Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 35

wizard's first rule header

Chapter 35

Richard and Kahlan are getting ready to move on after the previous night’s exposition fest. Richard has a crisis of confidence due to Kahlan being out of his league or whatever.

Emptiness threatened to consume him

sleeping cat 001

If her friend was all he could be, then that’s what he would be. Even if it killed

Get the fuck over yourself dude.

“It must have been hard to tell me,” he said as he adjusted the sword at his hip.


“It would have been easier to have killed myself.”

God this is all such a vapid excuse for drama.

Maybe she had been right in being afraid to tell him sooner. But then, if she had, it might have spared him what he was feeling now.


After setting off they come to a waystone thing showing the distance to some nearby towns. Richard wants to try and finagle some horses but Kahlan warns that the nearest town is sympathetic to D’Hara.

“Why don’t we go have a look; if we had horses, it could save us a day at least. I have some silver, and a piece or. two of gold. Maybe we could buy some.”

I wonder if they’re going to worry about paying for food as well, or if horses still operate like perpetual motion machines in this universe.

When they get to the town it’s eerily silent, and they quickly discover why in one of those cool horror-tinged scenes that Goodkind occasionally pulls out.

Bodies, puffy and swollen, nearly ready to burst, stretched buttons and oozed fluid that attractedclouds of flies. The dead lay in corners and up against buildings, like autumn leaves blown into piles. Most had ghastly wounds; some were pierced through with broken lances. The silence seemed alive.

Doors, smashed in and broken, hung at odd angles from a single hinge, or lay in the street with personalbelongings and broken pieces of furniture. Windows in every building were shattered. Some of the buildings were nothing more than cold, charred piles of beams and rubble.


Kahlan says that this wasn’t Rahl because he always kills people the same way (disemboweling/dragons I guess). Then they find some a helpful clue.


Well that’s mysterious. Westland is the place Richard came from, remember. Neither of them really comment on this.

Eventually they find some people hiding in a building.

“Are you a soldier with the People’s Peace Army, here to help us?” came a woman’s voice from behind the counter.

Looks like Westland and D’Hara are fighting over the Midlands. I had assumed that Richard’s bro was working with Rahl because, well, it seemed really obvious, but maybe he’s trying to seize power for himself? Alternatively this is a Clever Ruse between the two of them to have the Westland armies slaughter people so Rahl’s forces can run in and save them, thus building support for him among the populace. Adding credence to this idea is the fact that the D’Haran military forces in the area apparently left suddenly just before the attack. Needless to say none of the townspeople seem to find this suspicious.


“Each one of those girls you saw back there was raped by at least . . .”


Okay, I am officially giving Terry Goodkind the side-eye over this line. Was there any need for this? You can’t claim he’s pulling his punches by not saying a number; in fact leaving it out invites the reader to assume it’s fairly large. I invite the reader to wonder why that would be the case.

Anyway Richie and Kahl conclude that there’s nothing they can do on their own to protect the survivors and they have to make their way to their goal post-haste. Naturally this is portrayed as our righteous moral heroes being all objectivist instead of a more human reaction.

“Our job is not to protect a few people, or the dead; it is to protect the living, by stopping Darken Rahl.

But at least they regret abandoning the traumatized rape and murder victims!

“It was not Westlanders,” he muttered under his breath, following behind her.

I bet it totally was.

Then it’s back to Rachel! Yay!

“We’ll be safe here tonight,” she told her doll. Sara didn’t answer-she hadn’t talked since the night they ran away from the castle

Welp I guess Giller is probably dead.

so Rachel just pretended the doll was talking, telling her she loved her. She
gave Sara’s silent words an answering hug.


I know I had a hearty lol over the depiction of the Queen and the princess and Rachel’s role in all that, but it’s remarkable how much better written these sections are than the Richard and Kahlan stuff.

Just then a man and a woman barge into Rachel’s wayward pine.

then she saw the woman’s long hair, lit by the firelight.


The man stuck his head around the woman. “My name’s Richard. What’s yours?” She liked his eyes. “Rachel.”

“Rachel. That’s a pretty name. But I have to tell you, Rachel, you have the ugliest hair I’ve ever seen.”



