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sayterdarkwynd t1_ixugavy wrote

Debatable. I enjoyed the series. Mostly.

The first four books are definitely the strongest of the bunch: Kahlan especially becomes a remarkable character at some point. But as many have said: there are certain motifs that are consistently revisited. The Mord-Sith are a major "character" in the series and will try to reinvent themselves as something better eventually....but you still need to deal with their shit.

And there are hundreds (and I do mean hundreds) of pages of philosophical drivel which if you do not agree with drag on and on and on. *Especially* in book 6 where (once again) the main character is fucking abducted and held against his will.


LordOfTheStrings8 t1_ixuwekk wrote

>Especially* in book 6 where (once again) the main character is fucking abducted and held against his

Oh man I remember that part - I think he spends literally around 100 pages going on about why he should be free and why the enemy is wrong.


Zoenne t1_ixv1lim wrote

Yep, this whole book is basically "won't anyone think of the plight of entrepreneurs under communism?"


molly_the_mezzo t1_ixv5jvg wrote

I genuinely think the series is fun and I like it, but when I recommend it I give like 20 warnings, and tell them to either skip book six, or just cut their losses after five.


Zoenne t1_ixv6p1s wrote

Yeah I don't actually recommend it anymore, because it's just Too Much in many ways XD For me it's clear there was a big drop in quality after book 5, but we couldn't have known that when we read the series as it was being published. So if you're already invested you might as well continue, if you see what I mean? I re-read the first few books a couple of times each when I was waiting for the later ones to come out, and then I read those mostly out of curiosity about how it ended. I read The Omen Machine when it came out (marketed as "a Richard and Kahlan novel", set directly after the last book of SoT) and just hated it. I havent read any of the Nicci books either.


bpusef t1_ixv6s48 wrote

Tbh book 5 is probably worse.


molly_the_mezzo t1_ixv76ef wrote

I can handle anything but that goddamn statue, I don't care how bad it is lol


bpusef t1_ixvsmtt wrote

You may actually be right. The statue is maybe the most absurd thing in the story.


sayterdarkwynd t1_ixuxtg7 wrote

To be fair, compared to the rival forces philosophy he kinda *was* right. But dragging on and on through the entire book from essentially the starting paragraph till the very last few pages? That was a bit much. All while converting every female character that crosses Richard into a fangirl and revelling in being friendzoned.


HoeNamedAsh t1_ixul7vd wrote

The books are hard to read and do droll. It had potential with the world building. The TV series is leagues above the books I’m mad it got cancelled.


sayterdarkwynd t1_ixuwfkf wrote

I hated that piece of shit television show. Especially the casting. Kahlan was good. Zedd and Richard were just...wrong. And painfully bad. Books were superior, IMO.

Worldbuilding-wise I love the universe, and I do appreciate it as a whole (I enjoyed the series despite the preachy bits.) Once I found Erikson and Sanderson and others like them, however, I simply never went back to Goodkind.


Sometimesummoner t1_ixv10c7 wrote

There is certainly Rule 34 out there somewhere of John Galt and Richard Rahl just ranting about being so exceptional.


0rlan t1_ixuy6v7 wrote

I completely agree with that comment! I really enjoyed the series overall but there's definitely a couple in the middle that get very 'samish'. The stand alone titles are worth a read too.


greenappletree t1_ixuz542 wrote

Yah it’s one of those series that I don’t mind reading hundred upon hundred of pages but don’t particularly think it’s that good. I think i stopped after then 4 th as well. One criticism were the weird bdsm/masochistic which I found weird and didn’t really add to the stories.


teamwaterwings t1_ixv31mx wrote

Yeah I love this series but Christ when he literally stands on a stump to give a speech


LurkerFailsLurking t1_ixvc7h7 wrote

>Especially in book 6 where (once again) the main character is fucking abducted and held against his will.

In book 1 he's abducted and tortured and turned into a BDSM sex slave and eventually falls in love with his captor right?


justice_high t1_ixujoem wrote

Textbook example of diminishing returns. I remember loving “Wizard’s First Rule” and was hoping for more of that philosophy in the series, but the second and third books take a turn towards more S&M and capture porn.

Basically I think the series was irrelevant and the first book is all you need, but your mileage may vary.


woodsmoke-and-waves t1_ixuwroo wrote

Wish I’d stopped at the first as well. I got to four or five when I called it quits.


ThisIsOurGoodTimes t1_ixuxoqh wrote

I read pretty much all of them he wrote and would say it isn’t worth it. Never been more frustrated reading books, but it is really good world building and usually had good endings


teamwaterwings t1_ixv3bo2 wrote

Yeah Wizards first rule is one of my favorite books ever. Quality drops in each successive book


Annoying_guest t1_ixuht1h wrote

The series just came off as some Ayn Rand wizard BS to me


see-bees t1_ixuju31 wrote

OP is a few books away from where it goes full blown Ayn Rand.


Sacred-Moose OP t1_ixunzlf wrote

I made the mistake of reading Atlas Shrugged last year... Shoulda put that one down so maybe this is the same...


panesofglass t1_ixuss9f wrote

If you didn’t like Ayn Rand, then you will most certainly not like this series.


