Wizard's First Rule is formula with flair. Review by Violet Kane

Book Cover
If you're looking for a page-turning, big magic fantasy, then Terry Goodkind's debut novel is right up your alley.

Wizard's First Rule follows the story of an unassuming woodsman, Richard Cypher, who finds the forces of good and evil thrust upon him. Luckily, he has his eccentric, elderly wizard pal, Zedd, to let him what's what. After rescuing a beautiful woman from a band of thugs, he discovers that she is really the mysteriously powerful Mother Confessor from across the Boundary mountains, where magic thrives. With Zedd's help, they realize that Richard is actually the Seeker of Truth, a magical warrior bound to the Sword of Truth, its duties and its powers. Only he can stop the evil power amassing across the Boundary.

As you may be able to tell from the above description, this story is pretty much formula fantasy to a tee. Good v. evil, white-bearded wizard helper, humble hero confronting a powerful destiny. The basic story, despite its well-trodden path, comes alive with Goodkind's touches. His invented (Confessors) and borrowed (prophecies) magical concepts are well-wrought to inspire suspension of disbelief. Goodkind's strength is plotting, and he keeps his readers strung along by expertly creating a sense that his characters are in danger. The setting of Wizard's First Rule is most definitely a fantasy world. It is detailed with peculiar tribesmen, wicked woods, and marble palaces of many colors. But do not expect a realistic historical feel, despite a number of pseudo-medieval elements.

Fans of high concept heroic fantasy will enjoy getting absorbed in Goodkind's world. Wizard's First Rule is the fantasy equivalent of the addictive summer "beach read."

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Violet "Violanthe" Kane is the Webmaster and Founder of ARWZ.com. She is an editor of ARWZ Literary Zine and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Medieval studies.

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