I’m going to punch you in the dick so hard, Richard.

Unfortunately Rachel doesn’t punch him in the dick because he’s so wonderful and has dreamy eyes and knows how to cut her hair properly.

“All right then, come over here and sit on my lap and we’ll fix it right up.”


I think she’s the prettiest lady I ever saw.




They make some food and almost end up cutting open the bread but Rachel manages to dissuade them like a boss and lol she’s carrying the thing they need to defeat Rahl and they don’t know lol.

“We are going to Tamarang, to see the Queen.”

Kahlan nodded and spoke softly to him. “We will see to her before I skin Giller.”


Rachel comes to the conclusion that Kahlan is evil and Richard is too scared to oppose her, because of course Kahlan would get pegged as the scary one and not Richard “murderlust” Cypher. No it’s cool bouts of uncontrollable rage and violence are totally compatible with taking care of children.

(Although of course Rachel won’t cause trouble for our heroes because she is a Good child, unlike the princess who is Evil).

Kahlan held her tight. Rachel shook. Fingers stroked her hair. Kahlan rocked her

I am slightly disturbed by how affectionate Richard and Kahlan are being considering they literally just met Rachel.

Kahlan starts crying because she’s a woman and starts to tell Rachel a story about whatever. Later that night she sneaks out of the pine.

Go Rachel, go! Be free!

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16 thoughts on “Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 35

  1. Pingback: Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 36.5 | Doing In The Wizard

  2. Austin H. Williams

    It is as if Goodkind believed things are more terrible if they are quantified in large numbers…

    Goodkind hasn’t exactly proven himself as a master of subtlety beforehand though, has he?

  3. Signatus

    That line about how many times the girls had been raped was totally gratuitous. There is no reason for it. It is as if Goodkind believed things are more terrible if they are quantified in large numbers, as if being raped by a whole battallion is worse than being raped by a single person, when in truth, it is no less horrific and traumatizing. Leaving it at; “they did horrible things…” would have sufficed. We are old enough to know armies tend to do some pretty nasty things during wartimes.

    I’m baffled at how STUPID they can possibly be. As far as we know, there is supposed to be a magic wall dividing the West and the Midlands, wall they had to sweat blood to get through. Now there are wstern armies rampaging about? HOW? How did a whole army move faster through the Midlands than they did? Why did they decide to attack? Don’t they have two neurons making contact to question all this, reaching the conclusion that it is probably a ruse made by Rahl to guarantee loyalty among the people? (In a; look, look at these evil westerners, I’ll protect you; manner).

    Personally, I was not impressed by the atmosphere. Paolini did the same thing, mountains of corpses rotting and so on, and I feel it’s butchery just to show how mature and grimdark his world is. Paolini tended to reuse the butchery scenario and it seems Goodkind is going the same way.
    It is evident neither Goodkind, nor Paolini, have ever visited the aftermath of a warzone. Even months after the corpses have been removed, the silence and the vision of empty and damaged buildings is breathtaking.

    I’m having a hard time getting to understand how old Rachel is supposed to be. Anyways, the closeness Kahland and Richard show is unnatural and creepy. Real people do not act like that around children they’ve just met.

    1. Chackludwig

      this inspires me to do 2 thing: slap Rothfuss (and all his manfriends) a whole lot and finally finish my own manuscript
      and they say anger isn’t productive

  4. Toastehh

    The rape line, just like the Rachel sections, just reinforced that Goodkind might even be a decent writer, but has no clue when he’s turning out good stuff and when he isn’t. Just from the passage you posted, the village was horrific enough. But instead, the fantasy quotas must be filled. I’m just surprised he didn’t work in ‘the village population was 379, 73 of whom were children. Economic damage is estimated at 300 ~gold coins~ and a food shortage of x bushels is predicted in the region.’

    (Speaking of which, I’m sick of books and games especially using gold as currency. Like, it’s gold – a single coin is a ton of money, it’s not ten solidi for a damn rook for the night.)

      1. Number27

        Sloths are awesome and infinitely superior to anything written by Terry Goodkind. This book would be vastly improved if Richard and Kahlan were replaced by sloths.

  5. Pingback: Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 34 | Doing In The Wizard

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