sword of truth

by terry goodkind

3.07 avg rating
Book 2 of 121 in the Worst Fantasy Books Ever
1767 votes 36 comments
The Sword of Truth, Boxed Set I, Books 1-3
Wizard's First Rule, Stone of Tears, and Blood of the Fold

Book 1: Wizards First Rule
The masterpiece that started The New York Times bestselling epic Sword of Truth

In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeking help . . . and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

In a dark age it takes courage to live, and more than mere courage to challenge those who hold dominion, Richard and Kahlan must take up that challenge or become the next victims. Beyond awaits a bewitching land where even the best of their hearts could betray them. Yet, Richard fears nothing so much as what secrets his sword might reveal about his own soul. Falling in love would destroy them--for reasons Richard can't imagine and Kahlan dare not say.
In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword--to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed . . . or that their time has run out.
This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.

Book 2: Stone of Tears
An Epic of Awesome Power

Kahlan has at last gained the one goal she had always thought was beyond her grasp ... love. Against all odds, the ancient bonds of secret oaths, and the dark talents of men long dead, Richard has won her heart.

Amid sudden and disastrous events, Richard's life is called due to satisfy those treacherous oaths. To save his life, Kahlan must forsake Richard's love and cast him into the chains of slavery, knowing there could be no sin worse than such a betrayal.

Richard is determined to unlock the secrets bound in the magic of ancient oaths and to again be free. Kahlan, alone with the terrible truth of what she has done, must set about altering the course of a world thrown into war. But even that may be easier than ever winning back the heart of the only man she will ever love.

Book 3: Blood of the Fold
An Epic of Two Worlds

In a world as rich and real as our own, Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell stand against the ancient forces which besiege the New World-- forces so terrible that when last they threatened, they could only be withstood by sealing off the Old World from whence they came. Now the barrier has been breached, and the New World is again beset by their evil power.

War and treachery plague the world, and only Richard and Kahlan can save it from an armageddon of unimaginable savagery and destruction.

Terry Goodkind, author of the brilliant bestsellers Wizard's First Rule and Stone of Tears, has created his most masterful epic yet, a sumptuous feast of magic and excitement replete with the wonders of his unique fantasy vision.


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sword of truth ranks on the following lists

