New York Times bestselling author Terry Goodkind has created his most lavish adventure yet. Tormented her entire life by inhuman voices, a young woman named Lauren seeks to end her intolerable agony. She at last discovers a way to silence the voices. For everyone else, the torment is about to begin.
With winter descending and the paralyzing dread of an army of annihilation occupying their homeland, Richard Rahl and his wife Kahlan must venture deep into a strange and desolate land. Their quest turns to terror when they find themselves the helpless prey of a tireless hunter.
Meanwhile, Lauren finds herself drawn into the center of a struggle for conquest and revenge. Worse yet, she finds her will seized by forces more abhorrent than anything she ever envisioned. Only then does she come to realize that the voices were real.
Staggered by loss and increasingly isolated, Richard and Kahlan must stop the relentless, unearthly threat which has come out of the darkest night of the human soul. To do so, Richard will be called upon to face the demons stalking among the Pillars of Creation.
Discover breathtaking adventure and true nobility of spirit. Find out why millions of readers the world over have elevated Terry Goodkind to the ranks of legend.
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About the Author
Terry Goodkind is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His books include the eleven-volume Sword of Truth series, beginning with Wizard's First Rule, the basis for the television show Legend of the Seeker. Goodkind was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, where he also attended art school. Alongside a career in wildlife art, he has also been a cabinetmaker and a violin maker, and he has done restoration work on rare and exotic artifacts from around the world -- each with its own story to tell, he says. While continuing to maintain the northeastern home he built with his own hands, in recent years he and his wife Jeri have created a second home in the desert Southwest, where he now spends the majority of his time.
Terry Goodkind is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His books include the eleven-volume Sword of Truth series, beginning with Wizard’s First Rule, the basis for the television show Legend of the Seeker. Goodkind was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, where he also attended art school. Alongside a career in wildlife art, he has also been a cabinetmaker and a violin maker, and he has done restoration work on rare and exotic artifacts from around the world -- each with its own story to tell, he says. While continuing to maintain the northeastern home he built with his own hands, in recent years he and his wife Jeri have created a second home in the desert Southwest, where he now spends the majority of his time.
Read an Excerpt
The Pillars of Creation
By Terry Goodkind
Tom Doherty AssociatesCopyright © 2001 Terry Goodkind
All rights reserved.
Picking through the dead man's pockets, Jennsen Daggett came across the last thing in the world she would ever have expected to find. Startled, she sat back on her heels. The raw breeze ruffled her hair as she stared wide-eyed at the words written in precise, blocky letters on the small square of paper. The paper had been folded in half twice, carefully, so that the edges had been even. She blinked, half expecting the words to vanish, like some grim illusion. They remained solid and all too real.
Foolish though she knew the thought was, she still felt as if the dead soldier might be watching her for any reaction. Showing none, outwardly, anyway, she stole a look at his eyes. They were dull and filmy. She had heard people say of the deceased that they looked like they were only sleeping. He didn't. His eyes looked dead. His pale lips were taut, his face was waxy. There was a purplish blush at the back of his bull neck.
Of course he wasn't watching her. He was no longer watching anything. With his head turned to the side, toward her, though, it almost seemed as if he might be looking at her. She could imagine he was.
Up on the rocky hill behind her, bare branches clattered together in the wind like bones clacking. The paper in her trembling fingers seemed to be rattling with them. Her heart, already thumping at a brisk pace, started to pound harder.
Jennsen prided herself in her levelheadedness. She knew she was letting her imagination get carried away. But she had never before seen a dead person, a person so grotesquely still. It was dreadful seeing someone who didn't breathe. She swallowed in an attempt to compose her own breathing, if not her nerves.
Even if he was dead, Jennsen didn't like him looking at her, so she stood, lifted the hem of her long skirts, and stepped around the body. She carefully folded the small piece of paper over twice, the way it had been folded when she had found it, and slipped it into her pocket. She would have to worry about that later. Jennsen knew how her mother would react to those two words on the paper.
Determined to be finished with her search, she squatted on the other side of the man. With his face turned away, it almost seemed as if he were looking back up at the trail from where he had fallen, as if he might be wondering what had happened and how he had come to be at the bottom of the steep, rocky gorge with his neck broken.
