Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 7

wizard's first rule header


After telling Zedd about the thorn Richard spends some time drifting in and out of unconsciousness. I figured he had been doing that since the start of the book, but apparently not.

He remembered how his father had taken him to the secret place in the woods, and had told him how he had saved the Book of Counted Shadows from the peril it was in from the beast that guarded it until its master could come. How he had brought it with him to Westland to keep it from those covetous hands, hands that the keeper of the book didn’t know threatened.

So I had been assuming Zedd was the wizard from Midland, but maybe it’s actually Richard’s dad and Richard is going to take up his wizardly arts. That would be very slightly more interesting.

Richard’s dad had him commit the book to memory before burning it, tasking him with either finding the book’s true owner and giving the information to them or passing it down to his child, and his child will pass it on to the next child and so on (needless to say it’s assumed all of these children will be male, because reasons).

His father chose Richard. That it was to be Richard and not Michael was for reasons of his own.

Because Michael’s a shit-head?

Lots of spooky magic stuff happened when they burned the book, which is cool I guess.

Richard felt a hand resting on his shoulder and opened his eyes. It was Kahlan. In the firelight coming through the doorway he could see she was sitting in a chair pulled close to his bed. Zedd’s big old coon cat was curled up sleeping in her lap.

Maine Coons are the most awesome cats ever, do a google image search if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

I have to say I like how so far Richard hasn’t been portrayed as super-masculine mantagonist guy.

She smiled her special smile, her private smile of sharing

Shut the fuck up about the smile of sharing, Jesus Christ.

Richard remembers how Zedd was freaked out by Kahlan and makes her swear that she’s not up to anything shady.

“I have already made promises, to others, some of whom have given their lives. I have responsibilities to the lives of others. Many others.”

“Promise me.”

She put her other hand on the side of his face. “I am sorry, Richard, I cannot.”

Sounds totally legit.

Surprisingly, Richard actually reacts quite sensibly to this, by realizing that there’s much more at stake than just Zedd and he can’t really ask Kahlan to compromise her mission for the sake of one person.

“Kahlan, this fever is making me foolish. Please forgive me. I have never met another with your courage. I know you are trying to save us all. Zedd will help us; I will see to it.


Is this supposed to sound austere or Ye Olde Worlde-esque or something? Because it seems more like Terry Goodkind can’t fucking write.

We get a POV shift as Zedd returns with the roots he needs (well thank God, I thought there was about to be some dramatic tension there).

Zedd went into the bedroom, bent over Richard, and found him to be deeply unconscious. He turned and saw that Kahlan’s back was to him as she worked at her task. He bent over, placing a middle finger to Richard’s forehead. Richard’s eyes snapped open.

Is Zedd supposed to be using some sort of finger-magic here or something?

When Richard is asleep and in the process of getting de-thorned by the medecine Zedd asks where Kahlan’s “wizard” is. She replies that he sold his services to a queen, which disgusts Zedd. I’m guessing wizards and confessors have an arrangement where they pair up, and it’s a rule of absolute importance that a wizard doesn’t leave his confessor. A Wizard’s First Rule, if you will.

Also Kahlan’s wizard was named Giller, so expect him to show up later as a villain I guess. All the rest of the wizards killed themselves getting Kahlan across the boundary and Kahlan in the last Confessor, Darken Rahl stole all the food and outlawed fire so winter is going to be a tad difficult this year, blah blah.

Kahlan wants “The wizard” to appoint a “Seeker” but Zedd says that Seekers are born and not made and a wizard only recognises them and seriously we’ve all figured out where this is going, it could not be more obvious. Just get to it.

Remember that appointment that pissed off Ze- I mean, the wizard, so much? The council of the Midlands appointed a Seeker, giving the position to someone who was unworthy. This makes the backstory of Zedd the wizard more sympathetic, as he’s now getting pissed off because a position of great power was given to someone who didn’t have the qualities to handle it instead of throwing a tantrum because someone usurped his authority.

