Chainfire by Terry Goodkind
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It is interesting to see how this author carried the series on for so long. My kids absolutely loved the books. I find that I can read them rather quickly and that the stories themselves are rather good yet there are several problems. Perhaps the first problem is the length of the book. We are talking a 700 page book here that totally lacks the elements of a proper story line. Most of the books are burdened down with recapping the past. Come on that is redundant. The story winds on for the most part with ever getting the reader past identifying the problem and then having a build up of action. Plenty of build up no rising action or very little of it and then the author takes the reader on a shortcut into the climax or the turning point of the story and it is never dramatic as one would expect it to be.Like letting air out of the tires. The story would be helped if there was more action and a proper story line to speak of. Also keeping the length of the story to around 400 pages would be a good idea. Time to edit out all the recap.
The stories do have some saving points. To merit the author he does seem have studied up a bit on Norse and Celtic mythology. Richard does have that warrior spirit, a warrior spirit that is not entirely comfortable with magic yet he is supposed to be the magic against the magic. When does he actually start doing some spells? There is a character or rather a Raven named Lokey. Ravens are trickster animals and are also very intelligent. Loki is a trickster god in Norse mythology. The sword of truth is all too reminiscent of Excalibur, then again almost all fantasy stories use the sword motif. Zed is like Merlin, Richard the warrior's adviser. Jagang is the epitome of evil but we never see him in the story. Of course there is a Pagan motif that I find rather enjoyable and it is of a woman bestowing sovereignty to the king by presenting him wit the sword or other memorabilia. Hearken back to the first book and recall that it is Kahlan's arrival to Richards homeland that declare or plays a part in him being named the seeker. It is Shota the witch, who playing the part of the crone who takes away the sword of sovereignty when the king is unworthy. Just how worthy is Richard of being the leader of Dhara? He is never with his troops fighting Jagang's invincible army. Of course as you may note in the story Shota takes Richard's sword in exchange for some information. The sword though did belong to her before Zed took it.
The plot is simple. Richard wakes up after having been wounded by the enemy's arrow. He is passed out for several days and is on the verge of death. Nicci the sorceress heals him but when he comes to Kahlan is gone and he is the only one who remembers her. Everyone else thinks he is delusional. So begins his quest to find Kahlan and rescue her. His journey takes him out of Altur Rang where the citizens of the Old world fight off Jagangs troops and win with the help of Nicci. This is also Jagang's hometown. Through out his adventures Richard is haunted by blood beast. An underworld creature that is bent on killing Richard. The creature kills everyone who gets in it's way. Richard and Cara his Mord Sith companion venture into Shota's swamp. After surviving a near death ambush by Samuel her so called assistant. Richard get's information from Shota at the price of returning the Sword of Truth to her. Interesting to learn is that this Samuel character is not quite human. He used to be but the Sword of Truth warped him. His yearning to get it back reminds me oft of Golem in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Richard learns from Shota the nature of the blood beast an how it was created. He is also given some keyword with which to work with. "beware of the four headed serpent", "Chainfire" and the "Deep Nothing" Riddle that the seeker must somehow figure out.
Back in Dhara Zed and other's doubt Richard's thesis of Kahlan's existence. He is on his own wit the help of Nicci and Cara. During his advenure Richard learns that Kahlan was kidnapped by the sisters of the dark and is being used to gather the Boxes of Orden to bring the Keeper of the Dead to the Earth. One get's killed interestingly enough by Samuel. Richard finds the book Chainfire and realizes that a spell has been cast that erases all memory of Kahlan and starts erasing prophecy. Richard does not find Kahlan in the book. I guess we must wait for the next installment.
But seriously now there is a prophecy that says if Jagang wins there will be darkness and this battle or war is crucial. Instead of looking at the bigger picture why is Richard seeking Kahlan? I scratch my head at the logic.
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