Soul of the Fire (Sword of Truth Series #5)

Soul of the Fire (Sword of Truth Series #5)

by Terry Goodkind
Soul of the Fire (Sword of Truth Series #5)

Soul of the Fire (Sword of Truth Series #5)

by Terry Goodkind

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Richard Rahl has traveled far from his roots as a simple woods guide. Emperor of the D'Haran Empire, war wizard, the Seeker of Truth—none of these roles mean as much to him as his newest: husband to his beloved Kahlan Amnell, Mother Confessor of the Midlands.

But their wedding day is the key that unlocks a spell sealed away long ago in a faraway country. Now a deadly power pours forth that threatens to turn the world into a lifeless waste.

Separated from the Sword of Truth and stripped of their magic, Richard and Kahlan must journey across the Midlands to discover a dark secret from the past and a trap that could tear them apart forever. For their fate has become inextricably entwined with that of the Midlands—and there's no place so dangerous as a world without Terry Goodkind's spellbinding Soul of the Fire.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812551495
Publisher: Tor Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/15/2000
Series: Sword of Truth Series , #5
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 800
Sales rank: 232,454
Product dimensions: 6.74(w) x 4.08(h) x 1.77(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

About The Author
Terry Goodkind (1948-2020) is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His books include the multi-volume epic fantasy Sword of Truth series — beginning with Wizard’s First Rule, the basis for the television show Legend of the Seeker — and related series Richard and Kahlan and The Nicci Chronicles.

Goodkind was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, where he also attended art school. Alongside a career in wildlife art, he was also a cabinetmaker and a violin maker, and did restoration work on rare and exotic artifacts from around the world. In the 1990s he relocated to Nevada, where, when not writing novels, he was a racing-car enthusiast.

Read an Excerpt


I wonder what's bothering the chickens," Richard said.

Kahlan nuzzled tighter against his shoulder. "Maybe your grandfather is pestering them now, too." When he didn't reply, she tilted her head back to squint up at him in the dim firelight. He was watching the door. "Or maybe they're grouchy because we kept them awake most of the night."

Richard grinned and kissed her forehead. The brief squawking on the other side of the door had ceased. No doubt the village children, still reveling in the wedding celebration, had been chasing the chickens from a favorite roost on the squat wall outside the spirit house. She told him as much.

Faint sounds of distant laughter, conversation, and singing drifted into their quiet sanctuary. The scent of the balsam sticks that were always burned in the spirit-house hearth mingled with the tang of sweat earned in passion, and the spicy-sweet aroma of roasted peppers and onions. Kahlan watched the firelight reflecting in his gray eyes a moment before lying back in his arms to sway gently to the sounds of the drums and the boldas.

Paddles scraped up and down ridges carved on the hollow, bell-shaped boldas produced an eerie, haunting melody that seeped through the solitude of the spirit house on its way out onto the grasslands, welcoming spirit ancestors to the celebration.

Richard stretched to the side and retrieved a round, flat piece of tava bread from the platter Zedd, his grandfather, had brought them. "It's still warm. Want some?"

"Bored with your new wife so soon, Lord Rahl?"

Richard's contented laugh brought a smile to her lips. "We really are married, aren't we? It wasn't just a dream, was it?"

Kahlan loved his laugh. So many times she had prayed to the good spirits that he would be able to laugh again—that they both would.

"Just a dream come true," she murmured.

She urged him from the tava bread for a long kiss. His breathing quickened as he clutched her in his powerful arms. She slid her hands across the sweat-slick muscles of his broad shoulders to run her fingers through the thick tangle of his hair as she moaned against his mouth.

It had been here in the Mud People's spirit house, on a night that now seemed lifetimes ago, that she had first realized she was hopelessly in love with him, but had to keep her forbidden feelings secret. It was during that visit, after battle, struggle, and sacrifice, that they had been accepted into the community of these remote people. On another visit, it was here in the spirit house, after Richard accomplished the impossible and broke the spell of prohibition, that he had asked her to be his wife. And now they had at last spent their wedding night in the spirit house of the Mud People.

Though it had been for love and love alone, their wedding was also a formal joining of the Midlands and D'Hara. Had they been wedded in any of the great cities of the Midlands, the event undoubtedly would have been a pageant of unparalleled splendor. Kahlan was experienced in pageantry. These guileless people understood their sincerity and simple reasons for wanting to be married. She preferred the joyous wedding they had celebrated among people bonded to them in their hearts, over one of cold pageant.