leave a comment

Anonymous | 2012-10-02 07:30:59
I don't understand why this series isn't somewhere on either list. As a whole, probably not 5 star, but certain good and entertaining above some series on these lists.
FiFi | 2012-10-23 12:18:15
Enjoyable series, the politics are pretty right wing and make little sense at times. I wonder about the freedom of a culture that don't allow their women to grow their hair long and still held up as "free" - good never-the-less
Anonymous | 2012-11-02 10:53:10
I read Malazan because of this site and it was awesome. Just don't know how you can call this the worst ever. It wasn't that bad.
Anonymous | 2012-12-10 06:05:39
This is my absolute favorite series. Goodkind has created a fantastic world with strong-willed main characters facing real conflicts. His philosophies are unique, inspiring, and interesting... It really gives you somthing to think about.
Definition Concord Fallacy | 2012-12-18 06:56:56
After spending so much time reading this series I can't help but like it no matter how bad it was so I CAN CONVINCE MYSELF THAT I DIDN'T WASTE MY TIME.
Anonymous | 2012-12-23 01:37:22
As a series it stands out and is far above some of the drivel that is on the lists. So what if its right wing and politically incorrect, it is fantasy for heavens sake.
Anonymous | 2013-01-11 12:29:58
These books are in the Best Epic Series with a great love story also. A riveting series beginning with Wizard's First Rule and GREAT Characters with a lot of depth and humor. Faith of the Fallen is one of the best books in the series and is inspirational and great insight into the human condition and how it can be improved with the right attitudes and approach. Would make a fabulous movie series.
Anonymous | 2013-01-15 12:46:45
I just finished book 3 and am enjoying the series. I haven't read much fantasy beyond George Martin, Tolkien, and CS Lewis and a few more so not much to compare with but I want to keep reading so that's what matters I suppose. I would recommend it to others. I also picked up on the conservative messages and find it refreshing since it's so rare.
Anonymous | 2013-01-17 08:41:39
The only thing I can say is that this is the only book that has had me crying with laughter--and its not a comedy! Richard's 'war wizard suit', 'the thing rose up within him,' a dinosaur called Graak, Betty the noble goat, evil Nipple Magic (yes, really, and they have to go around feeling people's boobs!) and, best of all the Chicken That Is Not a Chicken...
Geekette | 2013-01-18 08:00:41
Horrible, horrible writing. Couldn't finish the first one, didn't even get to the vaunted BDSM torture scenes. The writing is so juvenile, the characters so annoying and unbelievable, I just couldn't force myself to continue. Even tried it in audiobook format but it was worse, repetition of words (such as using the word "border" 8,000,000,000 times in the first few chapters alone) was grating on the ears. Most annoying was how the three heroes would all of a sudden get angry at one another for no reason every 30 pages or so, as if Goodkind was trying to indroduce conflict to pad out the slow parts but didn't know how. Terrible.
Anonymous | 2013-07-20 08:48:12
I found the books entertaining. This is fiction, not real life. Those that believe all the BDSM goop do not really understand the underlying theme that people can change, whatever their past. Some people need to get a life outside of books, or read some non-fiction, if they really want to get so up-in-arms about the "rape of women".
Anonymous | 2013-07-26 04:48:58
I have read the first 5 books in the series so far, and I have to say I am a little bit upset. First off, this series was clearly written for children who believe that the "good guys" always win. I mean in EVERY SINGLE fight richard encounters throughout all 5 books so far, no matter how rediculous the odds, he somehow wins and survives. I mean I understand that he is supposed to be the hero and all, but I cannot enjoy a book that you know in the end the good guy will always win. it makes me not even take the antagonists seriously. The other thing that pisses me off about these books is that it feels like goodkind keeps creating last minute problems in order to make a new book and make money off of it. For example in the first book richard kills darken rahl and that should have been the end. Bravo! Instead, Goodkind realized that people liked his book so he tries to scrap an idea together to make and sell a sequel... in this case it was that richard was not supposed to kill his darken rahl and in doing so almost let loose the underworld. So lame. Then the whole second book is about richard trying to fix the problem he created in the first book, and whe he does he creates another problem that he has to fix in the third...... on and on and on. A very lame and haphazardous pattern if I must say so myself.
A person who has read all the books | 2013-09-20 03:41:08
So this was basically the first fantasy series I ever read (some piers Anthony stuff before). I started reading them in like 8th grade and have read the whole series. I admit liking them at first but while waiting for the "next" novel to come out, I read some other fantasy novels and realized this series is absolute shit. The reasons why this series and Terry Goodkind as a person sucks are to long to list but here is a small sample...Bad writing, extremely repetitive, derivative, self contradictory, and characters with no depth. Unless you an Ayn Rand follower and want to read a poorly written foundhead rip off please dont waste you time and money. Pick something by Brandon Sanderson or Scott lynch or patrick rothfuss of Brent Weeks as your intro to the genera. This series does disservice to a great genera that I truly love.
