Sword of Truth series (Terry Goodkind)

chongjasmine

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On the contrary, I find the faith of the fallen to be the best book in the SOT series.
 

KESpires

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That book was the first time I realized that he was more interested in being a polemical writer than a good writer.
 

Efaicia

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A lot of people liked the first two or three books, then had issues when Goodkind's 'philosophy' (Objectivism, which isn't really a philosophy but more of an argument to justify being a ultra-right-wing neocon arsehole) took over and the whole series of books turned into propaganda.

I read the first book and gave up in the second after realising how badly he was ripping off Robert Jordan. But even the first had problems, like with Richard kicking an eight-year-old girl's face in for saying bad things about his girlfriend, the 100-page BDSM torture scene and Zedd magically removing some guys' testicles for no particular reason. When I started hearing about some of the stuff from later in the series I decided not to proceed. There's way too many vastly superior books by much better writers to be wasting time with this trash.

Zedd "magically removed" (he actually tricked the guy into believing he did so, hence the rule "people will believe anything") because the group of men were there to kill Zedd and Richard for being witches and the supposed cause of the their current plights.

It is bad to want people to prefer using their brains instead of following blindly some man who says this life doesn't matter and to live only to get to the next life?
also...Neocon??
neoconservatism

noun an approach to politics or theology that represents a return to a traditional point of view (in contrast to more liberal or radical schools of thought of the 1960s)

It is AGAINST a radical or liberal point of view to want to keep the things I earn and to work towards a goal for myself and my family? It is BAD to have ambition? It is BAD to not expect everything to be handed over to me? It is BAD to not be a part of the "entitlement" MEMEME thought process?? If so, I'll go on and enjoy my horrible way of life, I guess I will also continue to support those who are "too good" to work for a living. (as a woman nonetheless) You can take your "traditional" claims and ..well..you know..

More people need to think independently instead of vomiting more of the rehashed feelings and beliefs they have been brainwashed with their entire lives.
Instead what we get is;
"When I started hearing about some of the stuff from later in the series I decided not to proceed."
People who do not know how to decide for themselves and instead take others' opinions as truth.

But even the first had problems, like with Richard kicking an eight-year-old girl's face in for saying bad things about his girlfriend
Taken out of context that does indeed sound bad, but you forgot to mention that he cried for her and begged her not to use the Agiel to torture him and begged also the mord'sith to not teach such things to this child. But she did use the Agiel on him, and she enjoyed it. This is the girl who was also fond of torturing her "playmate" a little girl slave she kept locked in a little metal box and loved to punish by hitting amongst other cruel things. By the time it got to the point of Richard being tied and hanging there while the "little girl" tortured him you were wanting to slap a few teeth loose yourself. She was a MONSTER of a child who was taught she should never feel remorse and that people beneath her own station were not to be treated as people, they were just things, not deserving of her empathy. He did not do it simply because she was talking bad about his girlfriend.

I live for me and mine, what I earn is mine and no one has a right to it except who I deem worthy. I am only as good as the work I put forth, and I get to decide how good that work is. I have a right as a human being/living creature to defend myself from harm, I have a right to defend my children from harm by whatever means is necessary.

That is the message I took away from his books. I love his books, I encourage my teenage son to read them (18 years old) so that maybe he too will come away from them with a sense of empowerment, that he CAN improve his life through hard work and determination. You know what my son doesn't do? He doesn't expect everything done FOR him, he expects he will get what he puts in and if he wants more, he has to DO more.

If more of the younger generation had this thought process maybe the world would be a better place.


To end; he didn't rip off Robert Jordan, the two are COMPLETELY and utterly different in every single way.
Robert Jordan is an Author I also Enjoy, and gave to my son to read when he was 12. and THAT is the biggest difference between the 2 authors. I love every single one of BOTH authors series, and find that they BOTH have messages in them for the reader. Do not slam an author for putting too much of himself in books in hopes of inspiring generations of people to DO better and to BE better.

The T.V. series was the WORST book to screen play I have ever witnessed, whoever did the hiring for the characters FAILED with EVERY SINGLE ONE (especially Darken Rhal, as it was the way he presented himself that showed his hypocrisy with the way he lived, the WHOLE lesson behind that story!) Denna was the ONLY character they even came close to.
 
