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Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – July 15, 1997

4.1 out of 5 stars 2,733 customer reviews
Book 1 of 15 in the Sword of Truth Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The protective barrier that separates Westland from its neighbors to the east is about to fall, letting loose a monstrous evil upon the world. Only the combined efforts of a young man dedicated to finding the truth, an enigmatic woman intent on concealing her past, and a crusty old hermit resigned to his inevitable destiny can prevent the opening of the three boxes of Orden-an event with the potential to destroy existence itself. The inclusion of graphic scenes of sado-eroticism, though integral to the story, may deter purchase by some libraries. Nevertheless, this first novel offers an intriguing variant on the standard fantasy quest. The richly detailed world and complex characters will appeal to mature fantasy aficionados.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In a classic fantasy world, young Richard Cypher must go on a perilous quest with the Sword of Truth in order to deal with evils that have a contemporary degree of ambiguity about them. On the way, he acquires the normal collection of wizards, dragons, and human companions as well as an equivalent roster of enemies. Both the characters and their world come to life, and Goodkind's ambitious juxtaposition of modern ambiguities and the classical fantasy setting works more often than not. Although a fairly self-contained story, the book has something of the flavor of the first volume of a saga; neither Goodkind nor his publisher will receive too many complaints if a sequel is in the works. Hardly an aspirant to Tolkien's mantle, Goodkind certainly seems, at any rate, to be working on being mentioned in the same breath as Robert Jordan. Roland Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Sword of Truth (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (July 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812548051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812548051
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,733 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 2, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this several years ago and I truly liked it. I was engrossed in the story and I did not pay any attention to writing style or grammar. The book held my attention and the pages kept turning. Had I written a review at that time I would have given this book five stars. No second thoughts.
Now that I read all the negative reviews about the bad writing, I picked up my copy again to see if it really was that bad. I have to admit, it's certainly no candidate for the Nobel prize, but it's not "awful" either. It's a story being told in perfectly readable language. I find nothing wrong with that.
Many reviewers said that this book takes too many ideas from other books. Maybe it does, but it also puts those ideas together to make a new and interesting story. If you get to the core of 90% of all fantasy novels it will turn out to be a story about an unlikely hero (occasionally heroine) with some mysterious powers or heritage embarking on a quest to fight the evil king/god/sorcerer and save the world. This is what I would call Classic Fantasy. I could read "Lord of the Rings" once a month, but I'd rather read different books from different authors even if they are based on the same storyline and their style may not be as polished as Tolkien's.
Violence plays a big part in "Wizard's First Rule". I admit that I had to force myself to read through the torture bits. It made me sick and I am surprised that someone would give this book to an 11-year-old. I certainly wouldn't. It's okay to let the hero suffer once in a while instead of having him rush from one adventure to the next while he always prevails. But this went on and on and on. Less pages would have been necessary to get the point across.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had a lot of trouble putting this book down. The times when I did were times when I absolutely could not stand the torture being put on characters I loved.

This novel, as far as genre novels go, is pretty cliche. There aren't a whole lot of big surprises. You have your ranger, your wizard, your evil baddie who's so strong they have to work up to him, yadda yadda yadda. You have your impossible quest, your beautiful woman, and even a dragon. Yippee!!

All that being said, this was a wonderful, character-driven piece that had me on the edge of my seat. Every single character lived and breathed with his or her own personality, and there wasn't a weak character in the batch. The good guys were *so* good and so charismatic that at times I had to get up and walk away because I couldn't stand what was happening to them anymore, and with one exception, the bad guys were *so* bad that I rejoiced when bad things happened to them. I have no problem with black and white, and there was no doubt in this one who the good guys and bad guys were.

The sole exception was the Mord-Sith, Mistress Denna, who had more layers than you normally see in a genre novel. At first, I hated her and really wanted to hurt this fictional character. But by the end, I nearly wept for her and what her life had been.

Warning: The torture and murder scenes are graphic. If, like me, you have a vivid imagination and can't stand the thought of someone being in pain, open the book at your own peril. If you love children and can't stand the thought of anyone hurting them, think twice before you read the book. But if you love a good, character-driven story where you really get to know the people in the book, it's a wonderful read, and a fast one, considering it's an 800-pager.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Terry Goodkind, Wizard's First Rule (Tor, 1994)

Terry Goodkind hasn't been around as long as some of the fantasy writers who are currently churning out long- winded, seemingly neverending series; Harry Turtledove's alternate-history alien-invasion World War II series' first book has been in print longer than most of Goodkind's whole catalogue. But, as J. R. R. Tolkein and Greg Bear have shown us, you don't have to be established to come up with a really whiz-bang first novel. Wizard's First Rule is, most decidedly, a whiz-bang first novel.

The action opens with unassuming woodland guide Richard Cypher trying to dig up a few clues as to the means and motive of his father's recent death. While in the process, he spots four men menacing a woman, goes to her aid, and unleashes the chain of events that have taken us seven eight-hundred-plus-page books and counting to unravel. Make no mistake, when you crack the cover on the first Sword of Truth novel, you're committing yourself to a whole lot of reading. Sword of Truth is longer than Mission Earth, longer than Necroscope, longer than Michael Moorcock's presently-in-progress series. Think of a series containing a whole lot of big, thick books. Sword of Truth is longer. It'll probably reach Encyclopedia Britannica proportions before long.

The good news is, of course, that Wizard's First Rule is a whole lot more readable than Britannica (in order, even). He's got more of an eye for the readable than Moorcock, and is more restrained than Lumley.
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