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51 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not his best
I have anxiously been awaiting this book to hit the shelves, and I can't tell you how many times I have reread Faith of the Fallen in preparation for Pillars of Creation coming out. Faith of the fallen is one of those rare books that really stand out amongst it's peers, but in reality has no peers due to the incredible rhetoric and imaginative writing of Terry Goodkind...
Published on November 21, 2001 by Craig Daniels

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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's better than Soul of the Fire...
I don't know quite what to make of this book overall, so I'll start simply by stating the following: Goodkind's fantasies are about people, not worldbuilding. He's made that clear both in and out of his novels. However, even with that in mind, I don't know what to make of it when the main characters we've grown to know and love over the course of six massive novels...
Published on November 26, 2001 by Nathan


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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's better than Soul of the Fire..., November 26, 2001
By 
Nathan (Wilmington, DE United States) - See all my reviews
I don't know quite what to make of this book overall, so I'll start simply by stating the following: Goodkind's fantasies are about people, not worldbuilding. He's made that clear both in and out of his novels. However, even with that in mind, I don't know what to make of it when the main characters we've grown to know and love over the course of six massive novels don't even show up until the last fifty pages of the seventh, and then only as a segue into the eighth. After getting over my initial shock, I was both pleased and disappointed with this work.
I'm glad that Goodkind had the guts to tell the story how he wanted to tell it, instead of catering to the fanboys. He had a character that will clearly be a very important part of the rest of the series (now contracted through Book 10), knew he couldn't tell her story merely in flashbacks, and so gave her a whole novel. Unfortunately, her story just wasn't terribly compelling. Like all of Goodkind's novels, this was a quick read, but many of the chapters seemed pretty inconsequential, or possibly too sequential, just an excuse to get the characters from point A to point B.
As I've said, this book focusses on new characters. The main character, Jennsen, is likeable and easy to feel for. Unfortunately, the same is not true for this book's main antagonist. Not only is he so utterly inhuman that I couldn't connect with him at all, but Goodkind seemed, as is too often the case, to downplay the power of others in a attempt to make him more powerful.
Over the course of this story, we run into Zedd, Nathan, Adie, and other familiar characters...but never for long, and none of the scenes show the wit of their characters. Indeed, while many of the characters are interesting, they mostly also happen to be boring. And then when we finally get back to Richard, Kahlan, and Cara, we are given a brief and unsatisfactory resolution, a few cryptic words about some new problem which will undoubtedly be made clear in Book 8, and a new Wizard's Rule which delivery frankly sucked.
So why did I give this book even three stars? Because, despite its flaws, it was a quick, fun read, and I was able to keep in mind that this is a transitionary novel. I think I would honestly have been able to tack another star on, though, if it had not been advertised as a Sword of Truth novel (the words aren't even in the book), and if Richard and Kahlan hadn't figured into the cover blurb. As it was, however, I felt that the publishers were trying to trick me into buying a book I would have been perfectly happy to buy anyway.
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51 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not his best, November 21, 2001
I have anxiously been awaiting this book to hit the shelves, and I can't tell you how many times I have reread Faith of the Fallen in preparation for Pillars of Creation coming out. Faith of the fallen is one of those rare books that really stand out amongst it's peers, but in reality has no peers due to the incredible rhetoric and imaginative writing of Terry Goodkind. But I am not reviewing that book.
I fell in love with the Sword of Truth series from the start. I had been reading Jordans book feverishly until they started to become boring, and dependably dull. His series started to flag (I feel) by the 6th-7th book and it has been downhill ever since. Goodkind to me took some of the same ideas as Jordan in writing a series, but I feel as though he learned from Jordan, and didn't make the same tired mistakes. Goodking constantly kept his characters moving, growing, the plot shifting, and new wonders appeared in every book. It is for this that I have revered the series up until the last book.
This new book by Goodkind is a good book. I will give him that. He is a very proficient writing, and has used the land he created almost in a selfish way I feel to explore ideas beyond the regular scope of his novels. I will explain.
The book is about children of Darken Rahl that were saved from summarily being killed at birth as Rahl's are wont to do. These children by the storys beginning have grown to adulthood, and have been on the run from the ruthless minions of house Rahl their entire life. Though the lifelines of these children start out simply and independant, their stories quickly link up, and crisscross each other until the end of the novel.
Their adventures with the Imperial Army, and within the land of D'Hara is sprinkled with excellent writing, yet my gripe with the story is that the main protagonist: Richard Rahl and his associates are not written about until page 450.
Yes you heard correctly: the main characters of this series, Richard, Kahlan, Cara, who have fueled all of the plot thus far were not written about until the book was 4/5ths done.
I respect this from Goodkind, as he probably wanted to use alternative characters to explore the world he had created, and see it from a different point of view, but I feel as though he should have written more about Kahlan and Richard, just to allow them to grow that much more in this book.