Anonymous | 2013-10-06 04:22:26
each book is worse than the last
DUDUDUDUD | 2013-10-23 07:18:28
I actually love The sword of thruth! (but I do agree that the last books didn'tlive up to my expectations completly) On the other hand I havn't read that many fantasy books, last was Eragon(NEVER AGAIN!)so I don't have that much to compare with. But I actually feel kind of happy my favorite book series are among the worst since that means it can onlyget even better! JIHU!
Anonymous | 2013-10-25 08:17:45
I completely agree with your synopsis at the end re: the readability. I thought the first one was good, the second and third, just ok, and by the time I got to the 6th one I wished I had never started. The things I disliked were all that you said above, the perfectness of Richard and Kahlan, I mean, there farts must smell of roses, right? … the droning on and politicizing was out of CONTROL… and the thing that drove me completely nuts was the incessant repetition! Good Grief! I think he literally copied and pasted complete pages from earlier books, certainly complete paragraphs in order to fill in a reader foolish enough to pickup a book midway through a series. I get that, I really do. But by the time the 10th book rolled around 50% of it was copy/paste from earlier books to “catch a reader up” that just arrived! Complete waste of time and annoying to boot.
David Sims | 2013-10-27 01:51:15
I don't agree about Goodkind's Sword of Truth. It's mediocre, but it isn't bad. You do get through the book, but you tell yourself you probably wouldn't do it again and probably won't read any of the later books until after you run out of other stuff to read. Sword of Truth is better than, for example, Dragonlance (which REALLY sucks). The Belgariad is in that position, too. It isn't baaaad, it's just mediocre. The problem with Eddings' stuff is that the only really good books he wrote are Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress. Those were fun. Then the Belgariad rated in at so-so. Then came the Malloreon, which was dubious. Then came the Elenium (different series) which was also dubious, followed by the Tamuli, which stank to high heaven. It ranked right down there with Dragonlance.
new to fantasy, old to books | 2013-11-23 02:13:09
reading ABOUT Goodkind it sounds like his SOT books is the fantasy equivalent to "50 shades of grey" in terms of poorly written sex scenes, repetitive language and SHOW and not tell-fillers. Just what I needed in my life right now, some dragon and sword yielding mommyporn! I'm looking forward of throwing this book away in anger after I got my laughs out of it, as I did with 50 shades.
Anonymous | 2013-12-27 07:13:43
It seems Goodkind's biggest crime is being a conservative in a liberal age, how dare he! The criticism is beyond juvenile, he killed peaceful protesters, he kicked a young child, he contradicted himself etc.... The point of the series is that Richard is human and this is his odyssey like it or not. A masterpiece of work not appreciated by a bunch of crybabies.
Anonymous | 2014-01-21 06:45:20
bullshit, Richard is his own man
Anonymous | 2014-02-12 02:45:44
Hes not even believable as a human, not even for fantasy. I dont think anyone would doubt that the whole people can change thing is a nice moral lesson. Its the excessiveness that aides the story or delivery of the lesson in no way that is the problem. Its the same with the rape. There were also many problems with sanitation, incest, disease,etc etc in the middle ages. A little odd that the only thing pulled from the era is rape no??
Eric R.W. Smith | 2014-04-19 07:08:02
I had fun reading this book, but the preachy philosophy and the self-righteousness gets annoying, and takes to much of a center-stage role in this series in my opinion.
Anonymous | 2014-07-08 06:21:03
I loved the series, but not nearly on the level of WOT, Mistborn, and others. Still decently written and, since it is literally the easiest series to read ever, I read the entire thing in three months. Richard's character is actually what kept me coming back strange enough. Something about him was addicting. Possibly the fact that he was constantly trying to fix his mistakes he made in ignorance in previous books. Anyhow, I'd definitely recommend to someone looking for something to read.
Anonymous | 2015-01-28 11:14:27
I am a long time fantasy fan and someone recommended this series to me. I bought the first book and tried to read it but the awful prose killed me about 50 pages in. It was so utterly terrible that I felt my head wanting to explode. Thank the fantasy gods that I dropped this drivel and put it back on my bookshelf where it has been gathering dust for years.
Anonymous | 2015-02-15 02:30:08
Never read Goodkind, but Rand and Fountainhead are iconic and great. Objectivism/Libertarianism are so under appreciated it's criminal.
Anonymous | 2015-06-22 05:27:43
