Monday, March 1, 2010

Big Book Read #6

Big Book Read #6

Faith of the Fallen by Terry Goodkind

785 Pages

Whew! I made it through another book in the Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind. The sixth book of the series, Faith of the Fallen begins right where Soul of the Fire left off; with Richard and Cara taken a seriously wounded Kahlan into Richard’s home of Westland to heal in secret. Meanwhile, Jagang and his Imperial Order are running wild through the Midlands.

Richard is quickly captured and it looks as if he and Kahlan will never see each other again. He is taken off “into oblivion” and held prisoner by an old enemy while Kahlan is left to lead the D’Haran troops in defending the people off the Midlands against a must larger and must stronger Order.

Goodkind gets a bit preachy for my taste in Faith of the Fallen. Throughout the long book, and especially in the last third, he hammers his philosophy of reason over faith into the reader. The world under the Imperial Order in Goodkind’s work appears to be some really screwed up mixture of Communism and religious fundamentalism. It’s a world where everyone must be equal and no one can work too hard for fear of outshining someone less able. You’re hit with several images of bread lines, rampant unemployment, political purges and torture. Additionally, the “Brothers of the Order” are skulking about reminding the people that they are worthless creatures and can only be saved in the afterlife by suffering in the present and only through despair can they live fully in the light of their creator after death. It’s all very depressing.

The good bits of the book, in my opinion, are those concerning Kahlan. She has been separated from Richard and is now left to lead the people of the Midlands in his place while knowing full well that it’s a futile effort. Despite her sadness and the hard living and violence of traveling with the army she shows herself to be a strong and capable leader and a fierce warrior in her own right. It’s nice to come across a female character that has to go rescue the man for a change.

This wasn’t my favorite book of the series but I enjoyed the greater focus on the two main characters in contrast to Soul of the Fire, which focused on too many characters. It was exciting, emotional and violent; a big old adventure that was a pleasure to read.

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