Among the Mud People, who led hard lives on the plains of the wilds, such a celebration was a rare opportunity to gather in merriment, to feast, to dance, and to tell stories. Kahlan knew of no other instance of an outsider being accepted as Mud People, so such a wedding was unprecedented. She suspected it would become part of their lore, the story repeated in future gatherings by dancers dressed in elaborate grass-and-hide costumes, their faces painted with masks of black and white mud.

"I do believe you're plying an innocent girl with your magic touch," she teased, breathlessly. She was beginning to forget how weak and weary her legs were.

Richard rolled onto his back to catch his breath. "Do you suppose we ought to go out there and see what Zedd is up to?"

Kahlan playfully smacked the back of her hand against his ribs. "Why Lord Rahl, I think you really are bored with your new wife. First the chickens, then tava bread, and now your grandfather."

Richard was watching the door again. "I smell blood."

Kahlan sat up. "Probably just some game brought back by a hunting party. If there really was trouble, Richard, we would know about it. We have people guarding us. In fact, we have the whole village watching over us. No one could get past the Mud People hunters unseen. There would at least be an alarm and everyone would know about it."

She wasn't sure if he even heard her. He was stone still, his attention riveted on the door. When Kahlan's fingers glided up his arm and her hand rested lightly on his shoulder, his muscles finally slackened and he turned to her.

"You're right." His smile was apologetic. "I guess I can't seem to let myself relax."

Nearly her whole life, Kahlan had trod the halls of power and authority. From a young age she had been disciplined in responsibility and obligation, and schooled in the threats that always shadowed her. She was well steeled to it all by the time she had been called upon to lead the alliance of the Midlands.

Richard had grown up very differently, and had gone on to fulfill his passion for his forested homeland by becoming a woods guide. Turmoil, trial, and destiny had thrust him into a new life as leader of the D'Haran Empire. Vigilance was his valuable ally and difficult to dismiss.

She saw his hand idly skim over his clothes. He was looking for his sword. He'd had to travel to the Mud People's village without it.

Countless times, she had seen him absently and without conscious thought reassure himself that it was at hand. It had been his companion for months, through a crucible of change—both his, and the world's. It was his protector, and he, in turn, was the protector of that singular sword and the post it represented.

In a way, the Sword of Truth was but a talisman. It was the hand wielding the sword that was the power; as the Seeker of Truth, he was the true weapon. In some aways, it was only a symbol of his post, much as the distinctive white dress was a symbol of hers.

Kahlan leaned forward and kissed him. His arms returned to her. She playfully pulled him back down on top of her.

"So, how does it feel being married to the Mother Confessor herself?"

He slipped onto an elbow beside her and gazed down into her eyes. "Wonderful," he murmured. "Wonderful and inspiring. And tiring." With a gentle finger he traced the line of her jaw. "And how does it feel being married to the Lord Rahl?"

A throaty laugh burbled up. "Sticky."

Richard chuckled and stuffed a piece of tava bread in her mouth. He sat up and set the brimming wooden platter down between them. Tava bread, made from tava roots, was a staple of the Mud People. Served with nearly every meal, it was eaten by itself, wrapped around other foods, and used as a scoop for porridge and stews. Dried into biscuits, it was carried on long hunts.

Kahlan yawned as she stretched, feeling relieved that he was no longer preoccupied by what was beyond the door. She kissed his cheek at seeing him once again at ease.

Under a layer of warm tava bread he found roasted peppers, onions, mushroom caps as broad as her hand, turnips, and boiled greens. There were even several rice cakes. Richard took a bite out of a turnip before rolling some of the greens, a mushroom, and a pepper in a piece of tava bread and handing it to her.

In a reflective tone, he said, "I wish we could stay in here forever."

Kahlan pulled the blanket over her lap. She knew what he meant. Outside, the world awaited them.

"Well…" she said, batting her eyelashes at him, "just because Zedd came and told us the elders want their spirit house back, that doesn't mean we have to surrender it until we're good and ready."

Richard took in her frolicsome offer with a mannered smile. "Zedd was just using the elders as an excuse. He wants me."

She bit into the roll he had given her as she watched him absently break a rice cake in half, his thoughts seeming to drift from what he was doing.

"He hasn't seen you for months." With a finger, she wiped away juice as it rolled down her chin. "He's eager to hear all you've been through, and about the things you've learned." He nodded absently as she sucked the juice from her finger. "He loves you, Richard. There are things he needs to teach you."

