Wizard’s First Rule (Sword of Truth #1) ★★☆☆☆

wizardsfirstrule (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Wizard’s First Rule
Series: Sword of Truth #1
Author: Terry Goodkind
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 852
Format: Digital Edition



Richard Cypher, still dealing with his father being brutally murdered, and forbidden from investigating by his elder brother who is about to become the most powerful man in Westland, rescues a young woman from the clutches of four men. Her name is Kahlan.

Kahlan is from the Midlands, a land where magic abounds and that is cutoff from Westland by the Border, a magical construct. But the Border between the Midlands and D’Hara has already fallen and Lord Rahl, lord of D’Hara, has taken over the Midlands. A prophecy says that Kahlan will find the Seeker, the wielder of the Sword of Truth, in the Westlands. This Seeker can only be appointed by the last remaining wizard, a wizard so powerful that he cast a spell that made everyone in the entire world forget his name and his face.

Richard takes Kahlan to his old friend Zed, a rascally old man who has trained Richard throughout the years in woodcraft and various other skills. Richard does something or other that makes it obvious that he is the Seeker Kahlan is looking for, but where will they find an unkown wizard who has the Sword of Truth to give to Richard? Oh wait…

Richard, Kahlan and Zed are on the run, as Lord Rahl is able to send magical creatures across the Border to hunt down Kahlan. Richard has memorized a secret book and Lord Rahl has done some magical stuff with some magical boxes. These boxes will either give Lord Rahl complete power, certain death or the destruction of all living things. Only Richard knows the correct box to pick.

Lord Rahl pulls shenanigans and ends up with everybody at his castle. Everyone is so busy trying to protect everybody else that they give Lord Rahl exactly what he wants. He opens a Box of Orden, only Richard, being such a super smart Seeker, tricked him. Lord Rahl dies and it is revealed that Richard Cypher is actually the son of Lord Rahl and the grandson of the Wizard Zeddicus. Long Live the Good Lord Rahl!


My Thoughts:

Awwwww man! This went from a 5star read in ’04, on my Loved side of the 100 books of Bookstooge down to a 2 star! Folks, that is a crushing blow. I am not sure that Life itself is worth continuing. With a blow like that, my confidence is shattered, my ego destroyed and my ham-handed self-righteousness has been shish-kebabed.

Where do I start?

Well, the writing I guess. It was bad. It was clunky. It was choppy. It did not flow. When I read the words I felt like I was in a wagon going over a cobblestone road. Richard did things. Richard said things. Kahlan also did and said things. Zed AND Lord Rahl both said and did things. It felt like watching a marionette show. I have no memory of the writing being this unskilled 14 years ago. Guess I’ve matured in that time. Thank goodness!

The characters. Most of the issues with the various characters stems from the writing skill (or lack thereof) and not because of any inherent flaws in the characters. They are mainly flat without any real individuality. The romance between Richard and Kahlan has all the texture, flavor and excitement of drying cement. Zed, for being a wizard of great strength and age, is as much an idiot as Richard.

The Mord Sith. This was just disturbing this time around. A group of women broken in every single way so that pain is pleasure to them. Lord Rahl then somehow makes them able to control any magic used against them and the Mord Sith can torture the magic user until they are the Mord Sith’s slave. This was gone into in way more detail than was needed and I just felt dirty after reading it.

Everything is resolved because Richard is the golden boy. I usually like a protagonist who is capable and smart and able to handle everything thrown at him. This time though, Richard didn’t work that way for me. He’s so golden King Midas would be envious. It didn’t encourage me, it made me nauseous. It didn’t help that Goodkind uses Richard as a mouth piece and Goodkind blows the trumpet loud and long.