Sacred-Moose OP t1_ixuw82a wrote

/\ probably one of the most helpful comments then for me lol


unlovelyladybartleby t1_ixukdz6 wrote

I liked them okay, but I'm the kind of reader who can skim a boring part and then re-engage when something interesting happens. The torture is easy enough to skim over. It's creepy and monotonous but I've read worse

My biggest problem is that they appear to be written for people with no memory- each book spends more and more time summarizing the previous books but again I skim those parts.

There is some truly great story and some well developed secondary characters hiding in there if you're willing to search for it, and there's a lot of dreck to slog through while you're searching.

Get one from the library and see if you like it, if you don't, take it back


ginger_genie t1_ixuszmp wrote

Right? Someone needs to edit the series down to 5-7 books and they would be good!


Yard_Sailor t1_ixul5cw wrote

Drop them while you can. I’d recommend switching over to The Codex Alera, Feist’s Magician series or the Belgariad.


blackwrensniper t1_ixuqgtc wrote

The series is absolutely full of rape and torture. It genuinely becomes just cliche after a point that the bad guy will either be a rapist or a torturer or occasionally a child murderer... And then there is a book where the plot is a single statue is so god damn pretty and nails the human experience so fully it absolutely will inspire an entire nation to overthrow their oppressive leaders.

If you just need something to kill vast amounts of time, it'll work.


Truth_ t1_ixuykoz wrote

One of them in the first book is a pedophile, isn't he?

Many, many cliches. Weird magic shenanigans. Don't recommend.


TyroneCash4money t1_ixv1drv wrote

Yes. The antagonist kidnaps a child and he has to warn his subordinate that the child is off-limit. Said subordinate is known to rape and murder little boys, in that order.


Yurarus1 t1_ixv41u6 wrote

People like this exist in our world, no one can write about them?


TyroneCash4money t1_ixv98i5 wrote

Not sure how you got that from my comment.


Yurarus1 t1_ixvasob wrote

Your reply was in support of "cliche" stories, like one of the characters being a pedo.

You went to agree and explain in depth the character in question.

Thus you agreeing with the fact that a cliche pedophile character is redundant, i was just clarifying your intent, do you agree that such characters should not be written solely by the basis of their pedophilic cliche characterization.


Truth_ t1_ixvficu wrote

I don't need pedophilia in my books, regardless of how the real world operates.

Additionally, cliches are boring. And over-the-top mustache-twirling one-sided bad guys are generally pretty uninteresting.


TyroneCash4money t1_ixvhwbn wrote

Still not sure how you got any of that from my comment. I agreed he was a pedophile, and clarified he's a murderer too.


Griffen_07 t1_ixucnr1 wrote

No. The second book opens with the MC once again sold to a sex cult. I bailed 2-3 chapters into book 2.

Do note the middle is one long love letter the the philosophy of Ann Rand.


VividBed414 t1_ixubjr0 wrote

The torture turns up a lot it felt like it was nearly every book. The dominatrix nuns are a fairly main set of characters. I gave up for that reason about book 4?


Fanofmuch t1_ixuiut9 wrote

I read nearly them all... Started as fun fantasy, but by the end I felt it was more a pulpit for big Terry to whack us with his adopted philosophy. I also felt the build up to the fight with the Big Bad was vastly overdone vs how the Big Bad was dealt with. A let down. I wouldn't go back to reading them.


sayterdarkwynd t1_ixuytoz wrote

Especially since the Dance with Death was teased for an entire book, culminating into one of the best moments of the entire series...and he didn't even use it on the Final Boss because *checks notes* oh yea, he got captured again.


minirunner t1_ixum632 wrote

It’s been a million years but I had to stop at the one where the MC spends the entire book carving/building something. Can’t remember now what it was. A statue?


sonickay t1_ixurmlt wrote

A statue that is so amazing and wonderful that it inspires a revolution. Because something something nobility of man something something socialism is bad.


sayterdarkwynd t1_ixuycdh wrote

something something oh look now Nikki loves him too just like everyone else.

Which for some reason immediately erases the fact that she's a murdering psychopath who has literally bled children slowly because her undead boss asked her to. No problem, says Richard, just join my posse and we'll fuckin' hang out and stuff! You're hot and young so we have room for you!

My personal guard tortured kids and adults and still carry devices on their hips that immediately send anything they touch into severe fits of agony. But it doesn't kill so its no biggie!


sonickay t1_ixv0fv7 wrote

In a…sort of defense-ish…I’m pretty sure Richard ordered those weapons get destroyed but the Mord Sith refused. He wasn’t amped about it.

But yeah, he’s strangely forgiving of murderous women.


Wind_up_crybaby t1_ixv1i63 wrote

In Ayn Rand philosophy, women are objects, so they can be repurposed.


Sandi_T t1_ixueobo wrote

God no! That dominatrix porn goes on and on and on book after book. And it manages to get, of all things, WORSE.

It goes from torture to public humiliation.

