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Naked Empire (Sword of Truth) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2004

3.1 out of 5 stars 564 customer reviews
Book 8 of 15 in the Sword of Truth Series

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Editorial Reviews


“Wonderfully creative, seamless, and stirring.” ―Kirkus on Wizard's First Rule

“Wonderful.” ―Kliatt on Stone of Tears

“Each volume of the Sword of Truth...proves more difficult to review than the last. There are only so many was of heaping praise on a series that gets better and better.” ―SFX on Blood of the Fold

“...outstanding work...adrenaline and characters who actually behave like adults. Highly recommended.” ―San Diego Union Tribune on Temple of the Winds

“...thoroughly enjoyable.” ―VOYA on Soul of the Fire

“Mr. Goodkind's compelling prose weaves a magic spell over readers.” ―Romantic Times on Faith of the Fallen

“Near-perfect pacing, well-realized settings, and superior descriptive narrative.” ―VOYA on The Pillars of Creation

About the Author

Terry Goodkind is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His books include the eleven-volume Sword of Truth series, beginning with Wizard's First Rule, the basis for the television show Legend of the Seeker. Goodkind was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, where he also attended art school. Alongside a career in wildlife art, he has also been a cabinetmaker and a violin maker, and he has done restoration work on rare and exotic artifacts from around the world -- each with its own story to tell, he says. While continuing to maintain the northeastern home he built with his own hands, in recent years he and his wife Jeri have created a second home in the desert Southwest, where he now spends the majority of his time.

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Product Details

  • Series: Sword of Truth (Book 8)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765344300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765344304
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (564 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Since the fifth book of Mr. Goodkind's venerable Sword of Truth series, Soul of the Fire, a growing number of people have begun to complain that the books have grown too "preachy" to be enjoyable, while series loyalists and Mr. Goodkind himself insist that no such thing is occurring. Since this is the topic that invariably arises when one discussed these books, I feel that this is the primary issue I must address in this review.
I recently read an interview with Mr. Goodkind in which he discussed his writing process, his views on philosophy, and how he incorporates them into his work, among other things. In it, he made a number of comments that struck me as telling indicators of what you'll find in Naked Empire.
1. Mr. Goodkind stated that rather than tell a pre-conceived story as he believes it would unfold, he instead comes up with a moral or philosophical statement he'd like to make, and then crafts the story to fit that tenet. Goodkind is not a world-builder and never has been; the endings of his books have always had the ring of, "Nice work Richard... but our princess is in another castle!" to paraphrase from everyone's favorite plumber-based video game. I've never had a problem with this in the past, since what Goodkind lacks in a cohesive world and story, he makes up for with his wonderful characters.
However, his statement in the interview confirms what many readers have been saying over the past few volumes: his books are increasingly becoming vehicles for Goodkind's philosophy, and Naked Empire shows that trend increasing exponentially.
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Format: Hardcover
It pains me to review Naked Empire, the 8th book in the Sword of Truth series, since I am an avid fan both of Goodkind and the adorable central characters he created in Wizard's First Rule, Richard and Kahlan.
Firstly, fantasy fans beware. This book is not packed with the usual action and world buidling of fantasy sagas. Now, Goodkind was never one to conform to the rules of typical fantasy books, but this book is a rule all onto itself. More than two thirds of it consists of tedious preaching on behalf of Richard to less enlightened souls about the value of life ... and consequently the justification for murder! Not only do I have trouble swallowing the mind-numbingly tripe "philosophies" of Richard, I find his conclusions incredulous.
I would have been able to forgive dubious values and even a speech or two by Richard if the plot were more forgiving. Unfortunately, and it is highly unfortunate, it seems like Goodkind has lost the plot. Where is the action? The plot is so thin that it can be related in two short sentences: Richard converts a bunch of non-magical misfits to his beliefs by saving them from evil occupation. And, oh yeah, he also finds out how to control his gift. There you go.
Harldy an effort worthy of Goodkind. And my question to Goodkind is: do YOU deserve victory?
The plots and characters just aren't explored. Nicholas the Slide is too obvious - you know from the start that Betsy the goat is going to be a pain in the behind (literally), and Jenssen, Richard's half sister, is frankly too annoying.
Goodkind spends the first 150 pages bringing readers up to speed on the plot thus far. This should tell you something of the value of Naked Empire as a book in its own right ... Life is too valuable to spend time reading this book.
The read was painful, my review is painful. I'm sure that Goodkind is feeling the pain too. By no means deserving of victory (nor my money).
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Format: Hardcover
One thought kept running through my mind as I read NAKED EMPIRE, At least I didn't spend my own money on this tripe!
NAKED EMPIRE is another monument to that unfortunately expanding society of authors that never seemed to learn the third important part to any story, the ending. I mean lets get real here! Yes I absolutely loved WIZARD'S FIRST RULE and many of the volumes following, but there comes a time where its all been said and there's nothing new left to do with a story. Unfortunately for Sword of Truth that was about three books ago.
You want a short synopsis of this volume? Ok, Richard gets poisoned and must free some pitiful wimps to get an antidote; the emperor gins up a new magical creature (the worst yet!); zed gets captured and the Keep is taken; Kahlan is captured; Zed is freed; Kahlan is freed; Richard saves himself and the magical creature is done away with. Yeah! Now fluff that up to about a thousand pages, nine hundred of them being incredibly boring lectures about the evils of collectivism and how magic works and you have NAKED EMPIRE.
I suppose I am a bit bitter but I resent the fact that a story I really liked, and I really liked WIZARD'S FIRST RULE, has been turned into some hacks, word-spill, fluff piece. I also resent having this volume palmed off as something new when it really isn't. I suppose if the point was to make the author money without him having to come up with anything original than it worked, but I don't have to like it.
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