For years I have avoided the fantasy epics. Not because I had never read one before, but because of their covers. Whenever I saw one of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time Books I thought of elves and men going on a quest for some magical object to stop the evil warlord from taking over the world. I didn’t think they would be entertaining or original.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a perfect example of why you should never judge a book by its cover.
This is the first book of The Sword of Truth fantasy epic by Terry Goodkind, and it was both entertaining and original. It was recommended, rather passively forced upon me, by a friend who needed a place to keep his copies of the series while he worked for the summer. By giving them to me he knew they would be safe and that I couldn’t resist his requests when they were sitting on my shelf. I’m grateful he recommended them to me because it has shown me there is a reason why authors write fourteen books for one series: Because people want to keep living in that world.
In this starter to the series we meet Richard, a simple woodsman thrown headfirst into a world he doesn’t know with a responsibility he doesn’t want. We begin shortly after the brutal death of his father when Richard meets a mysterious woman, Kahlan, fleeing attackers in her search for the High Wizard. Her objective is to make the Wizard choose a Seeker with the strength to oppose the Tyrant Darken Rahl who seeks the power to control life itself.
There is so much that happens in this book, I can hardly summarize it in a way that captures the nature of the book in its entirety. This was the best I could do and as I read over it again I have made it sound exactly like the stereotypical fantasy story that most people try to avoid. But I assure you, this is not one of those stories. Honestly.
It is Goodkind’s first book and it’s a bit obvious from the writing style. It isn’t bad writing, but there are sections that could have been constructed better and a few minor inconsistencies within the story. Though the inconsistencies are small and don’t get in the way of the bigger plot, I’m sure Goodkind would have noticed them had he had more experience with writing books. However, I’m not sure why his editor didn’t catch them either… But that’s beside the point.
I’ve realized that I’m kind of a stickler about good writing. It doesn’t have to be a literary masterpiece but it should at least be well written. I wasn’t sure about this book at first but quickly grew to enjoy Goodkind’s style and was caught up in the imaginary world unrolling before me. When there were problems with the writing they were minimal and I was able to overlook them because of the captivating story.
Wizard’s First Rule has a great deal of quality content in its characters, as well as descriptions and dialogue, which I found to create a wonderful book that defied my previous beliefs of the stereotypical fantasy genre.
I would recommend this book to any fantasy reader, and especially any that have read and enjoyed the world of Robert Jordan. Everyone tries to recreate fantasy by writing a new unique spin on magic, but I thought Goodkind took the road less traveled when it comes to this genre.