When it came to the point where >!he's forced to eat from a dish on the floor like a dog (which by the way was done to me for three years as a child while in foster care, so maybe I'm over sensitive?)!< I quit reading it.

I learned it goes on well past that point, too.

Zero redeeming qualities in those books.

Stop torturing yourself (pun exceedingly purposeful).


FreudsteinLives t1_ixv3om1 wrote

Jesus Christ, I'm so sorry that happened to you.


Sandi_T t1_ixv48x2 wrote

Thank you. I think people can be a little too detached from things like this and not really understand the depths of how much it dehumanizes a person.


diditwithvaginamagic t1_ixulu3q wrote

I forced myself to read the whole series hoping it would redeem itself in the end, but I remember (and I’ll try to say this spoiler free) that the true ending went back and spoiled the ending of the first book in a certain way, which I had enjoyed when reading it. So I slogged through all the lost potential of a world that was almost interesting as it was built, all the political straw man plots, just to ruin something that made me want to continue the series in the first place. Unfortunately this one was my worst series ever.


Haplo164 t1_ixudlgx wrote

You wouldn't be missing anything worth while. I made the mistake of reading most of them I'm my post Robert Jordan passing depression. I think I was on the last one and something just made me put it down, unfinished, and never look back. To this day I still consider it my lowest point in reading.


Lost_Bells t1_ixuqvob wrote

Finishing this series taught me never to waste my time reading books I don't enjoy.

OP, I'm a huge fan of fantasy, but don't think Goodkind is a talented writer. A lot of the books devolve into preachy, pseudo philosophy, and it's painfully obvious. The first book is the high point of the series, so if you want to give it a shot, just know that if you're not feeling it by then it's only going to get worse.


jam_manty t1_ixupbrr wrote

I couldn't do it. I cringed my way through the first book and hated 2. For some reason I still bought three. Even worse than one and two.

It felt like one huge justification for rape and torture because it hardens you and makes you stronger.

No Terry! Bad Terry! That doesn't harden anyone, it destroys lives.


Lombard333 t1_ixut010 wrote

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that Terry Goodkind was a shitty person in real life. When Robert Jordan couldn’t attend a convention because of his heart problems, Goodkind stepped up to contribute that he himself had a perfectly healthy heart. Just a scummy guy


Uch3rB1 t1_ixug530 wrote

Got tired of passages that felt they were cut and pasted from the clipboard.


see-bees t1_ixuq5jq wrote

What are your feelings on rape as a plot device? Or MASSIVE deus ex machina? There’s a non-zero chance that rape is actually used AS deus ex machina at some point, I can’t really remember all of the details anymore.


ReadingRoutine5594 t1_ixuks1m wrote

The chicken of evil frankly makes everything worthwhile. I wish more people acknowledged evil chickens.


lowlandr t1_ixum3qz wrote

The first couple of books were fine. Then it get's into a loop of "Yay they're together Oh no they're apart, omg how can they get back together" for a few books, then it goes into some kind of Ayn Rand shit and I stopped there.


PBandBABE t1_ixuc8e2 wrote

It’s a very long series. And if you’re enjoying it, then go for it. Richard, Kahlan, Zedd, and the rest can be entertaining.

After a while, though, it’s kind of like going to church by yourself.


megagngn t1_ixuruv5 wrote

First. I love the books very much. But this is a series that I just can't recommend to others. You have to see for yourself. I fell in love with the series 20 pages in. (First saw a couple of episodes of the TV series)

The books have many flaws, but if you like the first book you should read further. If you have to ask others then just stop. This is not a series that the majority likes. And I can see the problems with the books even though I love them.

It is extremely bad and extremely good at the same time. If you focus on the bad then you will only find shit. If you don't like rolling your eyes (every 200 pages) then this series is not for you. If you don't enjoy richard having headaches then the series is not for you.

Decide for yourself. I like it(even love it). I totally understand why others hate it.


VonnegutGNU t1_ixulmj8 wrote

If you only read Wizard's First Rule and then select chapters of the Chainfire arc, then yeah, it's ok 👍


jjbombadil t1_ixum5ne wrote

I am so tired of the reluctant hero troupe that Richard got boring really quickly.


ZennyDaye t1_ixumhx4 wrote

Read them as a child, maybe early teens, so I don't remember much except that the female love interest was very annoying and the hero was as well. I actually liked Denna, that's how annoyed I was by the heroine and how much I didn't mind Richard being tortured. Best part of the book for me.

The only one I enjoyed was the one without either of the main characters. Pillars of Creation. It was so refreshing, but the book after that one went back to the regular hero and I just couldn't read the series anymore.

If you're not enjoying it, I say abandon ship. There's nothing in it that makes them must-read or even should-read aside from them being uber popular for some reason once upon a time.


onyxaj t1_ixurj3h wrote

I read them all. At least the first full "story" before it was added on. And sadly, I can't recommend it.

The story starts really good, but then it gets annoying. There's hundreds of pages just basically describing why Communism is bad. I agree, but it gets old fast, and KEEPS droning on about it. The main character starts to just lose, lose, lose in everything he tries, which is a trope I hate. And the climax was anything but. There was a set up fir an epic finish, and then - "OH, I can just do this."


