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L'Âme du feu: L'Épée de Vérité, T5

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Pour arracher à la mort l’homme qu’elle aime, la mère inquisitrice a prononcé le nom des trois carillons. Sans le vouloir, elle a ainsi invoqué des êtres de l’au-delà et libéré une puissance destructrice inimaginable. On raconte que les trois Carillons volent les âmes des vivants et absorbent la magie du monde ! Richard, Kahlan et Zedd vont se lancer dans une quête effraya Pour arracher à la mort l’homme qu’elle aime, la mère inquisitrice a prononcé le nom des trois carillons. Sans le vouloir, elle a ainsi invoqué des êtres de l’au-delà et libéré une puissance destructrice inimaginable. On raconte que les trois Carillons volent les âmes des vivants et absorbent la magie du monde ! Richard, Kahlan et Zedd vont se lancer dans une quête effrayante. S’ils perdaient leurs pouvoirs magiques, comment pourraient-ils s’opposer aux hordes du terrible empereur Jagang ?


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Pour arracher à la mort l’homme qu’elle aime, la mère inquisitrice a prononcé le nom des trois carillons. Sans le vouloir, elle a ainsi invoqué des êtres de l’au-delà et libéré une puissance destructrice inimaginable. On raconte que les trois Carillons volent les âmes des vivants et absorbent la magie du monde ! Richard, Kahlan et Zedd vont se lancer dans une quête effraya Pour arracher à la mort l’homme qu’elle aime, la mère inquisitrice a prononcé le nom des trois carillons. Sans le vouloir, elle a ainsi invoqué des êtres de l’au-delà et libéré une puissance destructrice inimaginable. On raconte que les trois Carillons volent les âmes des vivants et absorbent la magie du monde ! Richard, Kahlan et Zedd vont se lancer dans une quête effrayante. S’ils perdaient leurs pouvoirs magiques, comment pourraient-ils s’opposer aux hordes du terrible empereur Jagang ?

30 review for L'Âme du feu: L'Épée de Vérité, T5

  1. 4 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. The Chicken's Head Rose: "Soul of the Fire" by Terry Goodkind (Original Review, 2002) "Hissing, hackles lifting, the chicken's head rose. Kahlan pulled back. Its claws digging into stiff dead flesh, the chicken slowly turned to face her. It cocked its head, making its comb flop, its wattles sway. "Shoo," Kahlan heard herself whisper. There wasn't enough light, and besides, the side of its beak was covered with gore, so she couldn't tell If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. The Chicken's Head Rose: "Soul of the Fire" by Terry Goodkind (Original Review, 2002) "Hissing, hackles lifting, the chicken's head rose. Kahlan pulled back. Its claws digging into stiff dead flesh, the chicken slowly turned to face her. It cocked its head, making its comb flop, its wattles sway. "Shoo," Kahlan heard herself whisper. There wasn't enough light, and besides, the side of its beak was covered with gore, so she couldn't tell if it had the dark spot, But she didn't need to see it. "Dear spirits, help me," she prayed under her breath. The bird let out a slow chicken cackle. It sounded like a chicken, but in her heart she knew it wasn't. In that instant, she completely understood the concept of a chicken that was not a chicken. This looked like a chicken, like most of the Mud People's chickens. But this was no chicken. This was evil manifest." In "Soul of the Fire" by Terry Goodkind. Goodkind is responsible for the worst thing ever written by a human being; the now legendary evil chicken scene (quote above).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Obrigewitsch

    First 3 books where OK, but read like teen erotic fantasy with a mix a of Fountain Head. Book 4 was horrible, book 5 was the worst book I have ever read and I started 6 and it was looking even stupider so I quit less than 100 pages in. Heroes that never learn anything and have no desire to, and cause their own trouble through their ignorance just piss me off. Then the 5th book had the evil chicken that was killing people, numerous gang bangs and gang rapes, and introduced new characters which th First 3 books where OK, but read like teen erotic fantasy with a mix a of Fountain Head. Book 4 was horrible, book 5 was the worst book I have ever read and I started 6 and it was looking even stupider so I quit less than 100 pages in. Heroes that never learn anything and have no desire to, and cause their own trouble through their ignorance just piss me off. Then the 5th book had the evil chicken that was killing people, numerous gang bangs and gang rapes, and introduced new characters which the book was basically about and then (view spoiler)[they die at the end from STDs. (hide spoiler)] Not to mention how the most powerful wizard turns into a bumbling idiot, Zed. If you enjoy logic don't read this garbage. This book seriously insulted my intelligence. Believe it or not the Evil chicken was actually the highlight of the book. The only thing of Goodkind's worth reading are his interviews, they are a study in how incredibly pompous one man can be.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ronel

