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The Sword of Truth (first four books) by Terry Goodkind

Review by Alleandra

The World:
Many years ago the evil Rahl set out to conquer the world using horrible magic. He was defeated, barely, and it was then decided that those people who so hated magic and its misuse would be given a magic-less haven in which to live, called the Westland. It was divided from the rest via a barrier. The Midlands decided they wanted magic, in fact, there are several races of beings that cannot exist without magic. In the Midlands, while the countries would be governed by their hereditary kings and queens, there would also be a council that would help counteract any particular person's megalomaniac tendencies. They are sealed of from Westland by the barrier there, and from D'hara, as well. D'hara is where the evil Rahl's rule.

The Plot:
The SoT series starts off with Wizard's First Rule. In this book, we meet Richard, who lives the life of a simple wood's guide in Westland. His father has been recently brutally murdered, and he is searching for clues as to why this had happened. Meanwhile, his brother Michael is trying to step into a position of power.

On his way to join his brother, he meets a beautiful woman who is being followed by 4 assassins, and who has an aversion for red fruit. Of course he helps her, and the story begins.

From his grandfather, Zedd, Richard "inherits" the Sword of Truth, and learns to use its magic, as he goes off with Khalen (the lady in distress) to the Midlands. The barriers are weakening, and dark things are stirring. Richard, himself is a target (remember: father gruesomely murdered), and Darken Rahl is looking to conquer the world.

Comments:
WFR isn't a bad book, it just isn't a very good one, imo. There are some interesting moments, and Richard is at first, a nice character. Zedd and Khalen are also fair. But the series deteriorates with each successive book. The prose gets weaker, the characters do not grow and develop, and the dialogue can be atrocious. The plots are very repetitive. Richard and Kahlen are together! (Earlier books) Will R & K have sex? (Later books) R & K have sex. R&K part. K is captured! Someone threatens to rape K before killing her…btw, this woman is threatened with rape more times then I have had eggs for breakfast. R learns of K's plight and comes to the rescue! R & K have sex! The End. The once promising Zedd has ended up as so called comic relief. S&M elements abound in these books, what with the Mord Sith episode in book 1, and all the threatened rapes in subsequent books. We learn Richard's mother was raped by Darken Rahl. Khalen's sister was raped. Etc, etc, etc.

Rating:
I honestly do not understand why this series is so popular. My ranking is as follows: WFR - 3 out of 5 amulets, Stone of Tears - 2.5 amulets, books 3 & 4 - 1.5 amulets


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