"That old man has been teaching me since I was born." He smiled distantly. "I love him, too."

Richard enfolded mushrooms, greens, pepper and onion in tava bread and took a big bite. Kahlan pulled strands of limp greens from her roll and nibbled them as she listened to the slow crackle of the fire and the distant music.

When he finished, Richard rooted under the stack of tava bread and came up with a dried plum. "All that time, and I never knew he was more than my beloved friend; I never suspected he was my grandfather, and more than a simple man."

He bit off half the plum and offered her the other half.

"He was protecting you, Richard. Being your friend was the most important thing for you to know." She took the proffered plum and popped it in her mouth. She studied his handsome features as she chewed.

With her fingertips, she turned his face to look up at her. She understood his larger concerns. "Zedd is back with us, now, Richard. He'll help us. His counsel will be a comfort as well as an aid."

"You're right. Who better to counsel us than the likes of Zedd?" Richard pulled his clothes close. "And he is no doubt impatient to hear everything."

As Richard drew his black pants on, Kahlan put a rice cake between her teeth and held it there as she tugged things from her pack. She halted and took the rice cake from her mouth.

"We've been separated from Zedd for months—you longer than I. Zedd and Ann will want to hear it all. We'll have to tell it a dozen times before they're satisfied.

"I'd really like to have a bath first. There are some warm springs not too far away."

Richard halted at buttoning his black shirt. "What was it that Zedd and Ann were in such a fret about, last night, before the wedding?"

"Last night?" She pulled her folded shirt from her pack and shook it out. "Something about the chimes. I told them I spoke the three chimes. But Zedd said they would take care of it, whatever it was."

Kahlan didn't like to think about that. It gave her gooseflesh to remember her fear and panic. It made her ache with a sick, weak feeling to contemplate what would have happened had she delayed even another moment in speaking those three words. Had she delayed, Richard would now be dead. She banished the memory.

"That's what I thought I remembered." Richard smiled as he winked. "Looking at you in your blue wedding dress…well, I do remember having more important things on my mind at the time.

"The three chimes are supposed to be a simple matter. I guess he did say as much. Zedd, of all people, shouldn't have any trouble with that sort of thing."

"So, how about the bath?"

"What?" He was staring at the door again.

"Bath. Can we go to the springs and have a warm bath before we have to sit down with Zedd and Ann and start telling them long stories?"

He pulled his black tunic over his head. The broad gold band around its squared edges caught the firelight. He gave her a sidelong glance. "Will you wash my back?"

She watched his smile as he buckled on his wide leather over-belt with its gold-worked pouches to each side. Among other things, they held possessions both extraordinary and dangerous.

"Lord Rahl, I will wash anything you want."

He laughed as he put on his leather-padded silver wristbands. The ancient symbols worked onto them reflected with points of reddish firelight. "Sounds like my new wife may turn an ordinary bath into an event."

Kahlan tossed her cloak around her shoulders and then pulled the tangle of her long hair out from under the collar. "After we tell Zedd, we'll be on our way." She playfully poked his ribs with a finger. "Then you'll find out."

Giggling, he caught her finger to stop her from tickling him. "If you want a bath, we'd better not tell Zedd. He'll start in on us with just one question, then just one more, and then another." His cloak glimmered golden in the firelight as he fastened it at his throat. "Before you know it, the day will be done and he'll still be asking questions. How far are these warm springs?"

Kahlan gestured to the south. "An hour's walk. Maybe a bit more." She stuffed some tava bread, a brush, a cake of fragrant herb soap, and a few other small items into a leather satchel. "But if, as you say, Zedd wants to see us, don't you suppose he'll be nettled if we go off without telling him?"

Richard grunted a cynical laugh. "If you want a bath, it's best to apologize later for not telling him first. It isn't that far. We'll be back before he really misses us, anyway."

Kahlan caught his arm. She turned serious. "Richard, I know you're eager to see Zedd. We can go bathe later, if you're impatient to see him. I wouldn't really mind….Mostly I just wanted to be alone with you a little longer."

He hugged her shoulders. "We'll see him when we get back in a few hours. He can wait. I'd rather be alone with you, too."

As he nudged open the door, Kahlan saw him once again absently reach to touch the sword that wasn't there. His cloak was a golden blaze as the sunlight fell across it. Stepping behind him into the cold morning light, Kahlan had to squint. Savory aromas of foods being prepared on village cook fires filled her lungs.

Richard leaned to the side, looking behind the short wall.