    Terrible book, I just could not finish it. (Spoilers ahead: But if you still want to read the book, you are on your own) I loved the Sword of Truth series in the beginning. It was different and exciting. But then the series started to get weird. First it was the weird sex that Richard was having with the red clad dominatrix, then the Sisters of the Dark had that strange session with the statue/demon in the forest etc etc. And after a while, I started to feel about the series the same way as about Terrible book, I just could not finish it. (Spoilers ahead: But if you still want to read the book, you are on your own) I loved the Sword of Truth series in the beginning. It was different and exciting. But then the series started to get weird. First it was the weird sex that Richard was having with the red clad dominatrix, then the Sisters of the Dark had that strange session with the statue/demon in the forest etc etc. And after a while, I started to feel about the series the same way as about Grey's Anatomy. How many tragic events can happen to the same characters? In the case of Grey's you just know that the finale of each series will involve murderous killers, bombs, people dying all over the place. Ditto for the Sword of Truth series. Then, after a year or three I picked up where I left off and started reading the Soul of the Fire. Richard and Kahlan are back at the Mud People. (I always liked the Mud People and that scene in the first book with Kahlan and the apple is still one of my favourite non-sex sex scenes :) But then people start dying and they realise something is wrong. Enter the Evil Chicken. Amongst all the chickens running around the village, the Bird Man identifies one as a chicken who is not a chicken. If it was a fleeting reference it would have been fine but for the first quarter of the book, Richard chases after the flippen chicken and most of the conversations he has revolves around "Is it evil...yes, it is. No it is not." For Pete's sake. Surely one of the warriors in the village could have taken a spear and shoved it up the suspicious chicken's arse. Or someone with magical powers could have blasted it into oblivion. But no, the chase continues. And worst of all, the chicken just ogles them in an evil way most of the time. Enough with the bloody chicken already. Then there is a conversation about magic disappearing and then...you guessed it...they go chasing after poultry again. Then Kahlan is outside running around in the rain. I can't even remember why. So she goes into the building where the tribe kept the bodies of recently deceased. And she is then trapped inside with...you guessed it...the Evil Chicken. The all powerful Mother Confessor is so scared of the damn thing that she cowers in the dark. Still the Evil Poultry does nothing else than stare at her in a menacing fashion. Oh, she also witnesses the same Feathery Fiend from Hell pecking out the eyes of a corpse. At that stage, it became too much and soon after that I stopped reading. I still don't know what happened to the bloody evil, satanic chicken. And I do not care. If it turned into a giant ostrich and trampled Richard and Kahlan I could not care less. I was just waiting for them to be stalked by an evil goose or a satanic butterfly. The one star is out of loyalty to the first three books.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I'm about to get all up in this book's craw for some terrible choices on the part of the author, and the part of his characters, but I would like to state up front that I am not opposed to characters making choices that are morally questionable. If characters--especially "the good guys"--don't mess up every now and again, we usually find them flat or boring. What I AM opposed to is characters making morally questionable choices without either the characters or the author bothering to question th I'm about to get all up in this book's craw for some terrible choices on the part of the author, and the part of his characters, but I would like to state up front that I am not opposed to characters making choices that are morally questionable. If characters--especially "the good guys"--don't mess up every now and again, we usually find them flat or boring. What I AM opposed to is characters making morally questionable choices without either the characters or the author bothering to question those questionable choices. When the hero of your series leaves an entire country to be slaughtered at the end of your book as punishment for not voting for him (essentially, it's complicated), and doesn't feel the least bit guilty about it (in fact, you get the idea he feels righteous in his decision), that's not moral complexity or shades of grey. That's fascism. Perhaps in the hands of another author, the character of Richard Rahl (who used to be a kindhearted woods guide, but is now more and more becoming an arrogant, oftentimes cruel, dictator) would have been interesting and dynamic. I mean, we are a culture obsessed with anti-heroes right now, to the point that even motherfucking Superman can't be a straight up good guy because that would be "boring." (Except: we have Captain America also, so maybe all is not lost. I will stop this tangent now.) Good guys breaking bad (and potentially redeeming themselves later on) can make for good drama. Unfortunately, in Terry Goodkind's hands, this is not that story. It is abundantly clear from reading these books that Goodkind not only sees absolutely nothing wrong with Richard's increasingly dickish, tyrannical behavior (to everyone, even those he loves), but he clearly believes all of Richard's actions to be 100% gold, hero material. Those people who didn't vote for him? They deserve what they will get (being slaughtered by the Imperial Order, who promised them--the uneducated, fearful masses--peace) because they were too stupid to see the truth and do it Richard's way. In Richard's worldview, and I have to assume Goodkind's, Richard's subjects are there to be ruled, not protected. And that is disgusting. This series has never been one I enjoy for its high quality. I've always been entertained by it, like once a year this sexist, idiotic, over the top, childishly executed BDSM circus rolls into town, and I'm just there for the ride, wondering what fool thing is going to happen next. But this book wasn't fun to read. I did not enjoy the experience of being asked to empathize with our main characters Richard and Kahlan. I actively rebelled against it and judged them constantly as stupid, reactionary, mean, childish, sexist assholes. On top of all that, structurally, this book is a mess. The first hundred pages are spent LITERALLY watching Richard run around chasing after a "chicken that is not a chicken". The chicken is possessed by the Chimes, evil spirit things Kahlan accidentally set loose at the beginning of the last book. Kahlan spends that hundred pages complaining to Richard and disbelieving him, even though he is the Seeker of Truth, and she should trust his judgment by now. Instead it's WHY WON'T YOU PAY ATTENTION TO ME. Goodkind is constantly ruining Kahlan as a character. Why couldn't she have just supported Richard, and acting in her role as Mother Confessor and leader of the Midlands, I don't know? Tried to help him? What a novel idea. So after they are done chasing after this chicken, which they FINALLY all agree is evil, we then spend the next 160 pages with characters we've never met in a location we've never even heard of before. 160 pages, after we've just been told that our heroes have this incredibly important and urgent mission to save magic and the world, let's just ignore that and go do this other thing! Richard and Kahlan (and Zedd and the others) show up for like thirty more pages, and then it's time for 200 more pages of this new location and characters. It wasn't well balanced at all. Not to mention, the new location (Anderith) is also full of idiots and assholes. Again, in the hands of another author, this section might have played out like one of those experimental one-off Star Trek episodes where things are very different in order to explore some metaphorical concept. Anderith is a country inhabited by two peoples, the Hakens and the Anders. Long ago, the Hakens invaded and due to a lot of complicated factors, eventually turned from being the rulers to the ruled, to the point where the Anders are looked upon as almost gods, and the Hakens are kept uneducated and aren't allowed to have last names. The Anders teach the Hakens (and their fellow Anders) that the Hakens are evil and did terrible things in their past, which is not true, and also a gross oversimplification of complicated history. The Hakens are also forced to spend required "penance days" where they are taught about how their culture is inherently evil, and about all the terrible things they did to the Anders back in the day. It might have been an interesting way to explore the way that history so often becomes convoluted when people seeking power change the narrative, but it was just so unpleasant the way Goodkind handled it. The characters in Anderith were either idiots or power hungry jerks. I hated all of them. And then of course, Richard and Kahlan arrive at like, page 600, and both the Hakens and the Anders start doing all this bad shit to them, and you're meant to hate them all enough so that when we get to the point that Richard abandons them to the Order, you think it the right decision. It's an unholy soup of crap. And all of that terrible stuff takes away from my enjoyment of some of the genuinely cool stuff Goodkind includes. Zedd is always a fun character, and here he spends half the book as a raven, and he is STILL one of the more interesting things going on. The Chimes are a cool idea as an antagonistic force, but Goodkind barely utilizes them, choosing instead to focus on the stupid Haken/Ander conflict, which does nothing but paint his "hero" Richard in a very bad light. I knew I was in for trouble at the beginning of this book when a character we haven't seen in a couple of books shows up and greets Richard by totally reaming him out, calling him on all of his shit, and demanding an apology. The whole time she was talking I was just like, YES YES YOU ARE SO RIGHT DU CHAILLU YOU TELL HIM YESSSS. And then? Richard shuts her down. He refuses to acknowledge her many and various salient points. He refuses to take any responsibility for the role he's played in fucking up her life, not even just to say that even if he would do all of it again, he's still sorry for her suffering. Except he's not. He's not sorry at all. He couldn't give less of a fuck if he tried. He clearly feels nothing but contempt for this woman, who is eight months pregnant by the way, carrying a baby Richard begged her not to abort, even though she was basically gang-raped, and the father is one of the rapists. Anyway, all of that long-windedness, and we can probably sum up my reaction to this book with one gif:

  5. 4 out of 5

    Espen

    This book is a lot slower going than the previous four, perhaps because Terry Goodkind is putting a lot of focus on characters we have never heard of up until now. At halfway through the book he picks up the pace though, and the last half of the book is actually very enjoyable. Still, not even close to being one of Goodkind's best books, and it took a strong recommendation from someone that had read the entirety of it to bring this book back out of the bookshelf. The big weakness of the book is, I This book is a lot slower going than the previous four, perhaps because Terry Goodkind is putting a lot of focus on characters we have never heard of up until now. At halfway through the book he picks up the pace though, and the last half of the book is actually very enjoyable. Still, not even close to being one of Goodkind's best books, and it took a strong recommendation from someone that had read the entirety of it to bring this book back out of the bookshelf. The big weakness of the book is, I think, that he tries to write a book that mainly revolves around political scheming and plotting, but neglects to give us the juicy details. We are just given second or third hand accounts of various successful schemes, hardly the way to go if you want the reader to be interested in turning the next page. Also, the main plotter, Dalton Campbell, seems to be able to accomplish virtually anything, without any kind of difficulty, encountering no problems, even when he assassinates the religious leader of the country. Not really a believable character, in other words.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tam Lin

    A wonderful story about how democracy is broken and the world is better off submitting to the rule of an iron-fisted military dictator so long as he saves them from socialistm. A great read for closet fascists everywhere.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tea

    Some people complain about the slow pace of the book; to me, the real problem is that especially by the end of it, much of the content felt completely unnecessary. The big obstacle of this book was, first and foremost, the Chimes. In spite of this, they actually seem to occupy very little of the plot, except when people are just worrying about them. This wasn't a completely illogical approach, because it was necessary for the heroes to spend most of the story simply researching how these Chimes c Some people complain about the slow pace of the book; to me, the real problem is that especially by the end of it, much of the content felt completely unnecessary. The big obstacle of this book was, first and foremost, the Chimes. In spite of this, they actually seem to occupy very little of the plot, except when people are just worrying about them. This wasn't a completely illogical approach, because it was necessary for the heroes to spend most of the story simply researching how these Chimes could even be stopped, as the knowledge was never known. In light of this, Goodkind has to introduce a different plotline--the Imperial Order--in order to flesh out the story so that characters don't spend the pages reading books. The way he tackled the Imperial Order, however, was to introduce a bunch of new characters and give us a vision of a particular country's (Anderith) politics and habits in the face of cultural customs and bids from both the Imperial Order and the D'haran Empire. The results were lackluster. The new characters interact little to none with the original cast, and among them, few, if any, were sympathetic. Considering what happens to most of them, a part of me wondered why I bothered reading at all. They felt more like plot-fodder than plot-drivers, and this, I believe, was the primary reason for the boredom associate with this book. If they had been removed or given less prevalence in the narration, I feel as though this would have changed little, and any plotholes could have easily been patched up by other (more interesting) means. (view spoiler)[ It was evident early on that the series is an expose for Goodkind to espouse his political and moral ideology. From the beginning, most of it has always seemed rather forced and contrived (that is, it was very obvious what he was trying to do), but this book was particularly bad, if only because the fallacies of his logic were self-evident. Richard travels through Anderith explaining the promises of the D'haran Empire in an attempt to win the citizen's vote. He is shocked and appalled, and loses faith, when he discovers that his promises hold no sway. At the end of the story, Richard feels the people have abandoned him, that they have betrayed him because they believed the lies of the Ander leadership (campaigning simultaneously) instead. Honestly, what did he expect? He was so hateful towards the people in the end for not believing in him that he decided to let the city suffer its fate at the hand of the Imperial Order. But what did he do the whole time but offer them words? These are people who have spent generations under political and psychological oppression. All they have ever known is the leadership of the Anders, who spin their definitions of kindness and cruelty and teach these things to children at a very young age. The Ander have lived a life of privilege, and the Haken, who sway the vote, have never known anything beyond their own lands. They do not know Richard, they have not seen for themselves the work of D'hara under his rule. And yet he expects them to intuitively know his word is true, to overcome all of the psychological oppression they have known all their lives? Perhaps Goodkind takes note of this unrealistic and unfair expectation in later books, but to me Richard has made a grave error. If Richard had decided that he could not realistically come to the aide of the Anderith people, that is one thing, but it was clearly evident to me that he ordered what he did--do not help a single person--out of spite. He is not regrettably being forced to let them suffer to pursue a better strategy, but punishing them for their child-like ignorance and misinformation. I find this reprehensible. (hide spoiler)] Finally, since the first book Goodkind has displayed his habit of wrapping up the story quickly and often providing little detail as to how everything works. This wrap-up was particularly fast-paced and senseless.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    Well, at least we left the formula behind somewhat here. You know the "Richard loves Kahlen-Richard loses Kahlen-there is an insurmountable reason Richard can never have Kahlen back-Richard surmounts the insurmountable (somehow)." Unfortunately the book just isn't that good, they keep getting weaker, though the diatribes do keep getting longer.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Terry Goodkind is a superb author, and in my opinion, his "Sword of Truth" series is the best I have ever read. So good, in fact, that I have read the entire series three times in a row, back to back, non-stop. This series is *not* for children. The series covers many aspects of the dark side of humanity, in great detail, as the heroes try to overcome the evils in the world. Goodkind is not afraid to show his readers just what evil *really* is, that is, most often, people who perform acts of evi Terry Goodkind is a superb author, and in my opinion, his "Sword of Truth" series is the best I have ever read. So good, in fact, that I have read the entire series three times in a row, back to back, non-stop. This series is *not* for children. The series covers many aspects of the dark side of humanity, in great detail, as the heroes try to overcome the evils in the world. Goodkind is not afraid to show his readers just what evil *really* is, that is, most often, people who perform acts of evil feel justified in their minds as to why they are doing so, if for illogical reasons, and will that those that oppose them are the evil ones. Goodkind shows his readers that the only way to overcome evil in ourselves and in the world is through use of Reason. The series is *not* light reading, but if one is not afraid to confront the reality of evil (even within ourselves), and how to really defeat evil, the one will find this series extremely rewarding.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eric Allen

