Richard wanders aimlessly all over the place (SORT OF LIKE THE PLOT LOLOLOL) looking for Kahlan and co. again, but can’t find them. He has to go on horseback since Scarlet an’t reach him due to clouds, which as we all know extend all the way to ground level and are composed of titanium.
It was deep in the night. The dawn would bring the first day of winter. The last day of freedom
FUCK YEAH THE BOOK IS NEARLY OVER
On the morning of the first day of winter Richard, having run out of options, decides to sashay back to Rahl’s palace to help him open the correct box. But just then, heart hounds appear and start attacking. Richard fights for a bit and is about to be overwhelmed when Scarlet swoops down and torches them all (the impassable clouds are gone). She flies him to the palace and after talking at length some more about how awesome he is, flies off. Bye Scarlet!
Inside the palace the bell tolls for everyone to start doing their daily Rahl-prayer. Richard goes along with it to avoid setting off alarm bells, but then changes the words and we thus get the only genuinely emotionally resonant moment in the entire book.
“Kahlan guide me. Kahlan teach. me. Kahlan protect me. In your light I thrive. In your mercy I am sheltered. In your wisdom I am humbled. I live only to love you. My life is yours.”
Richard’s “love” for her is still adolescent obsession, but that is kind of a sweet moment.
Anyway Richard suddenly gets an idea of what to do to best Darken Rahl and marches off for the final boss fight. But first back to Zedd! Him, chase and Kahlan stride unopposed into Rahl’s palace. It’s probably best not to think of the logistics of how they were able to get there so fast. Zedd tells Chase he should just leave before they lose the chance, but he refuses because honour and shit which isn’t actually noble because by pointlessly throwing his life away he’s leaving behind his wife and children, including the daughter he just adopted like three days ago.
“One does not sneak up on a wizard of Rahl’s talents.”
Chase grabbed Zedd’s arm. “Wizard! Rahl is a wizard?”
I…. kind of assumed that was a given at this point? I mean I don’t think they ever explicitly said it, but how the fuck else is he doing any of this shit?
“Before some of us decided to no longer interfere with the affairs of man, wizards used to rule. There was a rift-the wizard wars, as they were known. A few on their side survived, and continued to follow the old ways, continued to take power for themselves, continued to rule people
This would have been an interesting concept if it was brought up earlier than RIGHT BEFORE THE END OF THE BOOK. Also Zedd? Wizards created the Confessors, who can unilaterally depose any ruler for any reason. I don’t think you’re as far removed from Rahl as you’d like to think.
Darken Rahl is a direct descendant of that line-the house of Rahl
Huh guess Richard is a wizard then.
UH I MEAN
NEVER MIND FORGET I SAID THAT
People dressed in white robes strolled the halls. A few sat on marble benches, and others knelt at squares with a stone and bell, meditating. All wore the same perpetual smile of the divinely deluded, the peaceful countenance of those self-assured in their fantasy of certainty and understanding. Truth was only a shifting fog to them, to be burned off by the light of their convoluted reasoning
“From far off in the distance came the rough scrape of someone grinding an axe”
Eventually they reach Rahl’s final boss room and Zedd is like “hey actually Rahl only has two boxes, he’s going to be dead in, like, a few hours anyway” and Kahlan is like “NOPE REVENGE TIME GOING IN”.
Inside the boss room Zedd is shocked to see that Rahl has all three boxes with their protective covers removed, and realizes that they’re all totally fucked.
In this palace, especially in this room, Zedd could feel that-his own power was virtually useless. The whole place was one giant spell against any wizard but a Rahl.
Against a Rahl, eh? Man it’s a shame you don’t have any Rahl descendants- let’s say, I don’t know, a son- just lying around nearby. That sure would be useful.
Kahlan goes to fight “Rahl”, who draws the Sword of Truth with a white blade so it’s actually Richard I guess. Zedd knocks the sword away, but then realizes at the last second what’s really going on, too late to stop Kahlan from Confessoring Richard. Oh no! Our stely-jawed objectivist hero as been ensnared! Will he be okay???
The real Darken Rahl emerges with two goons and promptly kicks everyone’s ass.
At seeing what she had done, Kahlan yanked a knife from the belt of a guard. With a cry of anguish, she held it up in both hands to plunge it into herself.
