Richard is on a dragon!
It was a frustrating day
You have less than a week until Darken Rahl will either rule or destroy the world. I don’t think “frustrating” is the word to use here.
They don’t find Kahlan and co so Scarlet flies Richard back to her nest and he decides that if it comes down to it he’ll just have to help Rahl open the correct box. This is obviously the morally correct thing to do, but I can’t help but notice that Richard appears to be motivated entirely by saving Kahlan from being tortured as opposed to, you know, stopping the world from being destroyed. Rahl could easily be lying about sparing Kahlan but once he’s in power he’s not likely to turn around and unleash the apocalypse just to be contrary.
On the second day Richard locates his buddies and gets Scarlet to let him down, apparently completely forgetting the spell Rahl put on him that would make his friends see him as enemies.
When he looked up, wizard’s fire was wailing toward him.
Hey look, Shota was right. I still insist that all of the worry about her prophecy was pointless since it came true through a series of events that would have seemed spectacularly unlikely at the time and that none of them could have seen coming or prevented anyway.
Richard concludes that since Zedd is still his ally (because the enemy web worked on him) that must mean Kahlan is the traitor. Not, you know Chase or that brother of yours back home who dresses suspiciously similar to Rahl and had a weird fixation on fire last time you saw him.
Anyway Richard confirms that Kahlan isn’t the traitor since she thinks he’s Darken Rahl. He tries to communicate with Zedd and Kahlan but they hear him speaking D’Haran and can’t understand him. Richard reluctantly takes off again to find Michael’s army, although Scarlet points out quite reasonably that all of the soldiers will likely try to kill him as well.
Three and a half days, and then Darken Rahl would die. Then Kahlan would be safe for sure. Forever. Then he would go back to Westland, and be finished with the magic. Be famished with Kahlan. The thought of never, seeing her again made him weak with pain.
For God’s sake man, the fate of the world is at stake here. Your mopey adolescent romance is like 500th on the list of most important priorities right now.
Scarlet leaves Richard ahead of Michael’s army and flies off back to her egg.
When they had played at swords, Michael had liked Richard to salute him, while on one knee. Would Michael remember that? He had liked it done often; it made him smile more than anything else. Michael called it the loser’s salute.
Yeah, my traitor alarm is going off something fierce right now.
Richard notices that Michael is riding fast with a small group of his personal guard and interprets it as a reckless attempt to rescue him from Rahl’s palace. Or maybe he’s taking the box straight to Rahl, just like Rahl said. Given that Richard has jumped to believe everyone else when they said he’d be betrayed I don’t see why he isn’t considering this as a possibility. I mean, Zedd, Kahlan and Chase all turned on him under the influence of the spell, that really only leaves one other candidate.
Sure enough, when Richard rolls into Michael’s tent (literally) he reacts in the most suspicious way possible:
“Richard…howdidyou…Whatareyoudoinghere?It’s…so…goodtoseeyouagain. We have all been so . . . worried.”
I WAS JUST OVER HERE IN MY TENT NOT, UH, SELLING OUT TO DARKEN RAHL, I MEAN, JUST AS AN EXAMPLE
When the enemy web was put on him, Rahl had said those who honored Rahl would see Richard for who he was.
Michael saw him for who he was.
This would be a lot more effective if a) it wasn’t blindingly obvious from the moment Michael was introduced and b) he had actually figured into the plot again in some meaningful way during the last forty or so chapters.
Richard manages to extricate himself from the tend without letting Micheal now that he’s cottoned on to his deception, but Michael still sends some dudes to bring Richard back “for his own safety”.
Richard didn’t want to have to kill them; they were Westlanders
If they were unarmed children that would have been fine, though.
[TW for rape in this one, people]
Zedd lies awake and thinks about the strange encounter they had with “Rahl” the day before, and how weird it was that he was carrying the Sword of Truth.
