After defeating his nemesis, Darken Rahl, Richard Cypher expects his life will regain some amount of normalcy. After all, things are looking up in Richard’s world: he has the woman he loves and he plans to marry her. Though he doesn’t have a concrete plan for his post nuptial life he certainly doesn’t expect to continue further into the magical world.
Richard and his beloved Kahlan, return to the Mud People where they will be married. But when they arrive they are met with a series of revelations….Richard finds out he is Darken Rahl’s bastard and Zed is really his grandfather. In the midst of all this, Richard is plagued with violent and debilitating headaches. His appetite and sleeping patterns begin to change and suddenly three women appear….The Sisters of Light….and tell him his is actually a wizard.
Richard hates magic. He doesn’t trust it. He is the Seeker….his job is to find the truth. To him magic is all false illusion, nothing more than lies. He wants no part of it. But Richard might not have a choice. The headaches are so intense that they could kill him. Kahlan pleads with Richard to take the help the Sisters are offering. But Richard refuses, he will not wear a collar or be a slave.
Richard soon discovers a more imminent problem though.
With the death of Darken Rahl came another unimaginable horror…..the veil that separates the living world from the underworld has been torn. If it is torn the rest of the way, the Keeper will escape and conquer the world of the living. Richard has inadvertently caused this grave problem by allowing one of the boxes of Orden to be opened. Though he has mastered the Wizard’s First Rule (people are stupid), he has violated the Wizard’s Second Rule (the greatest harm can result from the best intentions).
Richard and Kahlan call a gathering with the Mud People to see if there is anyway to close the veil. But instead of simply communicating with the ancestors, Richard and Kahlan actually enter the underworld where they encounter Darken Rahl. By calling the gathering, Richard again has inadvertently brought Darken Rahl through the veil and he plans on bringing the Keeper with him. Darken Rahl then marks Richard with the Keepers mark which means certain death for Richard and then he is gone.
Hoping to save Richard, Kahlan forces Richard to take the help of the Sisters which he resents her for deeply. She betrays him and he is so hurt that he will never forgive her but Kahlan loves him so much that she is willing to let him go if it means he will live. Richard sets off on an epic adventure to the Palace of the Prophets where he learns more about his powers and how to stop Darken Rahl once and for all.
This book was much different than the first for me. In the first book, I was struggling to feel Richard’s inner struggle with his new role as Seeker and hero. However in this book, I felt his conflict much more intensely which I liked. In the first book, Richard was a little to nieve for me but in this book I felt he was more mature and had grown as a character.
When I picked this book up, I didn’t expect it to be as long as it was (900+). The first book was roughly 500 pages so this was a huge jump in length but I thought it was appropriate because a lot happens in this book. The length didn’t bother me but it did take me a while to get through. I chalk that up to the end of the summer though, I’ve read some hefty books this summer so I needed a break in between my lengthy books.
One of the literary devices that I love most in fantasy lit is prophecy. It begs the proverbial question, how much of our lives is fate and how much is choice. I love this kind of though process. I was thrilled that this book focuses a lot more on prophecy. It forces the reader to think about Richard and the choices he makes…..is he a self fulfilling prophecy etc. This device really made me examine his character more and added excellent depth.
Overall this book had a decidedly darker feel to it. It was more about self acceptance and then of course the character conflicts and their inner struggles were interesting and complex. In Book #1, Kahlan was easily the most interesting character for me but for me this book was all about Richard which was important. I felt like I got to know him more intimately.
They always say the road to hell is paved with the best of intensions, a theme which is clearly apparent in this book. The plot is driven by this concept, multiple major characters make decisions of questionable quality with the best of intentions which have unforeseen consequences. This coupled with the prophecy device makes this book exciting and a fun read.
The only thing I struggled with was the repetition of facts. In the first book I could understand the need to go back and re-examine Kahlan’s role as Mother Confessor for example, but now in the second book, I don’t need her role reiterated over and over again. At times I felt like I was being belittled as a reader which I found frustrating and unnecessary. But a large part of my frustration is personal preference, overall this was a great read and I enjoyed it more than the first one.
I look forward to the next installment, though I’ve got to get through a few other lengthy books first, I will hopefully start the third book after the holidays!
I love my heroes tormented and dark. I love seeing a character go from the lowest point and rise up, reinventing themselves. I love a classic phoenix rising hero I guess you could say :). I wasn’t entirely sure Richard could be that hero that I love so much, but after reading this book I’m convinced there is a whole other side to Richard and I look forward to watching him develop as a character.
If you love a plot and character driven novel then this is for you. This book was cleaver and had a complex plot, driven by uncertainty, shifting circumstances, and prophecy. Truly an enjoyable read worth the length.
- Kindle Edition
- Published (first published 1995)
- ASIN B004LP3AYI
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 4.5 out of 5 (an epic high fantasy adventure quest)
Genre: Fantasy, high fantasy
Sometimes that’s all life is… One desperate act after another.
Only a fool walks into the future backwards.