Terry Goodkind


Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2009
I had been reading Goodkind until the first book of the chainfire series. I cannot finish that first book of the chainfire series. It is kind of boring. I still have the other two books of chainfire series sitting on the shelf in my home.

I am currently stopping from reading his first book for the chainfire series, and reading George's song of ice and fire instead. I just finished book 2 of the song of ice and fire. I really enjoy that.

I am moving on to read a storm of swords, which is book 3 of the song of ice and fire.


Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2009
This thread is really a bizzarre read for someone who has not entered the Goodkind wars. I certainly respect the right of anyone to like or dislike an author even if the reason is that they weren't in the mood for them at the moment. The biggest gripe with Goodkind seems to be his inflated sense of himself as a writer of great significance who is misunderstood by the masses (i.e., his critics). The second gripe appears to be ideological. That one is a bit harder to comprehend (at least in the first two books I've actually read) since Goodkind is not a highly consistent or rigorous philosopher. The third gripe appears to concern Goodkind's excessive forays into violence and S&M. This didn't bother me at all, frankly, and I was somewhat surprised to see that point argued with a peculiar moral fervor here. The fourth gripe is pretty straightforward: Goodkind is a mediocre/pedestrian prose stylist who is excessively long-winded and in need of good editing.

I'll tell you the truth, I didn't know Goodkind's personal rap at all while reading the books, so my expectations were based exclusively on the texts themselves. My reaction was pretty much as follows: Goodkind is skilled at getting his readers to turn the page, he knows how to create some dramatic tension, his characters are pretty neatly packaged so we don't have to strain to understand their internal tensions/dilemmas/motivation. I felt as if I was reading fantasy lit for the beach: didn't strain the brain cells, story was easy to follow, tension was sustained for the most part, good, if very very unoriginal plot. And frankly I liked the edginess of the Mord Sith stuff, although it was simply too repetitive and overcooked after a while. Kahlan's conflict due to being unable to consummate her love for Richard is perfectly fair from a novelistic standpoint and, for me at least, generally effective. I never perceived Kahlan as "weak" or "whiney" (except that Goodkind does everything to excess and it's less a reflection of the character than his repetitivenes that we might think it "whiney.") If one looks at the SOT series as something slightly above the usual romance novel fare, it's perfectly okay... a low-strain escapist read. That's not a bad thing if that's what you happen to be looking for in the moment. Most detective fiction is precisely that and it has its place in the reading universe. The big problem appears to be the dissonance between what Goodkind produces and what he thinks it means. Anybody who writes beach novels and imagines he's Leo Tolstoy has obviously got a psychological problem with narcissistic grandiosity. Nothing in the two novels I read merit more than escapist interest. I'm not sure I saw a single original idea anywhere in them, but then I wasn't expecting to find one.

Anyway, seems to me much of this thread is about Goodkind the person and his disconnect with Goodkind the beach author. That's not our problem as readers, but his. As escapist fare it's perfectly okay, nothing more nothing less. JMHO.


Stake Holder
Jun 10, 2007
Given his high opinion of himself and the almost fanatical devotion of some of his fans could we be looking at the next Elron here?


Wyrm of Books
May 5, 2009
Interesting to browse through this thread, especially as I've never read Goodkind before. It's piqued my curiosity, and I think I'll try to borrow a copy to judge for myself what it's all about.

j d worthington

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2006
Given his high opinion of himself and the almost fanatical devotion of some of his fans could we be looking at the next Elron here?

The question occurred to me as well, after various encounters with Goodkind fans and some of his interviews; but, to be honest, I don't think so. Goodkind, at least, isn't attempting to create a new religion to line his pockets. He may have an overly-inflated opinion of himself and his work, but what he is doing is expressing his philosophy through fiction (and, of course, in interviews and the like), which is quite a different (and, in my view, more legitimate) thing. Whilst his hard-core fans may indeed resemble the Scientology crowd at their worst, there just isn't likely to be enough basis here for the kind of thing we've seen come out of L. Ron Hubbard's little parlor game... for which we can all be thankful....

Ursa major

Bearly Believable
Staff member
Aug 7, 2007
Yes, thank goodness for that.

(We don't want recruiters from The Good and the Kind sacrificing "evil" chickens on our street corners, let alone our doorsteps, do we?)


Northern Monkey
Feb 27, 2008

Mind you if people are silly enough to buy in to it??


Some Like it Hot
Dec 3, 2009
Current Zoo: 0.1 Pogona vitticeps (Fiona) 0.1 Ka
Just discovered Goodkind through Neflix of all things. I stumbled across Legend of the Seeker as based on TG's books. Any movie based on a book intrigues me as, as a rule, movies based on books aren't as good as the original. I read five star and one star reviews on amazon and found my way here. I must say I'm tempted to read the first one just so I can join in the discussion. I always love a good debate. :p


Well-Known Member
May 17, 2007
Ghostofcorwin has a point - I enjoyed the first and second, maybe even the third books. Part of the dislike for him is because he does do the page turner. I have actually read all SoT books why??!! And that's why he is so irritating.

