Reading Backwards

Book reviews by your favorite Git.

Wizard’s First Rule

with 4 comments

By Terry Goodkind
Darest thou to try for it
Rating: CEE-RAP.
Read: Yonk ago, during high school.

This is the worst first novel attempt I have ever had the misfortune of trying to read. No, seriously. Terry Goodkind gets his name up all over the place but I don’t care. I have a serious aversion to him after this thing.

It all started… in the supermarket. Clod help me. (I’m going to have to stop doing this. I got another fantasy/historical novel today for $7.99. The prices keep climbing!! We’re catching up on Canada!) It looked good on the shelf. Best selling author, etc. Sounded cool. It went on my Shelf Of Things To Read and after a few months I got around to it. This was quite a long time ago, but Book-A-Minute sums it up perfectly.

Wizard’s First Rule

By Terry Goodkind

Ultra-Condensed by David J. Parker and Samuel Stoddard

Michael Cypher

Fire is bad.

Kahlan Amnell

I’ve got a secret.

Richard Cypher

So do I.


Me too.

(It takes 800 pages to reveal their secrets but only 50 to figure them out.)

Darken Rahl

I am your father, Richard. (dissolves)

Michael Cypher

Fire is bad. (dies)


Pay special attention to the part in red. When I read I’m always predicting what will happen next. (Sometimes waiting for confirmation is the only thing that keeps me going.) But this book? This was ridiculous. If I still had a copy (or if Amazon had searchable text) I would look for some atrocious quotes for you. I stopped about 100 pages in because it was so painfully obvious what was going to happen.

The female lead has her secret, and she drops the most atrociously bad ‘clues.’ She basically does everything but tell the male lead what happened to his father and why, all in their first conversation. It was bad, man. It was really, really bad.

Lets be fair. It was his first novel. First novels can really suck. I know that when I look at my old writing, I’m ashamed of a lot of it. But I haven’t tried to publish it. I don’t know how Goodkind ever got this through an editor and then went on to sell a whole trilogy and more. If someone offers me a (free) copy of another of his (MUCH later) books and says “This is the best book I have ever read. You have GOT to try it”… then I might take them up on it. But I have three shelves of book that need reading and Goodkind is not even on my Maybe list.

I haven’t been too bitchtastic on this blog before (the older reviews are VERY old and thus do not count) so I feel a bit odd doing so now. But this book deserved it.

Next time, I’ll try to play catch up with some of the books I read in the last month or so of school. You can see the list on the 50 Book Challenge page.

Also: Considering a weekly schedule. Thoughts?

PS: Thanks to Natalie_Eve for the Book-A-Minute link. I read it shortly after reading this book, laughed insanely because it was so damned TRUE, then promptly forgot both. Unrequited love has been restored.


Written by Shen

May 27, 2006 at 11:41 pm

4 Responses

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  1. these are my favourite books, and i’m appalled at your review.

    you must not know a thing about literature.

    fuck you.


    March 26, 2007 at 9:41 pm

  2. I had exactly the same reaction. Obvious doesn’t begin to describe it.

    A lot of the dialogue is even worse, especially at the beginning. Nobody, NOBODY, talks like that. “Thank you for being my friend. It is good to have a friend. Yada, yada, yada.” It’s like Goodkind wrote the first few chapters when he was 14 and then picked up where he left off 20 years later.

    As annoying as the obvious foreshadowing is — you can figure out who all the major players are, including the “surprise” bad guy, in the first 30 pages — Goodkind manages to miss some of the obvious implications of his plot devices. Instead, he uses ad hoc magic to solve most of his problems. For example, there’s an obvious way for Kahlen and Richard to solve their problem. It’s obvious — stupid obvious — but it doesn’t occur to either Goodkind or, apparently, 5000-odd years of confessors and wizards. It should occur to you, however, sometime within the first 300 pages or so.


    June 18, 2007 at 2:23 am

  3. I am repulsed.
    Sure there is some bad dialogue.
    I still loved it.
    I am appalled.
    Shitty Review.
    Interesting book.
    Fuck you.

    Seriously WTF

    August 27, 2007 at 5:40 pm

  4. I loved the book Doesn’t matter if it wasn’t perfect nothing rarely is. You peolpe suck and have no respect or love for the fantasy. Bet there are times when you are faced with a problem and the solution is screamin at you and you just can’t see it. I appreciate a good fantasy and i think this book was fun so i agree Fuck You.


    October 15, 2007 at 11:45 pm

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