Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 41

wizard's first rule header

CHAPTER 41

We’re focusing solely on Wizard’s First Rule for a while, let’s get this fucking book over with.

RICHARD’S sues CAME OPEN a little.

The typos in this pirated epub are getting sarcastic.

After his sues open fully Richard realizes he’s lying facedown in a stone room, in a world of hurt after being tortured by a Mord Sith last chapter.

I’m sorry, I can’t take “Mord Sith” seriously any more so I’m renaming them Evil Scarybads.

So anyway Richard got tortured by the Evil Scarybad Denna and now he’s in severe pain every time he has a negative thought about her. He realizes that Denna is in the room with him and after ordering him to his feet she backhands him with a big Evil Scarybad glove.

Denna gave him a warm smile. “You forgot the appellation, my pet. I told you before; you are to address me as Mistress, or as Mistress Denna.

Look, people, I don’t have a problem with genre authors shoe-horning in material to wank to, but would it kill them to make it slightly less obvious? This is even more heavy-handed than the spanking stuff in the early Wheel of Time books. Which is saying a lot.

Denna Scarybads Richard some more (but in kind of a sexy way). I’m not entirely sure I understand how she’s controlling him here; he feels debilitating pain whenever he uses his anger-based The Magic, but he’s still carrying the Sword of Truth which presumably functions just fine as a normal weapon even if he can’t use his The Magic. And if it doesn’t for some reason, he’s also got a big knife. Surely he could try to just cut Denna’s head off without activating The Magic.

“I’ve sent my men away. I no longer need them. They are only used for capture,
and to hold the captive until he uses his magic against me

So… what, the Evil Scarybads only go after Seekers? Or wizards? Who else has The Magic that they can use against them?

Too late, he remembered. With an arm he blocked her fist to his face. The act of stopping her brought the pain of the magic

This is where the whole The Magic thing gets really tricky; exactly what The Magic are we talking about here? Richard’s Sword of Truth The Magic or Denna’s Evil Scarybad The Magic that does torture (but in kind of a sexy way)? If it’s the former, couldn’t Richard just throw his sword away and then be immune to Denna’s powers? Or is The Magic permanently bonded to him now?

Now, you’re doing it wrong. I told you that to make the pain stop, you should think something pleasant about me. That’s not what you’re doing. You’re thinking about some boring trees.

Denna can…. read his mind, I guess? This entire sequence feels really weird and out of place, particularly since we’re more than 75% of the way through the book now.

Anyway Denna taunts Richard about how one of his group betrayed him (99.999% sure it was Chase) and how she’s going to teach him the true meaning of pain (but in kind of a sexy way) , blah blah.

“You are someone special. Master Rahl himself wants you trained.”

Richard figures that Rahl will eventually murder him and read his entrails to find the location of the Book of Counted Shadows (did I mention he can do that? because he can do that) but revels in the thought that doing so will simultaneously destroy his only source of the Book of Counted Shadow’s contents.

No book. No box. Darken Rahl was a dead man. That was all that mattered.

Dude, you were just told that one of the people accompanying the box is a traitor. Richard just assumes that Rahl is using the Wizard’s First Rule to troll him, but I’m totally guessing this is not the case.

Denna tortures Richard some more (but in kind of a sexy way) which strongly reminds me of the scene in the second Wheel of Time book where the scary exotic not-Japanese people torture one of the main characters (but in kind of a sexy way).

“The magic will punish you for going against my wishes

It’s almost like Goodkind just wrote “the magic” during his first draft because he couldn’t decide what to name different kinds of magic powers, and then decided to keep it even though it sometimes makes it near-impossible to tell what the characters are talking about.

Richard reached for the ring. The pain of the magic cramped his arms until he was shaking with the strain of reaching for it

In the aformentioned second Wheel of Time book there is a detailed scene (you can tell Jordan put a lot of thought into this) where a character attempts to remove a magic collar attached to a chain but can’t because it makes their arm muscles cramp. Just, you know, an FYI.

Anyway then there’s yet another protracted fantasy BDSM scene, only with the level of violence obviously ramped up past what anyone in real life would want to participate in (it involves Richard vomiting blood, for example).