His raptorlike gaze briefly swept the sky. His scrutiny of the narrow passageways among the jumble of drab, square buildings all around was more meticulous.

The buildings on this side of the village, such as the spirit house, were used for various communal purposes. Some were used only by the elders as sanctuaries of sorts. Some were used by hunters in rites before a long hunt. No man ever crossed the threshold of the women's buildings.

Here, too, the dead were prepared for their funeral ceremony. The Mud People buried their dead.

Using wood for funeral pyres was impractical; wood of any quantity was distant, and therefore precious. Wood for cook fires was supplemented with dried dung but more often with billets of tightly wound dried grass. Bonfires, such as the ones the night before at their wedding ceremony, were a rare and wondrous treat.

With no one living in any of the surrounding buildings, this part of the village had an empty, otherworldly feel to it. The drums and boldas added their preternatural influence to the mood among the deep shadows. The drifting voices made the empty streets seem haunted. Bold slashes of sunlight slanting in rendered the deep shade beyond nearly impenetrable.

Still studying those shadows, Richard gestured behind. Kahlan glanced over the wall.

In the midst of scattered feathers fluttering in the cold breeze lay the bloody carcass of a chicken.

SOUL OF THE FIRE Copyright © 1999 by Terry Goodkind


On Tuesday, April 13th, welcomed Terry Goodkind to discuss SOUL OF THE FIRE.

Moderator: Welcome, Terry Goodkind! Thank you for joining us this afternoon to discuss your new book SOUL OF THE FIRE. How are you doing today?

Terry Goodkind: I'm doing terrific, and I'm excited to be here to talk to all the people who have come to your Auditorium!

Sin Vo from Hello, Terry Goodkind. I am 15 years old and I started reading your masterful works when I was 13. And I wanted to ask you -- because I don't have the Internet at home so I can't attend the chat tonight -- what inspires you to keep writing about Richard Rahl. Is he your younger self or something you dreamed about when you were a teenager? I would love to talk to you more personally, but I must go. From your youngest and greatest fan, Sin Vo

Terry Goodkind: Richard and Kahlan have a lot of the story of their life to tell me, and I love telling the story. How do you condense a lifetime down to a few sentences? I love doing it. I love writing about Richard and Kahlan. They're very special people to me. I guess that's as close as we're going to get to explaining it in a 45-minute chat.

Matt Tynan from Lexington, KY: I want to first say that your books are great. I never read anything so long, and after I read it I thought, "I'm hooked." I hooked my friends on it too. My question: You dedicated one of your books to Rachel Kahlandt; who is she? Is that where you got the names for Rachel and Kahlan? If so, would you name a character after me? P.S. See you at the book signing tonight!

Terry Goodkind: Rachel has been a good friend of mine for many years, and I got the name for Kahlan from her name, but not the name Rachel of the character Rachel in the books. I named Rachel because when I knew who this little girl was, I knew her name was Rachel, and that was it. Looking forward to seeing you!

Ebony Heslop from Newcastle, Australia: Terry, I love your work and there are a million questions I'd love to ask you. One is, how did you decide on the characters' names and personalities? Did your life influence this, and if so, how? Thank you.

Terry Goodkind: Naming characters is something that's both difficult and important. A character has to have the right name to help express who they are. I can't tell you how I arrive at that name specifically, except that I just know when it feels right for the character. Sometimes it comes to me immediately; sometimes I'll be stopped in my writing [for] some time trying to figure out what the person's name is. It's more of a process of discovering their name than of naming them. They already have a name; it just takes me a while to figure out what it is. My life influences the characters in as much as you have to write about what you know, and you know no one as well as you know yourself. You know how you react to an entire variety of situations, so I use my feelings to a large extent in [determining] how characters react. Layered on top of that are the characteristics of the individual characters, and judging how they with their own individual characteristics would react to a given situation. You have to make each character an individual.

Cindy R. from Red Oak: You first started growing your hair long as a challenge to yourself. You have since met the first few challenges; have you made another, or are you planning on cutting your locks now?

Terry Goodkind: Not until I'm No. 1 on the New York Times list! I may be doomed to have long hair forever....

Jeremy from Yukon, OK: Hi, Mr. Goodkind. I would just like to say that you are the best author that I have had the pleasure of reading. I was wondering if you are planning to create a world book of Sword of Truth sometime in the future, with art and a detailed history of the world?