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Clansman

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Wow. A Goodkind apologist. Haven't seen one of those around here in a long time. Maybe she'll come back, maybe not.

Points she failed to raise:

1. Terry Goodkind cannot write. His plotting devolves into objectivist tirades. Please, I had enought of Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged.

2. One can believe in personal responsibility and in compassion. The two are not diametrically opposed, and in fact, go together really, really well. You can use compassion as a path to help others take on their own personal responsibility. However, using personal responsibility as a sledge hammer when the wielder is a child of privilege and the recipient has had to scrape for every friggin scrap they ever earned is morally bankrupt. "God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes; 'Cause then you really might know what it's like to sing the blues"

3. Goodkind engaged with pornographic delight in BDSM and really pointless violence, just for the sake of putting it there. It was not necessary.

4. Goodkind could not create a decent villain if his life depended on it. Each and every one was a different version of Adolf Hitler. With such a pathetic line up of straw men, how is the nature of human evil truly explained? Bad people kiss their kids good night and take them to Little League (see Tony Soprano). Most villains are not demons from the pit of hell that you can spot from a mile away. A good villain, by definition, must be sympathetic. People have to like him, or he'd have no power.

5. "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up. Please, Richard Rahl, give a 2 hour speech on the dignity of the human spirit, and I think I'll be okay". 'Nuff said on that point.

Goodkind is the poster child for a poor author who got excellent backing from a publisher. The books were so well publicised that people bought them. Kind of like the success of reality television or McDonald's food. It isn't good, but it is sold so damn well that people are convinced that they like it.

If you want your kids to learn to be self-supporting and decent citizens who care about the world around them, you'd be better off to put them in Scouting.
 
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HareBrain

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When he was in his teens, my nephew once told me that Faith of the Fallen was one of his favourite books. When I now remind him of that, he pretty much cowers under the table weeping in shame. I try not to abuse such power.
 

Heather Myst

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Well to each their own because this is one of my favorite series ever and Faith of the Fallen was my favorite book in the series.

I must say that there does not seem to be much middle ground on Goodkind. People seem to either love him or hate him.
 

Clansman

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Well to each their own because this is one of my favorite series ever and Faith of the Fallen was my favorite book in the series.

I must say that there does not seem to be much middle ground on Goodkind. People seem to either love him or hate him.

But Heather, you are really nice about liking Goodkind. You are okay with us not liking his stuff, and that makes me respect your view, because you respect mine. There's probably stuff that I love that you can't stomach. I know that there is stuff that both you and I like.

This is cool.:cool: This is also what the Chrons is all about. Efaicia doesn't seem to get that (plus it was her first (and only) post here. To come in all guns blazing isn't exactly polite).
 

Heather Myst

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Thank you Clansman. Your attitude is exactly what makes this site friendlier than some of the other sites that I frequent.

PS I wanted to add that I also remember the day that I joined this site that you welcomed me. My favorite books are The Song of Ice and Fire books. Some other people swear by the Malazan books, WOT, Farseer. Kingkiller, etc. but what really matters to me and the reason why I love visiting these sites is because we all love Fantasy. Respecting every posters opinion is a classy thing to do.
One more thing about Goodkind is that having read some of his interviews I can understand he can come across less than favorable but I still love his books, with the exception of the The Omen Machine, which even a fan like me can admit was a stinker. Of course in total fairness I should mention that at one time in my life the entire Curious George collection of books were my favorites.
 
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Efaicia

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Wow. A Goodkind apologist. Haven't seen one of those around here in a long time. Maybe she'll come back, maybe not.

Points she failed to raise:

1. Terry Goodkind cannot write. His plotting devolves into objectivist tirades. Please, I had enought of Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged.

2. One can believe in personal responsibility and in compassion. The two are not diametrically opposed, and in fact, go together really, really well. You can use compassion as a path to help others take on their own personal responsibility. However, using personal responsibility as a sledge hammer when the wielder is a child of privilege and the recipient has had to scrape for every friggin scrap they ever earned is morally bankrupt. "God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes; 'Cause then you really might know what it's like to sing the blues"

3. Goodkind engaged with pornographic delight in BDSM and really pointless violence, just for the sake of putting it there. It was not necessary.