So that is my gripe with this book. It was a well written book, but I wish that Goodkind had written a little more about the characters I have grown to admire greatly. Incidentally Richard does learn one more Wizards Rule, and the streak is kept alive as we are now up to 7 rules of "living life as wizards do".
Good book, well written, the characters were interesting, if not who I really wanted to read about. But in the process I was able to learn a little more of the mystique of the land and some of its inherent magic, and that is always a positive thing. So I would call reading this book overall a very enjoyable experience, if slightly unexpected.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A dip in the SOT saga, October 15, 2002
By 
asayanna (World Traveller) - See all my reviews
I picked up a copy of Wizards First Rule whilst having Coffee at a bookstore, read the first chapter and was hooked. Something in the imagery conjured up Goodkind in the first chapter just enthralled me and I've been a fan ever since.
I've read all the books in the series and in general have extremely high regard for Goodkind. Wizards First Rule was great. Thought that the last 200 pages were accelerated a bit too much. Stone of Tears was good and so was Blood of the Fold. These first three brought the characters and plot threads together quite successfully. Temple of the Winds was fairly good, however I thought that it dragged a bit. Soul of the Fire did too at the beginning, however it came together quite well at the end and led quite nicely into Faith of the Fallen, which I thought was excellent. No swash buckling stuff... focused on the nature of the relationship (bond) between Richard and Kahlan. Also explored how far Richard could be broken. Kinda very real world especially with regard to bonds between individuals.
In my humble interpretation of his work Goodkind focuses heavily on characterization and the relationship between Kahlan and Richard. He would devote an entire book, like I believe was done in Temple of the Winds, to make a specific statement about a character or of the nature of the relationship between Kahlan and Richard. He's generally quite effective in doing this, however in Temple of the Winds, the story tended to meander without an immediately obvious purpose. All in all though, he is very effective with his characterisation.
Pillars of Creation however is an oddity. Did Goodkind write this? What was it's purpose? Well there was a new character... explored very poorly... and I say that because the characterization, unlike the preceding volumes, was extremely truncated. There was a secondary character, who featured prominently at the beginning, then failed to make a significant impact through the book and finally made a spectacularly fizzled appearance in the last chapter. Richard... our central character... doesn't make an appearance (significant anyway) until the last couple of chapter. Everything was rushed, rushed, rushed! This book is a severe departure to Goodkind's usual careful characterisation.
In general the book was really short... it just lacked direction... and the plot was vague. I'm not certain what Goodkind was attempting to accomplish. The introduction of a new character is my only guess... but it's unlike Goodkind to rush things so!
The imagery that I found in the other books was missing... generally very flat. All in all... very disappointing.
Hey look... I loved the others... there was so much of great stuff there... and more great stuff that Goodkind can explore... I consider this a dip... nothing more (I hope!). I will be the first to buy his next book... Waiting in eager anticipation for the resumption of the real SOT.
-A fan.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Word: Atrocious, February 16, 2004
By A Customer
I have not read any of Terry Goodkind's other books, so I cannot comment on The Pillars of Creation's relative merits. On the other hand, I am blissfully unhampered by any loyalty to the series or the author. My review, therefore, judges the book as a stand-alone novel in the fantasy genre.
Plainly put: the book is terrible. I have never until now finished a book feeling angry, no matter how much I disliked it. And I have never felt compelled to write a review, good or bad -- but I cannot in good conscience let unsuspecting readers begin this book without forewarning.
Plot: Negligable. The heroine strives endlessly to eliminate Richard Rahl and to understand the ramifications of her own ungiftedness -- and ultimately fails to do either. There are too many convenient coincidences (meeting the mother with her sick baby; finding the fever roses in Sebastian's pack; etc) for there to be any satisfaction or surprise in the book's final denouement. The ending is totally unbelievable and too convenient, as if hastily slopped together without the least respect for character integrity or plot congruity. And any reader with half a brain -- or any reader who has read the book's back cover -- can figure out who the real villains are within mere pages of meeting them.
Characters: Bland, lifeless, boring, and moronic. My sympathy for Jennsen peaked at slightly-above-indifference shortly after her mother's death. It was all downhill from there. She is utterly one-sided and uninteresting -- not to mention impossibly dumb. Oba, too, is stupid, which makes him almost totally uninteresting as an antagonist. In fact, he is such a caricature of The Bad Guy that it was impossible to feel anything at his acts of obscene brutality except disgust that Mr. Goodkind would try to manipulate his readers with such a callous treatment of sexual violence.
