Wizard’s First Rule is the first book in Terry Goodkind’s epic fantasy series, Sword of Truth. This first installment is a mixed bag with some decent parts, some absolutely appalling parts, and a few moments that are epicly remarkable.
Richard Cypher is a lowly forest guide, who one day spots a woman being hunted down by four men in the woods. He saves her, and this action spurs a series of events that leads him on an epic quest to save the world from evil. He must stop Darken Rahl, the sinister ruler of the Midlands, from finding three magic boxes that can possibly kill the one who opens them, grant ultimate power, or destroy the world. In the course of things, Richard is named “The Seeker” and wielder of the Sword of Truth.
Let’s get the bad parts out of the way. The first half of the book is dreadful and in need of a good editing. Let me sum up the beginning of the book for you: “After a time, they stopped to make and eat spice soup and then talk about friendship and secrets.” There, I saved you a few hours of reading.
Another huge annoyance is the bad guy himself—Darken Rahl. He is an utterly despicable person who had no redeeming qualities. He is a sociopath of the lowest sort. His evilness is so over-the-top that it becomes laughably ridiculous.
This book was hovering in the two-star category until I came across an delightful scene that involves another sociopathic character (one of many that keep cropping up–this time in the form of an eight-year-old girl), who gets hit so hard in the chin that her jaw shatters, she bites off her own tongue, and she gets launched across the room. Mr. Goodkind, I applaud you for doing what some people would never dare! Because, seriously, I wanted to punch that little girl in the face a lot, so reading it was cathartic and satisfying—a point which pumped this book up to a 3-star.
Even though Wizard’s First Rule is the first book in a long series, there’s enough closure that I don’t feel the need to run out and get the next book immediately. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll be picking up the second book anytime soon.