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Wizard's First Rule

by Terry Goodkind

Reviewed by Coral

Richard Cypher is mourning the death of his father, who was brutally murdered. Forbidden by his older brother, Michael - the new First Councilor of Westland - to be a part of the official investigation, Richard instead starts his own investigation, trying to find where a piece of vine left in his father's home could have come from. Deep inside the Ven forest, though, instead of his father's killer Richard finds a woman - Kahlan - on the run from a group of men intent on killing her. After helping her fight off the men, Kahlan tells Richard the impossible: she is from the Midlands, from beyond the Boundary.

Years ago, when Panis Rahl, ruler of the third kingdom of D'Hara, tried to lead his armies into the Midlands a powerful wizard brought up the boundaries; one between D'Hara and the Midlands - to protect them from being conquered - and one between the Midlands and Westland - so that people in Westland could live in a world free of magic. But now, Panis' son Darken rules in D'Hara. He's already brought down the Boundary between D'Hara and the Midlands and his armies have already moved in. Worse, he has possession of two of the three Boxes of Orden.

Now, with the Boundary between the Midlands and Westland about to fall, Richard suddenly finds himself in the middle of a war. If they don't find the third box of Orden before Rahl, if they can't keep it away from him until the beginning of winter, then all the world will be his. 

This is actually the second time I'm reading this book. As I was about to start reading Chainfire I realized I had absolutely no idea what was happening anymore, so I decided to start the series again. Hopefully I'll be done by the time I get a copy of Phantom.

I really enjoyed this book the first time round and, unlike many other books, it survived the test of time and I enjoyed it the second time round as well. Mostly.  I guess, really, the only minor annoyances came from having already read the other books in the series.

That probably doesn't make any sense.

What I mean is that, because I've read all the other books and gotten to the point where I feel that the new storyline has dragged on too long, I was kind of more disappointed than I had been the first time that everything was wrapped up in a nice conclusion in this book.

Okay, there were also a few small things about the plot itself. I mean, the magical boxes of Orden that, if done incorrectly,  can kill the person who opens them feels too much like it violates one of the rules on Peter's Evil Overlord List. I also wish that Darken Rahl's relationship with his general, Demmin Nass, could have involved a little less distrust on the part of Rahl. I mean, they were supposed to be friends from a while back, they understood each other. It always seems so cliché when the bad guy's all "I'll kill you if you betray me," to his people. I guess I thought it just seemed out of place between them.

Plus, there was at least one plotline that ended with a happy ending that was totally ridiculous and unbelievable. It's like Hollywood movie syndrome. Sometimes, no matter how sad and depressing, not everything has a happy ending.

Still, overall, it was a very enjoyable read.

Grade: B