Not, you know, gonna try and stop Rahl or anything? You could still make an attempt. Maybe order Richard to yoink the boxes and run like hell when he has his back turned. I mean yeah, it probably wouldn’t work, but you could try.
Michael grabbed her from behind, twisted the knife from her hands, and held it to her throat
Hi Michael! Anyway then Kahlan cries some more, because of course she does.
“Do whatever you want with me, but please don’t hurt Mistress Kahlan. Tell me what you want me to do, please.”
Darken Rahl patted Richard’s head. “Soon, my son, soon. Wait here.”
Actually none of the characters react to this so I guess we’re not supposed to see it as the big Darth Vader moment yet.
Rahl gets Richard to recite the Book of Counted Shadows in a white-knuckle scene of drama and tension while Zedd sits there paralyzed and gnashes his teeth.
The afternoon wore on, Richard reciting, Rahl standing before him listening, Michael with a knife at Kahlan’s throat, the two guards holding her arms, Chase frozen in place, his hand halfway to his sword, and Zedd sitting on the ground, doomed, locked in his invisible prison
Geez, Michael’s arms must be getting tired. Give the man a break.
Zedd realized that the procedure for opening the boxes was going to take longer than he would have thought. It would take all night.
Sure is a good thing Rahl didn’t leave this a little later. Also can the book please be over now
Eventually, after a lot of waffling, Richard reveals that the boxes cast different numbers of shadows in the light of the winter sun (the Book of Counted Shadows, get it), and Rahl has to open the two-shadow box to become super-Rahl or whatever. At this Rahl flies into a rage, because his mysterious sources of information have revealed that the two-shadow box will kill him. He threatens to have Kahlan killed a bit, then reasons that Richard must be telling the truth and opens the second box.
In a remarkably un-dramatic and poorly written scene Rahl is surrounded by glowy golden light and is all “yeah fuckers check me out” but then the light turns dark and shit starts going down.
A smile spread on Richard’s face. He went and retrieved the Sword of Truth, the anger of the sword’s magic flooding into his gray eyes. Zedd came to his feet. The light around Darken Rahl turned an ugly brown. His blue eyes went wide.
A wailing roar came from the ground. The black sand under Rahl’s feet split open. Violet light shot up, engulfing him. He twisted in it, screaming out.
Richard reveals that he omitted a final paragraph at the end of the book:
Be cautioned. The effect of the boxes is fluid. It shifts with the intent. To be Master of all, so you may help others, shift one box to the right. To be Master of all; so all will do your bidding, shift one box to the left. Rule as you have chosen. Your information was correct; the box with two shadows was the one that would kill you.
If that’s the case, which one is the destroy-all-life-box? This also directly contradicts the preceding paragraph, which Richard says he didn’t make up. Also Richard says “Wizard’s First Rule” like eleven thousand times.
Anyway Richard managed to avoid being Confessored by “knowing how to love Kahlan” or some shit, whatever. He leaves to go find her and Zedd has a last exposition conversation with Rahl where it’s revealed that a) Z
edd is Richard’s grandson Richard is Zedd’s grandson, b) Rahl is Richard’s dad c) Rahl raped Zedd’s daughter to produce Richard, because we need to cram in one more reference to rape before the end of the book.
“Read the prophecies, old man. Things may not yet be as final as you think. I am an agent.”
Remember, the fact that Rahl is an agent means that he’s an agent. Also when the fuck are we going to find out what there prophecies are and where they come from.
Anyway Rahl goes bye bye, and due to magic or whatever Richard is now Master Rahl and ruler of D’Hara so yay. Speaking of which Richard goes and does a romance with Kahlan, revealing that he was protected from her Confessoring by his love for her, because he was already devoted to her do you see. Well isn’t that sweet.
Okay then Richard rules the world now (seriously) and he orders Micheal to be executed,
PenisPanis Rahl’s tomb starts melting or something, Underworld, OKAY WE’RE DONE THANK FUCKING GOD
Well that’s it for this installment of Let’s Read Whatever, folks! We had some fun times, and I now seethe with a deep, burning hatred for all life. I’m going to take some time off from Let’s Reads before starting in on the next Dresden book, along with other exciting blog projects. Stay tuned!