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Wizard's First Rule

(Sword of Truth #1)

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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  214,337 ratings  ·  6,143 reviews
Librarian's note: See alternate cover editions of ISBN 0812548051 here. and here.

Millions of readers the world over have been held spellbound by this valiant tale vividly told.

Now, enter Terry Goodkind's world, the world of the Sword of Truth.

In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 836 pages
Published 1997 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…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)

Community Reviews

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4.13  · 
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 ·  214,337 ratings  ·  6,143 reviews


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J.G. Keely
May 13, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
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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
Katerina
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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 ❤

...more
John Wiswell
Aug 12, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  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
Dec 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2012
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
k.wing
Jun 05, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: ...
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
Dave
Aug 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Daniel Greene
Jan 28, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jen
Feb 05, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  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
Julio Genao
Apr 09, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Joe
Mar 30, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crap
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 23, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  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
Choko
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Cera
Oct 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
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.
Suzanne
Mar 26, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  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
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Gavin
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ivan
Nov 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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."

and

"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
...more
Tim
Jul 18, 2007 rated it it was ok
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.
Shannon
OVERALL GRADE: B to B plus; READ: 2000 (revised review early April 2012).

SPOILER WARNING

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
...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
...more
Doug Bradshaw
Feb 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  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
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
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.
Eric Allen
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kiri
Jan 01, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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."
Nekouken
Mar 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mimi
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
James
Oct 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Tawnya
Oct 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-to-love
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
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10,179 followers
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

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)
“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.” 1120 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.” 441 likes
More quotes…