    An Opinionated Look At: Terry Goodkind's Soul of the Fire By Eric Allen This review is rated S for Spoilers. Soul of the Fire is the fifth book of the Sword of Truth series. When it came out, I thought to myself that it was the absolute worst this series could possibly sink to. I was, unfortunately, wrong. This book is confusing. It's boring. It's so far up its own ass that it can see daylight out the other side. And worst of all, the author is extraordinarily arrogant about it, often blaming his fa An Opinionated Look At: Terry Goodkind's Soul of the Fire By Eric Allen This review is rated S for Spoilers. Soul of the Fire is the fifth book of the Sword of Truth series. When it came out, I thought to myself that it was the absolute worst this series could possibly sink to. I was, unfortunately, wrong. This book is confusing. It's boring. It's so far up its own ass that it can see daylight out the other side. And worst of all, the author is extraordinarily arrogant about it, often blaming his fans for not understanding it, rather than himself for writing a completely incomprehensible mess of a book. I remember reading interviews with Goodkind before Faith of the Fallen came out where he went on, and on, and on about how his fans were too stupid to understand the message in Soul of the Fire, and as a result, he had to dumb his message down considerably for Faith of the Fallen, so that all of the idiots out there could follow it. Almost in those exact words too. I remember thinking to myself, "what an asshole!" Anyway, on with the review. Soul of the Fire begins with Richard and Kahlan gettin' jiggy after their marriage amongst the Mud People. Zedd and Anne attempt to teach him about magic, but he's preoccupied with the evil chicken that is running around murdering people. I have to give Goodkind credit for trying to make something considered to be harmless menacing... unfortunately, it's just so silly and ridiculous that he utterly fails in every way to do so. It's just so laughably stupid that it completely ruins any and all tension and suspense a malevolent force from the underworld running loose should have attributed to it. Richard Deus ex Machinas his way into figuring out that the chimes were set loose by Kahlan, and they are now destroying magic in the world, and if this isn't stopped, bad things will happen... because reasons. Yeah, Goodkind really doesn't do a good job of explaining why magic is so important to life, the universe and everything. He basically says the answer is 42, and moves on like that explains everything. And then some random peeps from a previous book show up because reasons, and tell him that Jagang and the Imperial Order is heading to a place called Anderith, which hasn't existed until this book was written, and is apparently the place where the guy who first banished the chimes did it, and Richard decides to head there for the dual purposes of getting them to join D'hara against the Order, and finding a way to deal with the Chimes. And then we go into what makes this book so boring. All of the stuff with our main cast is set on the back burner for a good 400 pages or so, so that we can deal with politics, back story, and culture in Anderith. Characters we have never seen before, and are never mentioned again after this book, take center stage, as if they think we care about them and their petty machinations. We don't. We really, really don't. We really don't need all of this back story from the points of view of characters we don't know or care about for this story to make sense. I've written books before (terrible books) and I've talked with other people who have about the process. Generally, pretty much all authors agree that they come up with huge amounts of history and back story for any given book that they write. Every place has a story. Every character has a story. Everything that happens in the story has a story behind it, driving events forward. And maybe about 10% of this actually makes it into the book. It's all stuff that the author needs to know in order to make the story and the characters work, but it's not stuff that the reader needs to know to understand the story and the characters. And really, it's stuff that they would probably find to be hideously boring if it was all put into the book. I've heard it described by authors in two ways. The part you see in the story is like the tip of an iceberg. Where you see a big chunk of ice, but below the surface, there's much, much more. Or a duck on the water. It seems to glide effortlessly, and gracefully across the water, but below the surface, it's legs are working furiously to maintain the illusion. What's wrong with this section of the book is that Goodkind is giving us both the tip of the iceberg, and the whole rest of the iceberg beneath the surface. He's giving us all of this unnecessary garbage that he needs to know as the one writing the story, but that we DO NOT need to know as the ones reading the story. He doesn't appear to know WHY he doesn't need to include every single detail, or WHY most authors don't, or WHY it works against a story to do so. These characters really don't serve much purpose to the overall plot, and they just take up space and make a boring story even more boring. We don't need to see all of the behind the scenes stuff with the villains to know what's going on and why, and it really takes away from the story to see it, rather than adding to it. We don't need to see what's going on with the little messenger boy at all. Cara didn't need a reason to rush to Anderith after retrieving the Sword of Truth, she already said that she would make all possible speed there. So the part where he steals the sword from her and she chases him there is completely pointless. We don't need some random rape victim (because all women in Goodkind's books seem to be random rape victims) to know that the big weapon thingy is a big weapon thingy, or that the army of Anderith is being replaced with incompetents instead of real soldiers so that the Imperial Order can easily take over the border. These are things that are not necessary for the readers to know, and we certainly did not need about 70% of the book devoted to these characters to know it. So Richard gets to Anderith, after WAY TOO MUCH boring bullshit with characters we don't care about, and finds that the Imperial Order has already offered Anderith a truce. He decides to let the people vote for which empire they will join, his or Jagang's. And then spends a pretty long while campaigning in the countryside, telling people of the virtues of D'hara, and the horrors of the Imperial Order. And, frankly, this should have been the main focus of the book. We don't need all of the rest of the crap to make a good story. But Richard, trying to convert a nation to his side, that could have been a very interesting main storyline for this book. Instead, it's more of a side story, that seems like it should be a lot more important to the plot than Goodkind makes it out to be. And then the climax happens. Good god, the climax. You thought the evil chicken was stupid and nonsensical? You ain't seen nothing yet. Okay... Richard babbles about anger for a page or so, then suddenly gets some sort of idea, I guess. He runs off, tells people he may be gone for up to ten days. Goodkind never gives any clues as to what Richard is thinking, or gives any reason for his behavior other than implying that Richard has figured out how to beat the Chimes. This is fine, I guess, but then things get weird. Richard goes to this place with a bunch of poison water, draws a grace in white Sorcerer Sand, and calls the chimes. Then he blows shit up with his magic. And then the ghost of a dead wizard shows up, because why not? All right, at this point, we've still not gotten any explanation as to what is happening or why. Richard is just doing things, because reasons, and weird shit is happening without any clue as to why. It is stated outright that at this point, because Richard knows nothing about magic, it gives him the ability to ignore all natural laws of magic in this world and just sort of create his own, because that's a thing, I guess. There is no explanation given as to how Richard creates this new form of magic, what it does, how it does it, or even what, exactly, he does with it. He just creates it. Gee, I wish my ignorance gave me super powers too. That would be awesome. He then dumps black Sorcerer Sand on his grace, which, stated in previous books destroys any spell written in white Sorcerer Sand. Sooooooooo, he just created new magic, and then destroyed it? What the fuck is going on? So the ghost, yeah, remember the ghost that just sort of appeared because reasons? Yeah, he's still there. He starts talking, and apparently he's the guy that banished the Chimes the last time, but instead of banishing them he bound them within a weapon... by creating a new form of magic, again, with no explanation how such a thing is even possible without casually shattering all semblance of continuity. Richard, having called the Chimes, offers them a choice, take his soul or the soul of the guy that enslaved them. Now, it is NEVER ACTUALLY SAID IN THE BOOK, that the Chimes have come for Richard's soul. It's implied, but never actually said. So, I guess that's what they're there for, and instead of taking Richard's soul, they take the ghost. Okay... few things... why, exactly, did Richard create new magic and then destroy it, if that step is, apparently unimportant to what he actually ended up doing? I mean, he didn't actually seem to do anything with it, he just says "look, I just created new magic, now here, let me destroy that immediately right here now, okay, now, what was I doing again, oh right, hey Chimes, eat that ghost and leave me alone." This makes no sense. Things are happening for no reason, and the author isn't describing it well enough for me to really have any idea what's happening here. This climax makes no sense as it is laid out by the author. None. I have read interviews where Goodkind is asked to explain what, exactly, happened here, and even he gives unsatisfactory, nonsensical, conflicting, and often condescendingly insulting explanations. All of which points to the very real possibility that he may, actually, just be full of shit. And instead of saying, yeah I goofed a bit there, I don't know what I was thinking, he keeps trying to spin it as being too deep and philosophical for his readers to understand. You know what... Fuck you Terry Goodkind. Get over yourself. You're not god's gift to the universe, you're a stuck up, arrogant, and pretentious douchebag. Here's the biggest problem with Goodkind's attitude regarding this book. He doesn't seem to realize that it's not the message of the book that people don't understand. We get it, Terry. We do. We really do, I promise. Tyrants rule only by the consent of the people, and given the choice, they won't always do what you believe to be right. And that never thinking outside of the box limits creativity. WE FUCKING UNDERSTAND, YOU GODDAMN ASSHOLE!!! QUIT TREATING US LIKE COMPLETE FUCKING IDIOTS OVER IT!!! THAT IS NOT THE PART OF THE BOOK THAT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!!! What doesn't make sense is the ending. What happened there? What was that all about? How did Richard figure everything out? How did he know exactly what Ander did, and how to counter it? Where did he come up with the ideas to do generally anything he does during the climax? He just suddenly knows everything without any visible indicator of having found this knowledge and run off to fight. How can the chimes be bound and free at the same time? How can Richard just inexplicably invent new forms of magic because of his ignorance? What, exactly, did he do with that new form of magic? What the fuck was up with the ghost of Ander? How did he become a ghost, and why was he there, and what actual impact does that have on the events of this story? If the Chimes were invoked for the price of Richard's soul, how were they satisfied by another soul? We were already shown EARLIER IN THIS VERY SAME BOOK WITH ZEDD THAT NO SOUL BUT RICHARD'S WOULD SATE THEM!!! If the chimes are bound in a weapon, how were they invoked by Kahlan to begin with? If the chimes are free, how does the weapon that works only because they are bound within it still function? Goodkind seems to go out of his way to show that the weapons still function. These are the things that people didn't understand. NOT THE FUCKING MORAL OF THE STORY, YOU ARROGANT PIECE OF SHIT!!! Frankly, the end of this book makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, and Goodkind completely misunderstood why people were confused, and treated all of his fans like he thought they were complete and utter morons because of it. What an asshole. Seriously. Anyway, then Kahlan is beaten near to death, Jagang slaughters all of the people in Anderith, and Richard poisons all of their crops and leaves them behind to burn, because that's a very heroic thing for him to do. Also, by destroying the crops, by Goodkind's own logic in this book, he also doomed his own empire to famine, because Anderith produces the majority of the grain in the Midlands. Good job there, mister hero. Between this book and the previous one, Richard is starting to look more like a villain, than the hero he's supposed to be. The good? Nothing. There isn't a single part of this book that even comes close to being even remotely good. This book is just as bad, if not worse than some of the Richard and Kahlan books. The bad? Like I said, the majority of this book is from the points of view of characters that aren't important to the overall plot, that we've never seen before, and are never even mentioned again in the rest of the series. Look, Goodkind, if you want to write a book that isn't the Sword of Truth. Feel free to go write a book that isn't the Sword of Truth. That's fine. Your fans will forgive you for not continuing the series just yet if you need to write something else to keep yourself fresh. Look ar George R. R. Martin, or Brandon Sanderson. They both do the same thing. And if the books are good, no one is going to complain which series your latest book is a part of. The problem arises when you try to write something different, and then shoehorn it into your pre-existing series, and then call it the next volume of said series. When I pick up the next book of a series, I expect it to be the continuing adventures of the characters I have been reading about in that series. Not about characters I don't know or care about while the ones I do know and care about are pushed to the side. I'm not saying that every book in a series has to be about the same characters. Look at Pern for instance. The next book is always about a side character in the previous book. But the world and the conflict remain the same, and the character was introduced in a previous book, and had a significant role in the story, so you know the person it's about before the book about them begins. You have a reason to care about the continuation of the story from the point of view of this new main protagonist. There is no reason to care about the characters Soul of the Fire is about. No real reason is given. They only exist to give us the back story, history, and culture of Anderith, and for no other reason, and, frankly, we really don't need to know these things for the story to work. There is a crazy amount of repetition and recapping going on in this book too. This is one of the biggest problems with Goodkind's writing later in the series. He doesn't seem to trust his readers to understand what he means without beating us over the head with it several thousand times. And he seems not to realize that we really don't need to be told about every single event that has ever happened in the story before this point. We know. We've read them. We remember what happened. We're not idiots. We don't need to be reminded of it all. No one is going to pick up book 5 of a series and start reading there. I mean, DUH! Seriously. DUH! Also, the Chimes. There are two statements made in this book. The chimes are free. The chimes are bound in a weapon. If the chimes are free, they cannot be bound within a weapon. If the chimes are bound within a weapon, they cannot be free. And yet, Goodkind shows, in the book, that both are true. The Chimes are both free and bound within a weapon. You can't have your cake and eat it too. If one of these things is true, the other CANNOT also be true. And Goodkind wonders why people don't understand this book? MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE IT MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE AND FREQUENTLY CONTRADICTS ITSELF!!! The Ugly? I pretty much already ranted about everything I would normally include in this section of the review during the synopsis. I just want to reiterate what an incredible asshole I think Terry Goodkind made of himself in the way he treated his fans after this book came out. In conclusion, this book is absolutely fucking awful. It is one of the worst of the series, and yet, it manages not to be THE worst. Of the original 11 Sword of Truth books, that honor falls to Naked Empire, and amongst all books that take place in this world, The Omen Machine. It's badly written, boring, about characters no one cares about, makes no sense at all, is very heavy handed in its message, is highly repetitious, and recaps previous books far too much for comfort. There is also an uncomfortably offensive amount of violence against women, sexual and otherwise, and the whole thing just feels like a mess of boring and stupid. Frankly, all you need to know about to read the next book is that Kahlan is beaten nearly to death at the end, and Richard has lost his faith in humanity, because he gave people the choice between good and evil and they chose evil. There. I saved you the trouble of reading this book. You can now read Faith of the Fallen, without ever touching this piece of garbage. Check out my other reviews. As I have already reviewed Faith of the Fallen previously, I will be skipping that one and just link you to my review here I'll be back with Pillars of Creation in a few months, when I can work myself up to rereading it after forcing myself though this piece of crap.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Adam Wilson

