Soul of Fire

by Terry Goodkind

Reviewed by Coral


Richard and Kahlan are finally married! Unfortunately the happiness of their wedding night is cut short by a rash of mysterious deaths - of both people and chicken - striking the Mud People. Something has been loosened upon the world and is beginning to destroy magic. It appears to have already taken its toll on Zedd who, weakly, tells Richard he must make for the Wizard's Keep and use the Sword of Truth to destroy a bottle and save the world's magic.

Since the Sliph is a creature of magic, Richard has no choice but to undertake the long journey back by foot. But somewhere along the way Richard begins to doubt the truth of his grandfather's words. He comes to believe that Zedd is hiding the truth from them and that Kahlan really did release the chimes in order to save his life.

Now, in order to stop the chimes Richard and Kahlan must travel to Anderith, a country founded by Joseph Ander who legend says once banished the chimes hundreds of years ago. Too bad for them that the Order has also taken an interest in Anderith. With magic failing, the powerful weapons that protected the Ander people will no longer work, and the the Order sees this as the perfect time to grab this grain rich country.

Can Richard and Kahlan banish the chimes and save the Ander people before the Order's army sweeps in? Or have they unknowingly wandered into a trap?

Meanwhile, Zedd has his own plans when it comes to saving the world's magic, but without power of his own he might find that he's over his head. And Ann uses this golden opportunity to walk into Jagang's camp as a last ditch effort to save her Sisters of the Light, but finds that she has no better luck than Verna.

The book is, again, very repetitive about past plots and explanations of characters and events. It's really annoying. I don't need all the constant reminders of what's already happened!

There were a lot of chapters devoted to the people of Anderith and what was going on there. On the one hand it was useful, letting us in on details about the Order's plans so that we knew it wasn't going to be easy for Richard and Kahlan once they arrived, and it also set the groundwork for some of what happened later. On the other hand I don't think it was interesting enough to warrant all the page space it got. Plus, most of it was centered around the character of Fitch, who wasn't all that appealing a character. If Goodkind wanted to spend so much time writting about Anderith I would have preferred if he focused more on Baeta who, at least, was a more interesting character to me. After a certain point Fitch's purpose seemed to be over and then he just became an obstacle, but Baeta, at least, had a purpose right up until her final scene in the book.

I also have to take back what I said in my review of Stone of Tears, about later books not revisiting the Baka Ban Mana, because they popped back up in this book. But, like Rachel and Chase, I didn't much like their prolonged absence through the middle book of the series.

Plus, how do these people count Richard's wives? I don't think they know math, because I would put Kahlan as his fourth, after Denna, Du Chaillu and Nadine. I don't know why they aren't counting Denna; she did claim him as her mate, after all.

It's pretty much a cliché storyline on TV, where a character finds out she's pregnant, considers abortion only to decide to keep the baby, only to end up suffering a miscarriage. That same tired storyline makes an appearance here, which was disappointing because I consider Goodkind a better writer than that.

Still, even with all the little things that I didn't particularly care for, it was another good book in the series.

Grade: B