Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1)” as Want to Read:
Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth #1)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  177,788 Ratings  ·  5,272 Reviews
Wizard’s First Rule, the first novel by Terry Goodkind, was a phenomenon from the moment it was published by Tor Books in 1994, selling more than 100,000 copies in North America alone. It still sells more than 100,000 copies a year and has gone on to bestsellerdom in the United Kingdom and in more than twenty foreign translations as well as audiobook form.

It is now being d
ebook, 848 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by RosettaBooks (first published August 11th 1994)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wizard's First Rule, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Paula Pattison I hated Wheel of Time (twice got to about book 3 before giving up) and Malazan (twice didn't finish book one) but am enjoying Sword of Truth so maybe…moreI hated Wheel of Time (twice got to about book 3 before giving up) and Malazan (twice didn't finish book one) but am enjoying Sword of Truth so maybe that's your answer.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
J.G. Keely
It is always curious to see fantasy authors who don't consider themselves to be fantasy authors. Case-in-point: Terry Goodkind. The former landscape painter has told us how he isn't a fantasy author in every interview he's ever given:

"The books I write are first of all novels, not fantasy, and that is deliberate; I'm really writing books about human beings."(1)

"To define me as a fantasy writer is to misunderstand the context of my books by misidentifying their fundamentals."(2)

"The stories I'm t
Terry Goodkind is a grossly inept writer, with the writing ability of a somewhat intelligent seventh-grader, but he jumped into the wide-open fantasy field when there were hardly any good fantasy writers (a state that hasn't completely changed, btw) and he has the persistence to turn out 600 page novels, and so he got published and now he's grandfathered in, because some people don't have better taste than to buy his novels. Additionally, his early work is grotesquely derivative, mostly of Rober ...more
Sep 19, 2016 Katerina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.

There are books you read once, you enjoy them and never give them a second thought. There are books you love and want to share this love with the entire world. And then there are books that are so precious to you that talking about them feels like sacrilege, like exposing your bare soul and instead you safeguard them like a treasure. For me, Sword of Truth belongs to the latest category. The only reason I decided to write a
Feb 05, 2012 seak rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2012
Richard and Kahlen's Relationship Timeline:

Day One:
Richard: "Kahlen, now that we just met, we're the bestestest friends aren't we?"
Kahlen: "We sure are."

Day Two:
Richard: "Kahlen, we're the bestestest of friends and I would give my life for you even though we just met."
Kahlen: "Me too!"

Day Three:
Richard: "Kahlen, I love you more than life itself. What? It's only been three days? Well, that still seems sensible."
Kahlen: "My sentiments exactly!"

Days Four through 20:
Richard: "Love, love, love."
John Wiswell
Dec 12, 2013 John Wiswell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore fantasy readers, preferably young ones who read fast
Wizard's First Rule is a good example of why people think all post-Tolkien Fantasy is trash. It bears one tenth of Tolkien's imagination, a smaller fraction of his brilliant study, and - oh look, swords! Cliche family drama, an angsty romance between tormented lovers, powerful characters who are so unjustly tortured - it's immature at best. At its best, it is a clunky and self-indulgently obtuse hero's journey. Then there's the hundred page BDSM tangent, where the hero goes through excruciating ...more
Jun 18, 2010 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teens +
Shelves: fantasy
The sheer depth of Wizard's First Rule is simply amazing. His characters are unique and original, yet seem simple when you realize that they aren't perfect. Every chapter you read will cling you tighter to his series. Of course, many will dislike Terry Goodkind's works, either because he establishes dead on ethics in an 'I'm right, your wrong' approach, or because of dissatisfaction with his writing style, but it would be a baseless altercation to state that he is a run-in-the-mill, and mediocre ...more
Nov 07, 2007 k.wing rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ...
Shelves: quit-reading
I'm sorry. I really did try for this one, as I love my boyfriend (very much) who loves this book. I found the writing unbearable, as I would rather smell my dog's breath and lick his teeth than have to read words written by Terry Goodkind. That being said, I was interested in the story, but it was as if the guy did not have an editor. Oh, he had spell check, don't get me wrong, but no one told him to take out the emotions and/or inner-dialogue he would repeat up to 4 times in a paragraph.

I did
Dec 26, 2013 Jen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dungeons and Dragons fans, sadists
I am adding this author to the list of people that I wouldn't want to have lunch with. After this review, I suspect he won't want to have lunch with me either.
This book reads like a game of Dungeons and Dragons. It's a quest, a bit formulaic, and at times I could practically hear the narrator telling me to roll the ten-sided die to see what happens when we go down the left fork. In this book, we have the hapless regular guy who through a great series of coincidences finds himself traveling to sa
Dec 17, 2015 julio rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
a total shitshow.

despite the common monomythic DNA that should have excused it, this book seemed altogether cribbed from robert jordan's wheel of time series.

and then doused with absurd flourishes of disturbing provenance until it fairly reeked.

like when some seriously NYC-aggro person opens a plate of take-out chinese chicken wings in hot sauce on the subway.

usually just after the express leaves 125th and everyone has to spend the next eight minutes in an enclosed space together, stewing in th
Cait • A Page with a View
I had no idea that that "The Legend of the Seeker" tv show was based on a book, so I was super excited about this! The tv show is definitely loosely based on the books... it kind of took its own direction at times and added a lot more fun things.

