Well, it's not one of the movie reviews I'd been talking about, but...
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
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.
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 RATING: 5 STARS
My review as posted on GoodReads:
First off, I loved the TV
series that was based off this, and was really annoyed when it went off
the air. So naturally, it made me want to read the books. It also made
me nervous about reading the books, because who knew what might have
been changed between the two and who knew how disappointing the books
themselves might really be (especially after seeing the kind of reviews
that said, quote: "Don't touch!").
Turns out I was nervous for no
reason, so far as I'm concerned. I was already biased in favor of this,
but I liked it even better than the show! There were some aspects that
were done in more detail that couldn't carry over into a TV series and
some of the things that got on my nerves about the show made more sense
here. I mean, apart from the whole
Let me start
with Richard Cypher. As I said, already biased in his favor. After
reading this, he's earned his spot as one of my favorite fictional
characters. Living as a woods guide and believing magic only exists in
stories, he's shocked one day when he helps rescue Kahlan, a woman with a
mysterious and terrible power, learns his old friend Zedd is really a
great wizard, and is named the Seeker, wielder of the Sword of Truth.
It's Richard's duty to defeat Darken Rahl, an evil ruler in far-away
D'Hara bent on world domination (heck, what evil ruler doesn't have that
as an ultimate goal? I mean, really?). Richard is smart, clever, brave,
and infinitely frustrated because he's fallen in love with Kahlan, but
the secret of her power would keep them apart for good. There's not much
to say about Richard. He's like most other fantasy heroes, but I still
loved him and still cheered him on.
I have to say a few words
about Kahlan. I thought she was great in the series, but I think she was
a bit more appealing here. She came across as cool and untouchable in a
few parts, but that's only to be expected. She's a Confessor, a woman
with the power to make anyone she touches fall in love with her at the
cost of their self and identity (hence the problem with Richard). But
between those times, she felt more accessible. I got more of a sense of
her loneliness and yearning to be an ordinary woman. But still, you
don't mess around with Kahlan, especially when she's in the Con Dar!
She'll do whatever she has to to help defeat Rahl, even if it means
taking her own life. A bit dramatic, but dedicated.
I'm not going
to lie to you, quite a bit of this felt like a hodge-podge of other
fantasy epics, but some of it was pretty original...or at least the
packaging for it made it look that way. Evil bad guy? Check. Handsome,
capable hero easy to fall in love with? Check. Magical sword, wizard in
disguise, and dragon to boot? Got all those too. That being said, I was
still entertained throughout the whole thing, and knowing what was going
to happen before it actually happened (partly through the show, partly
because some of it was just predictable) didn't spoil the fun.
was, however, one bit that knocked me stupid, and that was when Richard
finally crossed paths with Denna, the Mord-Sith. Now, I already knew
Denna was a nasty piece of work, but the whole part with Richard's
torture and "training" was so intense and so horrible it really hurt! I
don't mean horrible as in no good, but horrible as in I was bursting out
"Oh my God!" about every two paragraphs. THAT part was definitely not
for the faint of heart. But at the end of it all, it was so strange,
because it was like being trained right along with Richard and slowly
becoming Denna's puppet. How he finally broke free from her power was
gut-wrenching, in a good way.
Derivative? Maybe. One I'm still
getting for my personal collection? Of course. Yet another series I've
gotten myself dragged into? You betcha!
Your humble book nerd,