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Customer Review

27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak Coincidences, Inconsistencies and a lack of Sense., February 26, 2004
This review is from: The Pillars of Creation (Sword of Truth) (Mass Market Paperback)
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.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 13, 2009 5:17:14 PM PDT
I am currently reading this book (I've got about 100 pages left), and I keep having to restrain myself from throwing it across the room. From what I've seen, I agree wholeheartedly with you. One misstep that drove me crazy how magic interacts with the "holes in the world." When Oba confronts Lathea, she attempts to destroy him with various magics. These all pass through him, and at least one blasts a hole in the wall behind him big enough for him to walk through. However, later in the Confessor's palace, Jennsen finds she can shield others from magic by placing herself in its path. So which is it? Does the magic keep going to affect things behind, or is it swallowed up in the hole (or is it deflected as Jennsen seems to do in one case)?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 30, 2011 9:45:51 AM PDT
Xeneize says:
Great observation. This book had so much potential, but just fell completely flat. I am not sure what happened with this SOT entry, but it is the first to truly disappoint.

Posted on Dec 11, 2013 2:12:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2013 2:14:03 AM PST
Avid Reader says:
I agree with the frustration in getting through this book, and I listen to them at work. I was anticipating another great storyline with Richard and Kahlan coming home to Richards new empire that he hasn't been to yet and what do we get? Jennsen!? BORING! Waste of type and paper/digital media. I do think that there is a note of Commander Data also in the story telling as well. I don't know if it's due to a need to add a higher word count or a particular desire to stretch out a sentence but there are a lot of "do not" instead of "don't", "that is" instead of "that's", etc. You get the drift, he doesn't like conjunctions. After a while this gets tedious to get through, more so, because I listen to the books while I'm at work. Don't get me wrong here as this is my primary issue, aside from the fact the Richard always seems to be stupid up to the point where the story needs him to get smart, in every book it seems. I can overlook this as it is a fictional account and that's okay, to a point. It would have been great to have given Richard some offensive powers besides his rage and the sword power, like black lightning or even a Jedi force push! The bottom line is that I like these books, except for The Pillars of Creation, hated the Jennsen character and practically the whole book is about her(I know but I won't say why due to spoilers). I would like to have seen more of the return of Lord Rahl than mentioning it. You might say that we readers have an investment in the story and we'd like to see the logical progression followed. I give the series, overall, 4 1/2 stars, 1/2 lost for this book.
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