His cloak had no pockets. Two pouches were secured to his belt. One pouch held oil, whetstones, and a strop. The other was packed with jerky. Neither contained a name.
If he'd known better, as she did, he would have taken the long way along the bottom of the cliff, rather than traverse the trail across the top, where patches of black ice made it treacherous this time of year. Even if he didn't want to retreat the way he had come in order to climb down into the gorge, it would have been wiser for him to have made his way through the woods, despite the thick bramble that made travel difficult up there among the deadfall.
Done was done. If she could find something that would tell her who he was, maybe she could find his kin, or someone who knew him. They would want to know. She clung to the safety of the pretense.
Almost against her will, Jennsen returned to wondering what he had been doing out here. She feared that the carefully folded piece of paper told her only too clearly. Still, there could be some other reason.
If she could just find it.
She had to move his arm a little if she was to look in his other pocket.
"Dear spirits forgive me," she whispered as she grasped the dead limb.
His unbending arm moved only with difficulty. Jennsen's nose wrinkled with disgust. He was as cold as the ground he lay on, as cold as the sporadic raindrops that fell from the iron sky. This time of year, it was almost always snow driven before such a stiff west wind. The unusual intermittent mist and drizzle had surely made the icy places on the trail at the top even slicker. The dead man only proved it.
She knew that if she stayed much longer she would be caught out in the approaching winter rain. She was well aware that people exposed to such weather risked their lives. Fortunately, Jennsen wasn't terribly far from home. If she didn't get home soon, though, her mother, worried at what could be taking so long, would probably come out after her. Jennsen didn't want her mother getting soaked, too.
Her mother would be waiting for the fish Jennsen had retrieved from baited lines in the lake. For once, the lines they tended through holes in the ice had brought them a full stringer. The fish were lying dead on the other side of the dead man, where she had dropped them after making her grim discovery. He hadn't been there earlier, or she would have seen him on her way out to the lake.
Taking a deep breath to gird her resolve, Jennsen made herself return to her search. She imagined that some woman was probably wondering about her big, handsome soldier, worrying if he was safe, warm, and dry.
He was none of that.
Jennsen would want someone to tell her mother, if it were she who had fallen and broken her neck. Her mother would understand if she delayed a bit to try to find out the man's identity. Jennsen reconsidered. Her mother might understand, but she still wouldn't want Jennsen anywhere near one of these soldiers. But he was dead. He couldn't hurt anyone, now, much less her and her mother.
Her mother would be even more troubled once Jennsen showed her what was written on the little piece of paper.
Jennsen knew that what really drove her search was the hope for some other explanation. She desperately wanted it to be something else. That frantic need kept her beside his dead body when she wanted nothing so much as to run for home.
If she didn't find anything to explain away his presence, then it would be best to cover him and hope that no one ever found him. Even if she had to stay out in the rain, she should cover him over as quickly as possible. She shouldn't wait. Then no one would ever know where he was.
She made herself push her hand down into his trouser pocket, all the way to the end. The flesh of his thigh was stiff. Her fingers hurriedly gathered up the nest of small objects at the bottom. Gasping for breath at the awful task, she pulled it all out in her fist. She bent close in the gathering gloom and opened her fingers for a look.
On top were a flint, bone buttons, a small ball of twine, and a folded handkerchief. With one finger, she pushed the twine and handkerchief to the side, exposing a weighty clutch of coins — silver and gold. She let out a soft whistle at the sight of such wealth. She didn't think that soldiers were rich, but this man had five gold marks among a larger number of silver marks. A fortune by most any standard. All the silver pennies — not copper, silver — seemed insignificant by contrast, even though they alone were probably more than she had spent in the whole of her twenty years.
The thought occurred to her that it was the first time in her life that she had ever held gold — or even silver — marks. The thought occurred to her that it might be plunder.
She found no trinket from a woman, as she had hoped, so as to soften her worry about what sort of man he had been.
Regrettably, nothing in the pocket told her anything of who he might be. Her nose wrinkled as she went about the chore of returning his possessions to his pocket. Some of the silver pennies spilled from her fist. She picked them all up from the wet, frozen ground and forced her hand into his pocket again in order to return them all to their rightful place.
His pack might tell her more, but he was sprawled atop it, and she wasn't sure she wanted to try to have a look, since it was likely to hold only supplies. His pockets would have held anything he considered valuable.
