Soul of the Fire

Terry Goodkind, Author Tor Books $29.99 (508p) ISBN 978-0-312-89054-4
Seeker of Truth Richard Rahl and his wife, Mother Confessor Kahlan Amnell, survive another incredible series of obstacles in Goodkind's sequel to his acclaimed Temple of the Winds. Here, readers learn that when Kahlan used a spell to save Richard from death in the last book, she inadvertently released the Chimes, deadly ancient beings who threaten to destroy the world by absorbing all its magic. Richard's grandfather Zedd goes off to combat the Chimes while Richard and Kahlan, accompanied by Du Chaillu, a pregnant spirit woman who is bound to Richard by an ancient prophesy, travel to Anderith to find the journal of a wizard who defeated the Chimes in ages past. But in Anderith, the rivalry between the Ander and Haken peoples (somewhat heavily handled, with overtones of the author's pro-colonial opinions) threatens to divide the land just when it needs unity in order to defend itself against an invasion by Emperor Jagang's thuggish hordes. After many suspenseful moments, everything comes somewhat raggedly together in a happy ending. Notable for its engaging secondary characters, the novel also evinces flashes of sly wit, as when an evil Chime takes the form of a menacing chicken. Though the narrative sprawls all over the map and the tone can edge too far towards the didactic, Goodkind's ingenious world-building will keep readers captivated by the latest installment of his bestselling Sword of Truth series.(May)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
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