Chainfire by Terry Goodkind is a epic fantasy. Chainfire is book 9 in the Sword of Truth book series. The story is huge but this didn’t feel like i have read 9 books which is a compliment. This book is the start of the conclusion you can feel the story coming to an end and setting up an epic final battle. This book is the part on of a trilogy to wrap up the war with the Dreamwalker Jagang and originally finish up the series but Goodkind added additional books after. The pacing for this book is a little bit slow at the beginning, but steadily increases the pace after a pretty epic battle, and leads to a good paced finale. This book does end in a bit of a cliffhanger, the characters have just found out what happened and of a new danger that wasn’t even on their radar. They were watching the main enemy but forgot deals made with old enemies. Chainfire serves as a summary of events as old enemies come back and an old weapon that was thought safe is being used. Their is a South Park episode that makes fun of Star Wars The Force Awakens with member berries since their was so many call backs to the old Star Wars movies, well this is what this book did. This series to its credit has not done this before, I’ve brought up in past book reviews for this series saying that a recap was needed or would be helpful. Chainfire did it as part of the story and I will say 60% fit and 40% was a stretch. The plot involves Richard’s wife Kahlan missing but with no other character remembering she existed. So Richard remembers all of Kahlan’s relationship to the characters he’s trying to prove she existed as well as his own relationship. The plot is a little TV episodic waking up with someone missing and no one but you remembers, The CW alone has 20 episodes like that. But the reason and the magic behind it are explained really well and make sense with what the enemies are plotting. Chainfire was published on December 1 2005 by Tor Fantasy.
The Plot Summary of Wizard’s First Rule (book 1): Richard Cypher is a wood guide that that has recently lost his father to a brutal murder with no suspects. His father and him had a code where one would leave an item in a jar my the door, the item is a rare vine that should not grow in his land. Richard is on a mission to find the vine and it takes him on the outskirts of the boundary of Westland. While investigating he finds a beautiful woman, Kahlan being chased by four big men. Richard knowing the trails can get to the woman first. He gets to the woman first and ends up defending her and defeating the men. they become fast friends as the woman in mystified by Richard and the way he treats her, it is revealed she is from the other side of the boundary, the Midlands, the boundary is protected by miles of border wall of the underworld, and not used to the kindness from men. Richard takes her to an old healer/ cloud reader friend, Zedd. Quickly Richard finds out that his old friend is not what he seems but a powerful wizard, one of the last of his kind. Kahlan is very important to the cause and Richard is special and anointed the Seeker of Truth, which comes with a powerful weapon the Sword of Truth that is a powerful magical item that focuses emotion into the blade. Richard finds out the true nature of the world that there is a Threat in Darken Rahl that involves tearing down the boundaries and ruling the world. It is up to Kahlan, Zedd and Richard to stop him.
The Plot Summary of Stone of Tears (book 2): The Plot: Two days after Richard defeated Darken Rahl. A creature from the underworld has escaped and it wants to mark Richard so he can open the underworld for the Keeper. Zedd deals with these creatures first and must find Richard and seek side in closing the veil to the underworld. Richard and Kahlan are returning a boy back to the mud people when a creature from the underworld comes for them. They defeat the creature but Richard gets migraines that make it feel like his head will explode they keep getting worse and worse. He meets 3 Sisters of Light that day they can help him but they must collar him and own him to teach him to control his new magic. He refuses and the sister creates suicide right then and there, saying that was chance one you will have two more chances to get help of you do note, you will die.
