Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 32

wizard's first rule header

Chapter 32

We start off with another Rachel scene this time. As much as I complained about the characterization in this sub-plot last time, it’s easily the most interesting part of the whole stupid book so far.

WHEN SHE CAME AROUND the corner, she almost bumped into his legs, he was walking so quietly. She looked up the long silver robes to his face, far up in the air.

How young is Rachel, anyway? I was assuming like 8-10 ish but this makes it sound as if she’s barely above Giller’s waist. Unless he’s like eight feet tall or something.

Princess Asshole has ordered Rachel to go yell at some castle staff for her. Wouldn’t a monumentally spoiled princess have like a small army of people she could get to do shit for her? It seems like Rachel is her only servant, and she’s not even technically one of those. What does Violet do when she sends Rachel out into the woods?

(You can tell I’m at least interested in this part because I’m asking questions instead of screaming)

There’s a bit of tweeness where Giller asks about the doll and Rachel goes on more about how awesome he is. She asks when they can run away together which Giller apparently said they would do at some earlier point I must have forgotten about.

“Soon, child. But there are things we must prepare first, so we aren’t found out. We wouldn’t want anyone to follow us, to find us and bring us back, now, would we?”

Maybe this is completely off-mark, but I just assume Giller is totally up to something. I am currently reading all of his dialogue in this guy’s voice:

tumblr_le5imo3emE1qae5xso1_1280

then she heard footsteps. Giller stood up, looking down the
hall.

“Rachel, it would be very bad if we were seen talking. Someone might . . . find out about the doll. About Sara.

Yeah, this dude’s definitely shady. Run away Rachel! And kill Violet while you’re at it.

The queen and her retinue of guards and her evil satan-dog arrive so Giller hides Rachel by…. standing in front of her. Seriously how tiny is she?

“Giller!” she said in her mean voice.

The queen was very mean, and that wasn’t nice.

The evil hell-dog starts sniffing around Giller’s robes and Queen Skeletor gets curious, but he manages to deflect it with some wizard dust or something.

“By the way, wizard Giller,” she called back, “did I tell you? A messenger came. He said Father Rahl will be here sooner than expected. Much sooner. Tomorrow in fact. He will be expecting the box, of course, to seal the alliance. Please see to it.”

Welp. Better get that box soon.

Giller and Rachel scarper off to the princess’ room so Rachel can steal the key to where the box is stored. See this is why you shouldn’t leave the key to the lynchpin of your alliance in the completely unsecured room where the servant you’ve been mistreating for years lives (Rachel sleeps in a box next to Princess Cruella’s giant canopy princess bed, in case you forgot how over the top this situation is).

Rachel is scarpering off to get a loaf of bread for Giller for some mysterious reason when Princess Blood spots her. Rachel manages to get away by using smarts. OR DOES SHE?

“On second thought, Rachel, I need to pick out something for tonight’s dinner, so I need to go to the jewel room anyway. Meet me there in a little while.”

Yeah, I bet Giller will have a hard time subduing a whatever-year-old girl. Or maybe we could get Richard in to deal with her, I hear he’s great with kids.

(spoiler joke)

Incidentally the characterization here is going even further downhill. Rachel is an over the top parody of a child while the Princess’ dialogue is more or less indistinguishable from the queen’s.

And then it’s Richie and Kahl time! Yay!

They’re at a place called Fire Spring where volcanic activity causes hot water to bubble to the surface. Time to kick back and relax!

Peninsula Hot Springs  Barrel bath

Actually no, there’s an ass-load of short-tailed Gar around the spring for some reason.

“Well, look there, near the back where the hill rises up, where the biggest vent is. There’s something on top of it, something egg-shaped, with steam coming out around it. They keep going up to look at it, to touch it.”

Is it a dragon egg? That would explain how Rahl is controlling one. He’s got the dragon babbie kidnapped.

Richard and Kahlan are on the border of Queen Evil’s territory and Kahlan is apparently suicidal to the point that Richard has to “watch her like a hawk” in case she tries something. I guess just talking about the whole Confessor thing and the fact that Shota was probably a lying asshole isn’t an option?

At his word, she turned without comment and walked on. Richard didn’t know how much more of this he could take.

Shut the fuck up Richard, this isn’t about you.

With every step, she was drifting farther and farther from him. He knew he was losing her, but didn’t have the slightest idea what to do about it.

IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU

At night, when it was time for her watch, for him to sleep, he had to tie her hands and feet to prevent her from killing herself when he wasn’t watching. When he bound her, she endured it limply. He endured it with great pain.

SHUT THE FUCK UP

Richard’s reaction to this is entirely possessive. He’s not actually trying to help Kahlan, he just wants to keep her around. But of course I wouldn’t have expected anything else from him at this point.

It turns out that something mysterious is following them but Richard can’t see what it is. What is this, the fourth time this exact scenario has come up?

Richard was sure Kahlan hadn’t seen it; she was too far lost in her own dark thoughts. Sooner or later, the thing would make itself known, and Richard would be ready. But with Kahlan the way she was right now, he had his hands full, and he didn’t need more trouble.

Maybe you could, like, tell her about it? You know, so she can defend herself?

He watched Kahlan as she walked with her shoulders slumped, and wondered what he was going to do in a few days, when they reached Tamarang. Whether he liked it or not, she was winning this slow battle, simply because things couldn’t go on like this. She could fail time and again; she had only to succeed once

How about actually trying to help her? Seriously just go “hey Kahlan, Shota was probably just manipulating us back there and also I don’t care about you being a Confessor”. But no, that would make too much sense.

Anyway back to Rachel and Giller. Giller arrives at the jewel room where Rachel was waiting for him and replaces the box of Orden with an identical look-alike. He explains in a long winded but extremely simplistic way that “Father” Rahl is totally evil and that Rachel shouldn’t trust him. His plan to smuggle the real box out of the castle is to hollow out the giant loaf of bread and hide it in the crust. Which…. would work, I guess? How small is the box? I was picturing something fairly large, but if it’s small enough to fit in a loaf of bread surely sticking it in his pocket would work too.

Giller uses copious amounts of flattery convince Rachel to take the bread/box out of the castle once night falls and hide in her wayward pine. Princess Sadist strolls in the door and slaps Rachel (because she’s evil, see) and Giller sneaks out the door using wizard-stealth.

Then it’s back to our heroes, where Richard decides to use reverse psychology on Kahlan by handing her his knife and telling her to go off herself. Great idea, dude.

“Richard,” she said in a soft voice, “when this is all ended, I hope you can think well of me, remember me more fondly than you do right now.” That was it. He came over the log with a boost of one boot on top. In a blink he had her shirt in his fists.

“I will only remember you for what you are! A traitor! A traitor to all those who have died, all those who will die!” Her eyes were wide as she tried to back away from him, but he held her with a vengeance. “A traitor to all the wizards who have given their lives, to Shar, to Siddin and all the Mud People who were killed! A traitor to your sister!”

“That’s not true . . . .”

“A traitor to all those and more! If I fail and Rahl wins, we will all have you to thank, and so will Darken Rahl. It is you who aids him!”

What a catch! I can sure see why Kahlan is so enamored with this guy.

How do you know that once we have the box it might not
be me who would deliver it to him? What if it’s me who would betray us, and the only chance to keep the box from Rahl is for you and Zedd to stop me?”

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

But the idea that you might suddenly turn on Richard for no reason does make sense?

Richard screamed and threw her backward as hard as he could. She fell to the ground on her back. He came and stood above her, glaring down, dust rising around his boots.

“Don’t you dare say that!” he yelled, both hands in fists. “You do this for yourself, because you haven’t got the stomach for what victory entails! Don’t you dare to say you do this for me!”

What a hero! So badass!

Anyway Kahlan strides off into the forest and then Richard collapses to the ground and cries his violent, manipulative little heart out.

Both of these characters can go jump in a blender for all I care.

 

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17 thoughts on “Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 32

  1. Pingback: Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 33 | Doing In The Wizard

    1. ronanwills Post author

      Shota told her and Richard in the previous chapter that she’s going to kill Richard with her Confessor powers.

      Reply
  2. Signatus

    Before I read the post, I want to say a couple of things about this chapter. First the more easy going thing. In the part with the little girl and the wizard, I have several doubts. I’m not sure if Goodkind thinks;
    a- His characters are stupid. The little girl needs DEATH explained to her. Children might not understand death fully, but they understand the abstract concept of its existence and are capable of suffering a fear of loosing loved ones.
    b- His readers are stupid and need everything explained.
    c- He is trying to reach some sort of page goal and thus explaines every tiny futile detail, no matter if it makes characters who are supposed to be very smart into something not very close to that. Look, a character who might be slow to process things is actually an interesting character, I actually have written them in the past, but stop treating them like they are actually smart. (I am accepting the theory that the wizard is only telling Rachel she’s smart to make her feel more secure, but she’s actually not that bright at all).

