Hello, everyone! Today I’m bringing a mini review of the penultimate book in the Sword of Truth series. I’ve been reading this series for pretty much my entire adult life, off and on. So, I’m excited to finally be nearing the end of the main narrative.
From the far reaches of the D’Haran Empire, Bishop Hannis Arc and the ancient Emperor Sulachan lead a vast horde of Shun-Tuk and other depraved “half-people” into the Empire’s heart, raising an army of the dead in order to threaten the world of the living. Meanwhile, far from home, Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell must defend themselves and their followers from a series of terrifying threats, despite a magical sickness that depletes their strength and which, if not cured, will take their lives…sooner rather than later.
I don’t really know where to start with this one. So, I’ll just jump in and say that I didn’t hate it quite as much as the two preceding books in the series. Kahlan and Richard felt a bit more like themselves here than in recent books, and I appreciated that most of the main characters were back together again because I love this group and their dynamic. I really missed Cara, though, and still think the rationale for her leaving was forced, stupid, and completely out of character. I enjoyed more of the philosophical stuff in this one, as well, particularly the discussions about whether one should continuously fight for others or just be happy and go live your life away from the struggle. I didn’t really care for the direction they took Zedd’s character in this installment because it made it feel as though he was giving up. The pacing of this book was just as awful as the first two in this story arc, but I found the plot to be somewhat more interesting. It also at least had a lot of action to pass the time as the characters carried on making little progress. There were quite a few major, gut-punching moments in this book, but they fell a bit flat because of the pacing problems. The writing was also a bore to get through for most of the book because of the ridiculous amount of repetition and recapping in the text. I found the villain of this story to be a little more interesting than the other villains of this arc have been. He was more of a scheming politician adept at using people to get his way, which was something new and not another Emperor bent on taking away free will or freeing the underworld. Although, I found it odd that the major villains of this story arc were barely in the penultimate book. It makes me think the final book will probably be a rushed mess, but we’ll see. The end of this book left things in a weird place, and I am curious to see how it all gets resolved. That said, I’m also looking forward to this arc of stories being over because they are incredibly sub-par when compared to how the Sword of Truth series started. I’m going to be generous and give this book 3 stars because I enjoyed the reading experience more than the last couple of books and liked Kahlan’s new animal companion.