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

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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  132,372 ratings  ·  4,302 reviews
Terry Goodkind is one of the hottest writers on the fantasy scene. His popularity is growing by leaps and bounds with each new novel, mostly due to his brilliant, page-turning style. Wizard's First Rule is a brick -- just the way we fantasy fans love 'em. But I'm telling you, you'll gobble this right up -- it flies by with lightning quickness. In this novel, we meet Richar ...more
ebook, 848 pages
Published August 20th 2008 by RosettaBooks (first published January 1st 1994)
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Mark Whelan I thoroughly enjoyed the writing of Goodkind. There does seem to be some social commentary going on in places, but if you dismiss the views the…moreI thoroughly enjoyed the writing of Goodkind. There does seem to be some social commentary going on in places, but if you dismiss the views the stories are enjoyable. I was VERY disappointed in the last book just recently published Severed Souls, and the last three books overall. The rest of the series is written well enough to get the next book, but each book does reiterate the back story of Richard and Kahlan for new readers. I have not read the Wheel of Time nor the Malazan Book, but I will add them to the top of my list and comment again after reading them. There are worse books you could spend your time reading.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
...more
Icarus
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
John Wiswell
Dec 12, 2013 John Wiswell rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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
Seak (Bryce L.)
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."
Kahle
...more
Dave
Jun 18, 2010 Dave rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
k.wing
Nov 07, 2007 k.wing rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
Jen
Dec 26, 2013 Jen rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
Cera
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.
Paige
Do not touch. Read too many. Ashamed I even finished the first. Even if you started and got hooked - by book four, it's miserable - all but three chapters were disgusting, depressing, hopeless - I reiterate: Do. Not. Touch.
Joe
Terry Goodkind likes rape. A lot. I wouldn't be surprised to find out he's a Neo Nazi. Let's have a character who kills everyone who's brown colored and celebrate him! And villains that rape a lot! Rape! Rapedy rape rape rape, rape rape! There are entire webpages devoted to people talking about the worst passages of these horrible books. I suggest you do something better with your time, like scraping mildew. It'll be more enjoyable.

Fuck you, Terry Goodkind, and fuck your Nazi Randian viewpoints.
...more
Jason
Nov 24, 2007 Jason rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
Tim
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.
James
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
Nekouken
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Doug Bradshaw
Feb 02, 2008 Doug Bradshaw rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
Tawnya
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
Kiri
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
StoryTellerShannon
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 a lot of fantasy
...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. :))
Suzanne
Jun 28, 2012 Suzanne rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
Kewpie
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
...more
sologdin
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 about ghosts and goblins, but doesn't trust the n
...more
Stephen
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.
Jessica
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
Rob Towell
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
...more
Jaye
I was warned heavily about this series. Warned to not venture there-it wasn't good. Since the TV show (so loosely based off the books that it shouldn't even be considered connected) I decided to give it a shot, and had a couple of changes of heart along the way.

At first I loved it, then about 300 pages in I had a change of heart. Kahlan, the lead female, is extremely weak at times. Maybe it's only a perception, because there is so much "mystery" about who/what she really is for most of the book.
...more
Helen
I didn't find this as bad as many people seems to think it is, but I also didn't see anything that made it particularly special. It was an average, somewhat bloated, epic fantasy that belongs buried on the shelf along with all of the other epic fantasies.

Oh, I will say that it seemed to me that this author REALLY loves his main characters. Maybe too much, as I found the over-the-top character adulation a little creepy. I still thought the story was okay.
Terrence
Jul 10, 2012 Terrence rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
Chelsea
"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."
Wendy Browne
A while back, I had myself a Legend of the Seeker marathon. The show was tastefully cheesy, fantasy fun and I enjoyed it enough to finally read its source material. Consequently, this will be as much a review of The Wizard’s First Rule, as it is a comparison to Legend of the Seeker.

Both book and show begin in much the same way, with a beautiful woman escaping the clutches of nasty soldiers. Woodsman Richard Cipher witnesses this and comes to her rescue, only to learn that she really isn’t a mere
...more
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Can anyone name a character in this novel that is eerily similar to Gollum? 6 103 Nov 21, 2014 12:01PM  
Name Your Worst Fantasy Novel(s) 36 473 Nov 04, 2014 06:01AM  
IS IT WORTH READING? 167 745 Oct 30, 2014 07:59AM  
Am I the only one? 122 790 Aug 21, 2014 05:39AM  
Monster World: witches/ wizards 1 4 Feb 22, 2014 11:38AM  
Small Government ...: Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind 3 19 Nov 17, 2013 07:22AM  
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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...
Stone of Tears (Sword of Truth, #2) Blood of the Fold (Sword of Truth, #3) Temple of the Winds (Sword of Truth, #4) Faith of the Fallen (Sword of Truth, #6) Soul of the Fire (Sword of Truth, #5)

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