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Sword of Truth series

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Steerpike, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    What is it people like about the series?

    I'm honestly curious, as I tried to read the first book in the series, thought it was pretty bad and gave up halfway.

    The series appears here and elsewhere on people's lists of best fantasy series, and I wonder if I missed something, was in the wrong frame of mind when I read it, or if it simply comes down to differing tastes. The latter seems like the most obvious answer. If you like this series, what do you like about it - the world, characters, storyline, all of the above?

    I still have the book on the shelf somewhere. Maybe I should try it again one of these days.
     
  2. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    I personally do not care for it. There is to much grittiness for grittiness' sake and its a blatant rip-off of Wheel of Time. I don't really understand why some people like it so much. When I start a series, even if I don't like it , I try to finish it and I made it to book seven before I got fed up.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I will generally finish a book once I start it, and back when I tried to read the Sword of Truth book (Wizards First Rule) I almost never put a book down until it was complete. But I just couldn't bring myself to finish that one. And I like grittiness - Abercrombie, Cook, Erikson, Martin, and others. Bring it on.
     
  4. Amanita

    Amanita Maester

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    I've read book one and I didn't think it was too bad. Some aspects were a bit cliche and there was a bit of unnecessary violence, but all in all, I liked it well enough. So I've bought book two, but it got definitely worse in my opinion. The appearance of empirer Jagang destroyed the fantasy feeling for the sake of the author's political agenda and the "fecal warfare" of the bad guys was so over the top I had trouble taking this seriously anymore. (Given the fact, that the invading enemies are supposed to be something like communists, I've come to the conclusion that he got some of his ideas from tales about Red Army atrocities in WWII and took them to an extreme. Not a very constructive way to deal with this aspect of history in my opinion.)

    Therefore I've stopped reading and don't intend to buy any more books from the series.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  5. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    The Sword of Crap...

    I have to agree with everyone's opinion thus far. I managed to make it through the first two books, hoping with each new chapter that is was going to get better..well...sometimes it doesn't pay to be an optimist. Terry Goodkind is a hack.
     
  6. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I read the second book and had a strong disliking for it.
     
  7. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    Hmm, seeing as there have been plenty of haters so far, I'll speak up in favor of The Sword of Truth. I love the series. Terry Goodkind is amongst my top three favorite authors.

    Why do I enjoy them? They are visceral and honest. The plot is noticeably cliched at times (I say noticeably because ALL plots are cliched at times) but the characters are heartfelt. The ideology is rather blunt, but I often agree with it so basically he's preaching to the choir with me - and oh, how the choir loves to be preached to. ;)

    Not to say that there aren't noticeable flaws - flaws that even I won't try to defend much. Around Pillars of Creation things got weird. I have the feeling that he was in a rut and trying to break out of it. I can sympathize as a writer, but as a reader a couple of his books were just weak. Not hard to forgive, though. Every long series has that rut. Wheel of Time never recovered from it - though maybe Brandon Sanderson can rescue it. George R. R. Martin is flirting with it, but if he finishes Song of Ice and Fire soon he may avoid diving into it entirely.

    In the end though, I do very much enjoy the series. It is a celebration of the human condition instead of a lamentation of it. It has wonderful characters. It has humor and honesty. There is much I endeavor to learn from Mr. Goodkind.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  8. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I can respect that. The thing which bothered me I think the most about Stone of Tears was that the characters felt overpowered, and he dealt with it by constantly finding ways to isolate them from the main conflict. When they were finally able to confront the problem, it was resolved quickly. Does he do that often in his other books, or was it only that one?
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Thanks, guys. Sorry - I wasn't expecting people to pile onto the series. From what I'd seen in forums, I thought I'd get more defenses of it than criticisms. It is nice to see I'm not alone in disliking the series (at least what I read of it).

    And Telcontar, I appreciate your comments as well. A nice defense of the books. Wizard's First Rule still resides on my shelf, so I may try it again some day. My problem is that the to-read pile in my home seems to grow exponentially, and I can only read so fast!
     
