Book(s) Review – The Sword of Truth Series

Once upon a time, there was a show called Legend of the Seeker.  It was decent.  Mostly I watched it because Sam Raimi made it, and my little brother liked it.  He’s 10 years younger, so any common ground is much appreciated.

Well, LotS was canceled, but I started reading the series it’s based on: The Sword of Truth.  It’s 11 800+ page fantasy books.  This might seem daunting, but…

The first few books were quality, and I flew through them.  But the fourth was a little slow, and the fifth was, well, awful.  It told half the story from the perspective of characters who weren’t good, weren’t evil, just… dumb.  They spend the whole book thinking they’re perfect masterminds, except that it’s painfully obvious they’re being played.  Ultimately they all die, but not really in satisfying ways.  Actually that’s kind of a motif in the series.  Goodkind spends most of the novel setting up a really bad-ass villain, but then defeats them in maybe a chapter, way too easily, and with far too much finality.  And that’s when it actually happens on-screen.  Far too much of the action takes place off-screen, and only mentioned casually.  Whole side quests and other plot lines are virtually ignored.  Unacceptable.

So now I’m about a quarter of the way through the sixth book, where apparently things begin to change?  I don’t know.  I know an evil character is about to become good though, because the author has spent 50 pages detailing how she was messed up as a child by her hypocritical, puritanical, socialist mother.  Subtle Goodkind is not.  But I’ve stopped reading because a) it’s boring, b) it’s heavy-handed, and c) this was waiting for me on my bookshelf.  Which I’ve always wanted to read.  So now I am.

And that’s that for The Sword of Truth.  If you – as the girl in front of me in my capstone course said – “hate when the viewpoint changes, and don’t like lots of ongoing plot-lines” then this is an epic fantasy series for you.  If you don’t mind heavy-handed author politics on capitalism being better than socialism, moral ambiguity being better than moral rigidity, and so much more, you’ll love this.  I however, am done.


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