Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Reviews From an HBN (Stone of Tears - Terry Goodkind)

I'm back, my pretties! Expect me to pop in sporadically until further notice!

Book two of the Sword of Truth series

In Wizard's First Rule, Richard Cypher's world was turned upside down. Once a simple woods guide, Richard was forced to become the Seeker of Truth, to save the world from the vile dominance of Darken Rahl, the most viciously savage and powerful wizard the world had ever seen. He was joined on this epic quest by his beloved Kahlan, the only survivor among the Confessors, who brought a powerful but benevolent justice to the land before Rahl's evil scourge. Aided by Zedd, the last of the wizards who opposed Rahl, they were able to cast him into the underworld, saving the world from the living hell of life under Rahl.

But the veil to the underworld has been torn, and Rahl, from beyond the veil, begins to summon a sinister power more dreadful than any he has wielded before. Horrifying creatures escape through the torn veil, wreaking havoc on the unsuspecting world above.

If Rahl isn't stopped, he will free the Keeper itself, an evil entity whose power is so vast and foul that once freed, it can never again be contained.

Richard and Kahlan must face Rahl and the Keeper's terrible minions. But first, Richard must endure the ministrations of the Sisters of the Light, or die from the pain of magic that is his birthright and his curse. While Richard undertakes the arduous journey to the forbidden city of the Sisters, Kahlan must embark upon a long and dangerous mission to Aydindril, citadel of the old wizards, where she hopes to find Zedd and the help only he can lend to their desperate cause.

War, suffering, torture, and deceit lie in their paths, and nothing will save them from a destiny of violent death, unless their courage and faith are joined with luck and they find the elusive...Stone of Tears.


I just realized I misspelled a name in my review, yet I don't really care to correct it. *cackle* Anyhoo, here's the review!

  I would probably give this one more like 3.5 stars if I had the option. Where it was good, it was great, but the only real trouble I had with it is that Goodkind spent way too much time wandering around before he finally remembered there is in fact such a thing as plot and he'd better get back to his in a hurry. All the crap I heard about there being so much more sadism and near-misogyny wasn't nearly what I'd been led to believe by a long shot.

So...Richard is a wizard and needs to follow Verna, a Sister of the Light, to the Palace of the Prophets to learn to control his magic before it kills him. Fine and dandy, but they have to cross all of creation to get there, and Goodkind drags us along for the entire trip. Only about a quarter of the book, if that, took place in the Palace of the Prophets. The Stone of Tears, the only thing holding the Keeper of the Dead in the underworld, is in the land of the living, and if it falls into the wrong hands, the usual hell will break loose. Sounds great, but the Stone itself was more of a minor detail until the very end of the book, so that fell flatter than crepes. Kahlan needs to get to Zedd in Adyndril, the city of wizards and Confessors, to see if he can help Richard escape from the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad Sisters of the Light. All right, but she gets sidetracked fighting wars with the army of the Imperial Order and spends more time killing renegade soldiers wearing nothing but warpaint than she does in Adyndril. Zedd himself is after Adie the bone woman for her knowledge of the underworld. Cool beans, but they were attacked by a skrin and need to visit these healing sorceresses or whoever they were to be cured from the taint on their magic.

And so on and so on and zzzzzzzzzzzzzz...........

Yeah, it just drifted along for nearly all eternity, but there were some things I liked, like Richard's friendship with Gratch, for one thing. That was just adorable. And at first I was a little put off by Kahlan's one-eighty into a remorseless warrior queen since I thought the Mother Confessor was supposed to be the soul of compassion, but I guess she's also the guardian and protector of her people, so when they fell under threat, she only did what was necessary to defend them. Denna had also become my favorite character by the end of Wizard's First Rule so I was glad to see her again here, though I just wish I could have seen more of her. She's one of the more complex and intriguing villains I've seen recently, and I love her as much as I'm sickened by her. (Speaking of Mord-Sith, I spent the entire book looking for Cara! She was more important in the TV series, and nonexistent in the book! I kept thinking to myself as I read, "Where's Cara? Where's Cara?.................There's Cara!")

I was more than a little annoyed that the resolution of those infinite plot lines was rushed on all counts, and irritated that it took forever to learn what Wizard's Second Rule was only for it to turn out so trite and stale, and while it wasn't as graphic as I'd expected it to be based on the reviews I read, hearing about seventy-five percent of the female characters being raped every time you blinked got...old. Was Goodkind going for shock factor? He wore it out awful fast. Is he really some kind of perverted sexual sadist? He played it pretty safe, considering the subject matter. *shrug* There was some other seriously weird stuff going on, like bestiality with a creature from the underworld and more of that ritual sacrifice from the first book. It seems Goodkind can't decide whether he wants to tell a story or make people vomit!

And I liked Richard a lot in the first one but here, well, he just got on my nerves way too often.

I'd call this one about 60/40 so far as waste/valuables goes, but those good parts were worth it. I think...I'm almost positive...I'm putting this series on the low-priority section of my wish list.

There it is, take it or leave it!

Your humble book nerd,

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