Ariela's Reviews > Wizard's First Rule

Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
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's review
Aug 03, 09

I recently discovered Terry Goodkind’s novels after catching an episode of “The Legend of the Seeker” on television. I was curious about the show’s background and when I discovered that it’s based upon “The Sword of Truth” series I decided to buy the first eight books. I’m glad I did. The books are so good I’ve almost missed my subway stop several times. Random people have even come up to me in the train station to tell me how much they love Goodkind’s books.

“Wizard’s First Rule” is the first book in the series and opens in Westland, where a woods guide named Richard Cypher is reeling after the recent murder of his father. Westland is the only part of the world that doesn’t have magic and it’s separated from other lands by a magical boundary that prevents anyone from passing through it. On the other side are many nations with magic, the main territories being the Midlands and the empire of D’Hara.

After discovering a mysterious plant in his father’s home Richard decides to investigate this clue by searching through the woods for a similar vine, but during his search he comes across four soldiers chasing a beautiful woman named Kahlan Amnell. Richard helps her defeat them, at which point she reveals that she has crossed the boundary and is searching for the legendary First Wizard, who is rumored to be hiding in Westland. Herein begins an epic story. By saving Kahlan’s life Richard has inextricably involved himself in a battle of good versus evil that cannot be ignored.

Richard, Kahlan and Richard’s old friend Zedd soon embark on an incredible adventure filled with everything from magic and beasts to a sinister warlord-wizard. At 836 pages long “Wizard’s First Rule” isn’t a light read, but I was so engrossed in the story that when I reached the last page I was glad to already have the next book on hand. Goodkind’s characters are well-developed and brought to life with rich description, conflicting emotions and even favorite foods. (Richard’s comfort food of choice? Spice soup.) While we learn the most about the main characters, even the supporting players have a fair amount of detail and motive woven into their appearances. The only negative thing about this book – and I don’t think it’s a negative really, more something to be aware of – is that a few of the chapters are pretty violent. There are a couple meticulously described death scenes and also a cult of women dedicated to using their magic to torture unfortunate captives. I didn’t enjoy reading these sections at the time, but as the story progressed I could see how these experiences shaped Richard and ultimately influenced the trajectory of his quest. All in all, I highly recommend this book.

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