Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind


So, I’ll confess that I actually love the TV show based on this book, Legend of the Seeker. That’s how I found out about Terry Goodkind’s books. I first read Wizard’s First Rule back in high school–before I even had a blog–and I reread it recently because it fit one of the categories on the Popsugar challenge I’ve been doing this year. And my thoughts are pretty much the same.

Rating: [2-3/5]

Reading Challenge: A book based on or turned in to a TV show

Summary: Richard Cypher is a simple wood guide, but his life is turned upside-down when he meets a mysterious woman named Kahlan Amnell. She is from across the boundary, which separates Westland from the Midlands, and, more importantly, magic from normal life. After being named Seeker of Truth by the most powerful wizard in the land, Richard must use his powers to save the Midlands from Darken Rahl, an evil and powerful wizard who abuses his power and the people he rules.

Likes: Probably my favorite thing about this book is the relationship between Richard and Kahlan. They’re full of cuteness and angst and sexual tension. I’ve seen a lot of comments about implausibly their relationship develops, which I can understand, but this hopeless romantic likes it nevertheless. I also really enjoyed the magic and world-building in this book. The different creatures and types of magical beings and powers were really unique and interesting, in my opinion.

Dislikes: One thing that has been hugely problematic for me both times I’ve read this book is the way the author deals with rape and sexual abuse. One of the minor characters is literally a pedophile, and the only point this serves in the book is to characterize him as a villain. Not only is this incredibly disgusting, it’s lazy writing. Second of all, [potential SPOILERS ahead] Richard becomes involved with one of the Mord Sith, a group of women who use pain and bondage to torture and enslave men. Some of this involves sexual encounters. While it’s pretty clear that the author is trying to portray a BDSM-type experience, Richard does not consent to these acts. Which makes it rape.

TL;DR: I basically liked everything in this book, except for the several ways in which the author handled rape, which was disgusting and lazy. That’s why I can’t really decide what to rate it as.


2 thoughts on “Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

  1. I could not get through this book not matter how hard I tried (or how much I love the show). I just found parts of it so needlessly repetitive and I just decided to walk away. Also the the things you mentioned that were mishandles. I never got to the Mord Sith part but you summed up my dislike of a lot of things about this book when you said it was lazy writing.

  2. I agree with you! A lot of the beginning was especially repetitive as the characters filled each other in on what happened while they were gone, even though the readers already knew everything. Or characters filling each other in on how much Richard knew even though the audience knows just as much as Richard does.

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