Terry Goodkind: Thank you, Jeremy, for the kind things you had to say. I don't have any plans to do a world book, for several reasons. Most importantly, no one's asked! Although it has been discussed informally, I'm not generally in favor of the idea, because I don't write about a world, I write about people, and I consider it inappropriate to make a book about their world when the story is about the people and not their world. And I think it would misconstrue the thrust of what I'm trying to do with the series. And by that, I mean that the series is most definitely not about world-building but about the story of people's lives, and reducing that story, the story about which I write, to an encyclopedic volume of their lives would be a disservice to their story.

Teresa Scudder-Hamm from Tallahassee, FL: I have already written to you by snail mail and have very little to add to that letter. But I did want you to know I am enjoying Brian's web page, Prophets, Inc. Thanks for letting him be the official web page for you.

Terry Goodkind: Thanks very much, good to hear from you again. I hope you like SOUL OF THE FIRE as well as the rest of them.

I. B. Judith McNally from Pasadena, TX: Will Zedd and Adie (the Bone Woman) get back together again? Maybe even married? (They're my favorite characters!)

Terry Goodkind: I would love to tell you, but to some extent, I don't know myself. I put all of my effort into the book I'm working on and give very little thought to future parts of the story. I know that when it comes time to write future stories, I'll be able to devote my attention to it at that time. More than that, however, I can't say, because I never discuss what will be with any of the characters, because it takes some of the fire out of writing if I talk about what I'm going to write about. This is a source of great annoyance to people like my wife and my editor, who actually are very patient and understanding.

Myron from Camrose, Alberta, Canada: Hi, Terry! I must say that I have just discovered fantasy at the ripe old age of 45, and I'm enjoying it and your Sword of Truth series immensely. What I want to ask is: Do you ever plan on writing a book that is centered entirely around the history of the Mord-Sith?

Terry Goodkind: Characters bring their world and their history with them. And if we see more of the characters, we see more of their world. I don't have any specific plans, as I just mentioned in the last answer, because I don't really think about future projects much. I worry most about what I'm writing at the present time. But I will say that the Mord-Sith are some of my favorite characters to write about. And welcome to fantasy -- my fantasy, anyway -- and thanks for coming along!

Troy Wood from Dayville, CT: I have read in other chat transcripts that you like to leave certain aspects of the book to the reader's imagination. In your own mind, however, do any of the characters have certain accents?

Terry Goodkind: Yes, absolutely. I visualize not only the way they look, but the way they sound. And as a matter of fact, it's one reason why I have a extremely difficult time listening to the audio books on tape, because it's so jarring to my sense of the characters that I can't endure it. I think...part of the totality of knowing the character is knowing what they sound like, what they look like, how they move, how they react, how they think, what they want most, and what they dread most.

Cindy R. from Red Oak: How long of a break will you be taking before starting on the next book in the series, and do you already have a title selected for that book?

Terry Goodkind: Break?! What's a break?! Yes, I have a title selected. My editor likes it, and I like it, but sometimes things change. So I don't want to mention it yet, because in the past when we've done that, it gets spread everywhere, and then the title changes and it causes problems. So for now I'm not going to divulge it. Otherwise, people will be in bookstores looking for a book that doesn't exist. This created a tremendous problem when the second book was tentatively called WIZARD'S SECOND RULE and ended up being called STONE OF TEARS. To this day I still get letters from people asking where they can find WIZARD'S SECOND RULE, because they don't realize the title was changed. Jeri says "hi."

Roy Rimer from Denver, CO: I really love your books. They read fast and are fun to read as well. The characters are the best part. Zedd is probably my favorite character -- why did you decide to make him exactly the opposite of the common fantasy wizard? And where does he put all that food? (Is it a wizard thing?) Will Richard be skinny and eat a lot when he gets old too? And why did Zedd leave the collar on when he could take it off at any time?

Terry Goodkind: Thanks for the kind things you had to say, Roy, but I didn't try to make Zedd anything. Zedd made himself who he is, and I just was forced to go along. I'm glad you like him; he's probably the most fun character to write of any of them. Writing Zedd's parts is kind of like doing dessert.

Marvin Young from Woodridge, IL: What author or authors have had the greatest influence on your writing?

Terry Goodkind: There is no order to what I read, but order remains in my mind. I think the author that had the greatest influence was Ayn Rand. Without question, Ayn Rand.

Ebony Heslop from Newcastle, Australia: Terry, will you ever be coming to Australia for a book signing tour? You have just as many fans over here as you do in America.

