Chainfire, reviewed

Neon

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Chainfire is Terry Goodkind's latest book in the Sword of Truth series. The book is fast from the very beginning and never loses pace. In fact, the opening chapter is devoted to saving Richard's life from a nearly fatal arrow wound. The central theme about this novel is the strange disappearance of his love, Kahlan Amnell. Yet her disappearance is not only physical in nature, but one central to the mind. When Richard finally awakes from his injury, he discovers that no one but him has any recollection of her! How could so many people tied to their lives lose all memory of her? His search then begins in earnest to figure out the cause of this amnesia type condition, while battling others to prove he isn't simply delusional. Besides trying to overcome the uncertainties about his sanity, he is pursued by a ruthless beast conjured by Jagang's minions to end his life. Imagine if you awoke one morning to find your entire reality questioned by all those you love...

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All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In an effort to make zero spoilers I decided to keep that review short and sweet. It was a much better read than the prior two, and it appears Mr. Goodkind is back on track to great writing. Many of you (myself included) will be pleased to see he has dropped much of his philosophical rambling in lieu for story telling! Unlike most of the other books, however, this one leaves quite a cliff hanger at the end. If you've read the series up to this point, you won't be sorry to continue. I also really enjoyed the way he tied in many old characters/elements of the prior books to this one. Was it the best of the series? No. But it was a great read and a good start to the "chainfire trilogy."
 

LadyFel

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I hope it's as good as you say...For now I'm still only considering reading it for a sense of closure...
 

Heather

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Thanks for your review. I'm currently listening to this in audio format. I've felt that the last few books in this series have slowly been going downhill. Thanks to your review, I'm not as apprehensive about listening to the rest of this novel.
 

Tsujigiri

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Does it compare favourably to the dynamic pace and sheer readability of the earlier books?

Because I like so many other readers was only going to read this for closure, and if he's recaptured what made me a fan in the first place then I'll be happy :)
 

Neon

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To me it was a much easier read, largely in part because he didn't continually beat us over the head with so much philosophy (though some is still present since he's invested so much of it in Richard's character). While creating a rift between Richard and Kahlan is nothing new, I personally enjoyed the new way in which he's chosen to do it. I think everyone will enjoy this more than the prior two books, and it certainly made me more excited about the rest of the series.

Heather, how far along are you in the story, and are you enjoying it?
 

Heather

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I'm near the beginning. It's a slow going because I only listen to it while I walk my dog in the evening. Nikki is telling Richard about the beast. It's seems pretty good. I'm a bit apprehensive about him already being wounded because I can see that leading up to him never being at his full power during this novel. He always seems under-par for some reason or another in all of the books. I think Goodkind is leading up to some huge release of Richard's power that may somehow fail to meet my expectations (therefore lowering my enjoyment of the entire series). In other words, I'd like to see it being used more consistently throughout the series. Besides that awful nagging going on in the back of my mind, I'm enjoying the novel. I actually like Nikki which only serves to show Goodkinds talents. Who knows? Maybe he'll come through with Richard's gift in the end.

On a side note and totally irrelevant to this topic: I've recently started "The Seventh Son" because so many people on this board were saying it's a great series. Thanks to all of you that gave it praises. I started it yesterday, and I'm half way through it. I've been neglecting work a bit, but that'sone of the perks I get by working from home!
 

Elmo

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I've just finished it.

I certainly thought it was a return to form for Goodkind. Whilst I think Pillars of Creation is a much better book then people give him credit for I was not impressed by Naked Empire. I do feel that the book drags a bit in places; constantly going back over things that have happened in previous books and large, unnecessary portions of 'travel time'. And thus the middle 100 pages or so do drag a litle. But once you reach the last 250 pages you simply cant put the thing down, the series of events which occur are simply earth shattering in scope and clever in their execution.

Now I cant wait for the next one...
 

Neon

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I gotta say, I feel bad for Nikki throughout this whole thing ... Goodkind really showed a more humane side of her character in this one and I really liked her. But everyone knows she's chasing after Richard's love, which he can never return the way she'd like.
 