In the hope if another good yarn (how the series starts), and pulled in by the page turner bits, you end up wading through increasingly turgid polemic and increasingly nasty sadism.

So he is rightly (in my view) ridiculed/vilifiied. He only gets more than other petty would-be tyrants and sadists because he has managed to get otherwise sensible people to read his books

(And you know, if you cut out the polemic and the sadism - making the books more concise and sticking to the 'yarn' - they'd actually be good tales!

Toby Frost

Well-Known Member
Jan 22, 2008
Well, I borrowed Wizard's First Rule and read it. The setting, and much of the action, reminded me of Baldur's Gate on my old PC - these bits are probably the sort of thing readers of "literary" fiction sneer about when they think of fantasy - although there was a rather out-of-place whipping interlude towards the end. (I appreciate that the book explains the meaning of these scenes and that they are not totally gratuitous. Nor is Wesley Crusher, but people still call him a Mary Sue).

I came away with a distasteful sense of mercilessness on the author's part. Sex and violence are fine (albeit preferably apart), but there were a couple of moments where I got the feeling that Goodkind had a gleeful, teeth-baring grin: in particular Richard's execution of his brother and the scene in which a villain castrates himself. Both are logical events - just, even, in a cruel way - but I felt that they were psychologically nasty in a way that, say, Abercrombie's Logen Ninefingers smashing someone to mush isn't.

I suppose the lack of swearing and real-world squalor (mud, disease, etc) makes the occasional bouts of viciousness seem all the worse. I felt that the book was fairly generic overall, with a strange episode of Mistress Mary Sue towards the end. It's not my place to comment on Goodkind's philosophy or how well he expresses it - I didn't feel there was too much of it in Wizard's First Rule, although the later books may be different - but I didn't rate the novel all that much.


Holy Knight
Feb 17, 2009
Wizard's First Rule isn't a bad book. It tells a straight forward story and has (as has been noted) a "page turner"quality. the problem is that as the series goes on more and more with each volume the books turn intp diatribes on Goodkinds beliefs and understandings of "things". By the last book in the series, well....let's just say you are soooooo glad it IS the LAST book in the series. I bought the first 3 or 4 till I saw how they were going. BUT I did still get them out of the library and at least skimed them to see how he "worked it all out". No real surprise in how he ties it up however. The end of the final book is a sort of long winded speech on how right he (Goodkind speaking through Richard) is.

Ramoth's Rider

FemmeFatale Dragon of NFF
Dec 9, 2007
Ok will put my hand up and admit i read all the books yes even the last one.

I enjoyed them to a certain point, that point being that i didnt really want someone else's ideology shoved down my throat with every page i turned. If it wasn't for the preaching it would be a good series. It seemed the more books he wrote the more he used them as a forum for his own views and opinions. I actually belong to the fan forum and it has gone through some changes. A new team has taken it over and horror of horrors! they actually talk about other writers!!!!
Still I read it and i enjoyed and no matter what happens, if people are talking about him and buying his books he must be doing something right!


Lochaber Axeman, QC
Feb 9, 2008
Tobytwo, I think you banged the nail on the head. The subsequent books simply provide more of the same, with less original stories, and even more cardboard characters, and to top it off, a substantial increase in Randian polemics from the main character.


Lemming of Discord
Jun 4, 2006
Taken from another forum:

In keeping with the ancient tradition of using alcohol to relieve pain, make the obtuse clear, and the insane seem logical, I present the Sword of Truth Drinking Game! The rules are quite simple.

Take a drink \~/ every time:

* One of the “heroes” does something morally heinous;
* Make it a double if the “hero” also speechifies about how morally superior he is;
* One of the “heroes” demonstrates hypocrisy;
* One of the “heroes” speechifies;
* Make it a double if he speechifies when he should be fighting;
* Or if he is explaining how decent people should live their lives;
* A hero acts out of petty spitefulness towards a supposed ally
* A bad guy does something grotesquely sadistic for no good reason;
* A character acts in a stupid way so the hero can look better by comparison;
* A strawman political argument is made;
* Something is excessively sexual for no good reason;
* The hero's unreliable magic does exactly what the plot requires;
* One of the heroes is described in flowery prose;
* Something magical is introduced and never referred to again;
* The hero instinctively “knows” something he logically should not;
* Something blindingly stupid happens.

Added as of Book 2: Stone of Tears

* Zedd says or does something that's supposed to be funny and it's not.
* Casanova Zedd makes an appearance.
* There's excessive or pointless angsting.
* Something is unintentionally ironic.
* Cliches are used in place of characterization or description.
* Richard or Kahlan demonstrate Mary Sue/Marty Stu traits.
* It is obvious that Terry Goodkind did no research whatsoever on a given subject.

Ready? Let's start killing our livers!

Denie Alconn

Horrible Shrew
Mar 17, 2006
Hmmm, after reading the sword of truth series I must conclude that Goodkind is a fascist. It`s maybe not so much a fight between good and evil but Nazisism against Communism.... Anyhow, I still like the story though and started seeing the tv series.

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