Phantom by Terry Goodkind
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
To my everloving shame, I seem to have waylayed my reading of these books for a bit more than a decade. Oops. But apart from a few minor quibbles I had with the series from before, I really did enjoy them.
Their direct and not-so-direct homages to WoT, the traditional feel of quest-laden fantasy and rather brutal over-the-top wallowing in torture and grimdark horror, and of course our rather overpowered and mythically pure Richard... following the last book's rather dark turn.
Chainfire, or the wiping out of his wife, the Mother Confessor, from everyone's memories. Only he remembers her, but worse, other creatures, like dragons and unspecified other ideas and memories are getting lost, progressively. Even the understanding of magic. The corruption is preparing to wipe out everyone.
And if that isn't bad enough, there's also that army of philosophical darkness relying on a future world and abnegation of life on this one that is about to roll over every existing land, treating every living man and woman and child like nothing more than an inconvenience. Where every soldier considers themselves expendable. Where all women are treated like playthings and death REALLY IS preferable.
I really did enjoy this book, no matter how dark this sounds. But why? Ahhh, the reason is a double-edged sword. I've never reviewed his other books but there's this one little aspect that I both LOVE and HATE, heavy-handedly doling out the philosophy in a big way.
Oh? What philosophy?
Objectivism. As in, Ayn Rand. I personally love the crap out of Objectivism and really appreciate how Goodkind turns each of these novels into a vehicle for loving life and pooping all over rotters and self-abnegators and anyone who thinks that coercion is a good thing.
However. Goodkind spends about half the novel in great action, battles, cool magic system stuff, worldbuilding, heart-wrenching emotion and horrors and the OTHER half in carefully deconstructing everything that's happening in the world and situation in terms of Objectivism. :) With a very heavy hand. Holding a big iron-objectivism bar. Or a sword. Called Truth. :) lol
Even for someone who loves this shit, it IS a bit much. A subtler presentation would have left me in pure delight.
No big deal! I still enjoyed the hell out of it. I'm almost tempted to pick up the next novel right away. :) But I will get to it, regardless.
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