Blurb: (TV Series Trailer)
Deep in the upper Ven Forest, close to the Boundry, woodsman Richard Cypher is intent on tracking down his father’s killers. Richard has no idea of how far his quest will take him from home, nor that his world, his very beliefs, are about to be shattered…
Kahlan Amnell, tormented by treachery and loss, is being hunted, pursued remorselessly by a bloodthirsty tyrant’s assassins. A monstrous evil is about to be unleashed upon the world and she knows her one hope of halting it is to find the last great Wizard…
Together, Richard and Kahlan have a destiny that will not be denied, a destiny that will embroil them in a war three-millennia past… a war that is about to re-ignite with world-devouring violence.
Review: (Video review)
This book could easily be described with just one word: Perfect! It has a well described world, interesting characters and an imaginative magic system. I found the resolve equally as satisfying as each part of Kahlan and Richard’s journey. Richard who hasn’t journeyed far in his life, sure he has gone nearer to the boundary than he should, now has to pass across the entire width of the world in an attempt to stop the tyrant that is Darken Rawl. On his way he receives help from a few friends and is threatened by plenty of enemies. He also learns about different creatures that he hasn’t come across in his homeland, such as Gnars with their spy flies, a Night Wisp, Dragons, Witch women, Mud people, snakes, Heart Hounds, Ancestry Spirits and many more. We also learn about red poisoned fruit in the Westlands, poisonous snake vines near the magic boundary boarder and the Sword of Truth. There’s a magic book and three boxes of Orden that all come from the Westlands.This story is jam-packed with action, intrigues, magic and secrecy, which all feel larger than life. I simply adore this story that features both fighting battle scenes as well as emotional love dilemmas.
Message & Moral
This is a complex and detailed story that has many sub-messages all teaching of a separate moral standpoint. The debates revolve around whether or not killing is justified when in self-defence; or if self-defence is really just murder as your enemy might attempt to kill you in self-defence, depending from which angle you are looking at the problem. It depends on what lies you have been told and if you truly believe yourself to be in danger. Truth should be told and communicated rather than actions being acted before hearing can be heard, hence the Sword of Truth. What is the cost of a life…of truth…of friendship? How come you look upon the world as you do? All is relative to the eye of the beholder. I found this debate very interesting and elaborate, giving me food for thought even days after I finished the story.
Creatures & Environment
The creatures and the environment have been given a great deal of consideration by the author. They are vividly explained and the creatures are nothing like I have ever heard before. The closest I could liken this imaginative inspiration to would be Harry Potter. All the creatures and people have a part to play in the journey that Richard and Kahlan have to make through the country, all the way up to the home of Darken Rawl. The magic feeds the living and even the wilderness that they come across on their way. Everything from the living beings in the lake to tracking clouds in the sky envelope you into the depth of the tale.
Captivation and Continuity
Although this book was very long it still held my attention from the first word to its last. In every sentence there was information that added to the main plot or had a specific intended purpose. It was crafty, witty and utterly enchanting. I like the fact that the reader is let in on secrets that Richard Cypher yet hasn’t learned and hence you are waiting for when he learns about them to see how he will react. Other secrets are still held from the reader and allow you to keep pondering over how the story will end. There is for example a secret past of Richard’s father that he has not mentioned to either the reader nor Kahlan until the very end. The constant ambush that the two are exposed to from different imaginative creatures is mind blowing and it kept me turning the pages.
Language & Flow
The story is written following Richard and Kahlan, Darken Rawl and also the Queen’s viewpoints. The words are like paint on canvas with a wide range and variety. It has a flow that leaves mystery and pondering to be experienced by the reader. I never felt confused, even though there were so many different elements to keep track of. This is truly a masterpiece both in story plot and writing style.
T.M. Caruana’s Eternal Flame Award