I have always been fascinated with magic and knights, starting with medieval fantasy and then branching out to the legend of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. When I saw commercials for the television series, Sword of Truth, I was intrigued by the characters.
I later learned that the show was an adaptation of Terry Goofkind’s Sword of Truth series, which aired on ABC Network running for only one season, yet I had become intrigued by the unique characters within the universe and read the first novel, The Sword of Truth: Wizard’s First Rule, and continued reading the other novels within the series.
Terry Goodkind is an American author of the best-selling fantasy series, The Sword of Truth, and one of the creators of the television show, The Legend of the Seeker, which was an adaptation of his Sword of Truth series. Goodkind has also written a prequel to the Sword of Truth Series called The First Confessor: The Legend of Magda Searus. The novel serves as an exploration to the characters he has created and the rich universe.
Sword of Truth Plot
Shortly after meeting a woman named Kahlan Amnell by saving her life from those hunting her, Richard’s father is murdered. He is informed by one of the residents in Hartland, Zedd, that he is the seeker. The seeker is a hero named by a great wizard to seek the truth and protect others from evil.
Richard is blinded by grief of losing his father, and at first only wants to use the sword of truth to murder his father’s killer. Only after the killer gets away does Richard prove to be the seeker and is named by Zedd, a wizard of the first order. Kahlan informs Richard of Darken Rahl’s power and the three of them journey on a quest to stop Darken Rahl.
The Sword of Truth: Wizards First Rule. is the first book in the Sword of Truth series. Each book in the series informs the readers of a rule all wizards must follow. The book thus reflects the rule and how it allows wizards to be savvy manipulators of the world around them. Darken Rahl knows the Wizard’s Rules.
Darken Rahl is using the first one. People need an enemy to feel a sense of purpose. It’s easy to lead people when they have a sense of purpose. Sense of purpose is more important by far than the truth. In fact, truth has no bearing in this. Darken Rahl is providing them with an enemy, other than himself, a sense of purpose. People are stupid; they want to believe, so they do.”
Sword of Truth Character
Richard is the story’s male protagonist and is the adapted son of George Cypher and the younger step-brother of Michael Cypher. He grew up in Westland serving as a woods guide through Hartland forests. Only after meeting Kahlan does he discover that magic exists. After helping her he learns that she is searching for the seeker to stop Darken Rahl. He is shown as having a kind gentle nature, with a sharp mind from growing up reading of plants and nature. He uses his title of seeker to help those in peril and to protect his friends and family.
Kahlan Amnell is the last living Confessor after Darken Rahl hunted all the others down. She travels though the magical barrier to Hartland in search of the seeker. She seems to have a hard time accepting Richard is named the seeker until he proves he to her he is worthy of the title. Richard learns that as a confessor, Kahlan can manipulate others under her will until the confessor is killed or unconscious., Kahlan fears for Richard when she learns he has developed feelings for her, for those who love or marry the confessor lose their free will/
Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander (Zedd) is the grandfather of Richard Rahl, despite being known to Richard as an eccentric neighbor while growing up. Only after meeting Kahlan and naming Richard as seeker does he reveal being his grandfather. He is known as being a powerful wizard of the first order.
When Kahlan questions him on why he hasn’t trained Richard to become the seeker his whole life, he tells her that it was more important for Richard to have a normal childhood to appreciate life. He is patient, kind, and knowledgeable always willing to share his knowledge with others.
Darken Rahl is known as the villain of the story and uses a group of women known as Mord-Sith to torture those that cross him. After the death of his father, Rahl wants to command more power to enact revenge against Zedd. He works on building his army, outlawing magic across the land to eliminate any opposing forces. In the show down against Richard, he tries to open one of the Boxes of Orden to grant him more power but failing to open the three boxes in the right order, the dark magic consumes him, costing him his life.
My Opinion of Sword of Truth
The Sword of Truth: Wizards First Rule, is a beautiful masterpiece that sets the stage for the entire series of The Sword of Truth. Goodkind uses the novel to set up not the worlds the novel, the new world and old world. but also creating connections between the characters and readers. Goodkind starts the novel off slow to show who Richard was before he learns of magic and the prophecy set before him.
The book is the first introduction to the series and Goodkind takes his time setting up scenes to support his story. It does have a slow beginning as plot of the novel isn’t revealed until the end of chapter five. My favorite character is Zedd because despite being a first wizard he is shown as a laid back almost lazy type of man. He is Richard’s teacher and grandfather yet Zedd treats Richard as his grandson.
One of the scenes that is hard to forget is Zedd’s introduction of an old man standing stark naked on a giant rock. My least favorite character is Richard despite being the seeker and hero of the novel he is hesitant to act like one. He allows Zedd to name him as the seeker yet denies the act for half of the novel.
The books may seem long but Goodkind is the type of author where you are entrance with the novel you don’t take notice of the page numbers. I have read the complete series all in one go because I wanted to know if Richard would succeed or fail in his quest. If he would be able to handle the tasks set before him as the seeker. If you are a fan of fantasy action and adventure I would give this book a try.
I would give the novel a six out of ten rating. Despite liking the characters and the universe developed, Goodkind took longer than I would have liked to get to the plot of the story. Once the reader understands the plot the story, it is reminiscent of a stereotypical hero’s adventure. I feel like Goodkind focused too much on trying to get the reader to appreciate his diverse characters. It reminded me of the method J.R.R Tolkien used when introducing new characters into the story.
Furthermore, it’s clear that Terry Goofkind has a passion for nature and the idea of adventures that young boys dream of before growing up. It’s shown through his style of writing that he is passionate about the characters he’s writing for ensuring that they’re relevant to the reader.
None of his characters are perfect, each character has unique flaws to ensure that they are not a cookie-cutter mold of a hero or villain. That despite the novel being fantasy, Goodkind brings aspect by making his characters deal with real life situations the readers their selves endure.
Now, shush, I’m trying to read,