Diane's Reviews > Phantom

Phantom by Terry Goodkind
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's review
Jan 17, 2012

liked it
Read from January 17 to February 24, 2012

Kahlan is still a phantom, hence the creative title, in everyone's mind but Richard's and some random handful of characters for an unknown reason. Kahlan is even a phantom to herself, unable to remember who she was or what she did before she became a slave to the Sisters of the Dark. Richard, as predicted, is in desperate need of finding her while trying to juggle the other problems he has to face.

The beast is still after Richard, Jagang's army is trudging ever closer to the People's Palace in D'Hara, the boxes of Orden are in play, AND the chimes degenerated magic enough to make it cycle uncontrollably towards a destructive end. Plus, Kahlan is missing and nobody knows who she is because of the Chainfire spell. Is there anything more that Goodkind could pile onto Richard's plate? In fact, there is, but to keep from spoiling anything I'll stay silent on those aspects. I feel like if Richard were a real person he would have punched Terry a good one for all of this. It's no surprise, after 10 books, that Goodkind has hefted so much onto Richard's imaginary shoulders, but it feels like it's just too unrealistic at this point. Almost TOO climactic. This is only the start of my worry for these far along books.

Little incongruities drive me crazy; I'm sure I'm not the only one. For example, why would the Sisters allow Kahlan personal items such as the Spirit statue that she left in the Garden of Life in the previous book? And her Confessor's dress? Odd, really. And the incongruities continue. Before everyone realizes that there are select handful of people in the world that can actually see Kahlan, remember her, and interact with her, she is handed the reins of a horse by a soldier. Sorry, Goodkind, but that soldier can't see her and if he did someone holding her captive would have noticed it, just like the first chapter of the book.

I'm also, frankly, torn on Goodkind's decision to go back to the beginning of the series (10 books ago) for what could be disguised as "new" material. He's spinning his wheels just to keep the series going. A reader doesn't want recycled material, but something new. This book has nearly none of that. It just adds to my distaste for the series and for the novel itself.

What's more, the reason I kept reading the series was for the intellectual philosophies placed within. Even THAT has gotten far too old and preachy. Goodkind continually questions religion and blind faith in officials in the same rote way which is beginning to feel more like a church sermon than an intellectual read.

The only reason three stars are given is because I've read far worse and the story is still concise, clear, and engaging enough to make me finish this devastatingly long series of books. Just don't expect a whole lot from this installment.

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01/20/2012 page 23
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