OlmesartanCake t1_ixus08h wrote

It was my introduction to fantasy, so I'm going to say yes.


Douchie_McBaggus t1_ixuuv2v wrote

Do you like Ayn Rand, BDSM, and libertarian fantasy? If yes to all three, you’ll probably like these books.


Pulsiix t1_ixuwpmz wrote

It's so much fun to read if only for how absurdly stupid it can get, otherwise it's an awful series of books drenched in gross ideologies

but for real, I can think back to reading this in high school and instantly picture like 5 different scenes that just shock me in the weirdest way possible

for example; the main character kicks the jaw off of a child and fights an evil chicken

edit: or when he beats communism with the power of american football

edit2: I could literally go on all night, he gets mad at his gf cos he slept with her while pretending to be his brother even though he thought he was sleeping with another woman at the time.

he made a statue so beautiful that he collapsed an entire government

he killed a bunch of pacifists in the name of peace

murdered his way out of prison only for his captives to be so impressed they offer him a position on their sports team

edit3: i'm sorry these links need to be added to the thread it's absolute gold i could go on about these books all night


EHP42 t1_ixv2q8w wrote

Oh man I had completely forgotten about Gollum appearing in the first book.


ViskerRatio t1_ixuxnad wrote

Unfortunately, I think the series falls prey to the all-too-common business model of writing one book to see if there's interest and then following it up with a dozen books to pummel that interest into the ground.

If you look at it as a single, cohesive work, then you really get the "this could have used an editor" impression that there's simply too much and a lot could have be trimmed/excluded/modified to create a more streamlined narrative.

If you look at it as an episodic work (think Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys), then you've got too much backstory to learn. Imagine you're watching Friends and unable to understand what's going on because you skipped the entire season spent following Monica in cooking school.


Retchers t1_ixuk1ac wrote

I enjoyed the first half dozen them bored of them


zedatkinszed t1_ixumm2o wrote

No. They're crap and nobody should be supporting Goodkind's work. He was as terrible a person as he was a writer.


daynewolf036 t1_ixuq68u wrote

I read the whole series, and all the extra books after and I can sat it can be a slog. For most of it I would say it is about as enjoyable as you're average action movie. Not particularly well done but fun.

There is about a book and a half that is just about rugby. It's like the author just discovered that it existed.

There's another that is about how communism is bad and capitalism is good.

So, take from that what you will.


theantig t1_ixuqrtl wrote

I read through the first 5-7 books and stop every time. It feels like the dragon ball z effect. We make him too strong and the bad guys become galaxy level threats to compete. So they have to find a way to make a new threat stronger or unique enough to matter. I always get lost at the same book and stop. The books draw you in and one of the books is hard to read (between books 3 or 4 I think) but the last 1/4 of the book is amazing. I would read until you can’t push on anymore. It’s well written in my opinion.


Algrim2001 t1_ixuseon wrote

I liked the first three, tolerated the fourth, hated the fifth and stopped reading.


jimmysprunt t1_ixutx6d wrote

No. Just read Wheel of time.


Shadeflayer t1_ixuxym9 wrote

No. Talk about a snooze fest. After book four I’d rather slit my wrists then keep reading.


Berzurker t1_ixuvbc3 wrote

I thought Wizard’s first rule was amazing. It’s one of my favorite fantasy books in fact. The issue is that each subsequent book in the series gets progressively worse. In my opinion, everything beyond book 4 isn’t worth reading.


Whoreson_Welles t1_ixuvd8f wrote

No. Furthermore, no. Also and not coincidentally, no. Hard no. Absolutely.

Nothing worse than watching him fall of a cognitive cliff into some of the most twitchy, red-eyed, arm wavy libertarian chicken doodle you can imagine, after being so entertaining in the first books.


Ducea_ t1_ixuxsrb wrote

There is so many better authirs and books, dont bother with SoT


copylefty t1_ixuxuws wrote

First few books are great but Goodkind is a lunatic libertarian and he spends WAAAAYYYYY too much time spouting drivel. He doesn’t even attempt to be sneaky about it, to the point that I consider everything after book four to be propaganda.

I read the whole damn series when I was much younger. It turned into a slog and the end of the series was really bad. It went on far too long and quality went off the deep end. The last book in particular was terrible, even worse than the prior four or five. It seemed to me that he had a contractual obligation to finish but even he got bored with his own political ideology, story, and characters.


TLDR2D2 t1_ixv0c35 wrote

Oh god no. Run as far and as fast as you can in the other direction.

Fuck Terry Goodkind and his insufferable brand of repetitive, preachy drivel.

This is the worst fantasy I've read by a mile (and I've read a lot). But more than that, they're some of the worst books I've ever read.

