This is my review of Wizard’s First Rule and also a response to Mark’s review. First, to put things into perspective, I actually think there are many readers who would share Mark’s opinion of WFR. Readers who are very critical of the fiction they read will probably fall into Mark’s camp of thought. I tend to be moderaly critical of my fiction and when I become immersed in the book, I can be very forgiving.
Terry Goodkind does a great job with character development and the description of thier motivations and emotions. With ya on this one Mark. This is definitely one of the most important part of the novel for me. Since you get to know their thoughts, I often think that I come to know the the characters better then people, which leads me to become attached and emotionally invested. When that happens, you know that at least for you, it’s a worthy piece of fiction. For me, this ties into my love of long novels and movies.
In response to your assertion about the length of the novel, I actually thought that T.G. did a good job with the pace of the plot and kept things interesting. Part of the reason the characters are so well described is because of the many tough situations T.G. puts them through. IMO, authors should not have to cut out parts which they feel to be important just to keep the novel at a certain page limit. I feel similarly about movies. Many movies under two hours are too short…except for B moves staring Ben, in which case two hours is way too long.
Readers will probably make some intuitive leaps while reading WFR but I don’t think they are as clear cut as you make it out to be. There are quite a few plot twists but just in case there is someone viewing this blog that would like to read WFR untainted I won’t hash them out here. Here are a few things to know about WFR.
1. I’ve read quite a few fantasy series and most have plots that drag in places. IMO, T.G. does a masterful job in keeping the book suspenseful and high in energy. Of course one might complain about how many times the main character almost gets killed but you can’t have everything.
2. One of the reasons why I like WFR so much is because T.G. isn’t afraid to be graphic with his descriptions of emotions and scenes….although some may find this to be a bit too much.
3. Personally I found the plot twists surprising but admittedly I didn’t put down the book long enough to do any serious plot analysis. Some may complain that there are a few too many cliches but I didn’t mind it so much. The “intelligent” characters often act rashly but ususally the situations are pretty intense.
4. WFR and Stone of Tears, the second book in the series, “borrows” some elements from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. The later books have much more original work and they do get better but I don’t know if the changes are significant enought for me to recommend them to you Mark. For a mainstream fantasy novel with a huge following, I think the sword of truth series is pretty daring in many respects, especially when compared to Robert Jordan’s wheel of time and David Edding’s Belgariad.