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Terry Goodkind: Chainfire


Crescent Blues Book Views Tor Books (Hardcover), ISBN 0-765-30523-2

Book: terry goodkind, chainfire
I would like to start with a warning: if you missed the previous eight books in Goodkind's Sword of Truth fantasy series, I suggest you read them before beginning Chainfire. It misses the mark of being a standalone by any measure you want to use.

Although terribly repetitive at times -- not unexpected in the ninth novel in a series of epic proportions -- Chainfire kept me turning pages to the end. Which didn't seem to be the end and probably didn't qualify -- but more of that later.

Chainfire begins with an adrenaline semi-rush: Richard Rahl, ruler of D'Hara, Seeker, bearer of the Sword of Truth, lies near death from an arrow wound in his chest. Healed by Nicci, a sorceress and former Sister of the Dark, Richard wakes to learn his memories of his wife, Kahlan, remain the only sign that she ever existed. No one responds to his queries -- even her footprints have vanished.

In other parts of Goodkind's universe events began in previous books continue. Emperor Jagang's Imperial Order march on D'Hara. Richard refuses to lead his people against them, demanding they claim their own freedom. A cache of prophecies, found by Nathan Rahl, contains a prophecy with many blank pages. Shota, the witch woman, demands a high price from information regarding Kahlan's absence.

I'm not sure how to explain this, but I'll give it a try. Chainfire, the ninth book in the overall series, starts a trilogy that will complete Terry Goodkind's mammoth fantasy, stretching the series to a total of twelve books. However, the trilogy, beginning in Chainfire, also completes in the third book, which gives an unfinished feel to the work.

Did I like it? The answer must be a qualified yes. I didn't find it as enjoyable as most of the previous books, but I did enjoy the premise and will, in all probability, read the final two books. Do I recommend it? Yes, but only if the reader reads the preceding volumes first.

Patricia Lucas White

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