Like the piece of paper.
She supposed all the evidence that she really needed was in plain sight. He wore stiff leather armor under his dark cloak and tunic. At his hip was a simple but ruggedly made and wickedly sharp soldier's sword in a torn utilitarian black leather scabbard. The sword was broken at midlength, no doubt in the long tumble from the trail.
Her eyes glided more carefully over the remarkable knife sheathed at his belt. The hilt of the knife, gleaming in the gloom, was what had riveted her attention from the first instant. The sight of it had held her frozen until she realized its owner was dead. She was sure that no simple soldier would possess a knife that exquisitely crafted. It had to be more expensive than any knife she had ever seen.
On the silver hilt was the ornate letter "R." Even so, it was a thing of beauty.
From a young age, her mother had taught her to use a knife. She wished her mother could have a knife as fine as this.
Jennsen jumped at the whispered word.
Not now. Dear spirits, not now. Not here.
Jennsen was not a woman who hated much in life, but she hated the voice that sometimes came to her.
She ignored it, now, as always, forcing her fingers to move, to try to discover if there was anything else about the man that she should know. She checked the leather straps for concealed pockets but found none. The tunic was a plain cut, without pockets.
Jennsen, came the voice again.
She gritted her teeth. "Leave me be," she said aloud, if under her breath.
It sounded different, this time. Almost as if the voice wasn't in her head, as it always was.
"Leave me alone," she growled.
Surrender, came the dead murmur.
She glanced up and saw the man's dead eyes staring at her.
The first curtain of cold rain, billowing in the wind, felt like the icy fingers of spirits caressing her face.
Her heart galloped yet faster. Her breath caught against her ragged pulls, like silk catching on dry skin. With her wide-eyed gaze locked on the dead soldier's face, she pushed with her feet, scuttling back across the gravel.
She was being silly. She knew she was. The man was dead. He wasn't looking at her. He couldn't be. His stare was fixed in death, that's all, like her stringer of dead fish — they weren't looking at anything. Neither was he. She was being silly. It only seemed he was looking at her.
But even if the dead eyes were staring at nothing, she would just as soon that they weren't doing it in her direction.
Beyond, above the sharp rise of granite, the pine trees swayed from side to side in the wind and the bare maple and oak waved their skeletal arms, but Jennsen kept her gaze fixed on the dead man as she listened for the voice. The man's lips were still. She knew they would be. The voice was in her head.
His face was still turned toward the trail from where he had fallen to his death. She had thought his lifeless sight had been turned in that direction, too, but now his eyes seemed to be turned more toward her.
Jennsen curled her fingers around the hilt of her knife.
"Leave me be. I'll not surrender."
She never knew what it was that the voice wanted her to surrender. Despite having been with her nearly her whole life, it had never said. She found refuge in that ambiguity.
As if in answer to her thought, the voice came again.
Surrender your flesh, Jennsen.
Jennsen couldn't breathe.
Surrender your will.
She swallowed in terror. It had never said that before — never said anything she could understand.
Often, she would faintly hear it — as if it were too far away to be clearly understood. Sometimes she thought she could hear the words, but they seemed to be in a strange language.
She often heard it when she was falling asleep, calling to her in that distant, dead whisper. It spoke other words to her, she knew, but never so as she could understand more than her name and that frighteningly seductive single-word command to surrender. That word was always more forceful than any other. She could always hear it even when she could hear no other.
Her mother said that the voice was the man who, nearly Jennsen's whole life, had wanted to kill her. Her mother said that he wanted to torment her.
"Jenn," her mother would often say, "it's all right. I'm here with you. His voice can't hurt you." Not wanting to burden her mother, Jennsen often didn't tell her about the voice.
But even if the voice couldn't hurt her, the man could, if he found her. At that moment, Jennsen desperately wished for the protective comfort of her mother's arms.
One day, he would come for her. They both knew he would. Until then, he sent his voice. That's what her mother thought, anyway.
As much as that explanation frightened her, Jennsen preferred it to thinking herself mad. If she didn't have her own mind, she had nothing.
"What's happened here?"
Jennsen gasped in a cry of fright as she spun, pulling her knife. She dropped into a half crouch, feet spread, knife held in a death grip.
It was no disembodied voice, this. A man was walking up the gully toward her. With the wind in her ears, and the distraction of the dead man and the voice, she hadn't heard him coming.
