Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 17

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Chapter 17

Following on from the non-stop thrill ride that was the previous chapter, it’s now time for some hardcore sleeping and talking action. Darken Rahl is after the boxes man, there’s no time!

Adie tells Richard and Kahlan that they’re already in the mouth of the pass through the barrier (I thought the pass was really far back, is there another one?) but underworld monsters will come and eat them if they try to go through. Luckily Adie has underworld monster bones all over the place, and if they bring some they’ll be protected because the monster bones sap the magic….. of the monsters. Which is kind of like if humans had radioactive bones but whatever.

They can’t take their horses because the pass is too narrow, and they can’t stop to sleep or else other, more different monsters will eat them. Adie tells them about the time she got attacked by a “gripper” and had to cut off her own foot to escape.

Adie explains more about the dangerous areas of the pass, including bits where the dead will call to them. It really feels like this scene was supposed to come before the bit where Chase showed Richard the boundary. Also, I can’t help but feel that we’re now spending a lot more time talking about doing things than actually doing them.

Adie gives Richard a “night stone” that will cast light in the dark only for the holder, so they can find a way through the pass during the night. She gives Kahlan a special bone necklace.

“For now it will hide you from the beasts in the pass, and someday, when you carry a child of your own, it will protect her, and help her to grow strong like you.”

Once Kahlan has had Richard’s steely-eyed Objectivist babbies her purpose in the narrative will be complete.

“What about me? Shouldn’t I have a bone to hide me from the beasts?”

Then Adie tells Richard that he already has a bone, if you know what I mean.

Yes that’s right, the tooth he’s been carrying around (which Kahlan still doesn’t know about) is from an underworld monster so it will protect him.

Anyway, that night there’s a quite cool scene where Richard and Kahlan talk and Kahlan reveals that she doesn’t believe any of them are going to survive the attempt to take down Darken Rahl, even if they succeed in stopping him, and she effectively believes she’s leading Richard to certain death. This would be quite chilling and maybe even emotional if I actually cared about these characters.

Richard makes a manly man oath of the sort that are common in mantasy novels that they will fight to their last breath and stand and make Darken Rahl rue the day that whatever.

You have an odd talent for making me feel better, Richard Cypher, even when telling me of my death.”

He smiled. “That’s what friends are for.”

I really wish they’d stop going on about friendship all the time, particularly when both of them actually want to bang each other senseless.

The next day there’s a gigantic block of overwrought, contraction-free dialogue (because fantasy) in which Richard asks Adie to tell Chase to go back home and rally the people for the impending collapse of the boundary.

Tell him to show no mercy to the enemy, take no prisoners. I take no joy in giving these orders, but it’s the way Rahl fights, and either we meet him on his terms or we die on them. If Westland is taken, I expect the wardens to extract a terrible price before they fall

Isn’t it so grand that circumstances have been set up to allow our heroes to utterly stifle their humanity and give in absolutely to frenzied blood-lust? Yes indeed.

And with that let’s end the post, because the next chapter is epic in length.


11 thoughts on “Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 17

  1. Pingback: Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 18-19 | Doing In The Wizard

  2. Fibinachi

    Link away, that’s news to me.

    And actually, I agree with Ronan here (Shock and awe! Like I’ve done countless times before. Wait, so not that shock and awe) – Goodkind actually has some occassionally neat details in his writing, where I was surprised by the fact that they existed because the rest of it was just so “eeerghgh oh god” it came like a breath of fresh air. There’s actually a fair few of those in this book as well (dragon and Gar and people and mud and chickens)

    Of course, that very thing too is twisted beyond compare at one point and used to imply that the holocaust was reasonable.


  3. Seamus Scanlon (@SeamusScanlon)

    It wasn’t until book 6/7 which has a lot of characters arguing communism v objectivism that I copped what was going but reading this blog I see it started in book one. I don’t know if it has been linked already but a guy who ran a game of thrones pisstake on tumblr a few years ago deidicated a week to Goodkind which was pretty good

  4. Signatus

    Well, he has killed his father and almost killed him, which I think vengeance makes a far better motive for the hero than all this “I’m so noble” bullshit.
    Happen to be writing about a similar concept, dude who wanted to help someone else because he wanted to be noble, and in doing so, he ended up involved in something nasty. Now he has practically peed on the other guy to save his skin (because… well, we’re kind of a dick like that when it’s our hide on the fire).

    1. braak

      Strictly speaking, someone has TOLD him that Darken Rahl killed his father and tried to kill him. We’ve not actually seen any evidence that anything that’s happened to him has had anything at all to do with Darken Rahl.

      (Oh, man, I’m talking just like a liberal, huh, Terry Goodkind would be ashamed.)

      1. Signatus

        Yeah, that’s true. The reader does know it has been Darken Rahl because he’s the evil guy, but being honest, RIchard has no proof.
        And no, while I love great twists (wouldn’t it be awesome if Kahlan was the bad guy here and Rahl wanted to bring peace to the kingdoms?) I’m not expecting Goodkind to build any sort of complex, compelling story.

  5. braak

    Yeah, Richard is pretty confident about how Darken Rahl fights for a dude who has never talked to anyone except his enemies.

  6. Reveen

    All this talk about ruthlessness and NO MERCY RAR might seem more sensible if we actually saw what it is like to live under Darken Rahl before now. I’d accept that the heroes were going to act like partisans if I knew that the bad guys are practically Nazis.

    Richard in particular shouldn’t be so accepting of this considering he’s practically an innocent to all this.

  7. Signatus

    I have to give Goodkind this. His writing is horrendous, his characterization is worse than a 15 year old fanfiction writer, and his dialogues are emotionless punchings of the keyboard. But at least I’m getting the feeling he did have some sort of sketch writen out before actually getting on with the book, which is more than Mr Rothfuss can say. It’s not that the tooth being special surprised me, but the fact that he actually included a detail from the beginning and not just magically built up a Deus Ex Machina to surpass a complication.

    Then he has built quiet a few Deus Exs, but nobody is perfect.

    I’m surprised such grave events are happening, and yet they have the time to rest peacefully and have dinner. I mean, when I know I’m going on a trip, or having something special like a really hard exam, I have trouble sleeping. My head keeps going over the events that await me the very next day. Not to mention I can’t eat anything solid because, funny thing emotions have is, when high enough, your stomach closes, you’re not able to eat anything.
    This people could be going for a stroll through the park for all we know, seeing how they take their time to fool about. Zedd can barely breathe, but that’s ok, lets get some sleep and tomorrow we’ll take a 4 hours horse trip to the mysterious bone woman in the isolated cottage in the middle of nowhere. We’re going to cross the barrier, but first we’ll eat some spice soup (seems like that’s the only thing they eat in this world) and have a good, sound sleep.
    I wonder if they’ll ask Rahl to wait while they eat soup and drink some potions as they fight him.

    Seems like Goodkind is making such an emphasis on friendship because he himself does not believe it. If he doesn’t believe it… don’t expect your readers to do so.

    1. Number27

      Goodkind seems to make plans precisely 1 book long. Within a book he’s fairly consistent (compared to the absurdly low bar set by much of the genre, at least) but he tends to start each book with “There’s trouble in totally always existed even though we never mentioned it before land!”


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