To be totally fair, the first book is decent and the second isn't bad. After that, it's a pretty rapid decline. By the end of book 4 I hated the series and his writing with a goddam passion.


judjuds t1_ixv38b2 wrote

The only thing this series has that other books in the genre don’t are the graphic depictions of gore and violence often sexual violence. He also dedicates the entirety of book 6 to a ham fisted allegory about why capitalism > communism. But if I’m being honest I did enjoy them as a teen when I probably shouldn’t have been reading them but I would never go back for a re-read


Jestinphish t1_ixug93l wrote

Read what you like, not what Reddit likes. It’s popular to shit on the Goodkind series here on Reddit (I can’t recall it ever getting much praise, but people love to jump on the bandwagon once the negative comments start coming in). The series is slow moving on some parts and not so much in others. I personally loved the series.


Sacred-Moose OP t1_ixuoa5h wrote

Just looking for opinions because I'm not sure if I like it or not yet. It's a big time investment to do the whole series so looking at what both sides think! What did you love about it? I definitely have enjoyed some aspects so far.


Jestinphish t1_ixuwb48 wrote

I liked his writing style. I liked some of the storyline with Richard and Kahlan. I enjoyed some of Nicci’s arc throughout the series. Other parts not so much. I didn’t like the Omen Machine and there was one other book I really plodded through. Im absolutely on board with the criticism that his writing becomes redundant as the books go on. It’s not in the top ten of series I’ve read, but nonetheless, as an overall series, I enjoyed it. But as you can see by the downvotes, it’s just not a popular series. But truly my only point is read what you enjoy. Nothing wrong with stopping in the middle of a series if it’s no longer enjoyable.


TheDoomedDeist t1_ixuvtlr wrote

I also really enjoyed the series but it is very political. There are some parts I really, really enjoyed. There are also whole pages you can skim through because he’s restating the same philosophical stuff he’s already said a dozen times in the books.


Jestinphish t1_ixuww41 wrote

I absolutely skimmed many, many pages of it. I’ll never argue the points that his writing becomes redundant along the way and many, many themes were borrowed (if not outright copied/stolen) from other authors. Nonetheless, overall I enjoyed the series.


TheOtherCrow t1_ixuqxqv wrote

I read it when I was a teenager, so it's been a bit. I really liked the first book. After that I liked the stories less and less. Without too many spoilers, Richard is a special kind of wizard, and besides one brief moment for one section of a story, he never learns how to use his wizard powers. They mostly just turn up whenever he needs to dues ex machina his way out of a situation he can't fix with his sword. He's also an artist so he just gets artistic inspiration on how to fix things and it felt like a cop out most of the time. The soft core torture porn themes of the books didn't bother me, I was a teenager so I was probably into it at the time. The main characters just got less interesting to me over time. The side characters were great though. Zed? Loved that guy.


Smyley12345 t1_ixurcve wrote

I enjoyed the first 2 or 3. They get worse as they go. The last book in the series feels like the author went through a checklist of loose ends and wrapped them up whether it fit the story or not. It was a disservice to the first few books.


PillagetheVillage t1_ixus3l7 wrote

I read the series, I don't remember when maybe book 3 or 4 it turns into some weird struggle vs socialism shit. Then basically devolves into the Author's take on odd romance novel from the grocery store.


Kungfumonkeyman t1_ixuswiq wrote

I absolutely enjoyed the series, but if it hasn't grabbed you enough to finish it faster than a few months then its probably not a good series for you. You may just not have much time to read, and thats fine, its not meant as a criticism towards you, but if you find it difficult to go back and read more, then you most likely would be better off finding another series to pass your time. Listen to the audio books while you drive to and from wherever or something like that if you want to continue the story. I enjoyed Faith of the Fallen and seem to be one of the few in this thread that did. The S&M girls are there through the whole story, but their purpose in it all changes while their tactics do not. The more you begin to understand them, the more you realize they don't do the things because they want to, they just dont know of any other way. The pillars of creation was a good read as well, and could technically be read stand alone for the most part. Knowing the main characters from the series should be enough, if I recall, to not have any "what the hell was that" moments.


Sacred-Moose OP t1_ixx6uj7 wrote

Parent with not a lot of time to read lol but starting new commuting job so may audiobook the rest...


Kungfumonkeyman t1_ixxqwrp wrote

understandable! At least you are giving your imagination a stretch with reading as you can.....such a nice escape and stress relief!


FreeQ t1_ixuvjfq wrote

My dad used to read me these as a bedtime story as a kid. It got really awkward with the dominatrixes and whatnot. Clearly Terry G is writing with his left hand. I gave up on book 6 where it got really boring.


Little_Guarantee_693 t1_ixuvqyd wrote

I didn’t finish the series. There was a definite decline in quality as it went along. I finished #5 and never went back.


mrtwogoobs t1_ixuw5p5 wrote

I’d read the series as a teenager, and enjoyed it back then.

Would I enjoy it if I read it for the first time now ~ 20 years later? Bags! I don’t know. There are erotic scenes sprinkled throughout the series so there’s no escaping that. I do fondly remember the magic system in that series, and Richard’s journey off the beaten path.

