The next morning, grizzled inn-saloonkeeper Bill comes into Kahlan and Richard’s inn-saloon room to tell them that there’s something going down at the inn-saloon. Two members of the quad from back at the start survived and they’re here to kick ass and take names, starting with those of the inn-saloon customers (who are apparently just there all night).
“The rest of the lot are down there right now arguing about who’s going to be first to . . . ” He glanced at Kahlan, leaving the rest unsaid
FFS not this shit again.
Kahlan, Richard, Bill and Bill’s son carry Chase and Zedd out the door. Richard ends up having to whack one of the quad guys with the hilt of his sword on the way out.
Richard bent down and clasped hands with Randy and thanked him earnestly, then pointed angrily at Bill.
“You! I want you to add everything to your tally book. Include all the damage, all your time and trouble, even the grave markers. I want you to add a fair fee for saving our lives. If the council doesn’t want to approve payment, you tell them that you saved the life of the brother of the First Councilor, and Richard Cypher said if they don’t pay, I’ll personally have the head of the man responsible and I will put it on a pike on the front lawn of my brother’s house!”
For fucks sake, why is Richard such a raging asshole? Why would anyone think this would make me want to read more about him?
He pointed down at the unconscious man in the mud. He was furious.
When is Richard ever not furious?
“The only reason I didn’t kill this man is because he killed a man worse than himself, and in so doing may have unwittingly saved Kahlan’s life. But he is guilty of murder; intent to murder, and intent to rape. I suggest you hang him before he wakes.”
Bill looked up at him with hard eyes. “Done.”
“I didn’t kill this guy because he didn’t deserve it, you should kill him”
That makes absolutely no sense, if you think he deserves to die just fucking kill him and be done with it.
Anyway, Richard and Kahlan head off to the “bone woman” with their comatose friends in tow.
The rain had helped to cool his hot rage.
I am now beginning the Richard Cypher Hulk-Out Meter, which will be increased every time Richard’s mysterious rage is mentioned. We’re starting a ways through the story so I’ll set it at 10 to begin with, which is probably a conservative estimate.
While they ride Richard thinks about his stupid romance bullshit with Kahlan some more.
Soon they would be in the Midlands, where people knew what she was. He wanted her to be the one to tell him; he didn’t want to learn it from someone he didn’t know. If she didn’t tell him soon, he would have to ask her. Against his nature or not, he would have to.
One of the characters might have to ask someone about something be still my heart
Eventually they come to a rustic swamp house made out of swamp.
There was a square, four-paned window in the front, and another on the side of the house Richard could see. None had curtains.
But they have glass? Glass is actually a luxury you know. I think people would probably have curtains before they have glass.
In the center of the ferns, in the center of the path, stood a tall woman, taller than Kahlan, not as tall as Richard
I thought there was going to be a woman who’s taller than Richard and we can’t be having yeah.
“I be Adie. Who be you?”
This is going to go well.
He had been around Kahlan long enough to know that by the way she was standing, with her back straight and her head held assertively up, she was on guard. Serious guard.
^ A serious guard
Adie turned back to Richard. “Put words to your need, Richard Cypher.”
“We need your help.”
Richard explains that he and Kahlan brought her supplies in exchange from taking a look at Chase and Zedd, and there’s some nonsense where Adie says they’re lying because Richard says “we” but actually it was just Richard who came up with the idea, and this is important for some reason.
“Who be this one?” she asked, pointing at Zedd.
“Zeddicus Zu’1 Zorander. My friend,” he said.
“Wizard!” Adie snapped.
“My friend!” Richard yelled, his anger unhinged.
Richard Cypher Hulk-Out Meter: 11
“The righteous rage of a true Seeker. Good.” She looked over to Kahlan. “You have nothing to fear from him, child. It be the anger of truth. It be the anger of the teeth. The good need not fear it.”
If Goodkind actually believes this shit then he’s extraordinarily naive.
Adie says that Richard has the “anger of teeth”, which is the ability to totally flip the fuck out and stab people, whereas Kahlan has the “anger of the tongue”, which is the ability to pretend you’re going to have sexy-times with men to stop them raping you (this is literally the example Adie chooses to demonstrate Kahlan’s “power”, making Richard flashback mentally to the night before at the inn-saloon). Somehow I think Kahlan got a raw deal here.
Kahlan sees Adie touching Richard’s forehead and hulks out a little herself.
“I am sworn to protect the life of the Seeker. I do not know what you are doing. You will forgive me if I overreact; I mean no disrespect, but I could not forgive myself if I failed in my task. There is much at risk.”
These characters really need to chill out once in a while or they’re going to give themselves heart attacks. And jesus, that awful dialogue. Surely there’s punchier way to express this, like Kahlan could walk in and be all like,
hands off the Seeker
I’ll cut you with my tongue powers.
Adie says that Kahlan has the “true power of the tongue” but doesn’t know it because her mother died before she could teach her. Adie is insistent that this could only have happened “once she reached the age of woman” (is it just me or do male genre writers seem to place great importance on heroines Reaching The Age of Woman) which makes me slightly wary about what this power is going to turn out to be.
It turns out Adie knew Kahlan’s mother, which gives Kahlan an opportunity to get tearful again. I would have no problem with Kahlan’s frequent crying fits if they were counterbalanced by her flipping out and stabbing people as well. Or, you know, doing anything at all.
I’ve complimented this book before for having things happen quite often, but on the other hand an awful lot of it consists of the characters listening to long-winded sermons. I really get the feeling these are Goodkind’s own views we’re hearing, because all of these scenes go on for way longer than they need to.
Adie announced to Richard and Kahlan that both of them and Zedd are all keeping big secrets from each other, which I’m sure will do wonders for their group dynamics. I actually can’t remember, do we know what Zedd’s secret is?
Adie tells them that Zedd and Chase are just suffering the after-effects of being attacked by Underworld creatures and will wake up on their own after a number of days; the only danger to them is dying of dehydration. Welp, I guess that situation wasn’t as exciting as it seemed. Adie works some of her magic(?) to get Zedd and Chase to wake up enough to drink, although they’re both in a trance state and not aware of what’s going on.
After that there’s a lot of faffing about with the characters making dinner and patting each other’s back and smiling the smile of sharing and all that. It’s amazing how this book can veer from steely-eyed ruthless violence to treacle-filled passages of the characters jerking each other off at every opportunity.
Remember all that talk about Richard and Kahlan having to leave Zedd and Chase behind? They’re going to have to do that now, except Adie will be able to look after them until they wake up which feels like a bit of a cop-out. This is framed as the logical choice, but Chase is the only one who knows how to get across the boundary and is more experienced at boundarying than the other three combined, and Zedd had some sort of plan to stop Darken Rahl. Plus, they both add a lot of combat power to the group. Sure, if they wait the five or ten days for them to recover Rahl might get the last box or whatever the fuck it is he’s trying to do, but leaving without them would seem to increase the chances of failure enormously.
“You both will have a good sleep tonight,” Adie said. “You will need it. After supper, I will tell you what you will need to know to get through the pass.”
Well, that’s convenient.