Sunday, September 2, 2012

Book Review: Wizard's First Rule: Sword Of Truth (Book 1)

Wizard's First Rule: Sword Of Truth (Book 1) by Terry Goodkind was released in Hardcover on August 15th, 1994 and in Paperback on July 15th, 1997.

Richard Cypher is a young woodsman who encounters a mysterious woman named Kahlan. She is pursued by four men. As the story progresses, Richard's father is murdered and he learns that he is the Seeker and he is destined to confront Darken Rahl, an evil wizard seeking to rule the entire world.

I've read this novel from cover to cover and all the while, I rolled my eyes and laughed at how bad it was. There's this joke that I'm reminded of.

A customer at a resturant orders at steak. The steak is under-cooked, bloody and salted to hell. He complains to the manager, but only after finishing the steak.
"I'm sorry the steak was so bad." The Manager says. "But if you didn't like it than why did you eat it?" Not very funny, I know but it illustrates my issue with "Wizard's First Rule." It was bad, really bad at times, but I went from "Once upon a time" to "And they lived happily ever after."

Richard is given a sword, the Sword of Truth and it apparently has some strange magic that you and I might recognize as empathy. Zedd, the resident wizard, has a long, drawn-out explanation about how the sword wouldn't allow him to kill people he considered friends (as if a sane person would kill his friends.) and it would make him feel sorrow for those the sword allowed him to kill (i.e. empathy).

Even with this, I finished the book.

The resident Wizard, Zedd keeps expounding that evil people still have reasons for the things they do, as if we were children. (Note: For a while, I thought this was a YA novel from the way it spoke down to the reader, but then there was repeated mentions of child molestation and an attempted rape.)

Even with this, I finished the book.

I wanted to know why I read this novel, this crappy novel. The fact of the matter is, although the novel is broken, it still has hooks. It has a skilled protagonist pushing ever-forward toward an established goal. This novel illustrates exactly how hard it is to fuck up a story because this one fucked up a lot and still got me to the end.

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