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 Terry Goodkind's Faith of the Fallen: A Review by rainshadow

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rainshadow
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PostSubject: Terry Goodkind's Faith of the Fallen: A Review by rainshadow   Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:17 am

A novel of the nobility of the human spirit.

A novel of ideas.



Spoiler:
 

Many consider Faith of the Fallen to be the crowning achievement of author Terry Goodkind, both because it is the book that best articulates the philosophy by which Goodkind lives and because it is an overall captivating storyline. While the tale is intricately woven and richly detailed, the individual stories within the plot are clearly and eloquently stated, making for a relatively easy and enjoyable read from start to finish and a thought-provoking experience as well.

For me, the novel Temple of the Winds, the fourth book of the Sword of Truth series, is the novel in which Goodkind’s prose reached maturity, whereas the initial three books laid the groundwork of an ambitious author eager to share his elaborate tale. Before Faith, he had always shown the promise to be one of the premier writers of the fantasy genre, but like all new authors it took time for Goodkind to truly gain his voice and hit his stride—not to say that the first three books weren’t excellent tales in their own right, of course. Once Goodkind gained his voice, however, he was ready to take the next step.

Along with the previous books, the fifth novel in the series, Soul of the Fire, laid final and most essential piece (in my opinion) of the groundwork for Goodkind’s most ambitious novel. It would have been very easy to fail. In order for Faith to have the impact that Goodkind wanted it to have, he needed to build toward that plot with the previous novels. Without the events and experiences of the previous novels, the reader loses a good portion of the impact of what Faith is all about. At the same time, Goodkind manages to build a world all its own within the pages of his sixth novel, and while a reader who did not read the previous books in the series might lose the overall impact that those who did, Faith could be read as a standalone novel, I would highly recommend starting at the beginning with Wizard’s First Rule.

Faith might not be a wholly unique tale: it is the story of a free man who is bound into slavery to save the life of a person held dear. The world has seen this same plot rehashed in a thousand different ways throughout the course of history. Where Goodkind succeeds is where all the best in his field succeed.

First, Faith is driven by a exceptional ensemble of fascinating characters, both new and old to the Sword of Truth fans. Throughout the series, Goodkind has displayed a knack for character development, and nowhere is it more evident than within the pages of this particular book. Characters introduced earlier in the series not only maintain their multi-faceted layers, but gain new layers as the story unfolds, layers that do not conflict with previous developments but instead make the characters seem all the more human, all the more intimately crafted. Some character development is altogether mind-blowing as revelations fall into place, piece by piece.

Goodkind’s second strength is the richly developed world in which his characters live. Despite the vastness of the world he had already introduced, Goodkind delved into new settings that lift the reader to the heights of a beautiful mountain wilderness to bloodsoaked medieval battlefields to the depths of a mundane hell as aforementioned free man is dragged into “oblivion”, as his captor so cryptically puts it. In Faith, Goodkind is at his best, literally throwing the reader into his world with his superb description that stimulates the senses. A reader will literally hear the wooden clack of wooden sword in a springtime wilderness and the bloodcurdling screams of unbridled horror and agony as war reaches a fevered pitch.

Finally, Goodkind uses a plethora of different yet captivating stories seamlessly woven into a single, intricate and ambitious tale. Faith is a tragic wartime epic, a saga of one man’s struggle for survival as he is dragged into his own personal hell, a tale of revelation as his captor faces her own demons, both from without and from within, and, at the very center of it all, an uplifting yet simple love story of two hearts so tightly bound that neither time nor distance can ever tear them apart, no matter the horrors that stand in their way. And, woven within it all are many other tales devoted to various other characters, some more important than others in the grand scheme of things but each flawlessly executed to produce marvelous blend of action, tragedy, drama, and romance, all devoted to the growth of Goodkind’s fabulous characters and the nobility of the human spirit.

In short, a masterpiece.

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PostSubject: Re: Terry Goodkind's Faith of the Fallen: A Review by rainshadow   Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:27 pm

An excellent review rainshadow. I enjoyed reading it. I also agree that it is probably the best book in the series.

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PostSubject: Re: Terry Goodkind's Faith of the Fallen: A Review by rainshadow   Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:40 pm

Thank you very much. It's a few days late (actually it's been done for a couple days but I left the flash drive at my folks' house).

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PostSubject: Re: Terry Goodkind's Faith of the Fallen: A Review by rainshadow   Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:30 pm

Wow, this is excellent. I didn't know if it'd be possible to write a review that did this book justice but you managed it. I like all the stuff about Goodkind finding his voice in the first three books. I never thought about that before. Great review rs!
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PostSubject: Re: Terry Goodkind's Faith of the Fallen: A Review by rainshadow   Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:43 pm

You have to remember that Terry suffers from dislexia. I have it myself and it is a bitch (though I believe Terry's is significantly worse than mine). It's hard enough to write a story, let alone a novel of a thousand pages. To do what he did with WFR alone in my mind is pretty amazing. To turn the success of that first book into the series it became... fascinating.

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PostSubject: Re: Terry Goodkind's Faith of the Fallen: A Review by rainshadow   Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:02 am

That is an excellent review RS. Really well done.
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