“I have seen a true Seeker make a king quake in his boots with the asking of a single question: When a real Seeker draws the Sword of Truth . . .” He held his hands up and rolled his eyes in delight. “Righteous anger can be an extraordinary thing to behold.”

Swap out “sword of truth” for “objectivism” and “true Seeker” for “Terry Goodkind” and this paragraph gets kind of weird.

“But people rarely believe the truth when they see it and less so when they don’t want to, and that makes the position of Seeker a dangerous one. He is an obstacle to those who would subvert power. He draws lightning from many sides. Most often he stands alone, and frequently not long.”

Hey look the “true seeker” is a guy, what a shock.

Rich- I mean, the Seeker, won’t be familiar with the Midlands so Kahlan has been sent to be his guide and protector.

Richard’s hand thorn emerges from the bite wound, so yay for that I guess. Kahlan states that she’ll tell Ri- the Seeker she’s a Confessor when she leaves with him and Zedd apologizes for flipping his shit the first time he sees her.

“Know this, though, Mother Confessor.” His voice was only one step above a whisper, and deadly. “This boy has been my friend a good long time. If you touch him with your power, or if you choose him, you will answer to me. And you would not like that. Do you understand?”

You’re fighting a losing battle there, Zedd.

She relaxed, satisfied at having made her point, and gave him a quick hug that was returned earnestly.

Kahlan continues to randomly both act and be treated like a five year old for some reason.

“Me? A woman can be Seeker?”
He lifted an eyebrow. “Of course. Some of the best Seekers have been women.”

What was with all of that “he” stuff, then?

Zedd magics Kahlan so she falls asleep. Here’s how it’s described:

Zedd shrugged. “As you wish.” He walked behind her and patted her shoulder reassuringly. “As you wish:” He gently reached up and put a middle finger to each of her temples, rubbing in little circles. She moaned softly as her eyes closed. “Sleep, dear one,” he whispered, “sleep.” She folded her arms down onto the edge of the bed, and her head sank onto her arms. She was deeply asleep.

Zedd stop touching Kahlan it’s creepy.

Once the adventure duet are asleep Zedd goes for a mystery walk in the woods. The gar that menaced Richard and Kahlan earlier shows up to attack him but he uses his wizard powers (because he’s the wizard) to immobilize it and tells it to kill a quad heading their way from D’Hara, or else he’ll kill it.

Standing next to his cloud rock, Zedd pointed down at it and began turning his bony finger in a circle as if stirring a stew. The massive rock grated against the ground as it tried to revolve with the movement of Zedd’s finger.

All of Zedd’s magic appears to be finger-based.

It turns out the rock contains the spirits of Zedd’s parents, or something.

He closed his eyes and nodded as his arms lowered with hers. “It’s true, then, all my students, save Giller, are dead.”


“Zeddicus,” his mother said, “would you let Richard die too, and all the other innocents? Appoint the Seeker.”

“He’s too young.”


“He has not passed my final test.”

“Darken Rahl hunts Richard. The cloud that shadows him was sent by Rahl to track him. The snake vine was put in the jar by Darken Rahl, in the expectation that Richard would search for it, and it would bite him. The snake vine wasn’t meant to kill; Rahl sought to have him put to sleep by the fever until he could come for him.”

Her form drifted closer, her voice becoming more loving.

“You know in your heart you have been watching him, hoping he would show himself to be the one.”

“To what avail?” Zedd closed his eyes, his chin sinking to his chest. “Darken Rahl has the three boxes of Orden.”

“No,” his father said, “he has only two. He still seeks the third.”

plot plot plot plot plot

Darken Rahl (try just saying his first name on its own and see how dumb it sounds) is also looking for the Book of Counted Shadows.

Zedd put a finger to his chin, thinking. “Then there’s a chance,” he whispered. “What sort of fool would put the boxes of Orden in play before he had all three, and the book?”

Every single time someone talks about the boxes of Orden they use the phrase “the boxes of Orden are in play”. Every single time.

