Last week Wendy Kay introduced the reading group from Walton prison. Here is the first in a series of book reviews by members of the group.
Wizard’s First Rule (1995)
The book opens with a young man called Richard Cypher, a woods guide living in the forests of Westland. One day he is walking by a ravine when he encounters a young woman under attack by four large armed men. He does the chivalrous thing and helps her fend off three of the men; the fourth is mysteriously despatched by the young woman. She reveals that her name is Kahlan Ahmnell; she crossed the boundary to find the great wizard who created the magical boundary to stop the evil Darken Rahl.
From the outset, this book looks like one of those ‘nice’ books that occasionally comes along where nobody swears and people faint rather than get killed, but you could not be more wrong. There is blood and guts aplenty and torture scenes that made even me wince in sympathy.
This is an explosive series and the first book sets the pace for the entire series. The level of detail is awesome and the locations are inspired. The author jampacks detail into just shy of eight hundred pages, not too much but enough to keep you wanting more. The crowning feature is the characters, from the stout-hearted Richard to the fierce and passionate Kahlan; from the wonderfully eccentric Zedd to the devilishly handsome and utterly despicable Darken Rahl, who is possibly the most evil character I have ever read. I wonder what is lurking in the author’s mind when he creates such characters.
Wizard’s First Rule is a benchmark in the Fantasy genre. It had me hooked from beginning to end. If there is one book you should read if you are a Fantasy fan, it should be this – Tolkien be damned, long live Goodkind!
Posted by Martin