    Oh, my, god... where to begin with this one? I will say that I was warned about this book and this entire series but I didn't listen. I enjoyed the first two books, and the fourth book, and liked the third one a little, but this one just lost its damn mind. "Where did it lose its mind?" Right about the time when Richard starts looking for the chicken that is not a chicken. I would definitely say that it is a chicken, but it is an EVIL chicken. Scawwy. Also, it is a zombie chicken. Gaspeddy gasp Oh, my, god... where to begin with this one? I will say that I was warned about this book and this entire series but I didn't listen. I enjoyed the first two books, and the fourth book, and liked the third one a little, but this one just lost its damn mind. "Where did it lose its mind?" Right about the time when Richard starts looking for the chicken that is not a chicken. I would definitely say that it is a chicken, but it is an EVIL chicken. Scawwy. Also, it is a zombie chicken. Gaspeddy gasp gasp! Also, it is an evil zombie chicken possessed by what Goodkind calls Chimes, or a Chime if you want to be specefic. Don't worry folks, being specific isn't really important with the Sword of Truth series. Then, several hundred pages later after some boring stories and characters are created to take place at the same time as Richard and Kahlan are trying to figure out how to get rid of these Chimes, something called the Dominie Dirtch is introduced and I realized that I was really going to have to struggle to get through this volume. The Dominie Dirtch are bells which, when rung, cause anyone who hears them to die in a Mortal Kombat-style fatality. I mean, the name of these bells just sounds damn stupid. Goodkind might as well have called them the Durpitty Dumb, the Dickitty Douche, or even the Freaky Deaky Dutch. Now, I know I barely mentioned plot because I hate doing that, but I can say that the story is pretty interesting. If you enjoyed the previous books, you should be able to wade through the quagmire of ridiculousness which is Soul of the Fire and you will probably do it with a smile on your face like I did. I know this is bad fantasy but I still enjoyed it enough to give it a three-star rating. I guess it is good for a massive horror fan like me because my tiny brain can't handle a lot of fantasy. At the same time though, a little more complexity along with better writing could definitely improve the Sword of Truth series. I am still going to continue on the journey with these books, but Soul of the Fire was a bit of a blow in the face with the body of a dead chicken.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Wyn