Terry Goodkind: I would love to come to Australia on a book-signing tour, and hopefully, someday, when time and opportunity allow, I will be able to.

Gamaliel Martinez from Houston, TX: Hey, Terry. Will Richard ever learn to use his gift effectively?

Terry Goodkind: Will any of us?

Joe Chinni from Boston: Hey, Terry! I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how grateful I am for your writing. I am a student at Berklee College of Music, and I can always dive into one of your books to take me away from everything for a time. My favorite book is WIZARD'S FIRST RULE. Thanks so much!

Terry Goodkind: I don't say this often enough to readers, but it really does mean more to me than you could know that my books are able to play an enjoyable part of people's lives. I really do appreciate people letting me know that they had a good time reading the books, and I can't thank you all enough.

Brian from NJ: Several people wanted me to ask this. What is your (and Richard's) favorite AC/DC song?

Terry Goodkind: I listen to music when I'm writing, and the music creates part of the mood in my head. Because I'm writing, I don't pay attention to the words in the song; I only pay attention to the emotion in it. So while I know the notes, I don't know the words. I can't remember offhand the names of the songs that are my favorites, but when I'm back home, I will look on the CDs to see the names of the songs, and I'll let you know. I'll send you "Terry's Picks"!

Judith McNally from Pasadena, TX: How long did you live in Omaha, and which part of the city did you reside in? (I'm also from Omaha.) Your books are great -- thanks!

Terry Goodkind: I lived in Omaha until I was 35. I grew up in Benson, and after I was grown up, in several different places around town.

Amin Matalqa from Columbus, OH: Hi, Terry. Just wanted to tell you that when I was a stranger in a strange land in Germany in 1996, I had with me and delved into WIZARD'S FIRST RULE. I found myself swimming in a world full of colors and vivid life, reading it slowly word for word. I enjoyed every minute of your brilliant creation. I've been a huge fan of your work ever since. So thank you for your creation. Any thoughts about making a film of it? Also, do you listen to film scores much while you write? Any John Williams, James Horner, or Michael Kamen in the back of your head while you write? Again, thank you, and keep up the brilliance.

Terry Goodkind: Thank you very much for the kind words. I write grand, sweeping epics for intelligent readers like yourself. It is neither my job nor my desire to entertain the illiterate and the lazy. Beyond that, I seriously doubt that there's anyone in Hollywood with the moral integrity to honestly produce my works, and I wouldn't have them done any other way.

Derek D. from Richmond Hill, GA: Would you say that the Arthurian legends influenced your works in any way, and if so, how?

Terry Goodkind: I don't know what the Arthurian legends are, so I guess the answer is no.

Ebony Heslop from Newcastle, Australia: Terry, do any of the characters that are shown on the front cover of your books resemble how you imagine them in your mind? If they do, which ones? Also, have you thought about doing the cover art of your sixth book yourself? Thank you.

Terry Goodkind: I would love to do the cover art myself, but I simply don't have the time, and I'd rather be writing. The only character that looks remotely like what I'd envisioned is Keith Parkinson's version of Richard. I'm honored that Keith would do covers for my books, because I consider him the best cover artist, period. However, I really am reluctant to have Kahlan depicted on a cover because I have such strong ideas of what she's like, so the closest we'll probably come to seeing Kahlan on a cover is the cover of this book, SOUL OF THE FIRE. The other books look absolutely nothing whatsoever even remotely like any of the characters in my books.

SoT Fanatic from TG Anonymous: Terry, I'm a huge fan of yours...I am an aspiring writer, and I'd appreciate it if you could give me some advice on writing, publishing, etc.

Terry Goodkind: I never began writing to be published. I still don't write to get published, although my agent and editor may disagree with that...I write because I have to write. It's who I am. For me, it's touching something noble to be able to write. It's the greatest thing I can aspire to for myself, and I do it for myself. I tell these stories for myself. I'm happy that readers like the stories that I'm telling, and I think one of the reasons they like the stories is because I come to the writing with that honesty towards the story, and I think that shows through in the results. There are any number of books out there on getting published, and there are magazines out there, and they deal with the business end of it. They could better address that issue than I could. The writing side, I can tell you I believe that you have to be writing for an inner need, not an external need. But that's just me.

Moderator: Thank you, Terry Goodkind! Best of luck with SOUL OF THE FIRE. Before you leave, do you have any parting thoughts for the online audience?

Terry Goodkind: I sincerely appreciate everyone's interest and kind comments, and I hope to be able to talk to you all again soon. Thanks for coming to!

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