Terry Goodkind, The Blood of the Fold, New York, NY: Tom Doherty Associates LCC, Tor Books, First Published: October 1996, 623 pages
Terry Goodkind, New York Times Best-Selling author brings to you the third installment of A Sword of Truth: The Blood of the Fold. Before Goodkind started writing, he had made his living in Wildlife Art. He was also a cabinet maker and a violin maker. At some point, Goodkind started having dreams about the character Kahlan and from those, spawned the novel Wizards First Rule. Having had no intentions of actually publishing the book, he simply wanted to write the story. It was not until later that he actually had it published. He looked for the best agent in the business and landed a book deal with Tor Books. Now, finding himself at the final book in the trilogy: The Blood of the Fold, the story continues…
Richard having believed Kahlan executed, has avenged her death. Richard in a rage of fury kills the men who sat on the Council of the Midlands and sentenced her to death. Richard later finds that she is not dead, but has had a death spell placed on her, to shroud her true identity and to make the people believe that they saw her beheaded.. With the Mother Confessor dead, Aydindril is occupied by the Imperial Order. Many troops in Aydindril are dislocated D’Haran troops, who swear no fealty to the new Lord Rahl.
When the six Sisters of the Dark escape the Palace of Prophets and leave by way of Gaffan Harbor, they make to sail around the Great Barrier and intend to serve their master, the Keeper in the New World. Their plans abruptly change when Jagang, the Dream Walker, Emperor of the Old World and the Imperial Order, gets into their minds. When the Dream Walker is in your mind, not only does he know what you are thinking, he can control you and cause you unimaginable pain if he doesn’t get what he wants. With Jagang having power over the six Sisters of the Dark, he summons them to him, lest he hurt them further. Knowing their resistance to the Dream Walker is futile, they make port as swiftly as possible and return to Tanimura.
When Richard journeyed to the Old World he had befriended a baby Gar, who had grown into his only friend. The Gar, Gratch, has followed him back to Aydindril to rekindle their friendship, and not a moment too soon: Mriswith are in the city. Gratch being a Gar is the only one besides Richard who can see these deadly, near invisible creatures. Mriswith unleash their wrath on the people of Aydindril, killing indiscriminately, except for Richard. Richard, having slayed a Mriswith in the Woods, near the Palace of Prophets, discovers that these Mriswith are only invisible due to the magical capes they wear, enabling them to blend in with their surroundings. Richard wears his Mriswith cape often, granting him a sort of immunity from the wrath of these vile creatures.
Tobias Brogan of Nicobarese has come to Aydindril. Brogan is Lord General of The Blood of the Fold. Zealots, trying to rid the world of the Keeper’s taint: Magic. With the Dream Walker in his mind, and his want to rid the world of all magic, allying himself with the Order seems beneficial for both parties.
Mord-Sith and officers from the First File, private guard to Lord Rahl, arrive in Aydindril to protect Richard. Richard finds out that if he can prove to the D’Haran troops in the city that he is the new Lord Rahl, he will control the city. After convincing the officers of the D’Haran troops occupying Aydindril that he is the Lord Rahl, rightful heir to the throne of D’Hara, they bond themselves to him and take control of Aydindril. To maintain order, Richard demands the unconditional surrender of all free lands in the Midlands, for the purpose of uniting with D’Hara to create a formidable opponent that can stand against the tyranny of the Order.
Kahlan and Zedd have made their way south towards Galea, to cleanse the city of Ebinissia. Kahlan is to assume the throne of Galea in her half-sister’s stead, while Cyrilla tries to make a recovery from the brutal torment she had endured at the hands of the Council of the Midlands, under rule of the Order.
Richard has sent Kahlan word that he has dissolved the Alliance of the Midlands and demands surrender of all lands within it. When Gratch brings Kahlan this news, she is heartbroken. Kahlan having upheld the alliance all of her life as the Mother Confessor, feels ashamed that it would end under her rule. Even though she knows Richards reasons for doing it, it pains her no less.
Jagang now makes for the Palace of Prophets. The spelled palace in which the Sisters of the Light have lived for thousands of years holds a certain appeal to him. From the Palace of Prophets Jagang would be free to live long enough to see his dreams of ruling the entire world, a reality. The palace’s spell would give him unnaturally long life, giving him hundreds of years to accomplish his goal.
Sister Verna is named Prelate of the Palace of Prophets after Ann’s death. When the Sisters of the Dark return, she is stripped of her title and imprisoned. With the Sisters of the Dark in control of the palace and Verna out of the way, they wait only for Jagang’s immanent arrival.
Brogan,having found out that the Mother Confessor still lives, hunts her. When he finds Kahlan and the sorceress Adie, he collars them both with a Rada’Han, a magical collar preventing them from using their gift, and travels south for Tanimura and the Palace of Prophets to give them over to Jagang.
With Zedd, Gratch, Kahlan and Adie missing, Richard does what he must to find the answers he seeks and to find Kahlan before it is to late…
The Blood of the Fold was as good as it’s predecessors, in the fact that it stayed with Goodkind’s progressive, shifting perspective narrative. Being the third installment, it gave you a deeper insight to these characters. Eloquently written as per usual, Goodkind delivers this not-so-lenghty sequel with simple grace.
I thought that this novel worked because it not only gave you a in depth perspective on these characters, but it also brought about a reign of new and unbridled terror: The Order. The idea of the Dream Walker was good. He could control any with the gift and even some without, except for those sworn to Richard. The Bond to the Lord Rahl gives a unique element here too: An ancient conjuring keeping the dream walker from the minds of those bound to the Lord Rahl; as it was in the time of the great war. The Wizards Keep is explored here too, giving you yet another sense of depth in this story. Another strong point, was that it was not as long as the first two novels in the series. All the way around, it was a great read.
This novel didn’t work because I didn’t find Jagang nearly as ominous as Darken Rahl. Even though Jagang is a Dream Walker, he’s just not as terrifying to me, the Order is, but Jagang is just another brute as far as I’m concerned. I also found that I was a little bored with some of the political proceedings in Aydindril, when Richard demands the unconditional surrender of all lands, but it made it seem all the more realistic. So all in all, it guess it was okay, a little boring, but alright nonetheless.
A friendly reminder that these books are not suitable for younger readers. I do not suggest them for a book report for school. The disturbing and sometimes scarring imagery continues with unabated force in The Blood of the Fold. Although I suppose, if I was disturbed and or scarred, the author did his job well.
What others have said:
“Mister Goodkind’s compelling prose weaves a magical spell over readers.”
–Romantic Times BOOKreviews
“Makes indelible impact.”–Publishers Weekly
“Few writers have Goodkind’s power of creation…a phenomenal piece of imaginative writing, exhaustive in it’s scope and riveting in it’s detail.”–Publishing News
“Goodkind’s greatest triumph: the ability to introduce immediately identifiable characters. His heroes, like us, are not perfect. Instead, each is flawed in ways that strengthen, rather than weaken their impact. You’ll find no two-dimensional oafs here. In fact, at times you’ll think you’re looking at your own reflection.”–SFX