    I will be the first to admit that it's been a good, oh, eight years or more since I started this book (because I never finished it)... But, after forcing myself to plow through four of the previous books (well, I didn't hate all four of them), I was in no fit state to attempt to stomach the same ol', tired, clichéd bullshit without which Mr. Goodkind, apparently, finds it impossible to compose a story. The rest of this review is hidden behind spoiler tags. For a reason. (view spoiler)[So, to be c I will be the first to admit that it's been a good, oh, eight years or more since I started this book (because I never finished it)... But, after forcing myself to plow through four of the previous books (well, I didn't hate all four of them), I was in no fit state to attempt to stomach the same ol', tired, clichéd bullshit without which Mr. Goodkind, apparently, finds it impossible to compose a story. The rest of this review is hidden behind spoiler tags. For a reason. (view spoiler)[So, to be completely honest, after the wedding--which I was mostly placated by--and the crazed devil chicken started shitting all over everything and clawing out eyes and whatnot... I literally threw the book across the room and refused to finish it--furthermore, I vowed I wouldn't read another Sword of Truth novel, ever again. I promised myself this because, as much as I liked some of the characters and found the stories interesting, to a degree, I began experiencing uncontrollable rage every single time he used Richard and Kahlan's relationship as the helpless weakling the bad guys pick on/exploit/etc. to create "interesting" conflict and drive the plot--which ended up being every. fucking. book. Though I vowed never to read further, my husband doggedly persisted, not bothered as much as I was by the schlocky bullshit, and he went on to gripe to me about similar themes in subsequent books--to which I responded, "I'm so glad I was smart enough to ban those books from my life." To this day, I'm still grateful for my hate-rage driven vow--I think I may actually have a longer, happier life, as a direct result. (hide spoiler)]

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    2.5 stars. While a decent read, this fifth installment of the Sword of Truth series continues the let down in the overall quality of the series after the first 3 books. Richard and Kahlan remain memorable characters but not much else.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rodney Wilder

    This, while still an amazing book, definitely has been the first to disappoint me at points when held against its predecessors. The writing is as captivating as ever (though I am growing tired of the rehashing/brief introductions - I know what's going on, I'm not taking long lapses between books...it's just becoming a tiring device), but the direction the bulk of the book went rubbed me the wrong way. My main issue: ANDERITH AND ALL THOSE DWELLING IN IT! Now, I realize the importance of the place This, while still an amazing book, definitely has been the first to disappoint me at points when held against its predecessors. The writing is as captivating as ever (though I am growing tired of the rehashing/brief introductions - I know what's going on, I'm not taking long lapses between books...it's just becoming a tiring device), but the direction the bulk of the book went rubbed me the wrong way. My main issue: ANDERITH AND ALL THOSE DWELLING IN IT! Now, I realize the importance of the place and its characters, and by the latter third of the book, I was genuinely captivated by even that aspect of the story - but the build up to it was so drawn out and just painfully dull, I had a really hard time getting through the first half or so of the book. The book started with my beloved characters Richard, Zedd, Kahlan and so on, and then out of nowhere cuts to a totally different place with these monstrously boring characters that I just did not care about. It was really hard for me to read through chapter after chapter recounting the events of these seemingly brainless, magicless dolts. Of course, like I said, this eventually wore off, but it is the mechanics of the book, the transition to this other plot and character-set, that annoyed me and ultimately made the book less-than-stellar. That factor aside, though, I still enjoyed the book and raced through the second half within a day, constantly on the edge of my seat, fingers flying from page to page in eager anticipation and anxiety over what would happen next. Goodkind is still good at this kind of literature, creating worlds rife with the evil of ignorance and the virtue of perseverance. Ultimately beautiful, as always.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    This was one of my least favorite of the series, especially the ending. Oh yeah, and the beginning. Crazy, demon-possessed chicken... um. Ok. I think we could have just ended with Richard & Kahlan together and called it good. Instead, from this point on, the series decides to develop a new enemy and becomes much too dark for me (although I didn't figure it out until later). Whatever hope I had that the series would return to the lighter tone of the first book began to die with this one. But f This was one of my least favorite of the series, especially the ending. Oh yeah, and the beginning. Crazy, demon-possessed chicken... um. Ok. I think we could have just ended with Richard & Kahlan together and called it good. Instead, from this point on, the series decides to develop a new enemy and becomes much too dark for me (although I didn't figure it out until later). Whatever hope I had that the series would return to the lighter tone of the first book began to die with this one. But for some odd reason, I pressed on to finish the series. Maybe my fond memories of the first couple of books helped me to overlook my distaste long enough to stay interested in the overall outcome - there are a lot of great fantasy elements. But I also didn't have a lot of other Fantasy to choose from at the time. If I had picked it up now with all the other books waiting on my to-read list, I might have called it quits.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel C.

    Jeepers Creepers. Much the same. A focus on sexual violence and sexual possessiveness as the main motivators for virtually every character. Untold pages of characterization of the bad guys as bad so that we don't mind when they are subjected to violence later. A characterization of a "primitive" person's speech as "jibber-jabber." A whole bunch of messianic stuff admixed in with the pagan. A strong pro-life and antidemocratic bent. Ridiculous situations. The wise lying to each other apparently o Jeepers Creepers. Much the same. A focus on sexual violence and sexual possessiveness as the main motivators for virtually every character. Untold pages of characterization of the bad guys as bad so that we don't mind when they are subjected to violence later. A characterization of a "primitive" person's speech as "jibber-jabber." A whole bunch of messianic stuff admixed in with the pagan. A strong pro-life and antidemocratic bent. Ridiculous situations. The wise lying to each other apparently only to make trouble so that there is material for a book. A single idiot defeating a Mord-Sith in single combat, one soldier defeating that idiot's friends in combat at something like one to ten odds, and then the Mord-Sith defeating the soldier and his friends at like one to ten odds. Weird, it seems, how it's cyclic. Oh, did I mention Dei ex machinae? Plenty of those. I have to think I'm rolling downhill in this series. Enough ink has been spilt at this point.

  17. 4 out of 5

    sologdin

    Objectivists must contend with Evil Poultry and surly parasitical kitchen servants.