The Plot Summary for Blood of the Fold (book 3): A funeral is held at the Palace of the Prophets for the Prelate and the Prophet. They were burned by Sisters of the Dark who have infiltrated the Sisters of the Light. Sister Verna who is the a good Sister of the Light and a friend to Richard Rahl the Seeker of Truth, is set up to be the new Prelate she doesn’t know if this is for real or a trick of the Sisters of the Dark, the prophesies foretold that the false Prelate will destroy the Palace of the Prophets. She believes this to be free when she unravels a conspiracy that makes the prophesy come to pass. Richard having just came from seeing Kahlan and confirming she is alive when the world thinks she is dead. Richard waits at the Mother Confesser’s temple and fights the Mriswith a deadly snake like creatures that he saw and killed in the old world but has never seen one in this world. The Mriswith have now started to plague the land, they are being lead by something Richard must find out. Richard has started to embrace the Rahl part of his name he believes that the only way to unite the Midlands is be the supreme ruler, with all of Midland under his rule. He tries for peace by strong arming The Blood the Fold leader, the very same man who thinks he murdered Kahlan, but the Mriswith help him as their ruler wants him to live, and has a purpose for him. The ruler is known as the Dreamwalker and quickly takes over the Sister of the Dark and the Blood of the Fold, he wants Richard defeated and the Palace of the Prophets to be his especially the slow aging spell attached to it. Richard and Verna must fight the Dreamwalker on to different fronts.
The Plot Summary for Temple of the Winds (book 4): Richard and Kahlan are finally reunited and talking wedding. They get three very special visitors One is a man claiming to be Richard’s brother an illegitimate son of Richard’s father Darken Rahl. The second visitor is Nadine a girl from Richard’s village who was sent by the witch woman Shota to marry Richard. The final visitor is an assassin who’s job it is to kill Richard. Through interrogation of the assassin they find that he was not alone, and with a sister of the dark that work for the Dreamwalker. The Sister has started a plague which starts a prophesy for Richard if he does nothing millions will die, if he wants to fight Kahlan will betray him . and Ricard will be no more. When the first victim of the plague dies his spirt takes over his body and talks about the winds This leads them to find out of a spiritual place called the Temple of the Winds that could hold the key to the cure and stop the plague. The price to enter the Temple of the Winds might be too high?
The Plot Summary for Soul of the Fire (book 5): Richard and Kahlan are finally married by the Mud People and has reunited with Zedd. The wedding bliss does not last long as Richard feels something not right…with a chicken. This isn’t the only thing two of the Mud People children has died by mysterious circumstances, and everyone with magic has started to lose it. Zedd ask Richard and Kahlan about the Chimes, the beings from the underworld that saved the world from the dark magical plague, the Chimes manifest in water, air, and fire . Zedd freaked out that Kahlan said them out loud, but in his research the Chimes can only stay in this world if called by the third wife, Kahlan is Richard’s second since he was married to Nadine in the last book and did not last. Zedd with prelate Ann knows that somehow the Chimes are here but he knows Ricard will be safe in the Wizards Keep, so he makes up a creature the Lurk and fakes an illness so Richard and Kahlan will race off to the Keep while Zedd can defeat it. On Richard’s way to the keep he runs into Du Chaillu a slave girl he was chained to and saved, she comes to Richard pregnant and calls him her husband, with her rules they are married. The Chimes are in this world.
The Plot Summary of Faith of the Fallen (book 6): After the aftermath of the last book with Kahlan getting brutally injured and can not use magic to heal her, Richard takes her to his old town when he was Richard Cypher a woods guide and not the Seeker of Truth. When he arrives the town doesn’t want him, that lies of The Order have spread and he is ruining their better life. Richard who just came from a town that rejected him for The Order has but him in an odd place where he doesn’t want to fight anymore or yet, because people don’t know what freedom is. Nicci a Sister of the Dark and one of Dreamwalker’s ,the leader of The Order, disciples, is on the fringe since for some reason the dreamwalker can’t always enter her mind. She defies him killing a leader in his army as an example. Nicci is called on by the Dreamwalker while she investigates how Ann a Sister of the Light and her old Prelate have escaped and the Dreamwalker can’t enter their minds. She finds out it is Richard is the key, when the dreamwalker can’t enter her mind she was thinking of Richard. She finds Richard and place a spell on Kahlan that if any harm comes to her it comes to Kahlan as well. She convinces Richard to come with her to live in the heart of The Order to convince him of it’s gifts she goes back to where she grew up. Kahlan and Cara take their anger out on the army of the Order who’s invading the Midlands.
