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Confessor, by Terry Goodkind Book Review | SFReader.com
Confessor, by Terry Goodkind Genre: Faith Based Science Fiction Publisher: Tor Published: 2008 Review Posted: 6/25/2013 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
Confessor, by Terry Goodkind
Book Review by Paul Weiss
Have you read this book?
Where were those editors when they were so badly needed?
It's difficult to say whether "Chainfire" is the opening book in a
trilogy or the ninth book in the now aging "Sword of Truth" series. (By
some readers' reviews, "aging" is a rather kind characterization ...
many have called it tedious and repetitive). In any event, to briefly
summarize, Lord Richard Rahl is the sole survivor of a battle in which a
troop of soldiers is brutally massacred by an unknown and, indeed,
unseen enemy capable of enormous ferocity. When Richard recovers from
his near fatal wounds with the help of sorceress Nicci's use of the all
but forbidden subtractive magic, he discovers that he is the only living
soul who remembers his beloved wife Kahlan, the Mother Confessor. All
of Richard's friends and compatriots - Cara, his Mord-Sith bodyguard,
Nicci the sorceress and former Mistress of Death, Verna and Ann, joint
prelates of the Sisters of the Light, Nathan the prophet, the witch
woman Shiota, even wizard Zedd, Richard's beloved grandfather - are
convinced that Richard has lost his reason.
Worse yet, because Richard feels he must devote what remains of his life
and energy to finding his beloved wife and rescuing her from whatever
fate has trapped her beyond the world's ken, he has also reached the
decision to not lead his weakened D'Haran troops in a final battle
against the almost limitless hordes of the advancing Emperor Jagang. He
has also traded his Sword of Truth to the witch woman Shiota for one
critical scrap of knowledge ... the word "Chainfire", which he will
discover in his travels is the name of a long deeply hidden spell
capable of literally unraveling existence itself. Without Richard's
leadership and the Sword of Truth, prophesy dictates that the free world
is doomed to fall to Jagang and the Keeper of Death.
"Phantom", the rather bloated and sadly repetitive second instalment of
this putative trilogy is based on Richard's relentless search for his
beloved Kahlan, whose very existence has been erased from the history
and memory of his world. Kahlan is now in the hands of Jagang, the evil
emperor (who along with a very small handful of people throughout the
breadth of Goodkind's "Sword of Truth" universe is still able to see
her). Richard who has also lost his command of the magical gift has
fallen into the hands of the D'Haran Commander Karg. Everyone in sight
is trying to locate the powerful Boxes of Orden, the only known magical
counterspell to the Chainfire spell which, it is now known, is flawed
and is slowly destroying all magic in the world.
"Confessor", the eleventh novel (yes, you read that correctly), at long,
long last winds the series up and, to Goodkind's credit, effectively
ties up all the loose ends. I don't think it will constitute a spoiler
or an overwhelming surprise if potential readers know up front that it's
a happily-ever-after-all's-well-that-ends-well conclusion. The slow
destruction of magic by the chimes and the blood taint of the pristinely
ungifted is resolved. Richard and Kahlan are re-united and the Emperor
Jagang is defeated in a suitable climax. Richard, of course, has
recovered his Sword of Truth. The Sisters of the Dark and the Sisters of
the Light receive their just rewards. Zedd happily retires to the role
of an aging wizard. Cara, indulges her realization that love is possible
and so on.
I'm not sorry that I read the series nor am I sorry that it took almost a
decade of waiting and reading effort to finish it. But it's a sure bet
that the series would have been much more effective in half the length
and with some serious editing.
As I closed the book on the final page of this monstrous series, I
realized with a smile that I still enjoyed it. I haven't seen any other
reviewer mention it but I also thought that Goodkind had done a pretty
darn good job of creating a fantasy version of the explanation for the
European medieval world being forced to suffer through the bleak,
anguished period we now call the "Dark Ages". You NEVER know ... it
could be the truth!
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