  18. 4 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    It is always curious to see fantasy authors who don't consider themselves to be fantasy authors. Case-in-point: Terry Goodkind. The former landscape painter has told us how he isn't a fantasy author in every interview he's ever given: "The books I write are first of all novels, not fantasy, and that is deliberate; I'm really writing books about human beings."(1) "To define me as a fantasy writer is to misunderstand the context of my books by misidentifying their fundamentals."(2) "The stories I'm t It is always curious to see fantasy authors who don't consider themselves to be fantasy authors. Case-in-point: Terry Goodkind. The former landscape painter has told us how he isn't a fantasy author in every interview he's ever given: "The books I write are first of all novels, not fantasy, and that is deliberate; I'm really writing books about human beings."(1) "To define me as a fantasy writer is to misunderstand the context of my books by misidentifying their fundamentals."(2) "The stories I'm telling are not fantasy-driven, they're character-driven, and the characters I want to write about could be set in any world. I'd like to address a broader audience."(3) ""What I have done with my work has irrevocably changed the face of fantasy. In so doing I've raised the standards. I have not only injected thought into a tired empty genre, but, more importantly, I've transcended it showing what more it can be . . ." Then the interview usually devolves into a discussion of Ayn Rand and 'the meaning of art', just in case you missed the pretension of declaring fantasy books 'not fantasy!' The guy certainly has a chip on his shoulder, but it makes me wonder whether he has actually read any fantasy. He doesn't seem to realize that the things he claims separate him from fantasy are fundamental parts of how modern fantasy works. A novel that's fundamentally about character interactions with a magical setting? How droll. Goodkind doesn't reinventing the novel; he doesn't even reinvent the fantasy novel, he just twists the knobs to get a little more steam out of it. Michael Moorcock critiqued Tolkien as a false romantic, which is rather apt considering that his love story takes place almost entirely in absentia (prompting Peter Jackson to infuse some extra loving with a hot, elven, psychic dream sequence). Most fantasy authors rectify this by having the girl come along for the journey. Goodkind likes to keep the separation for much of the story as our hero tries to seek her out across a continent (though she is often just in the next room! Oh! What a tragic coincidence!) Actually, after the first time it's just an annoying and painfully artificial way to try to hold off the conclusion for another hundred pages. It's a good thing Terry doesn't have to rely on magical or artificial means to keep his stories fresh! The rest of the time, the hero finds the girl and lovingly transfixes her on his mighty sword. No, really. I'm not sure why these authors always end up feeling as if they have to dump their sex fetish issues at this particular juncture: "Huh, I dig BDSM. Maybe I should confide my fantasies in a book for mass publication". I cannot think of a single female character in the entire series who isn't either raped or threatened with rape. If you want to give me an example of one, remember: I'm counting magical psychic blowjob rape as rape. I wish I never had the opportunity to qualify a statement with 'don't forget the psychic blowjob rape'. I don't mind actual BDSM literature, but I'd rather have my own reaction to it than be told "isn't it totally dirty and wrong!? (but still super sexy, right?)" Porn for porn's sake is fine, but remember, Goodkind isn't some escapist fantasy author, these are 'real stories about real people' so he has to act like his magic porn is somehow a reflection of real life. Goodkind's books are cookie-cutter genre fantasy, but the first few aren't that badly done, and if you like people narrowly missing one another, bondage, masochism, rape, and dragons, it might work for you, but the series dies on arrival part-way through, so prepare for disappointment. If you are enjoying the series, you should probably avoid reading any of his interviews, as he rarely misses an opportunity to claim that he is superior to all other fantasy authors, and never compare him to Robert Jordan, because "If you notice a similarity, then you probably aren't old enough to read my books."(4) Goodkind truly lives in his own fantasy world if he thinks his mediocre genre re-hash is 'original' or 'deep'. Then again, I've never met an adherent of Ayn Rand who didn't consider themselves a brilliant and unique snowflake trapped in a world of people who 'just don't understand'. The Randian philosophies are also laid on pretty thickly in his books, but at least he found a substitute grandmother figure to help him justify his Gorean sex-romp as 'high art'. All in all, he's just another guy who likes to hear himself talk. Despite what he says, nothing separates his work from the average modern fantasy author, and like them, his greatest failing is the complete lack of self-awareness that overwhelms his themes, plots, and characters. My Fantasy Book Suggestions

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kat Hooper

    This review refers to the SOT series through book 9. Terry Goodkind’s first book Wizard’s First Rule was great! Except for the actual First Rule ("People are Stupid"), which was...stupid. The story had so many unique and fascinating characters (especially the secondary ones). I was in love with Richard; I wanted to be a Mord-Sith. The next couple of books of The Sword of Truth were pretty good, too. Then...I don’t know what happened...it just TOTALLY lost it. The writing style became incredibly an This review refers to the SOT series through book 9. Terry Goodkind’s first book Wizard’s First Rule was great! Except for the actual First Rule ("People are Stupid"), which was...stupid. The story had so many unique and fascinating characters (especially the secondary ones). I was in love with Richard; I wanted to be a Mord-Sith. The next couple of books of The Sword of Truth were pretty good, too. Then...I don’t know what happened...it just TOTALLY lost it. The writing style became incredibly annoying and Richard was getting WAY too preachy (constant Ayn Rand-ish humanistic ranting). But, I kept going because I was really invested by this time. And each time I bought one of his $25 hardback books, I found myself rolling my eyes at every passive sentence and starting to fall asleep during the sermons (when did Richard hire a speech writer??). And the plot really got ssslllllloooowwww (just look at the book covers for Chainfire and Phantom — you can tell we're not going anywhere). But the weirdest thing is that I kept buying these 1 star books! I can’t explain my behavior, except to say that Terry Goodkind is (was) a master at plot and characterization (truly, his secondary characters are so well done). So I kept thinking that things would get better, but they did not. How did he pull off that excellent first booK?? I've learned from this experience that I can put down a book if it's not good. There's too much good literature to read. According to Mr Goodkind, those of us who have bailed out are ignorant and uneducated. Wow. That is something I have never been called before. I should have realized right from the start ("Wizard's First Rule: People are stupid") what kind of fellow Terry Goodkind is. Here is a quote from a chat session conducted with Mr Goodkind (this used to be on his website, but has now been removed. It is well-documented on the internet, however.): "Why would they continue to read books they claim are bad? Because they hate that my novels exists. Values arouse hatred in these people. Their goal is not to enjoy life, but to destroy that which is good — much like a school child who does not wish to study for a test and instead beats up a classmate who does well. These people hate what is good because it is good. Their lives are limited to loathing and indifference. It isn't that they want to read a good book, what they want is to make sure that you do not. Ignore them." —Terry Goodkind I say Terry Goodkind is the one acting like a school child having a tantrum. I regret that he got so much of my money. I hope you won't give him any of yours. If you really want to try a Goodkind book, I would recommend that you go to the library and check out the first few, and then trust me that you don't need to read any further. I will not read the last book. I'm not even tempted. What an ass. Read more Terry Goodkind book reviews at Fantasy Literature .

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mark Vincze

    I purchased a paperback copy of this book while I was still reading Temple of the Winds. I was already growing weary of the series and the author's simplistic attempts to teach the reader that *caveman grunt* "communism bad", but had decided I would push on with the series for the sake of completion (at this point I hadn't realized that Goodkind intended to beat this dead horse for the rest of his life.) I loaned the book to a friend to read while I finished up Temple of the Winds. A few days lat I purchased a paperback copy of this book while I was still reading Temple of the Winds. I was already growing weary of the series and the author's simplistic attempts to teach the reader that *caveman grunt* "communism bad", but had decided I would push on with the series for the sake of completion (at this point I hadn't realized that Goodkind intended to beat this dead horse for the rest of his life.) I loaned the book to a friend to read while I finished up Temple of the Winds. A few days later he returned the book. It was in thousands of tiny pieces inside of a plastic bag. My friend looked at me and said "This book stole precious hours of my life, hours I'll never get back. I was so angry with how terrible this book was I needed to inflict great pain and death upon it." Quite the recommendation. After muscling through the contrived and embarrassing ending of Temple of the Winds I decided to move on to another author. It was only years later when I decided to see for myself how astute my friends observations about this terrible book were. I borrowed a copy from library (because I will never give Goodkind another of my hard earned dollars)and started reading. I don't think it was more than a hundred pages before encountering "a chicken who looked at Kahlan like no chicken should" or some such poppycock. That's right, this book had an evil chicken. Pushing on, I held my nose as I read through what seemed thousands and thousands of pages of idiotic characters that I didn't care about making inexplicable decisions before dying of VD. And after all that text to set up a final confrontation for Richard "Mary Sue" Rahl, the climax of the book occurs in two paragraphs. It was like "then Richard beats the chimes and that's all". Now here comes the inexplicable part.. as much as I hated this terrible, terrible book.. I kept reading Goodkinds books because I just wanted to see how terrible he could get. He actually beat this one for "worst book I've ever read" with "Naked Empire".

