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Book Review: Wizard’s First Rule

Table of Contents

“Millions of readers the world over have been held spellbound by this valiant tale vividly told.

Now, enter Terry Goodkind’s world, the world of the Sword of Truth.

In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher’s forest sanctuary seeking help … and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword– to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed … or that their time has run out.

This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.”

Title: Wizard’s First Rule

Series: Sword of Truth #1

Author: Terry Goodkind

Page Count: 836

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.75/5.0

Date Read: March 11th, 2024

I’ve had nearly a completed collection of the Sword of Truth series on my shelf for years now. I’ve been meaning to get this one started but I think looking at the length of these books has made it difficult for me to pull the trigger. I found myself looking to add something of a mood read via audiobook here in March and figured I’d give this one a go with Wizard’s First Rule.
It didn’t take me long to recall there was also a TV series created with this story that I looked up and even though I do recall watching The Legend of the Seeker, I didn’t remember any specifics really.
The overall pacing was a bit slow in line with a more epic fantasy feel. These types of reads have been hit or miss for me. I don’t mind a steady build up of worlds, characters and the story as long as it continues to hold my interest. I’m not a fan of slogs or what seems like just unnecessary information and pages. This one was on that edge for a bit for me but I did stick with it and was happy to finally get this first read of the series in the books. As previously mentioned I did opt for the audiobook version which was narrated by Sam Tsoutsouvas who did a good job in my opinion. I do feel that this book did suffer a bit on my scale because there did seem to be some of what I felt was unnecessary information. This could have easily been a hundred pages or more shorter than it was.
The world building was solid. Again Wizard’s First Rule gave me strong classic fantasy vibes over all. This world certainly seems huge and obviously plenty of magic being tossed around. I liked the different types of magics laid out in the first book. There were clear differences between the Seeker, Confessor and Wizard magics. Even with the wizards the differences between give and take was a nice touch. As large as this series has become, I’m interested to see just how detailed or how much expansion there is with this world. One of the things I heard against the series was that things became very repetitive after the first couple of books. Only time will tell as I chip away at the series.
The character development was extensive with Wizard’s First Rule. There are a lot of characters in this story. There are plenty of twists and turns for the character arcs in this one. We see growth from Richard, Khalan and Zhed but even with several other supporting characters and even some of the antagonists. I felt the characters seemed very complete by the end of book one.
Overall I’m glad that I finally started this series. I can certainly see some needed trigger warnings on this read this day and age. I’m wondering how this might have been received when it was initially released even. With the inclusion of the child molestation and pedophiles in this story it certainly made me wonder. Even some of the a characters spends in captivity in torture might be a bit much for some readers. I didn’t mind the over all theme of these but I felt that latter mentioned topic was a bit drawn out.
That is probably my biggest complaint about this book is I felt it easily could have been 100-200 pages less as several scenes or moments just seemed to drag on. I’m usually fairly easy going with my reads and I found myself a few times saying to myself “we get it, lets move on.”
I do plan to continue trying to squeeze these books into my reads as this year progresses or until it becomes stale or not fun to experience.
I’d still recommend this read to fantasy reader looking for something on the epic side with a good helping of 80’s and 90’s feel to it.

World Building 4/5
Pacing 3/5
Character Development 4/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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