Everyone has different standards for literary works, and if you enjoyed the first book, then keep reading.


egotistical-dso t1_ixux5wz wrote

Not even a little. SoT is basically the awkward love child of Atlas Shrugged and The Wheel of Time series. Goodkind shamelessly rips them off so much that Robert Jordan and Ayn Rand practically deserve a writing credit. I actually like both Atlas Shrugged and The Wheel of Time and I found the series practically unreadable. Every book is about how Richard Rahl, Goodkind's protagonist, is basically the perfect specimen of human power and will, and overcomes seemingly impossible odds through unearned and low-effort deus ex machina powers.

This is to say nothing about Goodkind's treatment of women in his books. I'm hardly a bleeding hearted feminist, but Goodkind challenges that, not because he writes women in a deft and nuanced way, but because basically every woman in the series seems to exist to serve Goodkind's BDSM/rape fantasies that it gets actively uncomfortable to read at times.

There's so much more, but to leave you with one of my favorite moments from the series that illustrates just how great a shitbag Richard is and how disconnected Goodkind is from any sort of normative morality in a series all about morality, in Book 1 Richard is captured by bad guys. He's then paraded before one of the bad guy's allies and her court, including her 7 year old daughter. Princess Minibitch mocks Richard for being in chains and sticks her tongue out at him. Richard responds to this by kicking Minibitch in the face, shattering her jaw and severing her tongue. Richard's jailer, a hot woman in skintight red leather, responds to this by taking Richard away and having sex with him.


MsEdgyNation t1_ixux8qm wrote

I became aware of the books through the tv series and was disappointed by them. It's an interesting world, but Goodkind's writing style grates on me. YMMV.


vendetta0311 t1_ixuxeho wrote

I liked the series. It has a lot of unique world-building things that aren’t fully explained and gives a lot of depth to the history. Like you find out all this crazy shit from the distant past but it leaves you with more questions than answers. Some of that stuff I still think about today when imagining making my own worlds.


Shadeflayer t1_ixuxjzh wrote

Oh hell yes! One of my favorites. I’ve use a quote from one of the books numerous times in the business world to explain roles… Goes something like “You are the steel against steel (cyber security team). I am the magic against magic (politics).”


LongFang4808 t1_ixuxtzb wrote

I don’t know, it lost me after they “convinced” a group of dudes their dicks fell off without using any magic.


strangeCreature1990 t1_ixuy598 wrote

Ive read first 3-4 volumes, then gave up, vol 1 and 2 were kinda cool but then the author keeps adding on unecessary plotlines that have little to nothing to offer besides a filler (and boring one at that)

The moment I gave up, was when 3 characters literarily stood in the middle of nowhere, debating on where to go next FOR ONE HUNDRED PAGES


siggitiggi t1_ixuy7yb wrote

I read the entire series, out of pure stubborness.

First book is good. Second is ok.

Then it turns into weird torture porn and rants on hating socialism and communism.

10/10 never reading again.


iliveonramen t1_ixuyjky wrote

Great man theory + Ayn Rand with a healthy dose of S&M and dues ex machina.

I started reading the books when they were first released and book one I was like “ok, lets see where this is going” and ultimately it’s one of the few series I just quit.

If you can slog through the objectivism political theory it’s tough to also deal with how the world ending threat you just read for 800 pages is resolved by some simple act.

The super duper great man that has some magical John Gault insight into reality is a boring sociopath.

Very few books I’ve read and actually hated and this was one of them.


Mirawenya t1_ixuz1ia wrote

Is this the series where there’s page upon page about how much they love each other and it feels like it’s never gonna move on from what should have lasted four sentences?


Puffrud t1_ixuz4j4 wrote

Short answer: NO. But hey thats just my opinion.


exb165 t1_ixuz8f3 wrote

The series starts strong but then goes on for far too long. I didn't finish them.


Gromit801 t1_ixv0puo wrote

Libertarian fantasy writing. Goodkind fell into the Clive Cussler trap: formulaic writing, predictability. Details change, but certain things happen over and over.


Goadfang t1_ixv0t8m wrote

Thry start off okay, but God do they go on. I made it through to the end, so did my wife, but both of us regret wasting so much time on the last half of the series. Just read the first 3 or so and you'll have read them all, at least in theme, as the author just goes back the same well over and over again until it's dry, then when the horse dies of dehydration he starts just kicking and kicking and kicking the shit out of that horse. If you think this analogy is being stretched a bit thin then you will think the premise of Sword of Truth is stretched even thinner.


4899slayer t1_ixv1gk8 wrote

The series is a blatant rip off of the wheel of time and the omen machine is a blatant rip off of game of thrones. The only thing terry adds is awful political ramblings since he believes that ayn rand and the bible are the only other books someone should read.


siskulous t1_ixv1q3s wrote

The first few books are worth the read. I wouldn't go past book 4 though.

I used to love the series, but it got to the point where it was just too much in-your-face objectivism.


discere-est-vivet t1_ixv20re wrote

Too keep it short: no, don’t bother. Gets wayyyy too preachy.


Johnykbr t1_ixv25om wrote

No. No no no no no. The first book set up a surprisingly good world despite some very huge holes then the next 13 or 14 or however many books just destroy it. Plus it has one of the most anticlimactic villain fights I've ever read.

