Review: Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

The Blurb: In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher’s forest sanctuary seeking help . . . and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

In a dark age it takes courage to live, and more than mere courage to challenge those who hold dominion, Richard and Kahlan must take up that challenge or become the next victims. Beyond awaits a bewitching land where even the best of their hearts could betray them. Yet, Richard fears nothing so much as what secrets his sword might reveal about his own soul. Falling in love would destroy them–for reasons Richard can’t imagine and Kahlan dare not say.
In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword–to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed . . . or that their time has run out.
This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.

My thoughts: I picked up on this book when I moved in with my husband. He has shelves full of books, we’re talking five thousand plus books. Piers Anthony, Robert Jordan, DAW, Forgotten Realms, Star Trek, Star Wars, V.C. Andrews, Issac Asimov, etc. etc. I am literally surrounded by books everyday.

Wizard’s First Rule was already in the library along with the rest of the series. I began reading it shortly after The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, also found on the shelves, right beside Shakespeare. 

This story is sort of the pinnacle of Epic Fantasy. Goodkind started a new phenomenon with this book. Before The Sword of Truth Series there was R.A. Salvatore, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, but there wasn’t something that was contemporary, romantic, as well as adventurous and epic. I found that Goodkind’s Midlands were similar to Earth. We had villagers, both in the Midlands and in Westland. I like the idea that there were places with magic and places without. 

I loved Kahlan and the confessors. If you’re not privy to Goodkind, well confessors are women who can make men tell the truth. They see each man and woman’s truths. There’s no chance of lying to a confessor. In addition to this, a confessor can put a man under her power. When he’s been touched by her, he will do anything for her, including killing himself. This way it makes it impossible for her to have a mate because it’s very likely that the man would be under the influence of a confessor.

Kahlan and Richard struggle with a lot in this book and it feels like if this book were out today it would be released in at least three if not four books because it’s over 1000 pages long and there are many parts to the story. 

In the beginning, Richard doesn’t know who he is and is then named the Seeker. By his birthright, he will defeat the tyrant Darkan Rahl. Wizard of the First Order, Zeddicus Zul Zorander, and Confessor, Kahlan are his protectors and guides on this journey. Chase comes with them he’s from the Westlands and not gifted, but I think of him as muscle. He proves good in a fight. 

They cross into midlands and get into a lot of trouble basically. Richard and Kahlan travel the lands solving small problems for the people while battling their own inner turmoil. They have feelings for each other, and every now and again they act on them, but Kahlan says it can never happen. She doesn’t want to make Richard her pawn.

There are plenty of detours from the original plot, such as the time with the mud people, Shota, the witch, and various other villages. Shota mentions that Kahlan will betray Richard. They also find out though I forget how, that Darken Rahl is searching for the boxes of Orden, which will give him ultimate power. 

The rest of the book focuses on the back stories of Kahlan and Zedd, the forbidden love story between Kahlan and Richard, the prophecy that Kahlan will betray Richard and the quest for finding the boxes of Orden before Darken Rahl assembles them.

The other element is that there’s a book written in a secret language that Richard can read, and in fact, memorized. The book explains how to use the boxes, there’s a chance that instead of ultimate power, the user could destroy themselves. Magic always has consequences after all.

During the quest, Richard is captured by Denna one of the Mord’Sith. I loved these women and hated them. They use Aegils to cause pain to their prey. They work for Darkan Rahl and are considered elite. They are trained from a young age to be soulless women, hard in every way, strong warriors. Richard spends forever with Denna. She causes him pain people could only dream about. It’s really quite disturbing. Through all of it Denna tries to cause Richard enough pain that he forget his name, forgets his quest, forgets everything. Denna tries to make him fall for her, if he falls in love with her she’ll make the pain stop. Richard doesn’t fall for her, no matter what Denna does to him he still remembers Kahlan, keeps dreaming about her, keeps screaming out her name, never loses faith or hope.

Definitely one of my favorite parts of the book even if it was gruesome. 

When Kahlan and Zedd free Richard, Richard kills Denna with the Sword of Truth and inherits her Aegil. Turns out, it hurts just as much to hold an Aegil as it does to be touched by it. So when Denna was torturing Richard, she was also enduring the same amount of pain herself. Also, Goodkind explains the way Mord Sith are trained, and it involves the same kind of pain Richard endured though at a much younger age.

Richard continues his quest but things go wrong again and once again I’m blurring past parts of the book I forget because again, so many pages! 

I loved the way this book ended though. Richard is separated again and held captive by Rahl himself. Kahlan goes into the condar (intense anger) and actually makes one of Rahl’s men chop off his own genitals. When Zedd, Kahlan and Chase find Richard, Rahl is poised with all 3 boxes of Orden. Rahl calls to Kahlan to put Richard under her control, and she’s in the condar, so she knows if she does it, Richard will be under her power forever. Still, forced, she does it, and then Richard tells Rahl how to use the boxes so that he’ll gain power and not destroy himself. Richard is the one who memorized the book after all, and the book was lost. 

Rahl open the boxes and instead of gaining power he ends up destroying himself. Richard apparently lied, he wasn’t under control of Rahl at all. Zedd and Chase think they’ve won but Kahlan leaves the room. She’s at the fountain when Richard finds her, ready to stab herself so Richard can be released from her power. She tells him to turn around and go back inside, knowing that if he were any other man under her control, he would be forced to do it. Richard doesn’t. He tells her to put the knife down and Kahlan doesn’t understand until Richard explains that her power can’t affect him because he’s already so in love with her he would do anything for her. Anything except turn away and let her kill herself.

So turns out they found the way to be together.

In the end Richard asks Zedd what the Wizard’s First Rule was. Zedd says, “people are stupid” and to always use that stupidity to your advantage.


And that is all the fantastic spoilery things I loved about this book. If you haven’t read it yet then why not!?

And if you have read it, what was your favorite part? Did you watch Legend of the Seeker, the TV show version? I did and was disappointed that the ending of Wizards First Rule was messed up, and that they switched from Stone of Tears to Wizard’s First Rule and back again. I stopped following it after the first season. 

Anyway, that’s it for tonight! Enjoy!

Comments ( 2 )

  • Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue says:

    I agree with a lot of your review, and was reading along nodding going, &quot;yep, loved that!&quot; I really fell hard for Richard and Kahlan. I think I liked him so much because he was that &quot;everyman&quot; hero, and Kahlan well, is pure awesome. I enjoyed Goodkind&#39;s writing style, and the interactions between various characters.<br /><br />I agree with you, Richard&#39;s time with

  • Ciara Ballintyne says:

    I love the Sword of Truth books, they are my favourite (OK, equal favourite with the Wheel of Time, but for different reasons). I remember reading Chainfire. I wasn&#39;t happy when that book didn&#39;t end like all the others had and I needed to wait for Phantom (and then Confessor, but that one I saw coming). I slammed it against the lounge a couple of times. Then gave it to Dad (yes I am evil)

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