As big as he was, as close as he was, she knew that if she ran, and if he was of a mind, he could easily run her down.CHAPTER 2
The man slowed when he saw her reaction, and her knife.
"I didn't mean to give you a scare."
His voice was pleasant enough.
"Well, you did."
Although the hood of his cloak was up and she couldn't see his face clearly, he seemed to be taking in her red hair the way most people did when they saw her.
"I can see that. I apologize."
She didn't slacken her defensive posture in acceptance of the apology, but instead swept her gaze to the sides, checking to see if he was alone, to see if anyone else was with him and might be sneaking up on her.
She felt a fool for being caught by surprise like that. In the back of her mind she knew she couldn't ever really be safe. It didn't necessarily take stealth. Even simple carelessness on her part could at any time bring the end. She felt a sense of forlorn doom at how easily it could happen. If this man could walk up in broad daylight and startle her so easily, what did that say of her hopelessly extravagant dream that one day her life could be her own?
The dark rock wall of the cliff glistened in the wet. The windswept gully was deserted of anyone but her and the two men, the dead one and the one alive. Jennsen was not given to imagining sinister faces lurking in forest shadows, as she had been as a child. The dark places in among the trees were empty.
The man stopped a dozen paces away. By his posture, it wasn't fear of her knife that halted him, but fear of causing her a worse fright. He stared openly at her, seemingly lost in some private thought. He quickly recovered from whatever it was about her face that so held his gaze.
"I can understand why a woman would have cause to be frightened when a stranger suddenly walks up on her. I would have passed on by without alarming you, but I saw that fellow on the ground and you there, bent over him. I thought you might need help, so I rushed over."
The cold wind pressed his dark green cloak against his sinewy build and lifted the other side away to reveal his well-cut but simple clothes. His cloak's hood covered his head against the first trailers of rain, leaving his face somewhat indistinct in its shadow. His smile was one of courteous intent, no more. He wore the smile well.
"He's dead" was all she could think to say.
Jennsen was unaccustomed to speaking to strangers. She was unaccustomed to speaking to anyone but her mother. She was unsure as to what to say — how to react — especially under the circumstances.
"Oh. I'm sorry." He stretched his neck a little, without coming any closer, trying to see the man on the ground.
Jennsen thought it a considerate thing to do — not trying to come closer to someone who was clearly nervous. She hated that she was so obvious. She had always hoped she might appear to others somewhat inscrutable.
His gaze lifted from the dead man, to her knife, to her face. "I suppose you had cause."
Perplexed for a second, she finally grasped his meaning and blurted out, "I didn't do it!" He shrugged. "Sorry. From over here I can't tell what happened."
Jennsen felt awkward holding a knife on the man. She lowered the arm with the weapon.
"I didn't mean to ... to appear a madwoman. You just startled the wits out of me."
Excerpted from The Pillars of Creation by Terry Goodkind. Copyright © 2001 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.
Table of Contents
An Interview with Terry Goodkind
Q: You've said before that you enjoy creating new characters with great stories. Can you tell readers a little about Jennsen and how she becomes involved with the main characters, Richard Rahl, the woodsman-turned-warrior, and his wife Kahlan?
A: Ever since she was six years old, someone has been trying to kill Jennsen. Now, she is 20. He just found her.
These have always been stories of meaningful conflict, of people who have been torn from the familiar tapestry of their lives. More importantly, they're the stories of the struggles of heroic individuals trying to find truth and triumph over repression. How characters with nobility of human spirit, such as Richard and Kahlan, are tested, meet those challenges and face agonizing choices has always been my central theme.
The Pillars of Creation is the story of a young woman who must find a way to survive when her worst nightmare suddenly comes to life. Truth can be her only salvation. But with time running out, finding the truth is not going to be easy. The fate of many lives hinge on the choices she will make.
Q: What was the most challenging part of writing this book?
A: I wanted to write the story in a way that I don't think has been attempted before. The Pillars of Creation has a dual plot. By that, I mean that how the reader interprets the events in the story depends upon what they already know. Readers who have read my previous novels will see the plot unfold in a particular way, while new readers will see the events in an entirely different light. Both will see a logical progression of events but grasp their significance differently. I consciously intended the plot to be experienced from these two different perspectives in very different ways. Each group of readers will have very different sets of fears and hopes.