Writing Style: Astonishingly poor. It is hard to believe that this author has written good books in the past. Is Mr. Goodkind being paid by the word? How many times do I need to hear about the reassuring click of Jennsen's knife as she compulsively checks that it still fits into its sheath? Or that forests have trees, and Jennsen is comfortable in forests, but this one makes her nervous, because there could be soldiers! but thank goodness Sebastian is around to protect her in this forest filled with trees. And have I mentioned that Oba is invincible? You might never have guessed it from the first twenty encounters with the sentence "He was invincible," but surprisingly enough, it turns out to be (almost) true.
The descriptions are interminable and irrelevant. There are no surprises. Most of the characters embody well-worn cliches about the nature of good, evil, power and -- in Jennsen's case -- blithering obliviousness. And there are really no words to describe the goat fixation.
Read this book if you must, but be forewarned. The Pillars of Creation does not stand alone apart from the series; it teeters, it totters, and it crumbles into a mess of disappointment and repetition. It is, if anything, a monument to everything a good fantasy book should not be. Good luck.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh Terry...., November 20, 2001
By 
Sam Ruth (lederach, pa United States) - See all my reviews
I have been reading Goodkind for years now, ever since "The Stone of Tears" came out. His first two books are among my top 5 fantasy. "Blood of The Fold", "Temple of The Winds", and "Soul of the Fire" are all in my top ten. Number 6, "Faith of the Fallen", is my favorite book of all time. I absolutely loved it. I think that Terry reached the perfect combination of war and philosophy in number 6, and I had extremely high hopes for "The Pillars of Creation". I even skipped school today to be one of the first people in Pennsylvania to get the book. But I have to say that I was disappointed. "The Pillars of Creation" really let me down. Richard and Kahlan only appear in the last 50 pages or so, and I was not enthralled by the 2 new characters that take up the rest of the book. To me it felt as if some other talented writer had read all of the Sword of Truth series, and then tried to write the next book to it. I didn't think that the story flowed very well, and there were more holes than in the rest of the series combined. I was very disappointed to not get to see Richard for more than a few pages. Although I recommend that everyone who has read the rest of the series read this book (just to keep up), I am depressed that this is what I have waited a year for. I suppose that now I start waiting for number #8, huh?
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak Coincidences, Inconsistencies and a lack of Sense., February 26, 2004
By 
homerinvests (Vancouver, Canada) - See all my reviews
OK, OK, it's fantasy. Earth's rules of science and physics don't matter but in many places this book fails to adhere to the rules of common sense. Also, I thought the editing was poor. There were spots where it felt like Mr Goodkind took a break then started writing again before he re-read what he had just written. One such error comes to mind where two full sentences repeated just two paragraphs apart. I don't mind letting a few nonsensical things slide, but there are so many big and little screwy things here that it was impossible to reconcile them short of turning off your brain. Here are a few examples in no particular order (a few spoilers noted with '***'):
* Jennsen is selectively ignorant/knowledgeable, observant/unobservant, or strong willed/easily manipulated depending on what is convenient at the time throughout the story to maintain the weak plot.
* The Emperor's key strategists are not very strategic, nor does he listen to them.
* Doesn't the existence and knowledge of these "holes in the world" make places like the Wizard's Keep a whole lot less threatening? If the Emporer knew about Jennsen why didn't he use her to assault the Keep? Or, why didn't Richard use her (or someone like her) previously - wasn't one of the main themes of a previous book based around trying to get past the magical safeguards of the Keep?
* The Emperor losses a million plus units of his army to an unknown force that strikes at the heart of his camp and his response is basically, "oh well, it'll take a little time to rebuild." Yeah, this guy is going to have many followers...
* Tom covertly follows Jennsen (who is in the middle of this million plus unit army) in a horse drawn wagon.
*** Tom is supposed to be one of the elite protectors of Lord Rahl, but idly watches while Jennsen charges Lord Rahl with a knife.
*** Tom is supposed to be one of the elite protectors of Lord Rahl. Why would he be working, deep cover, in the market?  Convenient coincidence.
*** The idea is repeated several times that Jennsen never had the chance or right moment to tell Sebastian that she was immune to magic even though they are lovers and traveling together for months. This didn't make sense to me, but to use this as the key point in Jennsen discovering Sebastian's treachery was just plain weak. WEAK! I cringed reading Jennsen say "I never told you magic didn't effect me..." Hmmm, didn't he just see her come away unharmed after battles with wizards and sorceresses in which she saw through the illusions that nobody else did?
* Jennsen's bluffs to get into the palace and free Sebastian were unbelievable and most of that sequence was silly.
The list goes on but unless I missed some deeper meaning, it's not worth the mental energy it would take to go over all the inconsistent events and convenient coincidences in this book. The ending felt rushed with the main baddies conveniently killed or missing, with a few obscure references to other characters thrown in for whatever reason "Wait until we tell this to Nikki" or other such lines. In the end I was left feeling that nothing happens in the book.
