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Wizard's First Rule

(Sword of Truth #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  240,236 ratings  ·  7,142 reviews
In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeking help . . . and more.

His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence. In a dark age it takes courage to live, and more than mere courage to challenge those who hold dominion, Richard and
Paperback, 836 pages
Published April 14th 2003 by Tor Books (first published August 15th 1994)
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Oneeyed I have to agree with Avaminn. This series feels subpar compared to Jordan or Erikson's works. So I very much doubt you'd like it. Goodkind is very der…moreI have to agree with Avaminn. This series feels subpar compared to Jordan or Erikson's works. So I very much doubt you'd like it. Goodkind is very derivative of Tolkien, even more so than Jordan, but without any flair or talent.
I had a hard time even finishing the first book and it's kind of obsessive with me to finish every book I start... so yeah it was pretty bad.(less)

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Average rating 4.12  · 
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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
Daniel B.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
Originality is a bit of a gray area. It's hard to find what exactly constitutes paying homage versus stealing. Terry Goodkind has left that gray area, sprinted 6 miles down the road, dug up the bodies of fantasy authors who came before him, and took the coins from their pockets. ...more
Jul 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
John Wiswell
Aug 12, 2007 rated it did not like it
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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I very much enjoyed this book! I only hope I can say so for the rest of the series

Mel ❤️

Dec 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, 2012
So I made this review into a short parody video on my new booktube (youtube for book reviews) channel here. I hope you enjoy! Please subscribe if you do, thanks!

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
Jun 05, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quit-reading
Okay everyone. Below is my review from when I tried to read Wizard's First Rule back in 2007. I was fresh out of college. You know, back when you thought your opinion mattered. While I didn't personally like the book and couldn't get into it, I really went for it in this review. I now regret it. You don't really understand how difficult it is to write something good until you try and write a book yourself. It's taxing, time consuming, alienating. Sometimes you think you wrote something amazing, ...more
Feb 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Aug 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Julio Genao
Apr 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Mar 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
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 08, 2008 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. ...more
Nov 23, 2007 rated it did not like it
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
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
*** 4.25 ***

"...“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.”..."

This was much better than it would seem when you first start the book. It is a linear story, no multiple POV's or constant action sequences, but engrossing nonetheless... Recommend it to all Fantasy lovers, but I think those new to the genre would enjoy it most!
Ed McDonald
Sep 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
Terry Goodkind's literary crimes are too numerous to go into any detailed sort of exploration, so I'll talk about just one.

Goodkind is a sexual fetishist who is disgusted by his own fantasies of rape and sexual violence, portraying them as vile and evil even as he delves into the details. The more you read of his books, the more titillating sexual violence encounters are foisted onto his female characters. Most of the women in these books are either raped, threatened with rape, are rapists, or i
I loved it. It was one of the first fantasy books I ever read. I think I must have read the first seven plus books in the series lots of times over the years. After that the series began to gradually become samey!
During lock down, it was so enjoyable to read this first book of the series again. I carried it around the home daily reading whenever I got the chance. I will get round to the next in the series eventually. Highly recommended to all epic fantasy fans.
Nov 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy

To be honest I started this book with certain bias.Because statements like:
"The books I write are first of all novels, not fantasy, and that is deliberate; I'm really writing books about human beings."


"The stories I'm telling are not fantasy-driven, they're character-driven, and the characters I want to write about could be set in any world. I'd like to address a broader audience."

I had impressions that he is smug at best(and delusional at worst) and he is unfamiliar with fantasy genre.I star
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I'm not really sure what to say about Wizard's First Rule as a book. Usually I can throw some sort of review together for even the worst books I've read but I'm finding reviewing this one is proving surprisingly tough. It does not help that I've read it multiple times over the years but never had to write a review for it before as I had not found my way to Goodreads on any of those previous occasions. What is worse is I do not even know how many times I've actually read Wizard's First Rule over ...more
Jul 18, 2007 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. ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1), Terry Goodkind
The Sword of Truth is a series of twenty one epic fantasy novels written by Terry Goodkind. The books follow the protagonists Richard Cypher, Kahlan Amnell, Nicci, Cara, and Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander on their quest to defeat oppressors who seek to control the world and those who wish to unleash evil upon the world of the living. While each novel was written to stand alone, except for the final three that were intended to be a trilogy, they fol
Doug Bradshaw
Feb 02, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star
You know, some really sick part of me wants to reread this series but I'm pretty sure doing so now would devastate my Middle School self. I'm letting this 5 star rating stand, but I was 13 or 14 when I read this book & EVEN THEN I realized it was very derivative in nature. So basically take this with a grain of salt, I was but a wee lass. ...more
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
Jan 01, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, high-fantasy
Wizard's First Rule is the first book in Terry Goodkind's The Sword of Truth series. I must confess, before this review grows any longer, that while I did enjoy reading this book (perhaps much more than what my rating reflects, but more about that later) I'm not a fan of the series, so not a fan I didn't pass book three. Nonetheless, this first book, despite its length, manages to tell a concise and intelligent story that has a ring of truth and it's easy to believe from the start.

But beware, t
Brittany McCann
Still 5/5 for me.

Some of my favorite quotes:
"I don't think I could ever trust anyone who doesn't like cheese. It's not natural" -Zedd"

"Don't step off the Narrows. There be death"

"Zedd's first question upon waking up: "How many meals have I missed?"

He leaned forward:"What's wrong with your leg?"
"Nothing. It be perfectly fine.""
"No no," he said with a frown, pointing. "Not that one, the other."
Adie looked down at the missing foot, then back up to Zedd. "It does not go all the way to the ground."

Eric Allen
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
After watching a couple of episodes of Legend of the Seeker*, I became interested in the Sword of Truth series and had to pick up the first book.

Wizard's First Rule starts out okay but kind of slow. There's some action and some interesting things happening that gradually build up to more action and those interesting things coming to a head as the story unfolds. So basically classic fantasy plot with a classic fantasy setting (with some interesting embellishment).

The world is divided into three l
Oct 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong page number B00U7G0UHU 2 7 Apr 18, 2021 10:15AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Alternative cover addition 4 12 Mar 31, 2021 06:49AM  
I need help form someone who had read this whole series. 4 26 Jan 31, 2021 02:18PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Book cover addition 2 19 Jan 09, 2021 09:47PM  
Fantasy Book Club...: #1 (May)-Wizard’s First Rule: Finished Reading *Spoilers* 4 46 Jul 22, 2020 09:38PM  
Name Your Worst Fantasy Novel(s) 43 841 Apr 19, 2020 12:48AM  

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Terry Goodkind was 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 had over 20 million copies in print and has been translated into more t ...more

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)

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Dragons, demons, kings, queens, and the occasional farm boy (with a special destiny, of course): Fantasy literature has it all! To celebrate...
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“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.” 1152 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.” 450 likes
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