It was a real challenge to tell this story while keeping the plot for both kinds of readers equally compelling, and bringing both plot interpretations together in the end so that both readers -- old and new -- would find the ending equally logical and just as dramatic and satisfying. In this way, the story includes all readers.
Q: What do you think longtime Sword of Truth fans will find most surprising about this novel?
A: I seriously doubt that there will be very much about this novel that longtime fans won't find surprising. The mysteries involved are central to the novel.
It's important to point out that this is a book that requires no previous reading of the series. The reader's perception of the plot and interpretation of the meaning of each new discovery in the mystery is entirely dependent on whether or not they are familiar with the books in the series -- and that is by no means necessary. I wanted to make sure that fans of the series felt a special thrill with what they encounter, while new readers fell in love with a story that does not slight them for being new to my novels.
Q: I find it amazing that you've been able to release a new Sword of Truth novel -- all of which are well over 500 pages -- almost every year for the last seven years. How do you go about writing a book? Do you plan it all out first and then begin writing, or do you create a character and a rough story line and then let things unfold?
A: Just writing a book of 500 pages is not all that difficult. However, writing a novel that is a complete story in which every sentence contributes meaningfully to the advancement of the plot and the development of the characters, and which at the same time is philosophically integrated and consistent, is considerably more work. And that's what it is -- a lot of hard work. It's fascinating, fun and profoundly rewarding work, but it is work.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I'm extremely pleased to be able to announce that my publisher from the beginning, Tor Books, has contracted for the next three books in the series. Writing about these characters who have become so important not only to me, but to a great many other people, has been an immensely rewarding experience. Every time I finish a book, I can hardly wait to be writing the next one.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The problem with this book and why so many people are disappointed with it is because Faith of the Fallen was so amazingly good and truly epic that any other book that comes after is going to be held to that standard and ultimately going to fall short. This book is a neccessary evil in the series and truly is the balance to the last book. It really makes me wonder if he did it on purpose this way, I honestly wouldn't be surprised. Introducing a whole new set of characters after the last book was a gutsy move and after reading pillars It's easy to see that this story was neccessary to be told in order to build up the rest of the series. I admit that this one was a slow read for me because lets face it after faith ...yea...this was slow going, BUT im glad that I pushed through and read it because the ending was worth it although it took awhile to get there.
I was pleased the way Mr. Goodkind found new characters and new twists to keep the storyline fresh and interesting. The story within a story is well done and well written; although not very well edited. I have been very disappointed in the last 3 books with the misspelled words, bad punctuation and grammatical mistakes. It makes it quite difficult sometimes to follow the thought/s of the characters when words are not used to properly convey the the story. That being said - I would (and have) highly recommend this series!
I have really enjoyed reading this series. It has adventure, thrill, excitement, romance, political and moral lessons, drama ... a little of everything. The characters are developed extremely well and are multi-faceted. The storyline is original, exciting, and very interesting. Quotes and lessons from this series are very thought provoking and pertain to all times. The only con to the series is these books could have used more editing as they get somewhat wordy and repetitive - each book has many sections that explain what happened in previous books - again. I found myself skimming past those paragraphs and pages. Overall, they are very well written, and I find myself easily drawn into their world.
Looking over prior user reviews, it strikes one that this book's naysayers have either: 1-generic, unsupported complaints of dullness or faulty logic, or 2-so much of a lack of imagination that they can't stand a book that doesn't solely focus on the series' two main protagonists. The truth is that this tale has everything that makes for a rousing fantasy adventure. An interesting spin on the typical hero's quest, constant looming danger and the threat of imminent death, a likable, sympathetic, yet real-enough-to-sometimes-get-on-your-nerves protagonist, and some truly foul villainy. Now I will grant that after spending so long focusing strictly on Richard and Kahlan, it could seem a bit awkward to so suddenly and drastically shift gears. One could argue that this book would have made more sense had it been placed earlier in the series, and not so far removed from the first introduction of one of Richard's siblings. On the other hand, I for one had been waiting in rapt anticipation to see if Mr. Goodkind would see fit to include more of Darken Rahl's unwanted offspring, and so approached this tale as something of a breath of fresh air. I mean seriously, if someone has enjoyed the series enough to continue reading it up to this point, clearly the most logical response is to have an utter lapse in reasoning and lose all faith in the author, refusing to believe that he might actually know what he's doing, right? (/sarcasm) Anyway, Pillars of Creation is fully capable of standing on it's own merit, introduces a fun new character into the series roster, and has left me simply itching to dig into book 8 as soon as possible.