The veil, the prophecies called it, the veil between the world of life and the underworld. If the veil was torn by the magic of Orden, through an agent, the prophecies foretold, only the one who had turned the Sword of Truth white could restore it. Unless he was able to, the underworld would be loosed on the world of the living.
I really like how elegantly this story information is inserted into the text, it totally doesn’t feel like Goodkind is just making shit up as he goes along.
The word agent had terrible significance that worried Zedd greatly. It could mean that Darken Rahl was not acting on his own, but was an agent.
You don’t say.
An agent of the underworld. That he had gained mastery of the subtractive magic, the underworld magic, implied that he was.
This seriously feels like the story’s plot changed direction some time during the first draft and no attempt was made to work the new plot threads backward into the preceding chapters.
His heart ached for her pain, ached because he hadn’t been able to help her when Rahl held the sword at her throat; ached for what she felt for Richard, and for what he couldn’t tell her.
Mysteriiiiiiieeees I don’t care
Just then Chase stumbled into camp, covered in blood and with his hands bound, followed shortly by Demmin Nass, Rahl’s child molestor henchman, who’s leading a quad.
“Ah. You’ve heard of me, Mother Confessor.” His wicked smile widened. “I’ve certainly heard of you. Your friend here has killed five of my best men I’ll execute him later, after the festivities. I’d like him to the have the enjoyment of watching what we do to you.”
SEE THEY’RE EVIL BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING TO RAPE HER DO YOU SEE
Zedd tries to use a paralysis spell on the four men, but it bounces off of some sort of underworld magic and hits him instead. Kahlan pulls a knife on Demmin but is easily defeated, getting her frail lady-arm broken in the process. Zedd sits helplessly and watches, overcome by manpain.
He wished she wouldn’t fight them; it was only going to make it worse
Go fuck yourself, Zedd.
Just then, Chase crashes into one of the quad dudes and breaks his neck with his thighs, which is apparently a thing people are capable of. A second later Wolfbro joins the fight.
It was too late. The knife slashed into the wolf with a sickening thud as the fist holding it slammed against the ribs. Over and over, Nass tore the wolf open. In moments, it was over. Brophy lay sprawled on the ground, his fur matted with blood. His legs jerked a little, then were still.
Oh, no. He was such a memorable character.
Kahlan starts taunting Demmin by calling him a wimp for not raping her himself and implying that his father abused him and ugh let’s just get this fucking scene over with.
So that was it. Zedd understood. Kahlan knew she was going to die, and was willing to trade whatever worse Nass could do to her for knowing if Richard was all right. She didn’t want to die without knowing if he was safe.
Of course, it’s really all about Richard.
Demmin tells her about Richard being tortured and speculates that he’s probably dead by now, so Kahlan uses some sort of Confessor scream-magic.
Zedd nearly choked with the fear of what she was doing. He had seen this being done only once before, and it came to no good end. She was joining the Confessor’s magic, the additive, the love, with its counterpart from the underworld, the subtractive, the hate.
What is with this additive and subtractive stuff? Why is it only being brought up now, near the end of the book?
“It’s called the Con Dar. The Blood Rage.” Zedd looked slowly from Kahlan to the boundary warden. “It’s something only a few of the strongest Confessors can do. And she should not be able to do it at all.”
This is because normally it can only be taught by a Confessor’s mother because reasons, and Kahlan’s mother died before she reached the minimum age. Blah blah prophecies whatever. Kahlan Confessors the quad dudes and orders them to keel over dead, then Confessors Demmin, castrates him and forces him to eat his own testicles. Wheee.
A Confessor in the Blood Rage cannot be reasoned with. It’s like trying to reason with a thunderstorm it will only get you hit by lightning.”
Those women and their emotions, eh? Right? Am I right?
Anyway Kahlan kills Demmin with his own mace, then makes face-markings for herself out of poisonous berries. I think this is supposed to be cool. It isn’t. Then she announces her intention to go and kill Darken Rahl.
I am announcing my intention to round up all copies of this book and hurl them into the sun.