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Kahlan has at last gained the one goal she had always thought was beyond her grasp ... love. Against all odds, the ancient bonds of secret oaths, and the dark talents of men long dead, Richard has won her heart.
Amid sudden and disastrous events, Richard's life is called due to satisfy those treacherous oaths. To save his life, Kahlan must forsake Richard's love and cast him into the chains of slavery, knowing there could be no sin worse than such a betrayal.
Richard is determined to unlock the secrets bound in the magic of ancient oaths and to again be free. Kahlan, alone with the terrible truth of what she has done, must set about altering the course of a world thrown into war. But even that may be easier than ever winning back the heart of the only man she will ever love.
Review by Travis Starnes
The adventure continues with Richard, Khalan and company. Richard’s life is turned upside down, again, when he learns what it means to be the True Seeker.
This is the second book in the series and it holds up well compared to the first book. For me it actually scores marginally higher than its predecessor since it maintains what I enjoyed from Wizard’s First Rule, namely the characters, and fixes some of the problems I had with that book, such as the writing.
The story and themes this book touches on are generally pretty interesting. Goodkind holds with the love story from the first book, delving into the importance of love and its dangers. While I had a lot of trouble with the love story in the previous book, here it works well and is one of the better themes. This is a bit strange when you consider the two focuses of the love story spend so much time apart here.
Although touched on briefly in Wizards the idea of prophesies his and critique of them in this book is greatly expanded, and really helps this title out. The difficulty of anyone truly understanding prophecies in any way other than hindsight was really interesting and it made any scene with Nathan all that much more interesting. This sub-plot was by far a highlight for me. In to many fantasy novels, prophecy is just a plot device that is treated like instructions for building furniture from Ikea. It was nice to see the idea given a good once over.
I also liked that Goodkind continued with the one new rule per book that he started in Wizard’s First Rule. The rules are each worked into the story in a really interesting way, and I find myself interested in finding out what the next one is.
Even though I loved the way several of the plot points were handled, the characters remain the main reason I enjoyed this book. Zed is a pleasure to follow and Richards’s story line was both interesting and different from what he faced in the last book. To many times sequels become rehashes of the first title so it was nice to see him getting new challenges. The addition of Gratch is well done and I found myself really liking him as a character.
Unfortunately I found everything around Kahlan to be a bit tedious; unlike Richard who still feels fresh she is still hitting the same notes. Instead of feeling like her own character she is starting to come off as just a plot device for others.
I actually have very few complains about this book. It is a definite step up from its predecessor. This book continues in the vein of the first and does an admirable job. If you enjoyed Wizards’ First Rule, you will enjoy this book. If you didn’t you might still enjoy this book.