Plot Summary of The Pillars of Creation (book 7): Jennsen has been sheltered her whole life, kept away from secrets of her mother. Jennsen is a Rahl half Sister to Richard Rahl. But Jensen is so sheltered she did not know that Richard is good and killed their father Darken Rahl to save people and the land. She meets the chief strategist of Richard’s new new enemy the Dreamwalker, and he tells all about The brutal Richard Rahl as he saves her from soldiers that were hunting Rahl family members. Since they pose a threat and have an immunity to magic. Jennsen is convinced she must kill Richard to free from her threat. She and Richard find out that Jennsen is not the only sibling and their are dire consequences if Richard is killed that will effect all lands.
Plot Summary of Naked Empire (book 8): Richard having come to terms with his sister half Sister Jennsen who is resistant to all magic, comes to know a family secret that Jennsen is not the only one that his ancestors would banish the non magic off spring to it own land. The land was protected from the boundary but Kahlan brought all boundaries to save Richard almost 2 years ago. The Dream Walker knows the power of the non magic and can use them to populate an army of non magic and the non magic can enter restricted area that old deadly magical artifacts. Richard runs into one of the banished that escaped. he tries to persuade Richard to help but fails. Richard moves on feeling the effects of the gift and something else, The man shows back up and alerts him he poisoned him so that he can help liberate his people the complex poison needs three vials of the antidote who are now under enemy control he must fight an army to live.
Plot Summary of Chainfire (book 9) Richard is badly injured by an arrow very close to the heart. Nikki uses unproven subtractive magic to remove his blood and the arrow. This magic has created a blood beast, that is a creature from the underworld that wants Ricard’s magic blood. The beast can come in multiple forms and their is no known way to stop it. The beast is not the only thing that happened because of the accident. When he wakes up from the healing his wife Kahlan is gone and no one but Richard can remember her. All traces of her are missing not just physical but any references to her in book of prophecy are now blank. Richard goes to extreme links to prove to others he is not crazy and that his wife is real and alive. Richard so desperate for answers goes to Shota, the which, who said if she ever saw him again she would kill him on site. In these desperate times will require desperate measures. while Richard is chasing ghost Jagang is setting up for the final battle with all the prophecies saying all hope is lost with out Richard as the leader.
What I Liked: The explanation of the magic was very well done and made a lot of sense once all was revealed. Nikki’s battle scenes were so freaking awesome it reminded me a lot of Kahlan’s battle scenes in Blood of the Fold. The scenes were epic and I felt I could visualize everything clearly. There’s a reason Nikki was once called Death’s Mistress and it is shown in this book. The shota scenes are always great and this was no exception. She has slowly been becoming my favorite recurring character, I want her to show up more. Chase and Rachael has more scenes in this book talk about favorite recurring characters all in one book. The ending was great and am really excited for the next books since the stakes are raised. I liked the old enemies and old weapons coming back. I loved the Cara, Nikki, and Richard dynamic. I liked Cara’s defense of Richard, I may think you’re crazy but will still protect you from others. I thought the Blood Beast was a pretty terrifying creation and will be interesting how it effects the series going forward.
What I Disliked: The opening scenes were really slow paced and felt like a tv episode troupe, it was reminding me of the series low point the demented chicken, but it did not last too long as it showed the wider world impact on Kahlan being gone. The memories were 60% effective but the 40% that weren’t were really redundant and overkill. This book could have lost 50 pages in memories and would have been a 5 star book.
Rating and Recommendation: Chainfire is book 9 in the Sword of Truth series and has been one heck of a ride. The series overall sits at a 4 out of 5 stars average. So far out of the 8 previous books I have six 4 stars and two 3 stars. I like that I can feel the series setting up for an epic battle and so far where this book left off I’m super excited about reading the next one. The series has had some hits and misses but it is pretty solid and I recommend it. Chainfire by Terry Goodkind I rate 4 out of 5 stars. Here’s my ranking of the books in the Sword of Truth series so far… after reading 8 books. 1) Stone of Tears, 2) Temple of the Winds, 3) Naked Empire, 4) Faith of the Fallen, 5) Wizards First Rule, 6) Chainfire, 7)Blood of the Fold, 8) Pillars of Creation, and 9) Soul of Fire.
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