Overall, a very bleh read that really crushed me with how disappointed I was because of my memories.I will be removing this from the Bookstooge in 100 Books list once I find a suitable replacement to go on the “Loved” side. Way to go Goodkind, make MORE work for me almost 15 years after I read your book. You’re a real peach…



bookstooge (Custom)



43 thoughts on “Wizard’s First Rule (Sword of Truth #1) ★★☆☆☆

  1. Manuel Antao says:

    YEP. CRAP, CRAP, CRAP,… This is what gives SF a bad name…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lucindablogs says:

    😢 I’ve been looking forwards to reading this book for years. Bad writing is maybe something I could overlook….yeah, no, not going to happen. Thanks for the heads up though!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I found a couple books of this series at a used book shop and picked them up about 4 years ago. I still haven’t read them. They might just go back to the used book shop now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. saloni says:

    “He’s so golden King Midas would be envious” — holy crap, I snorted so loud at that. This book has such a high rating on Goodreads (anything about 4 is generally good) that I added it to my TBR list. But now I think I’ll pass. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Like I told Lucinda, maybe try a sample? But I do know that the series gets preachier and preachier the longer it goes on. The last book was chapters of Richard Rahl expounding on whatever Goodkind felt was important philosophically. It was BAD…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Darren Jones says:

    The only memorable thing about this book to me was the actual First Rule itself, which I routinely quote 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nicole says:

    Sigh, I have been wanting to try this book for ages and never got around to it. I may still pick it up from the library just to see if the writing annoys me as much as it did you, but it’s not anywhere near the top of my TBR now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ola G says:

    LOL 🙂 I can truly relate to your bitter dissapointment, but at the same time I’m perversely happy for it – else, you wouldn’t write this review, and it was a lot of fun 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This book was awful. Terrible writing, sketchy story telling, and punchable characters. Just all around left a bad taste in my mouth 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It’s always a disappointment to go back to a book and be disappointed by it when you once loved it. I’m hoping I don’t have that reaction to my rereads!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      This is definitely one of the downsides to re-reading. Some books get better and some don’t 😦

      So far, most of my re-reads tend to be on the “get better” side. I am very thankful for that.


  10. This is one of the fantasy series I most keep hearing about – often in glowing terms – and if memory assists me it was even turned into a tv series I have not watched. Despite all those accolades, something (what I’ve come to call my “book vibe”) did not encourage me to try Sword of Truth, and now that I’ve read your review I can understand why.
    “Always trust the book vibe, young Luke!” 😀

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh darn that’s quite a drop in star rating- I actually liked this book when I read it, but I have to agree that the writing is clunky. Shame this ended up being so disappointing the second time round!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Zezee says:

    This was one of the first books I read when I was getting into fantasy novels. I didn’t like it either and was so frustrated with the characters that I gave up on it. The TV show wasn’t much better, but I could tolerate it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. piotrek says:

    I’ve bought the first three books, years ago, and never got around to reading them. The TV show was bland and annoying, and then I’ve noticed various people who read it had similar views to yours… I guess now the books will forever remain in the furthest corner of my shelves, unread and unloved 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  14. savageddt says:

    after my run in with Eddings, all these nice “new re released old epic fantasy” has become a bit of a “meh, maybe i shouldnt try out more “classics”… Sucks tho, cuase i have been kinda tempted to try a goodkind for some time

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Yeah, considering how you reacted to Eddings, I’m hesitant to recommend any old fantasy to you know 🙂
      I’m going to be starting up a Wheel of Time re-read probably next year and that series I can definitely recommend.

      As for Goodkind, remember, I gave this 5stars all those years ago. So I liked the story back then. You might like it the first time around. I just can’t recommend it now because I don’t want people to waste time…

      Liked by 1 person

  15. How unfortunate… I saw this author getting scolded by fans on Twitter for a scandal regarding him publicly insulting the artist behind one of his latest book’s cover; and apparently everything was done with consent or whatever… Ah.. How fun these random social media dramas are. Did you reconsider joining the Hell Twitter is, yet? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. savageddt says:

    Dont think terry will be good or kind to me and neither will i if it goes same as with eddings

    Liked by 1 person

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