Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 10 (for real this time) + 11

wizard's first rule header

So in an act of rampant professionalism I actually didn’t finish chapter ten last time. There was a series of dashes placed part-way through the chapter that I glanced at and blithely assumed to be the chapter break before throwing a post up. Turns out it wasn’t.

So here’s the rest of chapter 10! You didn’t miss much.

Chapter 10

Becoming the Seeker apparently turned on Richard’s Self-Righteous Little Asshole switch, because he’s now acting like a….. well, you know.

“And how do you know there is a way across?”

“There is. That’s all that matters.”

You see, now that Richard is a virile and strong-minded capitalist Seeker he can use the dominating strength of his iron will to simply force the world to conform to his wishes.

Richard enquires about Kahlan’s dress, which doesn’t really seem like it’s suitable for travelling, and she admits that in the Midlands she’s always provided with somewhere to stay and food to eat. Richard is naturally curious about why she’s so important but instead of asking he decides to just drop the subject, because that’s a thing people do and Goodkind thinks we’re all on tenterhooks here waiting to find out what a Confessor is (we’re not).

Just as they’re making travel arrangements, a mob of fifty men carrying pitchforks and lit torches arrive! I’m wondering how they carried those torches for hours through the woods to where Zedd’s house is but anyway.

They’re there because something magical happened and they think Zedd did it. Kahlan unleashes her sass and they decide to set her on fire as well.

Naturally Richard, who seems to have morphed into a completely different character since taking up the Sword of Truth, cuts their leader’s axe in half and growls at him in an appropriately manly way to scare him off.

The polished blade glinted in the torchlight. Richard, his muscles hard with restrained need, slowly bent forward and with the sword point tilted John’s face up to his own.

Hee hee, Richard is “hard with restrained need”. Also what the fuck?

Richard angrily points out that Zedd has helped most of the men in the mob, often in life or death situations. Then why the fuck are they trying to set him on fire? Are the people in this world just brainless automatons shuffled around by the requirements of the plot?

“Zedd has helped most of the men here. He hashelped heal your fevers, find lost loved ones, and freely shared anything he has with you.”

From the back someone yelled out, “Only a witch could do all those things!”


Zedd pulls Richard and Kahlan back and says that if she tried to fight the dudes she’d fail and the three of them would die whereas if Richard did it he’d slaughter all the dudes and that would be bad because reasons. Which would seem to suggest the two of them should work together, but no apparently Zedd is going to solve this situation himself.

I should mention that the angry dudes have been calling Zedd a “witch” this entire time.

“There, you said it again.” Zedd shook his head in confusion. “I don’t understand. Do you gentlemen want to do away with me because you think I have magic, or is it simply your intention to demean me by calling me a woman?”

Funny that Zedd considers being called a woman an insult.

Anyway Zedd basically spouts a lot of bullshit about his supposedly awesome wizard powers and the guys get scared, because apparently none of them considered this before now. Oh also, he makes them think that he made their penises vanish by…. telling them that he did. And they reach into their pants and everything and actually think they no longer have any junk in the trunk and run off screaming.

No, seriously.

Richard turned to the wizard. “A trick? It was just a trick? I thought you had done real magic.” He seemed somehow disappointed.

What do you mean he “seemed” disappointed? Did we switch POV all of a sudden?

Zedd prattles on about using the necessary amount of force to finish the job and then Richard realizes (somehow) that Darken Rahl sent the mob to distract them before he launches his real attempt. Given that his real attempt involves Rahl himself teleporting over to Zedd’s house and blowing the shit out of it it seems like he could have just done that while they were all asleep. In fact the mob is actually counter-productive here since Richard et al would have been inside the house if it wasn’t for the angry guys with pitch forks.

Overhead, two huge winged beasts watched with hungry, glowing green eyes, and then pitched themselves into steep, silent dives. Wings tucked back for speed, they plummeted toward the backs of their prey

I’ll say this for Goodkind, at least he makes sure there’s always something happening.


So the Gar is going to kill Richard, but luckily Zedd put his cat in Richard’s backpack before they left, with its head poking out. This gives me an excuse to post the following image:


The cat leaps out, causing Richard to duck just as the Gar is about to take his head off. This stops him from dying, but the Gar still lands on his back and pins him to the ground. Kahlan leaps into action by….. throwing rocks at it, for some reason. I guess those magic powers have a really long cooldown time or something. Then it’s backpack cat to the rescue again, leaping at the Gar to give Richard enough time to grab his sword and cut its arm off.

A brief fight ensues in which Richard attempts to keep hold of his sword long enough to do some damage, Zedd blasts the two Gars with fire and Kahlan just sort of sits around not doing a whole lot until it’s all over. I will say this, the fight does a good job of driving home the fact that the characters aren’t invincible and could get killed really easily.