The story starts in a world split by magic boundaries that people can't cross. This evil guy is trying to find some magic boxes and bring about all this doom. It's a long history... like a couple hundred pages of backstory. Anyways, the main character Ri
Oct 08, 2008 Cera rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The gender ideologies underlying the novel's cosmology are just so profoundly disturbing that I couldn't enjoy what there was of the story -- not that I was likely to enjoy it anyway, since it featured large amounts of sexual torture of Our Hero. It's really not any more tasteful when gender-reversed.
Nov 24, 2007 Jason rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people 10 years old or younger
Shelves: fantasy
I was referred to Terry Goodkind as a better alternative to Robert Jordan. I feel betrayed and lied to. Or maybe it was some kind of joke. Goodkind's characters are simply not believeable, and this absolutely kills the book. The dialog is forced, and it feels as if no one ever proof read Goodkind's "masterpiece."
If you like books written in a style where if you squint your eyes and pretend that instead of reading, you are watching a one-liner Bruce Willis fantasy movie, go out and get this bo
Doug Bradshaw
Feb 02, 2008 Doug Bradshaw rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasty Literature Readers
Recommended to Doug by: Janssen
I ripped right through the book and all and all, enjoyed it. Here is some of my input:

1. I found that the story moved along well and that I was always entertained. The main hero is a bit Frodoian, and perhaps a bit Arthurian, but it is its own unique story and an entertaining cast of characters.

2. The story sometimes gets a bit twisted with torture, rape, bad guys who like young boys, overly bad bad guys. The training and torture chapter was beyond what I was comfortable with, but making it th
OVERALL GRADE: B to B plus; READ: 2000 (revised review early April 2012).


CONCEPT: A young woodsman is chosen as the Seeker, a long lost position of power given to a warrior of ultimate good in distant lands. Now, he must go to those distant lands to face the Evil controlling it, as well as to deal with issues of truth. Along his journey, his position is tested as his love for his new lady love. (This didn't hit me as big of a concept as say HUMA or THE HOBBIT. But, it attracted
Jul 18, 2007 Tim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When an author displays a poorly developed writing style I have a hard time getting past it and caring about the story. That's what happend to me with this book. The story was decent, but Goodkind's writing was lousy. He probably improved with later efforts, but I'll never know because I'm not going to read them.
Aug 30, 2016 Mimi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, on-my-shelf
Eric Allen
Mar 26, 2015 Eric Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An Opinionated Look At:

Terry Goodkind's Wizard's First Rule

By Eric Allen

I've given Terry Goodkind some very, very harsh reviews of late, and I've had a LOT of comments on those reviews from angry fans. I claim to be a fan of The Sword of Truth, and yet I mercilessly thrash his newer work? So, I've decided to go back and reread the entire Sword of Truth series and review them. (Except for Faith of the Fallen, which I already reviewed last summer.) Is it as good as I remember it being, or am I jus
Oct 19, 2008 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Excellent series of contemporary fantasy. Goodkind's books always center around difficult moral or social concepts that are put to the test by believable characters. The theme of Goodkind's books is that people should be true to themselves, not sacrificing their beliefs for conformist ideals or things that sound appealing but have no grounding in reality. To truly live one's life is what is most important. Towards the end of the series, this theme tends to get a little preachy and starts to lean ...more
Apr 04, 2010 Nekouken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 28, 2012 Suzanne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody with taste in fiction
Recommended to Suzanne by: Somebody who I will have a hard time forgiving
I can honestly say this is the worst piece of fiction I have ever encountered, in any genre. It's hard to know where to start critiquing this book since I hated so very many things about it. First off, it is about four times too long. I'm all for an epic sized novel if the story can support it, but this one doesn't come close.

The dialogue is, for the most part, trite and boring and the characters are all astoundingly two-dimensional and unauthentic. They are all constantly doing things against
Oct 31, 2008 Tawnya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-to-love
Looking over reviews, most people either hated or loved this book. I liked it. It is somewhat formulaic, along the lines of Lord of the Rings--Good vs Evil, with a little romance, but I thought there were some surprises along the way and the plot was kept moving along. Perhaps best of all, the author can describe things, but not belabor the point, and there is no language, or sex. There is some violence (of course, given the plot), but most is, again, not in great detail, just enough to set the ...more
Jan 02, 2009 Kiri rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dont-read
This is yet another standard fantasy tale, with a questing youth and his magical item and aged mentor who turns out to be the premier wizard in the land. I didn't enjoy this book for a variety of reasons, but mainly for the repeated appearance of overused fantasy elements and the inane dialogue between the protagonist and his romantic interest. The wizard character is more interesting and engaging. With one exception, there are no plot surprises, and things are always just a little too convenien ...more
David Holec
Kdybych to měl nějak tak shrnout, celou knihu jsem si rozdělil na několik částí.