It annoys me that, after 6 books of developing characters and the plot, Goodkind suddenly decides to switch to some random, little-related subplot with some barely-likable girl whom magic cannot effect. I like the series overall, and found it awesome when Richard destroys several hundred men in the blink of an eye at the end but, honestly, this book was not a very good addition to the series.
I wrote this a few years ago, before giving up on the author: Like most of you, I was surprised and disappointed to realize that Richard and Kahlan aren't focused on in this book. About 100 pages in, I began to have this sinking feeling that they wouldn't be in it much. So I flipped ahead and skimmed for key names, and discovered that I was right. I was angry at the time. It seems to me that this book is filler, so he can postpone concluding his series for a while longer. I've heard people complain that Robert Jordan does this. I personally can't stand Robert Jordan (sorry), and I don't want Goodkind to take on his habits. He's better than this. I actually wouldn't mind reading a book of his that didn't focus on Richard and Kahlan if he did focus on some of the other excellent characters he hasn't done a great deal with. Such as Ann's search for Nathan. I love Nathan. I want to read more about him. And Sister Verna. I'd love to see more of her. Maybe even Du Chailu. Oh, and more of just about any of the Mord Sith. :) My point is, he has a large number of wonderful, neglected characters, that it seems unfair to create new ones. I find Oba and Jennsen to both be way too one dimensional. I understand that Oba pretty much suffers torture-induced insanity from what I've seen, but I believe this can be written in a way that makes one sympathetic to the character. But I don't find the character interesting or believable in the least. I have similar problems with Jennsen. I understand her trust issues. But she seems to me to be a selfish character, and not particularly smart. I can see every flaw in her logic, and I personally feel I should be able to understand the thinking of the main character. I was particularly disturbed by her childish declaration that someone unable to help her in her plight was being selfish. Jennsen just strikes me as nothing more than a selfish child. I know Goodkind can usually make far better characters than this. I'll finish this book, even though it's just filler. And I'll impatiently await the next one, and hope that it focuses on more of the other pre-existing characters.
This installment of the Sword of Truth follows entirely new characters ¿ Jennson, Richard¿s sister. While I don¿t think the series needed this divergence, the plot and characters were pretty interesting.
Book 7 of the series was finished today. This was the last book that I read the first time through the series, so after this, it¿s all new. This book is very different from everything up to this point as we see the story from the point of view of a brand new character. We don¿t see the characters we¿ve grown to know throughout the series until very late in the book and really only as a segue into book 8. This was an interesting novel in it¿s own right and if this was a stand alone book, it wouldn¿t be all that bad¿.but there is just something about it that I had trouble getting through it. Not sure if it was the book itself or just fatigue of the series as a whole. Perhaps it¿s time to take a short break and pick something else up in a different genre to keep this series from getting stale. Not a bad book, just not one of the best.
"The Pillars of Creation" by Terry Goodkind is book 7 in his series "The Sword of Truth." This book is written in a bit of a different focus from the rest of the series. It's still set in the Midlands, don't worry about that! But instead of having Richard and Kahlynn as the center of the story, we meet a girl named Jennson, who turns out to be Richard's half-sister!I liked that we broke away from the main story in this book. He did that some in another one of the books, but no where near to this extent. In fact, we don't actually see Richard and Kahlynn until the very end of the book!Jennson has been through a lot in her young life. Darkhan Rahl, her father, has been hunting her for her entire life simply because she was born of his seed, and born ungifted. Descendants of the house of Rahl who are born ungifted are like holes in the world. They can't be seen or touched by magical means. Jennson doesn't know all of this though at the beginning of the book, she simply knows that her father hunts her, and that her mother has always done whatever she could to protect her.Unfortunately, Jennson's mother dies, and this sets Jennson off on a quest to learn more about her past and avenge her mother's death. I found her story very intriguing because she gets pulled to the dark side, but it happens so subtly that she believes that she's fighting for and doing what's right. I think it was a masterful portrayal of how easily people can be mislead with just some simple lies. I really enjoyed this story and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next!