One of the few things on this list I agree with - and it's not because of the politics. I read Wizard's First Rule. Wow. Terrible dialogue. Star Wars in the setting of Wheel of Time. A Gollum ripoff. Though I'd be lying if I said I didn't sort of enjoy it. It was kind of funny with how bad it was.
Anonymous | 2015-07-01 01:33:24
Many here are really reaching when it comes to your criticisms. I agree that Goodkind has flaws with his style of writing, and the later preachiness in the series was problematic (although it is not hard to skip over parts entirely without losing the base stories, which are still pretty good). However, many here are criticizing characters and plot devices that are..simple fact..not that different from most found in other fantasy series that are well regarded by most. This is a case of one taking their base dislike of SoT series and finding excuses to criticize every little think about it. (It's sorta like when you have a girlfriend/wife/lover you think perfect in every way, but when the love dies you start seeing everything about her as wrong. Your eyes start seeing things through tinted glasses) Despite the flaws in Goodkind's series, a quite extraordinary tale exists. Take out the preaching, and it's a very readable and enjoyable story with characters you come to love and care for. Some rough scenes certainly exist, but it is absolutely not as prevalent as the list maker makes it out to be..not by far. The same "grittiness" exists and is lauded in many other popular modern fantasy novels/series recently. Yet the list makers and others again take their hatred of Goodkind's mostly deserved lack of great prose, to exaggerate and malign other aspects of the story. Regardless of some less than stellar writing skills, I think Goodkind should be admired for having the desire and interest to take up writing later in life and do a pretty good job of writing an very entertaining series of books that are extremely popular, and very readable outside of the preachy stuff. (I'm sure some folks hear can only dream of being able to create a work of fiction, even though, like Goodkind, they were not trained to the task. Writing is not easy..not easy at all) I will certainly agree wholeheartedly with one complaint though. Goodkind's need to rehash past exposition was a bit painful and, honestly, condescending to the reader. I read other authors that have fallen into a bit of the that trap, but not near to the extent of Goodkind. (As I'm currently rereading - and enjoying - the series again after some years, it easy to pass over these parts and the preachy stuff)
Bitokos | 2015-07-07 08:01:39
I just picked up Wizard's First Rule from Audible. I'm 15 hours in and it is horrible. Extremely repetitive. I think a 12 year old could have written this stuff. For a while every sentence started with Richard smiled or Richard grinned. I am going to finish this book at least but I actually dread continuing. If you are thinking about picking this up, PLEASE DON'T.
AvidReaderGuy | 2015-07-30 07:37:40
Nailed it. The worst drivel I've read in... ever. Prose? What prose? Objectifying women. They all need saving, right?. Dropped it when the main character said to the woman in need, "better than being stabbed in the eye with a sharp stick". Plus, he looks like a pedophile.
Anonymous | 2015-08-11 02:37:11
The worst fantasy series I've ever read. The lead character is a cross between Superman and Jesus Christ, some sad wish fulfillment fantasy of the author
Chuck Telschow | 2015-09-08 04:46:26
Thank you, finally someone who understands!!! I admit I read the first 6 books and I'm ashamed to admit it! I fear some of it is simply how twisted Goodkind can get. It sometimes is a simple twisted pleasure I guess. After reading Faith of the Fallen though I'd had enough Robert Jordan ripoffs and stupid plot twists. I mean Faith of the Fallen they Richard creates a couple of statues and all the people look upon them and I guess are supposed to be so awestruck that they realize their lives suck! I mean really? Just bad man, just bad...
Daniel | 2016-04-06 02:23:00
First book was decent enough, so I read the entire series. It does get very reptitive (Oh noes, got to save Kahlan again..) and the preaching in the later books really is kind of offensive. I feel like it's quite possibly to write books without forcing one's world view on the reader, yes? If you don't mind either the repetitiveness or the pages-long monologues, you should be fine reading The Sword of Truth. It has swords and magic after all. Or maybe instead you'd rather pick up a Jordan or Sanderson?
Anonymous | 2016-11-20 02:49:52
The books are beyond just fantasy. It is about philosophy. I agree his writing is clunky at times, however his message transcends his writing and brings important life lessons to his readers. His repitition is annoying, but as a person who has read his books many times, you are able to move through those spots quickly. The last three books of the series (prior to his diving into the semi-horror genre and law of nines) are a great romp and worth getting to. Faith of the Fallen is amazing, reinvigorates your appreciation of life and freedom. Pillars of creation and Naked Empire are hard to get through, but worth it. I would stop after confessor.
Anonymous | 2017-04-26 11:14:06
the sword of fucking poop
Anonymous | 2017-04-26 11:28:02
I diont knw]
Anonymous | 2017-04-26 11:28:33
audiobook doing boing bing bong
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