woensdag 5 juni 2013

Serial Reading: Sword of Truth #1

The Fantastical landscape is filled with series, trilogies and other-ologies. As a committed Fantasy-reader myself, I am deeply immersed in several series. Serial Reading is my way of keeping track of all those series in a lighthearted way. Some of these series will have complete reviews on here, others not so much - mainly because I'm already too far in to busy myself with retroactive reviewposting. If you want to read my views on those books, feel free to consult my GoodReads. Enjoy your breakfast!
 
Note: Spoilery bits might be included.
 
 
Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth is one of those series that have a little place in my heart. Nothing beats Harry Potter when it comes to childhood nostalgia (*), but Sword of Truth comes close. Reading them now, I do wonder why I read them as a young boy, cause they're explicitly violent and whatnot. Anyway, I seemed to have enjoyed them a-lot when I was about 15 so they became one of my favourite series ever. This is also expressed by the amount of re-reads those books got. The first and second book got the privilege of being read five times. As fas as insane goes...
However, the last few books have only been read once, with some seriously big gaps between them, so I figured that this year (**), I was going to go through them all once more and then shelve this series for quite some time. I've since read the prequel and the first two books, and it's been interesting to say the least. Rereading a book definitely provides you with some new views on things, so let's catch up.
 
- Prequel: Debt of Bones. Not much to say about this one. It's nice to see how things started, how to border was brought into the world and stuff, but it's pretty dull. Zedd is still young and doesn't have any of his old-man's flair let alone his wit. The girl who goes to see him - whatshername - is an utter bore and the whole plot is nothing spectacular. For such a little novella you can't go chasing dragons around the world, but puhlease, make it at least a bit exciting. Thank you.
 
- Book 1: Wizard's First Rule. Review here.
 
- Book 2: Stone of Tears. Whenever I used to rave about these books, I always mentioned the second book as one of my favourites in the series, along with the first, sixth and books nine - eleven. As from now, I won't be mentioning the second one ever again. Memory please help me, why did I favourite this one? I mean, it's a big book of almost 900pages and no-thing happens. Well yes, things do happen, but nothing relevant or of any interest.
Basically, it's all about Richard being taken from Kahlan (one of many times *sigh*) and this happens fairly quickly. About around page 100 his captors arrive but it takes them another 600, give or take, to get him to their destination. Credit where credit's due, it is the other end of the world, but still, speed it up! For basically nothing on that whole trip is in the least a bit interesting. Also, this is where Richard starts being an ass for real. Verna asks him one little thing and he threatens a whole village. Why yes, you are lovely! His self-righteous behaviour is annoying as well.
One of the main reasons why I do like this book, is the introduction of the Sisters of Light. They are marvellous - especially Verna - and they make for a pleasant addition. Who doesn't like some religious fanatics?! (***) It's only sad that the best of them all, Nicci, didn't get to say a single word. I remembered that differently...
Roll back to Kahlan and we get a totally different story. Way more action there as the Imperial Order meets up with the Mother Confessor. Pretty interesting if not a bit brutal... and chilly. You know when someone is dedicated to their cause when they decide to fight naked... in the freaking snow! Nothing more to tell here, though, it's all about her playing war and trying not to get raped for, like, five times. Bit much there, Terry, bit much. You'd think she'd have a full-blown PTSD, but the warrior she is, she only needs a bath, some tea and some rest. Fresh as daisy, fine and dandy.
Also, while talking about Kahlan, can I get a holla for Chandalen. His grumpy disposition just made me crack a smile. Not to mention his awkward conversations with Kahlan about custom and addressing women properly without mentioning their boobs or fine ass. Golden.
The ending was pretty fine and made up for the lacklustre events throughout the first 800 pages (****). The main problem was the absence of a direct villain and a returned Darken Rahl doesn't quite cut it, nor Richard's intuitive usage of magic, but all in all, it was a nice race to the finish. And Cara (*****) was there!
 
A Little summary:
- Richard became an ass, but the other characters did an excellent job.
- The story was rrreeeaaaally slowpaced, bordering on boring, but there were enough good moments to balance it all out.
- Nicci was mute!
- It wasn't as good as I remembered it. Bummer.
 
So to put it all in a little fancy graph - cause who doesn't like random graphs, right? - this is what it looks like at the moment:
 
 
(*) Technically speaking I was a teen, but the lines between child - teen - adult tend to blur most of the times. Fun times living in my head.
(**) From January 1st up till now, all my illusions of actually succeeding have been mercilessly destroyed. Perhaps I'll manage to finish somewhere near the end of 2014.
(***) This is all heartfelt emotion, no sarcasm. Even though they are a bit fanatic and over the top religious, they still are marvellous. Those are not mutually exclusive things, at least not when it comes to Sword of Truth.
(****) There were good parts as well, rest assured.
(*****) And ladies and gentlemen, I present you with the sole [I jest] reason for a fine ending: Cara. (Even though that is only because I know her and not because of how she acts here).

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