Chimeco

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I enjoyed the book. The plot was predictable as usual. But the story was engaging nonetheless. He managed to keep the "what if" open through most of the book. I found Nikki alluring and attractive. I've been privately rooting for her since she captured him while vacationing with the old battleaxe, kahlan.

Nikki is much more interesting.

I also got a strong feeling he's leading up to the conclusion of the series. As far as the war goes at least. Within the next couple books. That's just my feeling again, but there was closure finally being sensed this time around. I believe it was the positioning of all his elements that gives me this feeling. The armies of course. The story itself returning to the main characters and not side characters this time. The reintroduction of old characters also. We know that everyone has to play a part in the final battle so this indicates to me at least, that he's prepping for it.

I know a lot of people are turned off to Goodkind because of his apparent arrogance but I would recommend reading Chainfire anyway. Unless you don't like his authoring to begin with, don't let a few interviews spoil a good read.
 

Kai

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Neon said:
FotF is #6 in the series.

Sorry, i meant what number Chainfire is. I looked it up anyhow;

Book 1: Wizard's First Rule
Book 2: Stone of Tears
Book 3: Blood of the Fold
Book 4: Temple of the Winds
Book 5: Soul of the Fire
Book 6: Faith of the Fallen
Book 7: Pillars of Creation
Book 8: Naked Empire
Book 9: Chainfire


there's also Debt of Bones
 

Neon

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Apparently there are only supposed to be 2 more books. "Chainfire" is part of the final trilogy of books that will conclude the series .... or so I heard.
 

Kai

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There will be two more books after Chainfire and that concludes the Sword of Truth Saga. The official site has said this.

Give it a few years right a couple of different tales, then stage an epic comeback for Richard and Kahlan. Instantly selling loads of copies to lifetime fans of the series.
 

Drachir

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I am surprise that so many who read Chainfire seemed to really enjoy it. I was hoping that Goodkind would finally get to the point and wind up the series, instead he chose to leave the reader with another cliffhanger. Not only did the series not end, but the book didn't either. I was also disappointed with the fact that the author abandoned one of his central characters for the first 600 pages of the book.

I will admit that Goodkind did a better job with this effort than his previous two Sword of Truth books, but he still tends to blabber away almost endlessly about his personal philosophies (mouthed through his characters). I found I was skimming entire sections of the book trying to find a place where the plot continued. It was the equivalent of fast forwarding through commercials in a TV show that has been taped.

I will give Goodkind credit for a lively imagination and his character development is quite good, although nothing on the level of writers like Robin Hobb. It would be nice though if he finally ended an epic which is now double the length of the Lord of the Rings.

I will read the next book, but I was glad that I waited two months for my library reserve on Chainfire rather than plunking down $40. My advice is borrow the book, don't buy it. It is not worth a second read.
 
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I lo
I gotta say, I feel bad for Nikki throughout this whole thing ... Goodkind really showed a more humane side of her character in this one and I really liked her. But everyone knows she's chasing after Richard's love, which he can never return the way she'd like.
I liked Nikki I must say, because even though she was Death's Mistress there was something nice about her right from the start. She showed hints of it when she took the girl with lice and cleaned her up, giving her hygiene advice, instead of killing her as she had intended to. Then she had sympathy for the tortured Mord-Sith, disgusted at what had been done to her and killing those who had done it, then putting her out of her pain. She genuinely cared about helping the poor. And she worked so hard trying to feed Richard, going without herself, that even he began to feel for her and respect her strength, eventually coming to feel a genuine affection for her. Nikki, like the Mord-Sith, wasn't a bad person, she just did bad things because she had no choice, and, like them, when she could decide for herself she chose the side of good. I liked the great friendship that developed between Nikki and Kahlan too, women who would happily have killed one another to begin with but end up close friends, as of course Kahlan also did with the Mord-Sith. It was sad though that she loved Richard so much, but stood aside as she knew he could never love her as anything but a friend.
 

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