Homerinvests
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's not very often...., October 6, 2005
By 
Andrew (Milwaukie, OR USA) - See all my reviews
....that I quit reading a fantasy series, or any series of books for that matter. This book, however, convinced me to quit the Sword of Truth nonsense once and for all. Early in the series, I put up with the ubiquitous main-character-that-has-almost-limitless-power-but-won't-realize-it-until-the-author-is-good-and-rich ploy, but when said hero didn't hardly make a showing in this volume, I lost interest for good. If you read reviews for the later books in the series which I have not yet read, you will see some of the same complaints that I have. One of those issues I have is with the some times pages-long chunks of narrative that read like an editorial out of the newspaper. Seriously - it takes no creativity at all to write out your socio-political manifesto, but don't try to pass it off as a gripping fantasy read - it insults the intelligence of your readers. Plenty of other writers have opinions that they want to come through in their writing, but they don't throw it in our faces verbatim with some quote marks around it. It's not even that I disagree with every point that he doggedly insists on making, but it rips me right out of the story, and I have a hard time breaking back in. Fantasy is about escape and suspension of disbelief. If, at the end of the book, I can look back and see the real world comparisons and extrapolate the opinions and points made, then the author has done his/her job well. Like a great painting, it is beautiful at first glance, but the more you look at it, the more there is to see. This series is the newspaper clipping mounted on the wall next to a Monet - I don't care how fancy the frame is, I'd rather look at the Monet.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Expectations, April 28, 2002
By 
Karl S (Anaheim, CA United States) - See all my reviews
After enjoying the creativity of the first six books of the Sword of Truth epic, I had expected much more from Terry Goodkind. I was disappointed in "The Pillars of Creation". To me this book is a dragging detour from the main story line of the series. Particularly the way the author failed to link this book to the rest of the series by dropping out the "Wizards Rules", so much for continuity.
The overall context of book six (Faith of the Fallen) is Richard's loss of faith in the people that he is trying to save in his war with the Imperial Order. I'm not sure how The Pillars of Creation fits as the continuation. The only thing it does for me is make a feeble attempt to account for the time it takes Richard and Kaylan to make their way back North from their adventures in Jagang's homeland in the South.
I got the feeling that the story line for the "Pillars of Creation" is from rough drafts of the "Temple of the Winds". Based on the "Pillars of Creations" theme, there now could be an ongoing array of both good and bad siblings resulting from Darken Rahl's legendary number of perverted conquests. Good for the publishing company, bad for us readers who get stuck buying disappointing books from gifted authors under contract to produce "X" number of books on a time schedule.
I suggest you skip "Pillars of Creation" and wait until book 8 comes out to (hopefully) reach the conclusion of the war with Jagang and the Imperial Order. If book 8 requires you to back up to the "Pillars of Creation" for some clarification (which I doubt) you'll be able to get it cheaper, either as a used book or a Paperback.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I wonder.........., April 6, 2002
As for this book, I felt the best analogy to describe it is a foundation. If the next book(s) are really good, then they will have been built upon this foundation, but if they aren't, then all we have is a lot of rubble. I have faith in Terry to build upon this foundation into a mansion.
Also there are many characters I have been wondering what has happened to
-Chase (What is the most dangerous ungifted man in the New World doing now that the boundary has fallen?)
-Shota (Shota is always up to something, always)
-Prelate Annalina - (what exactly was her encounter with the Healers of Redcliffe?)
-Nathan (What is he up to at the People's Palace, and what did he do before he went there?)
-Sister Ulicia (Disappeared after swearing loyalty to Richard. I doubt the leader of the Sisters of the Dark has been sitting on her hands all this time)
-Nicci (would like to see what she's been up to since her "conversion")
-Gratch (what is that gar up to?)
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pillars of Bad Storytelling, January 21, 2003
By 
Daniel Hansen (Canada, of course) - See all my reviews
This has been, without a doubt, the worst book I have read in at least ten years. I agree that plot is Mr. Goodkind's forte, but in relative terms, that doesn't say very much for him. Absurd and unexplained coincidences (e.g. J and S coming across the woman and her sick child, Tom riding up with Betty out of nowhere), sickeningly stereotypical characters and development (e.g. big, beautiful, strong heroes, beautiful, voluptuous, and ultimately subordinate heroines; Jennsen's schitzophrenic mental condition (trembling one second, exuding supreme confidence the next), Jajang "the Just" (what the...? Better names needed please) - emperor and genius - not understanding simple descriptions of magic), exhausting descriptive narrative to the point of frustration and personal insult, distracting reliance on cliched language, as well as strange overuse of certain phrases (e.g. "the reassuring metallic click...")...
I could go on.
If this is the kind of writing fantasy readers expect, and apparently enjoy, it does not speak well of them. New and better writing is needed, urgently. Not only was it boring, it is insulting to the intelligence of the readership. Shame on you, Mr. Goodkind. And lose the ponytail. It's 2003, for God's sake.
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