Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, Book 1) - Terry Goodkind
My family is hooked on The Legend of the Seeker and so I decided to read the book. Although I love the television series and recognize its limitations, I found the book extremely enjoyable and much more satisfying, especially in regard to its ending. Spoiler Alert: Don't read further if you want to enjoy this book for yourself. The book's presentation of the Boxes of Orden is much more complex. Richard's budding wizard powers are much more prominent. Kahlan's awareness that she is deeply alone because of her powers is more obvious, and the fact that Richard looks her in the eye and is attracted to her rather than terrified by her plays a bigger role in their budding love relationship. Richard doesn't even find out about her powers until late in the book. In the television series, she explains them in the first episode. I love how, in the book, Richard is able to deceive Darken Rahl (and trick everyone else) by making it seem like he has been confessed by Kahlan. We ultimately find out that her powers don't work on Richard, since he has already given her his heart. Great first book!
Stone of Tears (Sword of Truth, Book 2) - Terry Goodkind
At almost 1000 pages, this was a much more difficult book to get through. By defeating Darken Rahl, Richard has created a teil between this world and the underworld that the Keeper seeks to use to plunge all the living into a living hell. Richard and Kahlan are separated through much of the story. Richard's headaches, caused by his budding Wizard powers, will kill him unless he is collared by one of the Sisters of Light. Kahlan must risk coming across as if she has betrayed Richard by demanding that he put the collar on. In light of his previous torture from the Mord-sith, Demmen, in the first book, he can view the collar as nothing more than being enslaved again. While Richard is being trained, Kahlan searches for Zedd. The plodding pace of this book makes it difficult to wade through. On top of that, the climax comes very quickly, so that all the build-up seems wasted. Regardless, now I'm off to read the third book!
Blood of the Fold (Sword of Truth, Book 3) - Terry Goodkind
It seems like every time Richard is successful, there is a negative repercussion. In the first book, Richard defeated Darkan Rahl, but in the process, tore the veil separating the living from the dead. By defeating the Keeper of the underworld in book two, Richard destroys the boundary separating the Old World from the New World. As the Imperial Order advances, seeking to bring all the Midlands under its tyranny, the Blood of the Fold, a group committed to the elimination of magic, also begins its death march across the land. Emperor Jagang, the dream-walker, is loosed to wreak havoc, and Richard and Kahlan must oppose his emissaries, including the Sisters of the Dark. This was a shorter book (only 600 pages) and, in my opinion, sped along quite nicely. I liked it so much, I'm now beginning the fourth book. Here goes...