  21. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I just have one question. Who wrote this book? I firmly believe some strange essence possessed Terry Goodkind before he wrote this book. This series went from enthralling to infuriating. The first three hundred pages of Soul of Fire are spent discussing low cut dresses, cleavage, sex scandals, food, and ridiculous politics of a country in the Midlands that has yet to be discussed in previous books. While I understand the need to portray the selfishness of this society, I do not think it needed t I just have one question. Who wrote this book? I firmly believe some strange essence possessed Terry Goodkind before he wrote this book. This series went from enthralling to infuriating. The first three hundred pages of Soul of Fire are spent discussing low cut dresses, cleavage, sex scandals, food, and ridiculous politics of a country in the Midlands that has yet to be discussed in previous books. While I understand the need to portray the selfishness of this society, I do not think it needed to take two thirds of the book to do it. I had to fight my way through the first four hundred pages to get to the moderately interesting part of the book. I believe that Goodkind had an opportunity to take Richard and Kahlan's characters to a new level as they tackle saving the world as newlyweds, but unlike his other books the main characters become flat. Finally, in the last hundred pages the story becomes tolerable as Goodkind finally begins to show some dimension in the story. I would say, if you are a fan of the series than it is worth the struggle to progress the story, but if not...don't bother. Hopefully Goodkind will step up to the plate a little more with the rest of the series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I read the first five books in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series back to back, but now I am ready for a break. For the sake of completion, I do plan to finish the set eventually; however, I am in no rush to do so. Devouring this book felt like binging on junk food - only temporarily satisfying, and sapping my energy. Main characters Richard and Kahlan become less likable in this story, sniping at each other and condescending to the people in whose interest they claim to act. Kahlan, especia I read the first five books in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series back to back, but now I am ready for a break. For the sake of completion, I do plan to finish the set eventually; however, I am in no rush to do so. Devouring this book felt like binging on junk food - only temporarily satisfying, and sapping my energy. Main characters Richard and Kahlan become less likable in this story, sniping at each other and condescending to the people in whose interest they claim to act. Kahlan, especially, spends much of her time pinching the bridge of her nose in frustration with Richard and losing arguments with him. As in Book 4, she gives her bodyguards the slip and wanders off alone looking for trouble. Predictably, she finds it, this time in the form of a gang of Haken messenger thugs. A minor plot flaw that really bothered me was that Kahlan, after wrapping her long hair to disguise her identity, had her hair pulled when she was beaten, which suggests that her hair covering had come undone during her struggle. However, when Richard finds Kahlan's lifeless, crumpled body a short time later, he does not recognize her. I don't understand how this could be, no matter how disfigured her face was: as a display of the Mother Confessor's lofty social standing, Kahlan's hair is longer than any other woman's hair in the Midlands is allowed to be. Why couldn't Richard tell by her long hair that it was Kahlan? Apparently Richard's probing Seeker instincts uncharacteristically abandoned him in this scene. Given the book's sloppy copy editing, an interpretation closer to the truth may be that Goodkind takes his readers for fools willing to accept whatever pap he chooses to dole out. A new agrarian Midlands nation, Anderith, is introduced in Soul of the Fire, full of morally bankrupt leaders and cowed citizens. Rotten at the core, Anderith appears to be the perfect bread basket for Emperor Jagang's Imperial Order as his army pushes northwest into the New World. The cynicism Richard and Kahlan exude towards the people of Anderith echoes my sentiment about most of Goodkind's characters who receive attention during this installment of Sword of Truth: I really don't care what happens to them anymore. Let Richard and Kahlan abdicate their leadership positions and hide out in Westland. I'd rather hear more stories about Zedd, Ann, Nathan, Warren & Verna, and Cara. I was glad for the return of Du Chaillu in Book 5. After skimming past the Wizard's Fourth Rule, which was mentioned only once in Temple of the Winds, and being unable to locate it later, in the next Sword of Truth book I marked the page with the Fifth Rule for future reference. Seeing how trite it is, I can understand how the Fourth Rule was forgettable. Wizard's Fifth Rule: Mind what people do, not only what they say, for deeds will betray a lie ("Actions speak louder than words").

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. So far, this book (5th in the series) is much harder to read than the others. There is way too much petty dialogue. I am not liking how the action, adventure and POINT of the story is getting bogged down in petty, uncharacteristic "now that the main characters are married, they're acting like it" petty disagreements. I get the point the author is trying to make. I understand that marriage changes things, even when we don't think/realize it will. I just don't see how ANY of the constant bickering So far, this book (5th in the series) is much harder to read than the others. There is way too much petty dialogue. I am not liking how the action, adventure and POINT of the story is getting bogged down in petty, uncharacteristic "now that the main characters are married, they're acting like it" petty disagreements. I get the point the author is trying to make. I understand that marriage changes things, even when we don't think/realize it will. I just don't see how ANY of the constant bickering, reiteration of the same old points again and again is necessary. The book would be 2/3 shorter if a wise editor had left all of that out. It's not helpful, and it's not interesting. I like things better when the main characters were supportive and respectful of each other's strengths, thoughts and abilities. This is ridiculous. They are wasting SO. MUCH. TIME. It's like they've all completely lost their heads! What happened to the wise, prompt, self-controlled adults they used to be? This is downright childish! Edited to add (7/1/09): It gets worse. You mean to tell me that after spending the first 300 PAGES detailing every backstory, rehashing every major event from the previous 4 books and chronicling every petty disagreement between the happy couple, it just ADVANCES forward by some WEEKS! and then resumes the story from a different perspective?! This has GOT to be the worst volume in the series! You mean to tell me it's going to be "resolved" in the next two hundred pages? WTF?! Why not just leave out all of the first 300 page's-worth of horse puckey, then?! Edited to add (7/2/09): Good riddance! I finally finished the dang thing last night. It is going back to the library TODAY! I was not about to renew it and keep it around any longer. This has got to be THE WORST book in this series, thus far. It's definitely put me off wanting to read the rest of them. I hope I regain my appetite for that later, but if more of the same is what's in store... ugh. I don't think I've ever seen someone take a very small story concept, pad it with 500 words, call it a book and kill everyone in the end that they spent so much time building up. Geez! I'm disappointed that there wasn't a "tip off" in this book anywhere that hinted as to what the next one would be about, like the others did. I'm also disappointed that the book lacked any kind of suspense to keep the momentum going and the reader wanting to turn pages. I'm stunned that the book ends without the usual cliffhanger I've come to expect, as well. Did the same author even write this? It's absolute drivel! And Jagang STILL lives on... at least Zedd is still alive...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Harmonybites)

    There are people who loved Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series from beginning to end. But a lot of people who loved it through the first four books feel this is where the series jumped the shark. Goodkind is a devotee of Ayn Rand; he's open about that on his website. But although you could see libertarian themes in the earlier books, this is the one where it's more than subtext easily ignored. If that is what bothers you about this book, to the point you didn't find it enjoyable, you might wa There are people who loved Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series from beginning to end. But a lot of people who loved it through the first four books feel this is where the series jumped the shark. Goodkind is a devotee of Ayn Rand; he's open about that on his website. But although you could see libertarian themes in the earlier books, this is the one where it's more than subtext easily ignored. If that is what bothers you about this book, to the point you didn't find it enjoyable, you might want to stop here, because in Faith of the Fallen that line becomes even more explicit and beyond that even I, who am mostly sympathetic to his philosophy, finds Goodkind unbearably preachy and just plain unbearable. But this book, even if I do see it as falling off in enjoyment from the earlier books, is still very entertaining as Richard and Kahlan combat the power of the chimes leaching magic from the world. There are still characters I love here, and there's still humor, and there's still imagination in Goodkind's world-building to burn. And I do like that there are consequences here to actions from previous books. So even if here I could see the shark's fin protruding from the water, he hadn't jumped for me. Yet.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    Not great at all. All the characters started doing out-of-character stupid shit, and nothing much really happened. Also, the plot was just not very interesting, and solutions for problems were a bit far-fetched (view spoiler)[(the guy in the lake, what the hell?) (hide spoiler)] . And what was the demon chicken that was just completely forgotten after 150 pages of whining over it? All the new characters that were introduced were stupid and ignorant, and most of them didn't even have a good purpos Not great at all. All the characters started doing out-of-character stupid shit, and nothing much really happened. Also, the plot was just not very interesting, and solutions for problems were a bit far-fetched (view spoiler)[(the guy in the lake, what the hell?) (hide spoiler)] . And what was the demon chicken that was just completely forgotten after 150 pages of whining over it? All the new characters that were introduced were stupid and ignorant, and most of them didn't even have a good purpose, which was kind of a disappointment after plowing through their boring chapters. Ann and Cara were still great though, and there should have been more Zedd. I'm hoping the next book in the series is better.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jarrod Scarbrough

    Oh, how I love this series! For me, each book seems to get better! I definitely liked Soul of the Fire far more than any of the others! What a great journey this story takes us on! I find it hard to discipline myself to read only one book in this series and not jump right in to the next one! Will get to that one soon though, got to see what happens after one hell of an ending!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Darkphoenix