4. Goodkind could not create a decent villain if his life depended on it. Each and every one was a different version of Adolf Hitler. With such a pathetic line up of straw men, how is the nature of human evil truly explained? Bad people kiss their kids good night and take them to Little League (see Tony Soprano). Most villains are not demons from the pit of hell that you can spot from a mile away. A good villain, by definition, must be sympathetic. People have to like him, or he'd have no power.

5. "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up. Please, Richard Rahl, give a 2 hour speech on the dignity of the human spirit, and I think I'll be okay". 'Nuff said on that point.

Goodkind is the poster child for a poor author who got excellent backing from a publisher. The books were so well publicised that people bought them. Kind of like the success of reality television or McDonald's food. It isn't good, but it is sold so damn well that people are convinced that they like it.

If you want your kids to learn to be self-supporting and decent citizens who care about the world around them, you'd be better off to put them in Scouting.


All of these "points" you post are opinions.

1. Terry Goodkind paints pictures with words and brings every scene to life with his descriptions. This is my opinion, just as your "Can't write" is your OPINION.

2. "Pity for the guilty is treason to the innocent." I will save my compassion for those who deserve it.

3. Every writer has their own style. Terry Goodkind is an adult writer. TBH I was tired of Nynaeve's childish hissy fits by the time I got the end of the WoT. This is only an example tho, Robert Jordan has a different style than Terry Goodkind.

4. There are villains in Goodkinds books that by the time the book had come to the conclusions I could not wait to see them suffer/pay for the things they had done. What you are stating is a matter of opinion, not fact. I think you have missed IN IT'S ENTIRETY the fact that the 2 main villains Darken Rahl and Jagang are in the positions they are in because of power. Either power as in magic or the grasp of religious zealots over the masses. The fact that you missed that obvious of an element shows me you are more than likely regurgitating opinions you have read instead of forming one of your own.

5. Yet again, all opinion.

I have no idea where you get off stating that Goodkind is all backing and no talent. I had not seen or heard anything of the sword of truth that day in the bookstore (about 16 years ago) when I had picked it up while looking for more on the Dragonlance series. Now THERE'S a series with backing. Don't EVEN get me started on the backing behind the Hobbit. Those are all good books though, every one of them having good stories and yes, even life lessons to be had in each and every one of them given by none other than the authors putting themselves in the book.

I teach my children the way I see fit, sometimes things I am trying to teach them is put into words better by other people. That is beside the point though. The books I give my children in some way inspired me in my life and I share with them in hopes of bringing them inspiration as well. Of course the right timing is essential as the messages can and will be lost on childish minds which are easily distracted.

My library includes most (if not all) of the major fantasy series of the past 25 years and The Hobbit (released in 1930's) and it's successors. Each of which I will share with my children. Do not take me for some Obsessive, foaming Goodkind fan. I just think it unfair that you paint the picture you do about him when in actuality his books are good, the stories are good and the values shared within each are worthwhile. You like so much to preach about how others (Goodkind fans) push their opinions down other peoples throats yet you are entirely subjective with your own opinions on the matter as well.

There is no more sexuality and violence in Goodkinds books than there is in say...Clan of the Cave Bear. (another good series I read in MY TEENS)
 

Clansman

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All of these "points" you post are opinions.

1. Terry Goodkind paints pictures with words and brings every scene to life with his descriptions. This is my opinion, just as your "Can't write" is your OPINION.

2. "Pity for the guilty is treason to the innocent." I will save my compassion for those who deserve it.

3. Every writer has their own style. Terry Goodkind is an adult writer. TBH I was tired of Nynaeve's childish hissy fits by the time I got the end of the WoT. This is only an example tho, Robert Jordan has a different style than Terry Goodkind.

4. There are villains in Goodkinds books that by the time the book had come to the conclusions I could not wait to see them suffer/pay for the things they had done. What you are stating is a matter of opinion, not fact. I think you have missed IN IT'S ENTIRETY the fact that the 2 main villains Darken Rahl and Jagang are in the positions they are in because of power. Either power as in magic or the grasp of religious zealots over the masses. The fact that you missed that obvious of an element shows me you are more than likely regurgitating opinions you have read instead of forming one of your own.