The 7th installment in the Sword of Truth series introduces a new problem for Richard and his followers. The house of Rahl always produced one gifted heir, but other offspring can be what are considered pristinely ungifted - there is no trace of the gift at all in them, making them immune to magic. A member of the Imperial Order befriends one such individual, Richard's half-sister, and manipulates her ingrained fear of Rahl's hunting down and killing offspring to where she pledges her help to Jajang to assasinate Richard. Other characters join the "core" group of characters, all of whom fit brilliantly into the existing, and ever changing mix.
I am thankful I have finally finished the 7th book in the Sword of Truth series. They have become progressively laughable in how poorly written they are. On the plus side it is a respite from the previous diatribe against communism that Goodkind produced.The plot was wholly predictable from the beginning straight to the end, but Goodkind has such a despicable way of writing down to his readers. In the interviews I have read of him, he thinks himself something quite great and that he is so much better than any typical fantasy reader. Of course he doesn't fancy himself a fantasy writer, but a novelist of the human condition. If it were true, I think he would be a better writer. His foreshadowing is so forced it makes me groan. In common writing advice it is said to show the gun before it is to be used. Well not only does Goodkind show the gun, but he waves it in the readers face, paints it neon and repeats, "oh, here's the gun and this is the gun just in case you missed the gun here." Not only that, but it is commonly misplaced, which makes it stick out that much more. He also foreshadows the intent of the main character, Jensen, so much that she wants to kill the Lord Rahl that it becomes obvious that she will in time actually do exactly the opposite. The characters are all quite stereotypical from the self-righteous and psychotic Oba to the innocent and lost Jensen. She is so lost that she falls in love with Sebastien, who is quite obviously the one that is pushing her direction. Not for a second did I ever think that he was actually just helping her. But of course it is all revealed in truth in the end in a very James Bond evil villain sort of way. The one thing I did like was a look into the Imperial Order's point of view. It was nice to see how they reacted to what hit them without knowing first what the side of good was doing. The bad side of this is Goodkind's characterization again. He says that Emperor Jagang is this absolute genius, yet he makes such pathetically dull decisions. Maybe that is an insight into the writer, hmm?? But truthfully he has completely generic dialogue like, "Let's flank her and flush her into the open!" and in a scene where they are first speaking silently through hand signals he suddenly shouts, "There she is, let's get her!" Not only that, but he leads by his emotions without any logical discourse. His advisers, a sorceress in particular, states that they are being attacked by magic they don't nor can't understand because they have never seen it as it's millennia old, he replies with "Magic is magic, deal with it." At least with Goodkind's books there are different kinds of magic, which does make it a little more interesting. Then there is such brilliant military strategy that comes from his super brilliant strategist Sebastien that says, "Maybe we should fall back," after they just lost thousands of men trying to attack Aydindril. The funny thing is that again Jagang just says, "The only way to win is to push forward," simply because he is angry he loses any wits. Maybe not quite such a genius after all?Then the end was very much like Goodkind's other books. Somehow, as a deus ex machina, everyone ends up in the exact same place happy as clams, well except for the bad guys of course! Oba had a disappointing end that was rather unsatisfying, mostly because his character, having been written about for so many pages, ended up seeming so utterly pointless. Maybe I missed it but the whole final scene environment, the actual Pillars of Creation seemed rather pointless too. This whole scene could have happened anywhere. The only link was that it shared its name with the book (in the book) that was about the 'holes in the world.' Again, Jensen was completely predictable as was the Sister of the Dark and Sebastien. The whole scene with Tom showing up with Jensen's goat was just ridiculous, oh but he's a Rahl protector too of course so that explains that, right? Right?! The other thing I can't stand in
Unfortunately, by this point in the series, it really starts to bog down. Another side plot is introduced when we are introduced to some of Richard's half-brothers and sisters - the uniquely gifted, who are completely immune to magic. What that has to do with the overall plot and what's going on with the Imperial Order is questionable. Richard and Kahlan and Zedd and the rest of his allies are still excellent characters, but in this book, they need something to do that relates to the overall plot, not filler.
Awesome book, a lot of people were pissed cause Richard and Kahlan wasn't in it but for the last couple of chapters but I was happy to have some new Characters to read about.