    Soul of the Fire was incredibly frustrating at times! Terry Goodkind also has a very long-winded way of writing which can be trying at time (and don't even get me started on those pesky recaps) But having said that, I find I am unable to stop reading the series, at least, that's the case so far. What I like about his characters is that just because a person is committed to the "right side" doesn't mean that they won't make grave mistakes or that they aren't weak. In Soul of the Fire, for instanc Soul of the Fire was incredibly frustrating at times! Terry Goodkind also has a very long-winded way of writing which can be trying at time (and don't even get me started on those pesky recaps) But having said that, I find I am unable to stop reading the series, at least, that's the case so far. What I like about his characters is that just because a person is committed to the "right side" doesn't mean that they won't make grave mistakes or that they aren't weak. In Soul of the Fire, for instance, it is the Sisters of the Light who betray Ann and a Sister of the Dark saves her. Similarly, it was Kahlan, in an attempt to save Richard's life who unknowingly unleashed the Chimes which would have banished magic from the world. There are also some truly despicable people like Stein who I was glad met his grisly end. Terry Goodkind paints very complex and diverse characters. Despite everything he did, I still liked Dalton. These books are also graphic in terms of violence, especially with regard to violence against women. But it doesn't seem gratuitous; it serves to show the ruthlessness of the Imperial Order and just what Richard and Kahlan are up against. In addition, he also highlights certain other themes that are compelling. Like the fact that just because you want to liberate people, doesn't necessarily mean that want to be liberated. They either don't see the chains that bind them or are horrified at what having those chains removed would mean for them. They cling to them because there is comfort in the familiar. And also, having lived under brutality, they are less trusting of some stranger making tall promises. Another thing that occasionally irks me Richard's unwillingness to see what's right in front of him. In Soul of the Fire, even Kahlan had her 'denial' moment when she refused to believe that the Chimes had been released but this seems to be pattern with Richard. When they were in Anderith, speaking with Bertrand and Dalton, Kahlan told him it to refuse to wait and even told him that she had a very bad feeling, but Richard refused to believe her. I am hoping that he smartens up soon. This time, I really liked reading Ann's POV. She was in some deep trouble and managed to keep a calm head. She is not often likeable but she is starting to grow on me. My favourite in the series is still Kahlan, she is seriously kick ass and a very strong woman and I am happy that through the course of the series, her strength and her character have not been diminished. Even though she gets very seriously hurt (as in this book) she bounces back stronger. She is also a leader in her own right and has the presence to lead an army all on her own. She doesn't really need Richard to protect her. She is also very secure in her relationship with Richard and that is also a relief. Considering that they got together pretty much in the very first book, I was worried that we might be subjected to some very unwanted and unnecessary relationship drama. Thankfully, that didn't happen. There is plenty of other drama that keeps them from their HEA but that makes for interesting reading so I don't mind that so much. Also Cara is a joy to read. I love her and her irreverent and unapologetic attitude, especially where Richard is concerned. She and the other Mord’Sith are sworn to protect him but don't treat him like a Lord. I am hoping that Berdine will be back in the next installment. I don't know how many more of these I'll read back to back (12 books is a daunting number especially considering that these aren't exactly slim volumes) but so far I am curious as to what happens to these people and that curiosity is keeping me going.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tanabrus

    La storia sarebbe stata anch abbastanza interessante: il salvataggio di Richard alla fine del libro precedente aveva evocato nel mondo i tre Rintocchi, altre armi magiche senzienti risalenti alla vecchia guerra (come i Mriswith e la Silph, la Spada della verità e il Legame dei Rahl). Solo che queste creature invincibili godono nell’uccidere, risucchiano la magia dal mondo e hanno lo scopo di prendersi l’anima promessa loro con l’evocazione. L’anima di Richard. Zedd decide di provare a fermarli da La storia sarebbe stata anch abbastanza interessante: il salvataggio di Richard alla fine del libro precedente aveva evocato nel mondo i tre Rintocchi, altre armi magiche senzienti risalenti alla vecchia guerra (come i Mriswith e la Silph, la Spada della verità e il Legame dei Rahl). Solo che queste creature invincibili godono nell’uccidere, risucchiano la magia dal mondo e hanno lo scopo di prendersi l’anima promessa loro con l’evocazione. L’anima di Richard. Zedd decide di provare a fermarli da solo, ingannando Richard per tenerlo al sicuro nel Mastio; Richard subodora la truffa, scopre per vie traverse dove deve andare e vi si dirige; Jagang non soffre più di tanto, visto che quelle creature fanno il lavoro sporco per lui e in più la magia Detrattiva continua a funzionare, e per ora le Sorelle dell’Oscurità sono sue schiave; Ann decide di sfruttare questo periodo in cui l’Imperatore non ha più potere per salvare le Sorelle prigioniere e uccidere le altre, onde evitare che quando la magia tornerà siano usate come armi da Jagang. L’unico problema è che la storia sarebbe stata veloce e tutto sommato breve, in 400 pagine sarebbe stata molto meglio. Invece buona parte del libro viene usata per farci conoscere la cultura di Anderith, la nazione protetta dal Dominie Dirtch e che deve decidere se allearsi con il D’Hara o con l’Ordine. Ci viene mostrata la storia totalmente ininfluente di Flitch e di Beata, che intervengono giusto sullo sfondo e sono completamente inutili. Non hanno un ruolo nella vicenda, non sono persone straordinarie per abilità o mente o morale. Sono persone comunissime che vivono sempre sullo sfondo, sfiorando gli avvenimenti come semplici spettatori. E a loro è dedicata buona parte del libro. Totalmente inutile. Altre brutture Altre brutture sono il fatto che Khalan stia regredendo mentalmente al punto da non credere quasi più a Richard (nè quando arriva la sua “vecchia moglie”, nè quando parla dei Rintocchi o delle decisioni da prendere). Ed è veramente indisponente leggere di questa persona espertissima di politica e di decisioni, una persona che ormai conosce Richard, i suoi pensieri e il suo modo di agire, che ora invece si comporta come si sarebbe comportata Nadine nel libro precedente. Poi Richard che concede il diritto di voto sull’annessione all’Impero. Una cosa senza precedenti, tutte le altre nazioni hanno dovuto dire subito “si” o “no”. A loro invece dà diritto di voto al popolo perdendo settimane, e addirittura facendo comizi in giro per la nazione. Ridicolo! Ann che si fa fregare come l’ultima delle allocche… Non c’è appello, questo sarebbe potuto essere un libro accettabile se fosse stato molto più corto. Così è solo un brodo allungato, che si fa leggere forzatamente e controvoglia per tutta la parte centrale.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    I am on a mission to catch up on this series, since I cannot remember why I stopped reading it in the first place. Also, with the new tv show, I find myself trying to remember what I've read. I vaguely remember the chimes. The big question are in the world or not? Is the magic really failing or not? And what's Zedd up to? These are the questions that Kahlan, Richard, Cara and another figure from Richard's past must answer if they are to save the land of Anderith from the invading army of Jagang. I am on a mission to catch up on this series, since I cannot remember why I stopped reading it in the first place. Also, with the new tv show, I find myself trying to remember what I've read. I vaguely remember the chimes. The big question are in the world or not? Is the magic really failing or not? And what's Zedd up to? These are the questions that Kahlan, Richard, Cara and another figure from Richard's past must answer if they are to save the land of Anderith from the invading army of Jagang. I find myself liking to return to series, especially longer ones, with decent character development. It's like sitting down and catching up with your friends about what they've been up to for the last ten years or so. In Kahlan and Richard, but as I am so drawn with the peripheral characters, I like to see what they been doing. I like Goodkind's style, it's easy, fluid and not overly flowery as some authors can get especially in books of this size. The stories move along, and while there is a conclusion of sorts, you are still left with plenty of questions that makes you want to read the next book. Not anything that has changed my world, but definitely provided with some lovely hours of imagination. Thanks Mr. Goodkind.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dan JK

    Are you a crazy person? How would you like to spend 3 hours by audio book or 65+ pages reading about an obviously possessed chicken and the inner (inert would also be an acceptable word) dialogues of our heroes as they try to crack the case. Who will you side with Zed and kaylan who think the chicken is a chicken, or Richard and the bird man (his real name) who think the chicken is not a chicken.!!!!!! Honestly this series dies a horrible death after the third book. It should have been a trilogy Are you a crazy person? How would you like to spend 3 hours by audio book or 65+ pages reading about an obviously possessed chicken and the inner (inert would also be an acceptable word) dialogues of our heroes as they try to crack the case. Who will you side with Zed and kaylan who think the chicken is a chicken, or Richard and the bird man (his real name) who think the chicken is not a chicken.!!!!!! Honestly this series dies a horrible death after the third book. It should have been a trilogy as the second and ,kind of the, third book were the only thing that saved the series and also the weak first book. I'm going back to the first book to recommended it being read as as trilogy or for people to just stick to the tv show (where the debatably most powerful woman in the world acts like it and not like a snivelling teenager)

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