5. Yet again, all opinion.

I have no idea where you get off stating that Goodkind is all backing and no talent. I had not seen or heard anything of the sword of truth that day in the bookstore (about 16 years ago) when I had picked it up while looking for more on the Dragonlance series. Now THERE'S a series with backing. Don't EVEN get me started on the backing behind the Hobbit. Those are all good books though, every one of them having good stories and yes, even life lessons to be had in each and every one of them given by none other than the authors putting themselves in the book.

I teach my children the way I see fit, sometimes things I am trying to teach them is put into words better by other people. That is beside the point though. The books I give my children in some way inspired me in my life and I share with them in hopes of bringing them inspiration as well. Of course the right timing is essential as the messages can and will be lost on childish minds which are easily distracted.

My library includes most (if not all) of the major fantasy series of the past 25 years and The Hobbit (released in 1930's) and it's successors. Each of which I will share with my children. Do not take me for some Obsessive, foaming Goodkind fan. I just think it unfair that you paint the picture you do about him when in actuality his books are good, the stories are good and the values shared within each are worthwhile. You like so much to preach about how others (Goodkind fans) push their opinions down other peoples throats yet you are entirely subjective with your own opinions on the matter as well.

There is no more sexuality and violence in Goodkinds books than there is in say...Clan of the Cave Bear. (another good series I read in MY TEENS)

Yes, what I wrote are my opinions, just as yours are yours. I laud you for defending yours, but don't be surprised if I go at the content of your opinions pretty hard.

1. I'll put up Tolkien, Martin, Erikson, Wurts, Kay against Goodkind any day, and a host of others besides. Yes, it's my opinion. Heather Myst respects my opinion, just as I respect hers, and she loves Terry Goodkind's writing. I don't. However, respect is a two-way street. You would likely have received a better reception had you shown a little bit of courtesy when you arrived.

2. "Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many." If compassion is to be doled out to those who deserve it, who is to judge the deserving and the undeserving? Here's another quote for you to consider: "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone". The man who said those words has influenced far many more than Mr. Goodkind's half-baked philosophy. The world has never been black and white, and it has successfully resisted all human attempts to make it so. Mr. Goodkind's view of judgment and compassion is short-sighted, and assumes that you know all the facts. You don't. I don't. Nobody does.

3. And I got tired of the same damned story in every book that he wrote. Richard loses Kahlan. Kahlan is in peril. Richard pursues Kahlan, kills a bunch of bad people (who are all inherently bad, and seem to have become bad simply because they were born that way, you know, just 'cause), and gets Kahlan back (only to lose her by the second chapter of the next book), and kills a few more badies, right after he delivers a long-winded speech about the dignity of the human spirit. Again.

4. You make my point about his villains for me. Everyone wanted to kill them, because they were so thoroughly evil. The reader hates Goodkind's villains, because they are so bloody one-dimensional. If you didn't hate them, you'd need to be admitted to a psych ward somewhere. His villains had to be destroyed, just as Hitler, had he been captured alive, would have been hanged at Nuremburg. In contrast, I'd much rather have a Tywin Lannister or a Littlefinger or a Lysaer s'Ilessid, or an Empress Laseen. Those are villains who I can understand and sympathize with, who have a human side, as "even the wicked know how to give good things to their children". Not a Jagang or a Darken Rahl, and that is my complaint. I can't get them, and I can't get why anyone would follow them. Saddam Hussein bestowed great gifts upon his children, generals, aides, etc., as does any tyrant who is interested in staying in power. Jagang and Darken Rahl just terrorized everyone. They cannot stand on their own, because of their inherently evil nature, and therefore they must be destroyed, hence my calling them straw men. This said, Goodkind could not get around the plot problem of lesser men following such deranged and evil men for such a long time. When that happened in human history, they were usually overthrown (instead of being smited by some good-looking dude with a magic sword). Goodkind ignores this aspect of the human condition, and his writing is much weaker because of it. The reason that The Sopranos television series was so successful was because Tony Soprano and his companions were so bloody likeable, yet they did horrible, awful things (extortion, murder, loan sharking, drug running, prostitution). Goodkind should have made his villains likeable in some way, so as to explain why so many followed them.

