Jostalady's Reviews > Soul of the Fire

Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind
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Feb 14, 11

bookshelves: fiction, dystopia
Read in January, 2011

** spoiler alert ** Since none of you remember my review of the 4th book, it won't seem odd at all that I decided to go on in the series. If you are in total shock and dismay that I kept reading after book 4...well, me too. I have began and abandoned 8 books since being essentially shook up by book number 4 of this series. I completed two light easy reads. I ran out of books and fell back into the ready and waiting Sword of Truth series, until I can add more books to my library.

I AM GLAD I DID. Is this what Terry does? Writes a much tamer, even shorter, book after a gut wrenching tomb where you get to experience that most horrifying drawn out torment nearly all the way through, along side your beloved characters? This book has terrible things happen, true, but nothing anywhere close to book 4. I dove right into the next book and it was just as amazing as this one....what is with this guy?

The book opens on the high notes of Richard and Kahlen enjoying being newly weds. You want to strangle the characters sometimes, as they continue to treat Richard as though his hunches are always wrong and hide the truth from him-I can identify with being treated like I am someone who isn't me at all in just this fashion. This draws me more to Richard and away from others. They stay together through this book and they are soon on their way to solve the simple matter of not the chimes. They are joined by the spirit woman he met from his time to the Palace of the Profits, Du Chailu, who insists she is his wife, and is very pregnant. Though it seems to be trouble, without her would be worse trouble. Richard truly is the seeker of truth in some very instinctive way, even though he is so much more that we sometimes forget that role. He changes course to Ander, even though he is not certain what the truth is...Terry has really made a tremendous character with Richard.

The city of Ander is a two class society, using a false history to keep the Haiken class down and believing they should be glad to be given that much, since they have a corrupt nature. We follow several new characters, but Dalton Campbell is by far my favorite. His dance with his position and power, but also his own standards being at odds with the way things are run...oh it is so easy to identify with that! I love his reaction and solution to his own beloved wife receiving the honor or sleeping with the Sovereign. Great storyline and set up.

Richard really grows in his gift at the end, but is shattered when lies take away his support from the citizens, and Kahlen is beaten nearly to death, losing their unborn child he hadn't even known about yet. He gives up on the war, he is broken by these events.

I am trying to think back to write this as I have already swept through to be in book 7. The chimes are interesting, Jagang is closing in on the city and magic is failing, but Richard and Kahlen spend a month in Ander trying to win over its citizens to reject Jagang. Just wrapping my head around the slower way of life, days to weeks to travel, messages are sent by messenger. Characters are totally out of communication for much of the book and there seems to be no easy solution to send a message, unless you have a journey book. To take a whole month there, seemed ludicrous. They are rulers of an Empire, they are needed. To act like that isn't falling apart without them after planning to be gone to be married for only 3 days...just blows my mind.
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