January 16, 2015

Never Let Anyone Recommend You A Book...

...even if you like the person very much. I've always followed the rule, and recently I've been reminded, WHY exactly. The guy that recommended me Wizard's First Rule is smart and funny and educated and generally great and I have zero idea how is he able to read and re-read (for sanity's sake!) this series and find it interesting and elaborate and philosophical. Should I be worried? :D

Title: Wizard's First Rule
Author: Terry Goodkind
First published: 1994
Add it: Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Let's go through why it was bed with the help of bullets, OK?

  • It's long. Soooo long. When I saw that the book is over 800 pages, I braced myself. I reasoned that I've raced through much bigger books in several days, and this one is fantasy so it should be fine. It was not fine. It was slow from the beginning. What made things worse, I could see through everything which was going to happen, so there was no reason for me to be anxious about reading further. 
  • Usually I'm OK with some cliches. The (ignorant but very smart and super-tough and good-looking) chosen one - fine. A weird wizard - fine. A girl with a secret with which the main hero falls in love but can never be together because of reasons - fine. Nothing is new under the sun anyway. But OMG, can there be at least SOMETHING original? The bad guys were so cartoon it was impossible to take them seriously. And of course they can't delegate tasks and need to kill everybody themselves. While riding a dragon. And with no reason whatsoever. 
  • There's so much unnecessary sickening detail! I'm OK with it if it's really necessary. I read and enjoy Martin, after all. But I saw no reason for introducing anybody like Mord-Sith to the story for example. Especially because what follows is 50 pages of torture description. It's as if the author enjoys it and wants to shock public, is all. No benefit for the plot...
  • And here we come to the plot. It's a mess. There is magic in the book, and it works interestingly. It is all explained and you expect that you know the rules. But then you suddenly discover that everybody can be saved by something that JUST HAVEN'T BEEN MENTIONED BEFORE and it changes everything. It doesn't happen once, it happens always. It's cheating and it's not fair. I will not even mention the good timing of everybody, who appear exactly in the right moment to save somebody in grave need
  • It's repetitive. The dialogues are good and funny and clever, but every dialogue eventually comes to discussing the Machiavellian notion of the end justifying the means and reminding everybody around that they can't hesitate to kill, even the closest friends, if they may pose a danger to their objective of killing the Bad Guy. Seriously, I can get how tragic it is just from a couple of repetitions.

As I've mentioned, I liked the dialogues, and political games were very believable, but this was not enough to redeem the time I spent facepalming the plot and the characters.


  1. Yeah that can create some awkward situation. Maybe it depends also whether the person is well-read or haven't read so much? Likely if you have read fewer books in life, it is easy to get excited about stuff that is not so good as well.

    I'm aware of these particular books, but have never felt any temptation to give them a go, and certainly won't.

    1. You are so right, taste in books needs to be developed with A LOT of reading. Unfortunately, normal people don't think that reading like 10 books a year is NOT ENOUGH. Oh, well...
      I know you would be facepalming all through this book, so don't even start, save your time and energy :)


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