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Friday, March 23, 2012

Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind (Audio)

Posted by Irish in Review1 Comment

Publisher:  Brilliance Audio (Audio);  Tor Books (Print)

Source: Purchased
Publication Date:  19 July 2011 (Audio);  15 August 1994 (Print)
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 1423321634 (Audio), 0765322757 (Paperback)
Format: Audio
Audio Length:  ? discs (~34 hrs)
Narrator: Sam Tsoutsouvas
Websites:
Terry Goodkind – Blog
Place(s) Traveled to: The Westlands // The Midlands
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Sword of Truth Series Order
Prequel – Debt of Bones
Book 1 – Wizard’s First Rule
Book 2 – Stone of Tears
Book 3 – Blood of the Fold
Book 4 – Temple of the Winds
Book 5 – Soul of the Fire
Book 6 – Faith of the Fallen
Book 7 – The Pillars of Creation
Book 8 – Naked Empire
Book 9 – Chainfire
Book 10 – Phantom
Book 11 – Confessor
Book 12 – The Omen Machine

First Line: It was an odd-looking vine.

There are a couple of things I wish I had done. One is that I wish I had written this review right after I finished listening to the audio while it was all still fresh in my mind. The other, and the most important, is that I wish I could get the 34 hours that I spent listening to this book back. Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind is a book that I’ve been meaning to read for year. I’ve purchased a couple of copies and then given them away and I’ve also started and stopped the book so many times I’ve lost count. But I kept hearing how wonderful the series was and how much I would love it that I decided to use one of my audible credits for it and started to listen to it. 
At first, I thought it was ok. The characters were a bit stiff and cliche but the narrator was able to keep me invested and engaged in the story. But then it just started to drag. Richard, the main character, spent much of the book whining and complaining and when he wasn’t doing that he was crying. I kept having to remind myself that he was the hero of the story. Zedd did nothing but annoy with his cryptic responses and Kahlen was just a token girl. As a reader, we are told that Kahlen is supposed to be this badass female but I never saw it since she was usually hiding behind Richard or crying for much of the time. She was also keep this deep, dark secret from Richard and would allude to it ominously with others and then brood about it. 
But probably the worst part of this book may have been the fact there there was about 200 pages (guessing on page count but it was about 3+ hours of audio) of an extended BDSM scene that was just beyond pointless. I can see why the scene was there based on the background of the world. But its was about 190 pages too long. Far far far too long. If I hadn’t been listening to the audio then I might have skipped over all those pages. Oh, who am I kidding, I probably would have read them all in fear that I would miss something important. 
I am amazed that I made it all the way to the end of this audio and there were parts of me that thought that I should quit and move on. But as I’d paid for it I thought I should get my money’s worth. Plus, I kept hoping that it would turn into this amazing read that I was hoping that it would be when I started it. It also wasn’t a bad read for about the first half of the book. It wasn’t ZOMG fantastic but it wasn’t horrible. The real killer I think was that pointless extended BDSM scene that I mentioned about. And the fact that Kahlen and Richard and most of the characters in this book just really started to bug the crap out of me with all their crying and ‘oh woe is me’ me attitudes.

Overall the narrator, Sam Tsoutsouvas, was pretty good. He had a pleasant voice and managed to keep me fairly engaged for the 34 hours that this audio was (its not his fault that the material her had to work with wasn’t great.) As with most male narrators he did have some trouble with the female voices so its a good thing that there weren’t too many in this book. And on occasion I did have trouble trying to tell who was speaking at a particular time. But I don’t hold that against the narrator. It can’t be easy to speak for 34+ hours! Tsoutsouvas was a good narrator and one who I would listen to again.

This book wasn’t my cup of tea…but here are people who enjoyed it more:
Glass of Fancy – The main characters are all appealing enough to be enjoyable to spend time with, and there are parts of the book in which Goodkind spends some time developing their relationships in really interesting ways.
House Millar –  Richard Cypher is the reluctant hero, though what a hero! Sexy, powerful, loyal. He is the “Seeker of Truth,” so named by the First Wizard Zedd. Kahlan is intelligent, resourceful, yet fearful and alone. She is power itself in their world but she suffers because of her power.
Mindful MusingsThere was just enough action, development, and character interaction to keep me well-satisfied in the long run.

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