Wizards First Rule by Terry Goodkind is the first volume in the sword of truth series and follows the adventures of Richard Cypher, an young woods guide who makes a life changing decision to help a lady in distress.
The woman richard rescues is Kahlan Amnell (Mother Confessor), who has crossed the boundry that stands between the midlands and westland in search of a legendary wizard.
The boundry is failing and the legendary first wizard Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander maybe the only one to stop it crumbling completely. However Richard himself has a heritage, he is the Seeker of Truth, one of the major powers in the kingdom, heir to the Sword of Truth and powerful enough to stand up against the evil Darken Rahl.
Darken Rahl, Ruler of D'Hara which lies beyond the midlands, is responsible for the destruction of the boundry, which was originally created to keep magic in the midlands and out of the westlands.
What started as a seemingly random act of kindness will lead to a quest that will forever alter the world.
Wizards first rule, and the sword of truth series are novels of exceptional quality with well thought out characters, a nicely paced plot and a very adult theme (dealing with fairly graphic violence including scenes of torture and S&M).
This adult element has led some people to be put of reading this story but in my opinion this is to their detriment. It is quite a bold move by Terry Goodkind to write a more adult book than most, and is quite refreshing, although for these reasons I wouldn't recommend the book to younger readers.
Terry's decision to give the protagonist in the story the very mundane name of Richard makes it easier to relate and bond with the character and makes him less the godlike hero of some stories and more like a common man. While some writers focus on world building, Terry spends his time character building and this really shows through, not just in Wizards First Rule but throughout the Sword of Truth series.
Highly recommended, just not for the younger reader.
Written on Monday 20th October 2008 by Antony Jones.
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