Also to add the author is a dick.


Adarkes01 t1_ixv266l wrote

To this day the first book is the ONLY BOOK EVER I couldn’t finish.

It’s just so dogshit.


PunkandCannonballer t1_ixv27sj wrote

My thoughts as a reader who dropped it after book one:

Absurdly not. It's a trope filled mess that steals blatantly from other authors, rides Ayn Rand's dick from sun up to sun down, and has a pretty gross depiction of rape and women both in terms of quantity and depravity. To top it off, the author was a massive asshole.

I really can't think of anything praiseworthy about the book I read, and doubt very much that the series as a whole would be any different.


pettythief1346 t1_ixv2eq7 wrote

No, I dropped the second book a couple chapters in because it was just torture porn.


randscott t1_ixv3zod wrote

I like the part where the witch shows up and says "don't do this or bad stuff" and they do it anyway.


Geek_Therapist t1_ixv4178 wrote

Depends how much you love Ayn Rand. He grtd i suffer able about it starting around book 5 and it just gets worse from there.

Also, the pattern of "horrible thing" that is solved with new spell that was banned gets painfully predictable.


DrRockenstein t1_ixv45kf wrote

I got tired of the ending being "richards just the best it just took him a bit to realize it"


aptom203 t1_ixv4g7u wrote

The first few books are pretty good, but it becomes extremely obvious libertarian propaganda as it goes on.


starvald_demelain t1_ixv4hx3 wrote

Starts out decent but that's it. Not worth it and quickly deteriorates to garbage with it's torture and rape elements. There are just countless better fantasy books and series out there more worth your time.


books-ModTeam t1_ixv4l62 wrote

"Is X worth reading?" or "Should I finish Y?" type posts are considered recommendation requests and should be posted in the weekly recommendation thread.


Icarium13 t1_ixv79m2 wrote

Yeah you could definitely just read the first four and then put it down.

I first read the series back when I was in my late teens and it was definitely more impactful for a younger reader. Looking at it now 20+ years later it definitely has a cringe factor I didn’t recognize at the time, which really becomes more noticeable after book 4.


njormrod t1_ixv51d6 wrote

No. Don't read the series.

I LOVED the first book. It was amazing. The book had a message, a philosophy, ideas. It was mentally stimulating.

High on book one, I read the whole series in a few months. I didn't realize it at the time, but the other books weren't fascinating. This is how I read them all so quickly - they weren't deep enough to slow me down.

Later, when I had some time to reflect upon the books, I realized what it was: the books switched to fan fiction. The plot took a back seat to being cool. They were no longer deep. It was like watching a sequel to a great Hollywood blockbuster - clearly lacking the magic of the original.

I like rereading books. I haven't picked this series back up.


Zoenne t1_ixv66y8 wrote

As someone who loved the series as a teen, and is currently listening to the audiobooks to fall asleep at night, I wouldnt recommend it. It's nostalgic to me, but VERY WTF in places. A random list of stuff:

  • lots or rape and torture. Often graphic. Child rape as well (beginning of the series). Gang rape. Main (male) character is also raped, but it's never identified as such and he ends up "loving" his rapist.
  • lots of anti-socialist / anti-communist rants, usually propped up by caricatural strawman plots and character design. Ie, the bad guys from book 3 onwards are just a caricature of communists. Book 6 is basically "won't anyone think of the plight of entrepreneurs under communism?". Goodkind is openly libertarian and an objectivist, and a follower of Ayn Rand.
  • related: as the books go on, the "rants" get longer and longer, up until it takes up several pages. One character would just monologue endlessly about individual freedom or about the Common Good (depending on which side they're on). None of this is done in the character's unique voice either, so they all end up sounding the same.
  • each book takes great care to repeat, re-explain or summarise what had happened previously. That's great if you pick up the next book after a long break, especially as the magic system and history of the world can get a bit complex. Not so great if you read the series in one go.
  • some of the plot elements seem quite derivative bordering on plagiarism (Samuel / Gollum for example), while others are truly original.
  • for the audiobook versions: the reader changes almost every book. Most of the time that's not really an issue, apart for book 4 (I think?) In which the reader pronounces some names wrong (including that of the female lead!)

That said, it can be beautifully written in places, and some of the characters are really endearing. Despite the abundant sexual violence, and the fact that most of the adult female characters are "one of the most beautiful women Richard had ever seen", female characters are plentiful and interesting in their own right. The series also has several older characters (both male and female) who survive and stay important throughout the series (none of that "and then the old mentor dies so that the hero has to grow up"). It's also kinda refreshing that Richard and Kahlan are both established adults with careers and such, and not teenagers / young adults.


Waffletimewarp t1_ixusuvt wrote

No. He’s a hack that stole most of his stuff from better authors and Ayn Rand. He’s also an absolute garbage dump of a human being.


there are a plethora of better authors out there, even a better Terry, specifically.


rizkreddit t1_ixuc4kp wrote

There's not many instances like you mentioned. I remember just one more softcore event, which is pretty crucial to the story line actually. Series is worth it though. I enjoyed it when I was 25-26. Don't think I'd like it now.