Kahlan knelt on his other side and cupped her hand on his, on the hand that held the sword, held the magic. When her hand touched his, he felt a surge of power from the sword that startled him and nearly took his breath away. Somehow, he felt the magic was warning him, and trying to protect him.

Kahlan smiled down at him. She hadn’t felt it.

Apparently the Sword of Awesome doesn’t like Confessors.

Zedd heals Richard’s damaged ribs enough to let him walk and they set off quickly before Darken Rahl comes to murder them all.

When the other two weren’t looking, he slipped the tooth from his neck and put it in his pocket.

Richard still hasn’t told Zedd or Kahlan about the tooth. Probability of this turning out to be a bad idea: approximately 95%.

Kahlan said she was fine, thanks to him. Richard told her he hoped never to get in a rock-throwing contest with her. She gave him a big smile as she put Cat in his backpack.

It’s kind of amazing how much of this book you could quote out of context and convince people it was from something aimed at children.

After an unspecified about of time passes they reach Chase’s house. Chase, who if you recall is something of a badass, grabs Richard from behind and presses a knife to his throat before he realises who it is.

Chase invites them all inside for some food with him and his wife, who isn’t phased by the blood all over them. Richard gets his wounds cleaned and then one of Chase’s daughters, who is improbably named “Lee”, comes in.

efore Richard could answer, Lee, one of their daughters, appeared in the doorway, rubbing her sleepy eyes with her fists. Chase scowled at her. She pouted back.

Chase sighed. “You’ve got to be the ugliest child I’ve ever seen.”

Her pout turned to a beaming grin. Lee ran over to him, threw her arms around his leg, put her head on his knee, and hugged it tight. He mussed her hair.

Uh. Okay. Also I see we’re back at the Pat Rothfuss school of writing, where characters’ emotions are displayed through mugging at the audience. The point of this scene is that Zedd gives Backpack Cat (it doesn’t actually have a name, the characters just call it “cat”) to Lee to look after while they go adventuring.

Kahlan goes off to get some proper travelling clothes while the men sit in the kitchen and talk about serious man-things, such as the fact that Richard is a Seeker and he needs to get across the boundary. Chase is apparently overjoyed by the former but not so happy about the latter, him being a boundary warden and all. This takes about five paragraphs longer to explain than it should, because fantasy.

“Ultimately, there is only one whose orders we will follow, because our cause is a part of his larger cause. That one is the true Seeker.” He picked up the sword in his big hands and held it out to Richard, looking him in the eyes. “I pledge my life and loyalty to the Seeker.”

You know I thought Chase was going to turn out to be a villain. Maybe he still will be! Nothing like a good betrayal midway through the story.

Richard guesses that Chase knows where there’s a pass through the Boundary and asks him to tell them how to find it.

“The pass across the boundary. I know about it, I just don’t know exactly where it is, and I don’t have time to search.” Richard didn’t have time to play these games and felt his anger rising.

Richard, seriously, calm the fuck down. Ever since he got the sword the dude can’t go five seconds without almost flying off the handle at someone.

Eventually Chase tells them there’s a pass in a highly dangerous location four or five day’s ride away, and insists on taking them there himself. It has been established that he has a loving wife and several daughters so if he isn’t evil he’s almost certainly going to die. Ah well.





8 thoughts on “Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 10 (for real this time) + 11

  1. shardbaenre

    Of the many offenses this series will commit, this book is probably the least of them. But that doesn’t mean some heinous things within the book aren’t heinous…just that, for the most part, it is the least of the series.

    There are, I would say, 3 major major WTF events. There are other bad ones, but these three I would say are beyond the pale. Just far beyond it…then you realize that those things are shadows of the horror to come.

  2. ladycrumb

    I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I read a large part of WFR thinking it was a parody of bad fantasy books. I couldn’t believe that a major publisher would actually release something this bad so I kept hoping that it would actually turn funny at some point. When I finally realized how wrong I was I felt compelled to gawk at the train wreck until the bitter and horrible end.

    Anyway, I’m enjoying the Let’s Read and can’t wait until you get to the really good parts…

      1. Fibinachi

        Oh yeah.

        way worse.

        …. I think Chase is the only character I remember from those books being kind of sensible and decent about things.

        Hope the backpain as subsided a bit lately, by the by.

  3. Signatus

    There is one of my mayor issues with several of these novels, the fact that female characters are always overshadowed by male characters. Kahlan was able to fend off 4 highly trained assassin’s without much effort, and as the story progresses, she has been loosing that awesome power to the point a bunch of humans with pitchforks are too much of a challenge, and she has to throw ROCKS to a monstruous chimera.
    Where is her magic? She’s going to end up being the quota woman, right? Her sole purpose is serving as the male’s romantic interest because… reasons.

    Not to mention the plot is not dependant on the character’s, the characters are dependant of the plot. They react one way or another as plot suits it. That’s some pretty bad writing there.


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