Zedd’s ghost dad tells him that Darken Rahl is travelling through the underworld, which is how he was able to steal the first box from Westland and how he’s destroying the boundaries. He wasn’t expecting Kahlan to travel through there but if she or Richard tries it again he’ll be ready.

Ghost parents tell Zedd that once he officially names Richard the Seeker, Richard will find some way into the Midlands.

Zeddicus Zu’1 Zorander, the great and honorable wizard, stood alone on the wizard’s rock his father had given him, and stared out into the night, thinking wizard’s thoughts.



9 thoughts on “Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 7

  1. Signatus

    I have to admit, I was kind of touched by that moment with Zedd’s ghost parents. For some reason, literature never takes into account parents from elderly people aside from making them part of a scenario or a story, no more than a name and perhaps a job (if it fits the story), when there is one. It is never considered how an elder person feels about loosing his or her parents. I thought it was nice.

    Anyways, my main complain about this chapter is the damned book. There is something funny about memory. It changes, it can create memories out of thin air that are as vivid as real memories, and it will eliminate all that isn’t used to free hard disk space for new memories, it will change what you remember so it can be accessed and used more efficiently, etc.
    That is, it is virtually impossible to remember a full book with such detail, for years on end. You can study a book to the point you remember every single coma. In a year you won’t remember half of it unless you write it down everyday (which, depending on the book’s size, is also pretty impossible).

    Not to mention, Richard has to survive enough time to breed, raise and have surviving, intelligent and interested teenagers wanting to learn that book as well (considering his brain hasn’t corruped the memory in the 20 or so years it took him to reach that point): And that child has to have children of his own, and so on. This is medieval, and Richard is being hunted down, so the chances of him or his children dying is not exactly lwo.
    Not to mention, by doing that, Richard’s father has put him in danger, so his father is pretty much a dick.

    So, considering all those variables, Richard’s father has burnt a powerful and unique magic book with the slim expectation that it will be somehow safe in Richard’s brain. That’s a pretty stupid thing to do.

  2. somatophylakes

    “Zeddicus Zu’1 Zorander, the great and honorable wizard, stood alone on the wizard’s rock his father had given him, and stared out into the night, thinking wizard’s thoughts.”

    Wizards standing on wizard rocks thinking wizard thoughts, and (later) war wizards wearing ‘war wizard outfits’.

    I have to say, Goodkind’s descriptions certainly are … unique.

    1. Reveen

      “Did I leave the hearth burning?”

      Oh, and holy shit one of the really infamous Goodkind moments is in this book. I was kinda worried that the series starts out tame too.

  3. Satu

    “Maine Coons are the most awesome cats ever, do a google image search if you don’t know what I’m talking about.”

    Totally agree, I happen to be typing this whilst having my gorgeus 24 lbs Maine coon trying to sleep on the keyboard.

    “Zeddicus Zu’1 Zorander, the great and honorable wizard, stood alone on the wizard’s rock his father had given him, and stared out into the night, thinking wizard’s thoughts.”

    Please, please tell me you just made this up! Otherwise I think I´ll have to go vomit and I really don´t want to.

    Also, the boxes of Orden are in play – thing totally sounds like a game of Magic The Gathering (for example this card: http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=74251)

    1. grumpus

      “He put two boxes of Orden into play? Why would he do that? Everyone knows that if you’re playing mono-Black Overlord Combo against Bant Fellowship you never leave your combo pieces on the board where they can hit them with artifact removal. That’s how Sauron lost to Gandalf at PTQ Third Age.”

  4. Austin H. Williams

    “She smiled her special smile, her private smile of sharing”

    “She smiled her special smile of smiley smileness while smiling and sharing a smile with a smiling smiler whom she smiled at for smiling back at her.”

    Am I doing it right?

    A Wizard’s First Rule, if you will.

    Yo’re gonna’ get reeeeeeaaally disappointed when you find out what that rule is…


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