Sandi_T t1_ixuf3m5 wrote

Couldn't disagree with this more. The dominatrix crap is all over at minimum the first three books (in fairness, I didn't finish the third one all the way).

Maybe you just don't see it because it's not a big deal to you. People who intensely dislike it are going to see it all throughout (as I said, at minimum) the first few books.

Someone who knows me well and what I've been through told me it continues throughout.


rizkreddit t1_ixufflg wrote

That makes sense too :) cheers


Sandi_T t1_ixufupk wrote

To you, as well!

I kind of envy you that, btw. Being unbothered by stuff, lol.


rizkreddit t1_ixugtlv wrote

I keep chasing the fantasy high, maybe I'm too tunnel visioned on that to let other stuff bother me. Reading malazan right now after having put it off for years and now I'm just afraid I've run out of the best we have available to us.

I'd be envious of your sensitivity lol, because that would increase the spectrum of things I could enjoy yeah.


Sandi_T t1_ixuhltq wrote

Oh, believe me, you don't want the sensitivity. It definitely doesn't increase enjoyment, lol.

I love the fantasy genre, too. Weirdly, it took me a really long time (decades) to read J.R.R. Tolkien, believe it or not. I'm glad I did wait, though, because for me, I think the movies improved my enjoyment of the books. I was surprised to find the books at times more whimsical than I expected and honestly didn't really like that all that much.

I also don't like the way his tone as a narrator changes. I liked him breaking the fourth wall, personally.

I often re-read my old standbys, and so far I've not been disappointed by any of them. I'm good for a re-read, but sadly, I agree with you that it genuinely seems like the fantasy genre has been mostly abandoned by good writers. That's sad, too, because there's so much richness and depth to it.

Got any favorites?


rizkreddit t1_ixujh1k wrote

I'll take your word for it then and be thankful for the desensitisation haha.

Some works are meant to be savoured after letting them marinate on your list :D

It's so interesting that you mention the movies enhanced your experience of Tolkien. I feel like the LotR franchise is the only one where this is possible. Most of the other major works of fantasy which have been made into moving media are really disappointing. And to begin with I am staunchly against fantasy being bought to the screen. They just won't be able to do it justice.

I loved wheel of time (there's a show now and I hate how it's caught up in current TV-show tropes ughh).

Dune - Moreso the prequels rather than the original.

Storm light archive - This one ties together everything I love about fantasy but is ongoing and I might be dead before it's done. Annoying.

I think Kingkiller chronicles are a grade below the actual hype around them.

The lightbringer series has a delightful magic system.

Absolutely in love with Malazan and I think that would end up being my favourite.

Totally forgot about the Dark tower series before posting. I love the melancholy and how often the fourth wall is broken there.


Sandi_T t1_ixulm4c wrote

I think that they really did a great job on the Tolkien movies. I can't say that about many (can't think of any off the top of my head--that says something) other fantasy series I can say this about.

I loved the Wheel of Time except the ending. I hated the ending so hard I considered buying hardcopies to burn. I'm almost joking (or so I tell myself).

I tried reading Dune, but then again, only the first book. I got so bored I bought it on Audible and I was again so bored I realized one day that I kept forgetting to turn it back on after having a conversation and I just moved on.

I don't read any series anymore unless it's finished. I learned this the hard way, way back when and a lot of series came out but if they didn't do well enough, the publishers just dropped them stone cold.

I don't read King, because I don't like horror, so I just steer clear of him. Haven't considered reading anything by him, to be honest.

I really enjoyed the Shannara series, but my god was the show bad imo.

I find that fantasy either goes really right or totally wrong, lol.

Do you enjoy Steampunk? I find it can sometimes scratch my fantasy itch, particularly because I'm a machinist by trade, so all the gadgets really hit my sweet spot from time to time.

I haven't heard of Malazan, I'm off to google. Is it a complete series? :P Just checking before I bother, lmao.

Did you read any of the other classics like the Belgariad by David Eddings? Any thoughts on those?

I also like some of the more fluffy fantasies like Ann McCaffrey's Pern series. Those remain my favorites to this day. Not too much politics, but not too little. Sentient creatures that aren't humanoid. Some sci-fi. I like them a lot.


rizkreddit t1_ixy7mgu wrote

Absolutely agree about the Tolkien movies. Such a joy to watch those. I can see how the end of wheel of time could be a let down, specially because of all the expectation attached with sandersons task. Difficult for me to imagine what it would be like for Jordan to have finished it.

Yeah I need to start screening my choices now and check if the series is finished lol. But I don't think I'd be able to do that. There's a lot of books you've mentioned that I haven't heard of(Belgariad and Pern) . I must check them out cheers!

Malazan is finished. It's the series they warn you about lol. It's supposedly the final boss of fantasy series. Very regularly touted as "hard to get into, but so worth it". And I'd agree with that. Check out their subreddit on here.

I used to love steam punk as a genre in gaming.(and usually there's some lore surrounding the game) Haven't really read something steam punk. Although I do love to imagine the prequels to Dune being steampunk-y.