Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind is a fantasy that goes from juvenile light fantasy to brutal high fantasy full of sex and torture. Wizard’s First Rule is book one in the 15 book Sword of Truth series. The first 200 pages are the corner stone of fantasy mediocrity, A hero orphaned finds out he is really the savior all along, he meets the woman of his dreams that’s the key to the danger and his prophecy. The old healer in the village is really a powerful wizard that has been watching over him. The first 200 read like a Star Wars plot set in a fantasy world. Thank goodness this book is over 800 pages because those pages are original and go in directions I couldn’t have predicted, and I couldn’t put it down. This was a reread for me, and I enjoyed this better the second time, the book is a great escape, this book is dialogue heavy, but the dialogue is very well thought out and 80 percent very interesting. The initial plot is weak but Goodkind does great world building and creating lore expanding upon it, this is the first book in a long series, and there’s a lot left to explore. The book ends not in a true cliffhanger but one that makes the reader draw to conclusions that this isn’t the end only the beginning and makes the reader want to read more. This was a reread for me and I have to say I enjoyed it better the second time, my rating still stand at 4 stars, but I appreciated the writing a lot more.
The Plot: 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.
What I Liked: World building and lore, there’s so much too explore in this world. Rachel’s story line, if I told you the best part about this novel was a little orphan girl escaping a princess and carrying a special gift, my eyes misted as the doll Sara stopped talking. Adie’s characterization was really good and really was a turning point for me really liking this novel. Darken Rahl was a good unconventional villain, his manipulation is top notch, you understand why some loved him and other hate him. I liked that the Wizard’s First Rule, is that people are stupid. The dialogue is good and really well thought out, they have some good conversations about fate and right and wrong. The Richard and Kahlan love story is sappy, but the character’s are great that you root for them and don’t mind spending time with them. Zedd is my favorite a thin wizard that can always eat, is slightly horny, and is a truly great wizard. Zedd’s character has to say a lot of exposition but Goodkind makes the dialogue fun and insightful. The Mord Sith is one of the most terrifying villains that really set this book apart. The character is basically a mistress of S and M thrown into the fantasy story with magic and it works really well and makes a truly unique character.
What I Disliked: The love story is at times extremely annoying and sappy. The torture scenes went on far too long, should have been broken up by other scenes, the scenes are written really well but I needed a break when reading. The first 200 pages that take so long to set up the initial plot. When writing fantasy you’re going to blend over to Lord of the Rings By J. R. Tolkien but the character of Samuel was to obvious of a Golem character, that is took me out of his scenes and was happy he was just in the book for a little while.
Recommendations: I understand why this novel is so divided in the reviews, the first 200 are interesting but it takes a while to get to the overall plot, I don’t know if I would’ve continued if not for the catching a couple episodes of The Legend of the Seeker and being intrigued upon my first reading. I promise it gets better, because I recommend it to my readers to check it out if you want a long epic fantasy. After reading and being disappointed by Goodkind’s The Nest which I rated two stars I was ready for disappointment but was surprised how much I got into the Wizard’s First Rule. I rated Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind 4 out of 5 stars I will read the next novel in the series pretty soon.