Nothing Denna could do could match the pain of knowing that he couldn’t be with Kahlan

Jesus Christ man get over yourself.

For the next few days Denna tortures him some more, both starving him and only allowing him two hours of sleep. Which would probably kill him, but I guess Richard is indestructible since he has invisible plot armor.

“Queen Milena herself has asked us to join her and her guests for dinner. Quite
an honor, for someone as low as you, wouldn’t you say?”

How long is the plot going to keep bouncing back and forth between this castle and the areas slightly outside the castle?

“Since you don’t eat meat,” the Queen said to Denna. “I had the cooks prepare a special dinner I know you will enjoy. Some wonderful soups and vegetables, and some rare fruits.”

First Rahl and now her. Does Goodkind have something against vegetarians? Or wait, isn’t one of the main characters a vegetarian as well?

At the Queen’s dinner Denna gives Richard a bowl of disgusting gruel to eat, and we get yet another demonstration of how cartoonishly evil Princess Violet is.

“Well, if he’s your pet”-the Princess smiled-“he should eat off the floor, without his hands.”

Then the Queen wheels out one of the men Kahlan freed earlier and the Princess has him sentenced to death on trumped-up charges. Because she’s EEEVVIIIIILLLL you see.

Princess Violet stood, beaming. “For his crimes against the Crown, one hundred lashes. Then, for his crimes against the people, his head.”

I continue to interpret this as a child being tragically led astray due to the influence of her parents and station in life, but I guess that’s because I lack the proper moral clarity.

Then Denna invites the Princess down to her torture lair to watch Richard being tortured (but in kind of a sexy way). Because remember, the most evil person in all of this is the child of vaguely-defined age. Incidentally we are rapidly closing on The Scene. Viewer Discretion is advised.

Denna hands Violet her magic pain-inducing thing so she can have fun poking Richard with it.

“It’s easy!” she said. “I never thought it would be this easy to make someone bleed.”

How much blood is Richard supposed to have lost by this point? I mean it’s no big deal, humans have an infinite amount of the stuff right?

“Please, Mistress Denna, don’t teach her this. What you are doing to her is worse than what you are doing to me. She’s only a little girl. Please don’t do this to her. Don’t let her learn these things.”

Huh. I guess Richard does see the tragedy of the situation. I’m sure he won’t ruin it by kicking her in the jaw or anything.

Violet taunts Richard some more, launching into a screed about how she’s going to torture Kahlan when she returns and let all of the palace guards gang rape her.

Richard actually felt sorry for the little Princess. The sadness for her came over him in a wave. At that feeling, he was surprised to feel the thing in him that had come awake rise up.

See look, Richard isn’t a complete sociopath!

When his boot came up under her jaw he could feel it shatter like a crystal goblet on a stone floor

Oh.

Yeah so Richard horribly maims a little girl. The scene is described in gruesome, gory detail so I won’t go into detail, but it’s pretty disgusting.

Now, in the specific situation described in the book you could easily argue that Richard was justified in doing this- the Princess was torturing him, she had lost control of her temper and was probably on the verge of killing him. He acted in self-defence. However. Let’s not forget that this isn’t a historical document. It’s not describing events that actually occurred. Terry Goodkind decided to set up a situation in which his protagonist had no choice but to use extreme violence to save his life, and he decided that the target of that violence would be a whatever year old girl, and he decided to make the violence as horrifically bloody and gory as possible. The scene could easily have been written with Richard kicking the magic pain device out of the Princess’ hand, or shoving her away with his foot. Even if you argue that he needed to completely debilitate her (which, again, is a conscious decision that Terry Goodkind made), he could have just kicked her in the stomach or something.

But no. Terry Goodkind decided to have Richard hurt the Princess in the most vindictive, painful way possible.

Anyway, Richard got to kick a little girl in the face (the high point of his life at the moment, I’m sure) but he’s still manacled to the ceiling. Denna returns and decides to make Richard her “mate”, which means she’s going to violently rape him until he dies or something, I don’t even know.

So hey isn’t all of this torture-dominatrixes torturing men (but in kind of a sexy way) sort of faux-empowering to women, in a Joss Whedon-ish manner? CAN’T BE HAVING THAT.

