebraska, referencing the boxes that were placed into play in the sword of truth. The Rahl bloodline was brought to our world by Richards sister, who was born without the gift, so yes, there is another Rahl. Jax's last name is Amnell, the same as the confessors, Kahlain Amnell, in the original series...many more, try to find them! *END OF SPOILER* With all of these things linked, and the pretenses of the story plots, I would still consider this a fantasy read and would question why Terry Goodkind is just now being recognized for the same story writing he has given us fans for the last 10 years with the Sword of Truth series. I am very happy to have stumbled upon this great work, giving an extension to a world that I was able to escape to over the last few years. If this is the only Goodkind book you have read because all of a sudden he is "mainstream like Stephen King", then I suggest you go and buy his others because they will not disappoint. They have the same amount of, if not more thrills that The Law of Nines has, and with 11 books finished and available, the story would not end as soon as this one did. I will anxiously await the next volume of this book (hopefully it spurs another series) or any other written by one of the greatest and most descriptive authors of our time, Terry Goodkind.
Alibius More than 1 year ago
I was invited by a friend to read an early release of this book and carried it around for a few days before finally opening it. I was somewhat reluctant to get into it as I had thought the author was known for science fiction. I read now Goodkind has changed genres and is now writing more mainstream works with reasonable comparisons to King and Brown. Simply put, I was blown away. The Law of Nines is a great thriller easily on par with some of Dan Brown's best. Usually better even. This story has a nicely woven plot, good characters, honest intrigue, and a fair amount of chasing that keeps the tension going. It was the perfect mid-summer read during my daily commute. Certainly recommended.
818Ray More than 1 year ago
Read the reviewer's copy this week and I was impressed. Well written, genuinely great thriller. I'd recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again Terry Goodkind proves to me why he is my all time favorite author! I must day I was skeptical of this book as I do not like when our world gets intertwined with a fantasy world. However, Terry completely made a believer out of me! Terry you are such a talented writer and I consider myself blessed and fortunate to be able to enjoy your work and talent! Thank you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved how he brought his previous world into the current one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Goodkind has done something I have seen VERY few authors do...he has jumped time and kept it as interesting and riveting as the original series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is a good read. Modern world with a sprinkling of the first series. I think we could have seen maybe a little more of Jax's world to give us a better understanding of Cains character. But not really a deal breaker for me.