Terry Goodkind appreciation/attacking thread

I decided to start a thread devoted to extolling the virtues and vices of Terry Goodkind, writer of the Sword of Truth series. I’d like to kick things off with a quick first impression.

The Good: The characterizations. Chase is tough, Zedd is clever, and Rahl (while he was still alive) gets my vote for scariest evil overlord.

The Bad: Originality. I challenge readers to find one character or literary device not lifted whole from another series.

The Ugly: The proterilyzation. Yes, Terry, capitalism is good, communism is bad, and the Church has been corrupted from within by its own darker elements. Oh, yeah, abortion is also wrong. We get the picture. Now get on with the story.

Well I’m pissed that Pillars of Creation isn’t even about Richard and Kahlan. I got halfway through the book and gave up on it.

Seems like he went for the “drag out the story to a million books to make more money” scheme. Just like the other big writers, like Robert Jordan. Though at least Jordan’s books are still mainly about Rand.

I thought the first book was ok.


but the ending smacked of a “Fifth Element” love will conquer all cop out. I didn’t bother finishing the series.

I gave up on Goodkind a few books back. He’s unoriginal, and he writes to manipulate the emotions of the reader. There’s too much other good stuff out there to waste my time on him.

I also got tired of reading after the fourth book…something about the Tower of Winds. I wanted the baby gar back. So many interesting characters in the first book, then they just disappeared.

But Rand isn’t the only leadrole in the series. It’s strange when you don’t readabout Perrin or Mat in some of the books. It’s like they aren’t in trouble or doing something importend. Both Goodkind and Jordan are great writers but a bit more ontopic would be welcome.

He’s also quite predictable. There are some surprising bits to his stories (the first couple books, anyway), but I don’t think I’ve been surprised by an ending yet. (Except maybe for book 3, but just because it ended abruptly, like it should have gone on for another 150 pages or so.)

Read the first one, profoundly unmoved. Didn’t find any of the characters interesting or memorable, the plot to be another fill-in-the-blanks fantasy boilerplate (Is there some sort of Bloated Fantasy Epic Mad Libs floating around? Is there any way we can get it back from Robert Jordan so he’ll stop writing books?). Goodkind has a unique ability to write a three hundred page novel with out once establishing a clear setting. In my mind’s eye, it was like the characters were acting against a blue screen. The entire world felt lifeless and entirely artificial. Robert Jordan, at least, started off with a few good books before he began sucking wholesale. Goodkind couldn’t even get it right once.

I dedspise and still despise R Jordan’s books. He just somehow seems to drage every book out to interminable length.

I do like T Goodkind, though. For all that it isn’t original, I think he does it very, very well. I don’t need a brilliant new setting to enjoy, and the boks are actually a lot of fun. Ironically, though Pillars of Creation aren’t focused on Richard and Kahlan, I think it may be the strongest of the series. The characters are memorable - villians and heroes .

I have to agree with the detractors. I was totally uninterested in the characters or the plot. And I find Goodkind somewhat obsessed with the whole domination theme. While the wearing of a collar in the first book might have been a useful plot device, putting yet another collar in the second book made it tedious in the extreme. I’m told that he didn’t use this plot device in his other books, but by that time I just didn’t care. He also seems to have an amazing ability to tell a short story in a thousand pages.

I won’t comment on Jordan, so that we can keep the essense of the OP.

I read the first book–enjoyed the S&M chapters. That was about it. I don’t really have enough time to read something so generic. I have a huge number of better, more original books to dive into.

I suppose if I were stuck in an airport somewhere without a book, I might pick up the sequel. Maybe.

Read them all. The first two (maybe three) were okay. Not exactly great fiction, but the writing is passable (if just) and the story was fun. This was enough to keep me there.

The next few are unadultered shite. Goodkind’s prose somehow deteriorates into unmitigated cliche and hyberbole. His pacing becomes unwieldy and tiresome. Good characters either disappear or become mere ciphers. I lost what little belief I had in the ‘reality’ of the world Goodkind tries to paint.

And above all, I hate, hate, hate Goodkind’s attempt to drag his series above the cheesy fiction of the first few books into something with deeper meaning. It’s almost as if he was attempting for (snort) literature. He shouldn’t have bothered. Know thy limits, mate.

Urgh. I forgot all about that. I’ve got nothing against S&M, and I have the dirty magazines to prove it, but that scene was so wildly out of place. Up 'til that point, I had thought the book was aimed at the YA audience. Then, out of nowhere, it’s The Story of O. The hell? It was like the obligatory tit shot they used to show in teen movies just so they’d get a PG-13 rating. Cheap, tasteless, unnecessary. Which sums up the rest of his writing, so I guess it wasn’t so out of place after all.

Does anyone have anything to say about the wizard’s rules? I have managed to apply the first one on occasion.

Is this the one with the popular politicain who was trying to outlaw the use of fire in a midaeval society? Because I couldn’t read past that chapter.