Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 21

wizard's first rule header


Richard sad-emerges from the Narrows.

It had occurred to him that maybe Kahlan had made it through the Narrows, that she had only become separated for him, and had continued on.

Yeah that’s pretty much what I was assuming.

But he was wearing the tooth, and Adie had said he couldn’t be seen either, yet the
shadows had come from them anyway

Well, the shadows didn’t technically come after you, they sort of floated behind. Maybe they just happened to be going the same direction. Why do you have to assume the worst, just because they’re non-corporeal? Damn racist.

There were no tracks. Nothing had been through the Narrows for a long time


Ah relax, she’s fine.

If Kahlan had become separated from him, if she thought the underworld had taken him, if she thought she had lost him and was alone; would she have continued on, to the Midlands? Alone?

No? You both decided there wasn’t time to wait for him.

No. She would have gone back. Back to the wizard.

No she fucking wouldn’t. Why isn’t anyone listening to me?

Then it’s back into the Narrows again. Look, even without the metatextual stuff it would be obvious that Kahlan’s not dead so can we please just move the story along? This really feels like stalling. And I’ve been complimenting the book’s pacing and everything!

It turns out that Kahlan did indeed turn back. AND SHE’S NOT ALONE

Overlapping part of her footprint was a man’s boot print, nearly three times as large as hers. He knew without a doubt who it belonged to: the last man of the quad.

I can’t get over how stupid “quad” is for a group of assassins.

Richard finds Kahlan cornered by the Quad dude, her back against a rock wall. This is startlingly similar to the scene from near the beginning, but Kahlan doesn’t bust out her awesome magic powers because Goodkind seems to have forgotten she can do that.

Wrath exploded through Richard’s mind. He screamed “No!” in a murderous rage as he leapt off the rock.

Richard Cypher Hulk-out meter: 13.5

He was death, brought to life.

God damn it.

We then get a lovingly described, slow-motion description of Richard’s sword shattering the other guy’s blade and cutting through his head that’s full of fragments of metal and chain links pin-wheeling through the air. You can just tell Goodkind had a movie scene in mind here. If the book had been written today I’m sure we’d get a mention of the BWAAAAHMM sound that plays when the Sword of Truth is swinging around in super slo-mo.

The misty morning erupted with a burst of red fog that made Richard feel a flush of exhilaration as he watched clumps of blond hair and bone and brain tumble madly away


Seriously, even if this is just the sword making him go berserk (and I’m seriously skeptical that it is, for reasons I’ll articulate later on) it’s just so over the top and stupid that it makes me want to have nothing to do with Richard.

Globs of blood were flung up into the’ air in long strings which finally arced and fell back to the ground and onto Richard, offering the victor the hot satisfying taste of it in his mouth where some of it had landed as he screamed his rage

I’d say that’s worth a three on the hulk-out meter:

Richard Cypher Hulk-out meter: 16.5

Richard drops the sword and is suddenly all horrified because he was filled with bloodlust. I’m not entirely sure why this fit of bloodlust is different from all the other fits of bloodlust he’s experienced so far, particularly as this seems to be more or less the entire point of the Sword of Truth.

And it’s not like he just ran up and murdered this dude out of the blue, he was protecting his friend.

The aftermath of killing the guy also causes intense physical pain because reasons. I seem to recall this was discussed earlier but it’s so bland and uninteresting and I don’t care. Of course Kahlan’s role is to weep on top of Richard’s manly chest and apologize for making him kill someone (as opposed to the previous time he killed someone, I guess).


“Zedd told me to watch out for you, if you used the sword to kill a man. He told me that what he said about the anger protecting you was true, but he said the first time was different, that the magic tested, took a measure of the Seeker with the pain, and nothing could protect you from it. He said that he couldn’t tell you because if you knew, it would make you hold back, be more cautious in its use, and that could be disastrous. He said the magic has to join to the Seeker with its first ultimate use, to ascertain his intent when he kills.” She squeezed his arms. “He said the magic could do terrible things to you. It tests with the pain, to see who will be the master, who the ruled.”

Isn’t this interesting.

Adie had said the wizard kept a secret from him. This must have been it.

woaoah how long is this chapter

Kahlan touches Richard and his scar starts to hurt THE RAGE ignites. He manages to force it down but is understandably baffled. After a whole lot of waffling back and forth they decide to go to “the mud people” for help. And then the chapter is over, thank God.

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15 thoughts on “Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 21

  1. Pingback: Let’s Read The Dresden Files: Grave Peril ch. 14-15 | Doing In The Wizard

  2. Signatus

    I know I’m a bit behind but, reading this episode as of now. Goodness, that credible and natural dialogue, those totally realistic emotional reactions. Makes me wonder why this book didn’t get a Nobel prize or something, it is so profound and well written!

  3. Pingback: Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 20 | Doing In The Wizard

  4. Pingback: Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 22 | Doing In The Wizard

  5. AGG

    Come to think of it, maybe just a link to the *first* post for each book would be sufficient? Is there an existing way to find this information? Thanks!

    P.S. I particularly enjoyed the Name of the Wind / Wise Man’s Fear reviews. I’ll probably read the no-doubt-horrible Doors of Stone just so that I can appreciate the “walkthrough” on this site afterward.

  6. AGG

    Hi! This site is great, but I have a comment–it is super difficult to read through your posts chronologically on a per-book basis. The “Let’s read ___” categories are in reverse order, and there are typically not links in each post to the next chapter.

    This is possible to get around on a computer, but on a tablet or phone, it’s very difficult! Would it be possible to get some sort of chronological list on a per-book basis? (Maybe that’s too much work, I don’t know)

    1. ronanwills Post author

      So it turns out there’s a super easy way to add next and previous post links! Somehow I had never thought of this, I guess because I’m not actually browsing the blog. I don’t think I can go back and edit all currently existing posts easily, but all future ones will have these links.

      Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    2. ronanwills Post author

      Actually wait, I just looked back over the previous posts and there are links to the next and previous post by default- are they showing up on mobile? They’re above the comments section.

      1. AGG

        Hi! Those links DO show up, but this sometimes results in the “next link” being for a different book. For example, in Dresden Files, Chapter 9, the previous/next links are both for chapters of Wizard’s First Rule.

        1. ronanwills Post author

          Ah, I see. I can add links to the Dresden and Sword of Truth posts fairly easily that will make for easier browsing. I’ll put them in the past posts over the next few days, when I get the time.

  7. Signatus

    Haven’t read this chapter because I left my kindle at home (isn’t that a bitch?), but Im wondering. What was Kahlan’s purpose in this book again? Really? She went from super badass witch to painfully annoying damsel in distress in less than three freaking chapters, and has been going downhill from them on. Seems like she was only supposed to be a badass until Richard got the sword, then its feeble female time.
    That’s why I like Murphy, she is pretty consistent, even when she weeps for Harry.

  8. Austin H. Williams

    Richard, Harry, and comic book heroes have this in common: They get to dish out as much violence as they please, taking as much glee in it as possible, while still getting to be the good guys because… Well, because everyone says they’re the good guys. And who are we to ever argue?

    1. braak

      They get to both dish out violence, and enjoy the romance of being a tortured hero because of it — they suffer by inflicting suffering.


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