Your training and service will last for mere weeks, before you die. The training of a Mord-Sith lasts for years. Everything I do to you, and more, has been done to me, a thousand times over. A Mord-Sith must know her Agiel better than she knows herself. My first trainer took me for his mate when I was fifteen, after he had trained me since I was twelve

I’m frankly amazed that Goodkind’s sweaty late-night outlining sessions didn’t include lesbian torture dominatrixes. Or maybe it did! There’s lots of other Scary Evilbads.

And then it’s torture-sexytimes I guess. Wheeeee.

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7 thoughts on “Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 41

  1. Pingback: Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 42 | Doing In The Wizard

  2. Signatus

    I always found intriguing how many societies admire dogs for their unwavering loyalty, courage, etc, while at the same time relying on them to survive (hunting, herding, etc) AND, for some reason, at the same time considering them the lowest of the lowest to the point being compared to a dog is like an insult. The term “bitch” actually IS a female dog.
    I keep the theory humanity would have never left the caves had it not been for the dog. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing… I do not know,

    Anyways. I’ve kept saying throughout these Read Throughs that most writers do NOT know, nor understand little kids. I can, and will easily buy her getting her revenge and enjoying it. Children can be very, very cruel. I’ve seen kids as old as 3 years laughing after hurting an animal, or other child, and actually keep doing it to cause more pain. I’ve seen them make cruel comments at people who had just suffered the loss of a loved one.
    Whether that is the result of education or our human social empathy is more learned than innate I do not know, but it happens. Therefore, I can picture Princess Violet enjoying while hurting Richard, even more after he frightened her and humiliated her in public.

    But I’m NOT buying her saying all the things she said about giving Kahlan off to the soldiers to be raped. I’m not even sure she knows or understands what rape means (I’m trying to recall my 5-8 years and I don’t think there is a single moment where I inquire about the significance of rape, or even think about it at all). Rape is a very complex word, it not only implies forcing someone into sexual intercourse against their will, but it is fueled by the desire to impose, to feel powerful, to be in control or the situation, and I’m not even scratching it. An adult might understand the humiliation, weakness and fear rape implies, not a child. Never a child. Violet might threaten to cut off her hair, because making her ugly is a huge humiliation in her eyes. She can’t understand rape, therefore, the fact that she’s using it as a threat makes no sense.

    While I admit I didn’t like this petulant child… can’t you just give her a slap and make her cry or something? That was free butchery without reason. Violet is a spoiled little brat, and she can be cruel, all right, but she is the result of her raising. If something, she’s no less dramatic and no less victim of the circumnstances than Rachel herself. What Richard did was taking it overboard. It was pointless and senseless free violence for the sole reason to get satisfaction of the evil girl’s punishment. I don’t care if she’s evil. How can this make Richard any better?
    Oh, yah, he’s the TRUTH! Self righteous asshole!

    So what was the point of this stupidly long chapter?

    Reply
  3. Austin H. Williams

    Waaaooooooowwwww….. I did not think this series got this juvenile and depraved this early on. I remember hearing about the Evil Scarybad BDSM torture scenes that came up, but I didn’t realise that stuff was in Book 1.

    I’m amazed and perplexed at all of this, but now that we’re getting to the overt kinkiness-disguised-thinly-as-a-plot-twist nonsense, at least it has finally become clear how such a shit novel could get as popular as it did.

    Also, per your earlier observation that you don’t mind having authors shoehorn wank material into their books, I’ll say for myself that I most certainly do mind when it’s artless.and obviously pandering. These scenes go beyond any of that though.

    Reply
  4. braak

    “No book. No box. Darken Rahl was a dead man. That was all that mattered.”

    Can he not open one of the boxes if he doesn’t have all three? I thought I remembered that he could do that, only if he opened the WRONG box, it would kill everyone in the world.

    Also, how does Richard know that Darken Rahl won’t get a hold of the third box somehow? Only the book, which would allow him to be sure that he WOULDN’T kill everyone in the entire world would be unavailable to him if Richard died.

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 40 | Doing In The Wizard

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