The Sword of Truth is a fantasy series written by Terry Goodkind consisting of 11 novels.
The story of The Sword of Truth is a familiar one: a boy turns out to be legendary hero, destined to face evil enemies with incredible powers and of course he gets help from an old wizard and a beautiful girl.
However, as most of the well-known and influential fantasy series, The Sword of Truth is well written and has quite a few innovative ideas and angles to it.
Richard Cypher is a boy growing up the Westland, where no magic exists due to a barrier with the Midlands created long ago. But Richard turns out to be the Seeker of Truth, a champion of good with a great destiny. He is found by the Confessor Kahlan and aided by the wizard Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander, who has watched over him all of life.
Over the course of the series, Richard discovers his powers and falls in love with Kahlan, who by then has become the Mother Confessor. He first takes on the evil Darken Rahl, ruler of D’Hara. Richard discovers that Darken Rahl is father and, after killing him, becomes ruler of D’Hara. Then a new foe arises and Richard Rahl has to face the dream walker Emperor Jagang of the Old World who intends to take over the New World.
Theme and Setting
The novels of The Sword of Truth contain clear cut stories of good versus evil with a strong focus on morality. Each of the novels in the series are constructed around a wizard’s rule, which is a moral lesson to be heeded if one wants to be a good wizard or human being in general. This is in line with the focus on the growth of the characters, especially those of Richard and Kahlan. Combined with the epic fight against evil, this makes the series as a clear example of high fantasy with heroic elements.
The overall story and underlying themes and plots will therefore often sound somewhat familiar and repetitive but they are well written. Also, Terry Goodkind has been able to include original (fantasy) elements in his books.
Some love the series, some hate it: let’s say that The Sword of Truth is not exactly my cup of tea. The first couple of books were pretty good but I have to admit that I stopped reading after 5the Soul of the Fire. The story became a bit too romantic and tedious for my taste. I can handle a bit of romance and morality in a series but it is not the main thing I am looking for when reading fantasy. On the other hand, millions have read Terry Goodkinds books and it is one of the few fantasy series that has been turned in a television series.
1994 – Wizard’s First Rule
1996 – Stone of Tears
1997 – Blood of the Fold
1998 – Temple of the Winds
1999 – Soul of the Fire
2001 – Faith of the Fallen
2002 – The Pillars of Creation
2003 – Naked Empire
2005 – Chainfire
2005 – Phantom
2007 – Confessor