    Anyways, the part with Kahlan being depressed was annoying, but Richard’s rage boost was very, VERY disturbing. Like I stated in some other chapter, I suffered domestic violence. One of the things he would tell me, while speeding with the car only to make me scared was that if we had an accident it would “be my fucking fault”.
    Really, Richard, just stab her yourself. You’ll be less of a monster than by putting her through that kind of constant psichological pressure as you’re doing right now.

    Reply
  3. Andrea Harris (@SpinsterAndCat)

    So I see Goodkind is in the “tough love” (that is, manipulative abuse) treatment of suicidal people camp. I can tell he thinks this sort of thing is daring and all “what they don’t want you to know ‘really’ works” (it’s a common American attitude concerning quack medical cures) but it’s just a version of the traditional way of treating the mentally ill: by talking at them and not even considering actually listening to them, and locking them up “for their own safety” and so on.

    And I’ll bet you this will work and Kahlan will “snap out of it”. I’ve sometimes wondered if the US’s current love of fantasy and magic and wizards and so on isn’t in part based on this idea that there’s a CURE for everything, you just have to click your heels and BELIEVE.

    Reply
    1. Chackludwig

      Nah, I’m pretty sure the US (and white guys all around the world) love High and Heroic Fantasy because they can dream about a world without *those pesky brown folk and their troubles*

      Reply
      1. Andrea Harris (@SpinsterAndCat)

        As a matter of fact, I don’t think that’s why fantasy appeals to most white guys. While there are more than a few overt racists into the whole “fair-skinned, grey-eyed elves” thing, I think most of the problem stems from the fact that white fantasy fans know very little of real history (on which, of course, fantasy stories are based), and what they do know comes from fantasy movies, tv series, and whitewashed texts like Lord of the Rings. Another problem is the cultural attitude that we Solved Racism because we passed various laws, etc., so trying to insert characters of color “where they don’t belong” is seen as just boat-rocking trouble-making and “ruining” the fantastic dream with sordid reality. (I didn’t say it was a consistent viewpoint.)

        But most white males seem to be into “High” Fantasy for other reasons than it’s a vacation from “brown people problems.” Same dudes often love sports (full of brown athletes) and action movies full of “badass” characters played by actors of color (which are also fantasies). From my observations the attraction to males of high fantasy is not even the “lone hero” but the team of friends who fight the Evil together — the nakama, the band of brothers. A secondary attraction is, of course, being the person (or one of the persons) who Rescues, who Saves the Day. A lot of this is due to how both entitled and useless men are made to feel in modern society: they get all this power, but it all seems so pointless, because it doesn’t really make anything better. Epic high fantasy heroes literally save the world. In real life you get to help someone save on their car insurance. It’s not quite the same thrill.

        Reply
  4. Austin H. Williams

    My mind goes to wondering why did Goodkind put that scene in there? Does he think this is how women should be handled? How people who are depressed or upset should be handled? Does he think this is how true love works – someone gets mopey at a mere suggestion that they haven’t been forthright, and then angry threats and violence makes them come around?

    Also: the whole Giller/Rachel dynamic sets off so many red flags. You could teach a first class in a course about predatory grooming based on the stuff he’s saying to her.

    Reply
      1. ronanwills Post author

        I think Giller was supposed to come across as someone who’s reluctantly manipulating Rachel into doing something dangerous because she’s the only option he has.

        But instead it just comes across like he’s trying to lure her into his white wizard fan .

        Reply
    1. braak

      It is because he is trying to make a moral argument about suicide, and how it’s selfish (er, bad selfish, not good selfish the way capitalism is) and reflects a lack of moral clarity.

      Reply
    2. Signatus

      Glad to know I’m not the only one a bit too uncomfortable with that character interaction.

      This book is making me uncomfortable in so many levels I with they would just burn into oblivion. I think it is all due to Goodkind being a TERRIBLE writer, but someone should tell him to stop this shit and dedicate his life to snail breeding. He can’t be much worse.

      Reply
  5. Suzy

    If this were the first post I’d read from this series I would assume Richard to be approximately 2 years old

    Reply
  6. braak

    “You do this for yourself, because you haven’t got the stomach for what victory entails!”

    –Josef Stalin, exiling to the gulags his own officers who refused to execute their prisoners.

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 31 | Doing In The Wizard

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