  10. Amanita

    Amanita Maester

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    I wouldn't call myself a "hater" of the series, I'm not feeling about it that passionatly. Where book 1 is concerned, I even agree with you, Telcontar, while reading it, I didn't understand why so many people hated the series. Book two didn't really do it for me anymore though, and therefore I stopped. If it had been only three or four books, I might have continued but I'm only prepared to buy that many books of a series if I really like it very much.
    You probably have to care strongly about the ideology presented by Goodkind to really enjoy the later books which isn't the case for me. It's a political position I can accept but do not necessarily share. This raises another interesting question though: Should ideaology of any kind be prominent in fantasy? Maybe a subject for another thread.
     
  11. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    Heh, I use the word 'hater' in the rather glib manner of 'anyone who doesn't like something.' Wasn't implying passionate feelings.

    Goodkind is on-record as saying that he wanted his books to be more than just a fantasy tale - he was going for the 'larger meaning' stuff from the beginning. I don't really agree with the stance, because I think writers should worry about entertaining first. With Goodkind, I was a fan because the most prominent parts of his 'preachiness' were things I agreed with. There were other parts that I didn't, but I found them easy to ignore in favor of all that I loved in his books.

    I don't think including or promoting your ideology is a matter of "should or should not" in fantasy (I'm the "There are no rules" kind of guy when it comes to writing fiction). Doing it may limit your readership a bit, but then again Goodkind included his and became a massively popular author.

    @Devor: It's been a few years since I re-read the series, and I don't remember them in enough detail to answer ya. I'm thinking I should give them another read soon, though... maybe you'll get a really belated response!

    @Steerpike: I'm not the sort to actually get mad by people attacking the things I love. I simply don't care. Only spoke up cuz there weren't any 'pro' voices yet. Also, my favorite book of the series is #6: Faith of the Fallen. If you don't mind skipping a bit of backstory, maybe you could give that one a try. If it still doesn't capture you, then the Sword of Truth probably ain't your series. ;)
     
  12. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    I was only stating my opinion...I guess the best way to say it is that it's just not for me. It's just that Richard reminded me of Kyle MacLachlan in Dune...a boy with a whole lot of power trapped in a man's body. The whole story wasn't believable to me...yes, yes, I know it's fantasy, but my sense of logic can only stand so much...I mean, the whole relationship between him and Kahlan was too "Gone with the Wind" for me. I liked Gratch, though. And I dig those Mord Sith chicks with their tight red leather and little pokey sticks. I apologize to any fans of Mr. Goodkind for calling him a hack.
     
  13. karriezai

    karriezai Scribe

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    I may be the odd man out here...

    When I first started reading the series, I loved it. I read it end to end (what there was of it at the time) in a very short period and wanted more. I think it was... just before Pillars of Creation came out? Or just after? I read all the way up through Chainfire eventually, but the gap between books and general life stuff got to me and I never read the last one.

    About a year ago I went back and reread Wizard's First Rule, and I felt completely differently. I managed to get through it but I couldn't believe I used to love the series so much. I constantly had "what the hell?" moments about plot, content, and character development.

    It was a weird turnaround for me.
     
  14. Klee Shay

    Klee Shay Troubadour

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    The first couple of books definately were 'Wheel of Time'-ish but the series found its own voice after that. Like Reaver 'I dig those Mord Sith chicks with their tight red leather and little pokey sticks.' Who doesn't?

    Goodkind did go over the top with it but, I liked his theme of wanting people to think for themselves rather than following a rigid set of rules. I liked the series, myself.
     
  15. Wiggles2021

    Wiggles2021 Dreamer

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    I like terry goodkind, i like alot of the one book storys he has written, and i can honestly say that i like sword of truth....for about the first seven books. i think he just made the story go on too far. after four books of the original plot not moving forward at all, it just became a new problem, fixing the new problem, then your back to where you started the book at, just with one more vanquished baddy under your belt, but the actual villans had just sat around not moving forward at all. i think it would have been a great....five book series.
     
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