Sunday, August 31, 2014

Review of Faith of the Fallen

Book #35. Faith of the Fallen, by Terry Goodkind. Unabridged audio. 

This is a re-read for me -- I read the series nearly a decade ago, and then started listening to them a few years ago or so with my daughter. We only got about a quarter of the way through this one, when her college work and other responsibilities made it hard for us to continue. A few weeks ago, she gave me the go-ahead to finish this one up on my own, so I did.

I definitely did not want to leave this novel unread, with Goodkind’s latest, Severed Souls, having been released just a short while back. In order to move on to that novel, I felt that I had to dispatch this one first. 

The book before this one (reviewed here) was mostly a self-contained story, as is this one. The spread of the Imperial Order is ongoing, giving us a frightening backdrop against which this tale of the deprivation of liberty takes place. Again, Richard is taken captive, this time by the sorceress Nicci. By casting a spell that links her well-being to Kahlan’s, Richard willingly goes with her. Her intention is to teach him the glorious values of the Imperial Order, but Richard’s worldview eventually starts to effect her, and she begins to question her own beliefs. 

Goodkind’s commitment to Randian philosophy is on display here – it is an underpinning of much of the series, but here it is at the forefront. The book with a bit of Atlas Shrugged, mixed with a healthy dose of The Fountainhead, especially towards the second half of the novel. As a regular reader of Christian fiction, I understand the legitimate criticism of “preaching” in a novel, and this book definitely has some Objectivist “preaching” in it. Any time an artist uses art as a metaphor for great human achievement, it can become tiresome quickly, and Goodkind gets very close to that line a few times in Faith of the Fallen.

There is enough solid character work in this novel to balance out the lack of grand epic action, especially for fans of the series. But it is not a great entry-point for readers looking for a grand, sweeping fantasy epic. The entire series is that, but this single novel is much smaller in scope.

source: public library.

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