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The Law of Nines Hardcover – 2009

3.7 out of 5 stars 389 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Science fiction author Goodkind takes a new approach to the modern-day thriller in this fantastic tale featuring Alex, a down-and-out artist set to inherit a fortune on his 27th birthday. The catch is that Alex is set to inherit his mother's insanity as well, which overcame her when she reached the same age. Mark Deakins proves a master storyteller; his strong performance shines with excellent stage presence from start to finish. Deakins speaks in a strong, commanding tone and is a virtuoso at accents and dialects—and Goodkind gives him plenty of each to play with. A Putnam hardcover (Reviews, June 22). (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

"Bestseller Goodkind (Confessor) ventures into thriller territory with results sure to please fans of his fantasy fiction. . . . Fantasy and thriller readers alike will find themselves swept along . . . and looking forward to the next installment."
— Publishers Weekly


From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Z8MJSE
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (389 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,038,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was a big fan of Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series... well let me qualify that. I was a fan of about the first five books and "Wizard's First Rule" is probably up there with a few others as an all-time favorite of mine. The Mord'sith were probably the single truely original idea in a series of rehashed quasi-Star Wars/Wheel of Time cliches. That being said, I was looking forward to a new Goodkind book, especially since he would be exploring a different genre. I love thrillers. When I heard there'd be a bit of magic. I was even more thrilled. I love urban fantasies and combined with a thriller, that's even better.

Sadly, Law of Nines is awful.

It's a rewrite of Wizard's First Rule except this time we're in the modern world instead of a fantasy world. Alex Rahl is Richard all over again. Jax is Kahlan. Some of the character descriptions and dialogue sound like passages from poorly written fan fiction. Furthermore, I really REALLY hoped that Goodkind got his fascination with Ayn Rand off his chest with the Sword of Truth series, but noooooo. We have to hear about it all over again in LoN. Here Goodkind had a chance to really start with a new idea, a fresh idea, a new hook, new characters, but he didn't.

If you are a rabid fan of Goodkind, you'll probably love this book, but if you just want a good story regardless of its author, you'll realize there are far better options out there. Brent Weeks "Night Angel Trilogy" is awesome and well written. I hugely enjoy Robb Thurman for her urban fantasy and clever, fast-paced dialogue. For something fun and different try "The Lies of Lock Lamora" by Scott Lynch (although I didn't like the second book as much, but the first is definitely stand alone).
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Format: Hardcover
THE SETUP
"The Law of Nines" is a fantasy thriller, a sequel to "The Sword of Truth" series but set in THIS "real" world. It isn't necessary to have read the "The Sword of Truth" series, but if you have, you'll understand the rest of this paragraph. The thesis of the novel is that, in the ancient past, the people of the world of "The Sword of Truth" who did not have the gift of magic were expelled into THIS world, including a few members of the House of Rahl--the hereditary rulers of THAT world. Specifically that the process of magically "walling-off" the unmagical closed a connection between the two worlds, or perhaps split one world into two. "Parallel realities" or "alternate dimensions" if you prefer.

"The Law of Nines" begins when almost 27-year-old Alex Rahl, an artist, living somewhere in Nebraska, saves a mysterious woman, Jax from a truck which tries to run her down. A few days later on his birthday, Alex inherits a vast tract of land in Maine. That's the setup.

DEVELOPMENT
We later learn that the portal between the worlds is located on that tract of land in Maine, and that Alex is the only person who can open it. A new tyrant, Cain, in the "other" world has launched an essentially religious movement to eradicate magic, in order to gain power, but will need weapons and other technology to maintain his control (since he will also be deprived of the use of magic), and therefore wants the portal opened.

CRITIQUE
Numerous major and minor flaws in the novel demand considerable "suspension of disbelief". Unfortunately, "suspension of disbelief" is like stretching a rubber band---there are limits.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm going to be honest from the get-go. I've never read any of Goodkind's books before and I've never seen the tv show based off of his works. I'd heard of him but I've never had the time to pick up any of his works.

The reason I mention this is because I've heard two things about this book. One is that this book was supposed to be accessible to all people (even the ones who haven't read anything of his before). The other is that there is supposed to be a slight tie in with his Sword of Truth series, despite this book being a stand alone novel from his other works. Apparently it's supposed to be a nod towards the other series but as I've never read any of the other works I have no way of verifying this. Now if you were one of those people like me who was worried that you wouldn't be able to enjoy this book, put your mind at ease. For the most part you can easily read this book and enjoy it without reading his other works.

Now for the story itself. The story follows a young painter named Alex Rahl who discovers that his 27th birthday is going to bring him more than just another year older. He discovers several things- the first is that he has inherited a huge amount of land. The second is that a beautiful and mysterious woman named Jax is desperate to keep him safe. The third is that many different people also desperately want him dead. As Alex tries to save himself from danger and uncover the mystery surrounding the Law of Nines he'll also discover that his life isn't the only one on the line...

Now I know what everyone is thinking. Is this a fantasy or what? To be honest, it's a book that spans more than one genre. It's very much the thriller it makes itself out to be but it also contains several elements of fantasy in it.
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