5. Yep. My opinion. Mine is just as valid as yours, but you don't seem to think so. Descending upon a community and demeaning our opinions, instead of challenging them with reason and a willingness to listen (again, like Heather Myst), is not conducive to any kind of dialogue about our respective opinions. You don't appear respect any opinions that are contrary to yours. You don't seem able to rise above the emotional ownership and intensity of your admiration of Mr. Goodkind's writing to even attempt an objective look at it. If I am wrong, I stand to be corrected.

As for marketing, please. There were so many copies of Wizard's First Rule printed by TOR, and TOR paid for Goodkind to travel all over the land, that the book sold incredibly well by default. Dragonlance was the show in the 80's, but the series ran out of steam when Weis and Hickman stopped writing it (and umpteen other authors took up where they left off). It had the backing of Gary Gygax's D&D empire. As for The Hobbit, it was published in 1937, to little fanfare. Word of mouth in Britain resulted in sales, and the book jumped the pond. It was published illegally in North America before Unwin and Allen put a stop to that. This was before the days of television, and certainly before the age of websites and book blogs, and author chat areas. When Lord of the Rings was published in 1954-1955, again, there was no advertisement. It was a societal phenomenon. It sold because it was so damn good.

The reason you see so much LOTR and Hobbit stuff today is that it became a part of the literary fabric of the 20th century long before there was any need for advertising. In fact, there has, historically, been no promotion of The Hobbit and LOTR except when there was a theatrical release. People bought the books, because so many people (over half a billion now, I believe) liked them. The movies and publicity came after the fact of the sales success, not before.

You are entitled to teach your children, and I laud you for it (too many parents delegate this responsibility). You and I disagree about whether Mr. Goodkind is good for children, and that is as it is. As a parent, one can only do what one believes to be right. I believe differently than you do about Mr. Goodkind, and wouldn't give his books to my children if I was paid to do so. That does not mean that your view is invalid. My criticism of Mr. Goodkind is of him, not of you.

I believe that the open hand works much better than the closed fist, and I teach that lesson to my children every day. The greatest victories in history have come with the open hand. Warfare, on the other hand, has achieved virtually nothing but ensuring that hatred survives to the next generation. Mr. Goodkind seems to think that violence solves problems. It does not, it merely changes the problems into other problems, and perpetuates the violence to the next generation.

Incidentally, I share your view about Nynaeve and Mr. Jordan's books. Terrible character development, to be sure. See, there is something that we can agree on.

I intensely dislike Mr. Goodkind's books. I did in fact take you for an "Obsessive, foaming Goodkind fan". You have written very forcefully in his favour, which led me to believe that your love of Mr. Goodkind's works does not allow for anyone to have an opinion to the contrary. Perhaps one of the reasons for my vehemence of opinion in this regard is that I spent so much time on Mr. Goodkind, hoping for the story to get better, but instead, it headed the opposite direction. It got worse, and worse, and I feel ashamed for wasting so much of my time on it, when I could have been reading much better books. I found these better books when I came here.

Is my view of his writing unfair? Time will tell, but I suspect that his books will not stand the test of time. His world view is overly simplistic. While I do believe wholeheartedly in personal responsibility, and live my life by a code of taking responsibility for my actions, I also recognize that "there but for the Grace of God go I". Mr. Goodkind does not appear to have any room for empathy in his worldview, and this is what I reject as morally bankrupt.

Still, am I being unfair? I think not, and remain unconvinced of Mr. Goodkind's understanding of the human condition to bother reading past the middle of Naked Empire. I see no point in ever picking up a book of his again, as what I have read so far is hopelessly trite, and repetitive. Please note, I am not criticizing you, but instead your opinions. Around here, opinions are cannon fodder, so long as we blast only the opinions, not the people who hold them.
 

nixie

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We are all entitled to our own opinions. Like Clansman said we can attack the opinion but not the poster. I agree with Clansman, I gave Goodkind the benefit of the doubt but there was only so much of his preaching I could take. As for Kahlan how does someone who is all powerful and kill with a touch get her self in so many life threatening situations.
 

Brian G Turner

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Just to echo nixie's sentiment without criticising anyone here - that's not my point - which is that the fantasy genre itself pitches to many different types of reader at many different levels. That's part of it's strength, I'd say.

I mean, at most bookstores, you can find Game of Thrones, Dragonlance, and Guards! Guards! on the same shelf. Not everyone will enjoy them all, but a point about chronicles is that no one here has to feel they should like books they could not enjoy. :)
 

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