I’m probably the last person on earth to finally start reading the Sword of Truth series. I know all of the rest of you must be done and moved on to other Terry Goodkind books by now. I’ve picked up the books in the library several times and laid them back down just because they appeared to be so daunting. Did I really have time for another epic series? After watching both seasons of Legend of the Seeker, the TV series based on the books, I got curious as to how the books translated to the small screen. I needed a good read for my vacation in October and decided it would be a good time to see what all the hype is about.
The characters are interesting and you are easily drawn into their world by the author, empathizing with their struggle. I won’t tell you the Wizard’s First Rule in case you haven’t read the book yet (which I doubt) but it is simple and a good lesson too.
As for how it translates to television – if everthing in the book was in the TV series it would be R-rated in parts, mostly for horrific violence. The series does capture the essence of the characters and their quest, just toned down a bit. While watching the show I always marveled that Kahlan’s white dress never got dirty, never got torn. For part of the book she does change into more practical “forest wear.” Her mood swings from “in-charge” as Mother Confessor and weeping maiden were puzzling until I read the book, then it fit. The character of Zedd in the TV show is much as imagined when reading the book, and I find it delightful that the actor who plays him was in the Mad Max movies (the gyro captain, remember?) . Richard Cypher on TV is smaller in stature than the man described in the book. The Mord-Sith are much more brutal and their Agiel’s an even more horrible torture tool than in the show. Some of the blood lines are different in the TV series, sort of a puzzling change.
I’m about half way through the second book, Stone of Tears. The only problem I see with this series so far is that there is way too much pain and not enough pleasure or happiness. The characters are slogging through one disaster, life-threatening situation, and torture after another. The theme goes: dark, dark, dark, dark – light – dark, dark, dark dark – really it’s exhausting. I sometimes feel tired just reading the books, which means I’m really into it, but since I’m reading to relax should I continue? Maybe I just need something lighter for the holiday season then move on to book 3 in the new year. If you’ve read them all let me know if it gets better, should I continue to book 3?
January 19, 2010: Update: I made it through Stone of Tears, but I’m going to put this series aside for now. I found it too depressing to read in the dead of winter. I have started on Magic Kingdom for Sale by Terry Brooks and find it very engrossing so far. Complete review to come later….