1. Eragon
2. Pán prstenů
3. Pýcha a předsudek
4. Neidentifikovatelný BDSM erotický román.
5. Neidentifikovatelný BDSM erotický román.
6. Neidentifikovatelný BDSM erotický román.
7. Eragon
8. Godzilla

Nechci nějak specifikovat, proč zrovna tohle, protože by to byl samý spoiler.
A taky trochu přeháním, samozřejmě se mi to hrozně líbilo. Nevydržím dlouho bez dalšího dílu. :))
"Kahlan, we're BFF, isn't that great?"

"It really is great! I'm highly secretive though so I won't tell you why I'm wearing this white dress. I'm def. not Aes Sedai though."

"Kahlan, I know we've only known each other for like five hours, but I don't want to lose you to the underworld, and I want you to take my strength."

"That sounds good to me too, I usually camp out under trees with strange men. Second time this week I've done it."
Jan 03, 2008 Kewpie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Out of all of the Terry Goodkind books I've ever read, this is the best. It was mildly entertaining and I managed to finish it. Other than that.. eh..

I'm just not a fan. I figured out how the book would end as soon as "wizard's first rule" entered into the plot.

Also -- about the romance -- NOT buying it. He carefully explained all of the rituals he went through to deepen his devotion, but I didn't feel much of anything except for some brief physical attraction in about the middle of the book. T
Third supplemental to multi-part review series. The text wants rhetorical discipline, its worst problem, and likewise evidences, at best, an amateur aesthetics.

The text moreover adopts a number of trite narrative elements, including the hero's journey, the numinous object, the freudian psychodrama, the derivative Teutonic creatures, the 'system' of magickes--the last of which is a routine mechanic of pseudo-rationalized fantasy, wherein the author appreciates the Mystical sufficiently to write a
Jan 15, 2010 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My goodness, this book is poorly written. I had read (edit: skimmed) it years ago, and I don't remember it being this bad. But IT IS. The story itself isn't awful (although some of it seems like a blatant ripoff of other, better writers. Sam=Gollum. Seriously. See for yourself) , but Goodkind trying to tell it is bordering on embarrassing. Goodkind is the type of author who obviously pictures every scene in his mind. So he can tell you that Kahlan laid her chin on her hand with her elbow resting ...more
3.0 stars. Before Song of Ice and Fire came along, this was a standard for me for epic fantasy. I really liked the story, the main characters and the world building. My affection for the story has waned as I have read more and more fantasy that I feel is superior. Still, a decent read.
Rob Towell
Apr 03, 2008 Rob Towell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-read
This series as a whole is very good. I found that once I picked up the first book I flew through the whole series, stopping only when I read the last one out. I then continued reading as they came out. When I started reading them their was only five books, now that the series is complete we can set the whole thing into some perspective. I will be happy to see the TV show starting fall of 2008 and hope it is as good as the books.

On the less than benign side, the author does tend to stop telling t
Jul 10, 2012 Terrence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Terrence by: Holly
I was recommended by my friend to read this book. She exclaimed that Terry Goodkind's imagination was second to none. Hearing such high acclaim from my friend, I agreed to give Wizard's First Rule a try.

At first, I found it very hard to believe that such a cliché book with non-original character and plots could make such an impression. This impression quickly changed. How it did, I still do not know. Perhaps it was simply Goodkind's descriptive words that fluidly described every colourful event
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Prophecy: Child of Earth (Symphony of Ages, #2)
  • Daughter of the Empire (The Empire Trilogy, #1)
  • Enchanter (Wayfarer Redemption, #2)
  • A Crown of Swords (Wheel of Time, #7)
  • The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #1)
  • Dhiammara (Artefacts of Power, #4)
  • Fall of Angels (The Saga of Recluce #6)
  • The Wishsong of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy, #3)
  • War of the Twins (Dragonlance: Legends, #2)
  • King of the Murgos (The Malloreon, #2)
Terry Goodkind is a contemporary American writer and author of the best-selling epic fantasy series, The Sword of Truth, creator of the television show The Legend of the Seeker, and writer of the self-published epic, The First Confessor: The Legend of Magda Searus (a prequel and origin story of the first Mother Confessor). He has over 20 million copies in print and has been translated into more th ...more
More about Terry Goodkind...

Other Books in the Series

Sword of Truth (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Stone of Tears (Sword of Truth, #2)
  • Blood of the Fold (Sword of Truth, #3)
  • Temple of the Winds (Sword of Truth, #4)
  • Soul of the Fire (Sword of Truth, #5)
  • Faith of the Fallen (Sword of Truth, #6)
  • The Pillars of Creation (Sword of Truth, #7)
  • Naked Empire (Sword of Truth, #8)
  • Chainfire (Sword of Truth, #9)
  • Phantom (Sword of Truth, #10)
  • Confessor (Sword of Truth, #11)

Share This Book

“People are stupid. They will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true.” 1067 likes
“Sometimes, making the wrong choice is better than making no choice. You have the courage to go forward, that is rare. A person who stands at the fork, unable to pick, will never get anywhere.” 391 likes
More quotes…