Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Reviews From an HBN (Blood of the Fold - Terry Goodkind)

Book three of the Sword of Truth series

When Richard Cypher's odyssey began nobody could have imagined where his adventure would lead. Overcoming personal tragedy and becoming the Seeker, wielder of the magical Sword of Truth, Richard defeated the megalomaniacal wizard Darken Rahl and fell in love with Kahlan Amnell, who, as the Mother Confessor, wields considerable magic in her own right and presides over the Midlands, dealing justice in disputes both large and small throughout her land. The Blood of the Fold, a group of fanatical anti-magic zealots, have joined the forces thwarted by Richard and Kahlan. They are the unwitting pawns of a sorcerous evil from the Old World, a realm that has been magically sealed for thousands of years. Richard, Kahlan, and their allies now face the combined might of two worlds - the old and the new. This stunning confrontation threatens an armageddon of unimaginable proportions unless Richard and Kahlan can believe in the power of their love and their faith in the Truth.

My review as posted on GoodReads:


Terry Goodkind needs to get himself a better editor...

Apart from that, this one was MUCH better than Stone of Tears. The plot still wandered, but it got back under control in time for a much more exciting, much more detailed climax. This one would still be a 3.5 by my reckoning, but again, the good stuff was just that good. You'll notice, though, that this time I rounded up.

Two things that are becoming an annoying trend in this series are the oh-so-convenient prophecies being made left and right, and the even-more-convenient Wizard's Rules that are revealed at the most useful of times. I've got it pegged like this: Wizard's First Rule, People are Stupid (first book following how Richard and Darken Rahl worked to deceive each other to gain victory), Wizard's Second Rule, The greatest harm can result from the best intentions (in trying to defeat Darken Rahl, Richard nearly set loose the Keeper), and Wizard's Third Rule, Passion rules reason (everyone and his pet dog's emotions lead them into disasters that could have been avoided had they stopped to think things through). My take on it is that the rules establish the theme, and the instant the rule of focus for a particular book is revealed, the whole story becomes predictable.

It would be easier on me if I didn't like other parts so much. Gratch and the Mord-Sith are high on my list, for one thing. I could have done without a few subplots, or at least I think the way they were handled could have been better, but as it was I thought it dragged through the parts narrating Tobias Brogan and Emperor Jagang. They were both nasty characters, but Goodkind could have gotten so much more mileage out of them as villains. (Unless he ended up using that as a window to cram some more rape and torture in there, in which case they're best left as they are. We get it, man, they're the bad guys. Quit ramming it down our throats.)

The movers and shakers keep moving around, as well. First book, the focus was on Richard. Second, it was more on Kahlan. This time, most of the story was about Ann, Nathan, and Verna. And it's weird, but whenever Goodkind narrows in on any particular character, the rest are made less appealing, even if they were awesome in previous installments. It's like he just stops trying to make everyone grow along with the series. *cough*Richard!*cough* Character development is key, but come on, you have to balance it out! If there are too many people running around to give them a fair voice, then someone has to get cut! This is where a better editor is called for!

Yet for all the complaining I'm doing, I'm still giving this one four stars. That's non-negotiable. It was predictable, occasionally sluggish, and just perplexing--not always in a good way--but what I liked, I loved. Take it or leave it

Your humble book nerd,

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like your feelings on the series are about like mine were, though I often felt preached at, too. I may be thinking more of later books which contained multi-page sermons from Richard, though. I have the next ones whenever you're ready.


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