|Number of Books||11|
|Release Date||15 August 1994 – 13 November 2007|
The Sword of Truth is a high fantasy book series written by Terry Goodkind. It consists of eleven books in the original series. There are two prequels (Debt of Bones and The First Confessor: The Legend of Magda Searus), and one sequel (The Law of Nines) as well. After finishing the main Sword of Truth series, Terry Goodkind returned and wrote four more books as kind of a sequel to the story. Not only that, but he also wrote five books about “Children of D’hara” and four of “Nicci Chronicles” that can be read separately. Since they are not parts of the main story, we will not review them in this article. We will focus only on the original The Sword of Truth series and cover the main aspects of each of the eleven books that make up The Sword of Truth series.
About the Author
Terry Goodkind (1948-2020) was an American writer most famous for his high-fantasy series “The Sword of Truth“. In total, he published 32 books, and the Sword of Truth series were sold in 25 million copies worldwide. In 2008 TV show Legend of The Seeker was made based on his work and it aired for two seasons. Terry was a highly controversial author with a large fan base but also with a huge group of contrarians of his work as well. His behavior in real life contributed to the controversy as well as some of his political agenda (objectivism) that can be seen in a few of his books. Nonetheless, the enormous success of the Sword of Truth series made Terry Goodkind one of the most well-known authors of fantasy genre novels in the 20th century.
Sword of Truth: Characters and Plot
As it usually goes in fantasy novels, the Sword of Truth series follows the main protagonist on his quest to save the world from various perils. The main character is (mostly) Richard Cypher, a simple woods guide who in a strange twist of fate becomes The Seeker of Truth wielding the Sword of Truth as his weapon of choice. He is accompanied by Cahlan Amnell, the last descendent of a long line of magical beings called Confessors whose destiny is to be a beacon of purity and justice in the New World. Our main character also has the aid of the Wizard of the First Order, Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander.
Initially, the main antagonist is Darken Rahl, a ruthless dictator and a wizard who commands the powers of the Underworld. Later on in the series, several Sisters of Light become important characters as well as a Mord-Sith, Cara. Emperor Jagang, the new antagonist, arises from the Old World. Although there are several plot lines, the main one is always about Richard and Kahlan and their struggle to stay together and save everyone.
The original Sword of Truth series order
1. Wizard’s First Rule
The first book in the series, Wizard’s First Rule, tells us the story of a young woods guide Richard Cypher saving the life of a woman in trouble only to learn that he is a chosen hero of his time. He is the Seeker of Truth and has to confront the horrendous Darken Rahl, a tyrant, and a dangerous wizard wielding dark magic on the other side of the boundary. Wizard of the First Order accompanies him on his journey across the boundary and the horrors he has to endure in order to stop Darken Rahl from enslaving everyone in Three Territories.
2. Stone of Tears
In the second book of the series, Stone of Tears, Richard learns that in defeating Darken Rahl he made a mistake and exposed the world to the enemy of all that lives, The Keeper, by tearing the veil between the World of the Living and The Underworld. Furthermore, he finds out that he is actually a wizard himself but in order to use his powers he has to go to the Old World to be trained by The Sisters of Light. The quest becomes even more difficult when The Sisters of Dark reveal themselves. Meanwhile, Kahlan and Zedd do what they must to help Richard and get into trouble as well.
3. Blood of the Fold
Blood of the Fold starts with Keeper being defeated. Richard and Kahlan still can’t be together because a new enemy arises from the Old World – the Imperial Order. Their commander, Emperor Jagang wishes to purge all magic and all magical beings from the New World, and without Towers of Perdition protecting them, his way into the New World is open. At the same time, Tobias Brogan advances towards Midlands with his Blood of the Fold order. Richard embraces his fate as a War Wizard and does what needs to be done in order to unite the people of the Midlands under one banner.
4. Temple of the Winds
Temple of the Winds begins with Richard and Kahlan finally being together and planning their wedding. Rumors of a strange illness spread. Cara captures a wizard claiming to be an assassin sent to kill Richard. The mystery unfolds as Emperor Jagang unleashes a plague upon Midlands. Richard and Kahlan are faced with a horrific two-forked prophecy; They have to sacrifice everything at the Temple of the Winds or face their demise.
5. Soul of the Fire
In the fifth installment of Sword of Truth, Richard and Kahlan finally get married. Strange events happen shortly after, including Zed losing his powers. Richard finds out that the chimes are actually causing magic to disappear. Emperor Jagang is mustering his forces toward Midlands. Richard is stripped powerless and forced to battle the forces of the Underworld.
6. Faith of the Fallen
The sixth part of the Sword of Truth series introduces a new enemy, sister Nicci from the Old World. Richard and Kahlan get separated and Richard goes to the Old World to confront Nicci. Meanwhile, Kahlan assembles an army in the Midlands in order to face the enemy. A devastating prophecy is heard and our heroes are back to square one, racing to save their lives and the lives of all the free people in the Midlands.
7. Pillars of Creation
A new character, Jensen, is presented in the seventh part of the Sword of Truth series. She has been running from assassins sent by lord Rahl her whole life – because she is a Pristinely Ungifted One. She has been hearing voices for as long as she can remember. Now she seeks a way to end them and end the life of preceding Lord Rahl, Richard. Jagang and the Keeper get their hands involved in the whole thing and a great battle takes place.
8. Naked Empire
Richard and Kahlan are still in the Old World. On their way back to the new world, they encounter a man in desperate need of their help. Sister Nicci sends a letter of warning to them. Richard is poisoned. A new monster is unleashed by the emperor Jagangs sisters of Dark. A grim twist of fate happens once again. Kahlan and Richard can lose everything they fought so hard for.
The end of the saga draws near. But before the end, the storm is at the front. An ancient spell is invoked on Kahlan and she is banished from existence for everyone except Richard. The final trilogy starts with Chainfire and marks the beginning of the end of the Sword of Truth series.
Emperor Jagang continues to proceed forward with his plan. Kahlan is bound by the spell and still without a memory of who she is. Richard struggles to keep forces in check in order to prepare defenses. He also desperately seeks his beloved one and the quest is all the harder considering that only he remembers her.
The final part of the Chainfire trilogy and the original Sword of Truth series takes place in the eleventh installment titled Confessor. Richard is faced with a terrible choice. The hope is fleeting and the grim destiny awaits some of our beloved characters. Descending into darkness, free people are powerless to stop the birth of a cruel, new world.