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Chainfire (2005)

Chainfire (2005)

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3.95 of 5 Votes: 1
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0765344319 (ISBN13: 9780765344311)
tor fantasy

About book Chainfire (2005)

I really enjoyed this book if not for the frustration that had me wanting to tear my hair out. But for once it didn't so much have to do with Goodkind's writing as the characters themselves. Before I started Chainfire, I felt that maybe the books were getting a tad predictable. But this changed the entire the ball game. At the start of Chainfire, we meet Richard who has been seriously injured. He is immediately taken to Nicci who sets out trying to heal him. But his injuries are so serious that she has to use Subtractive Magic to heal him. He lives through the ordeal only to discover something gravely disturbing, Kahlan is missing. And not only is she missing but nobody remembers her. Richard tries to convince Cara and Nicci about who Kahlan is but the harder he tries the more convinced they become that she's just a figment of his pain-addled mind. He tires of trying to convince them and instead sets out to find her. He meets Shota who gives him some clues in return for the Sword of Truth. He then turns to Zedd for his help only to find that Zedd too can't help him because he doesn't believe Richard. In other news, the Sword of Truth is now with Samuel (yes the same one who skulks around Shota) Chainfire was probably one of the more linear books in the series with minimal POVs, we mostly stay with Richard and Nicci. There are a few others but they are fleeting. As far as progressing the plot, there isn't a lot that happens in this book. Its primary focus is Richard's quest for Kahlan. This was interesting because we saw all the ways in which Kahlan influenced the people around her and how they were somehow lesser for forgetting her. So that all the change she had affected on a personal level was undone. Chainfire also benefited from this more streamlined narrative because it gave the readers the chance to fully grasp the seriousness of the event in the broader scheme of things (the end of the world) Interspersed with a lot of heartbreak and frustration, there was also some action, this time mostly centered around Nicci. We saw a glimpse of what she was capable of in Faith of the Fallen and in Chainfire we get a deeper sense of her awesome power. In the absence of Kahlan (the resident badass female character) it was refreshing to see another uber-powerful female character. As far as characters go, Chainfire again limited the number of people involved. We concentrated on Richard, Cara, Nicci, Zedd, Nathan and Ann. This was a pleasant change. Richard was as dogged as ever. He was steadfast in his belief that Kahlan was indeed real and that there was something very seriously amiss with the world around him. This unflinching belief in the face of wide-spread denial of the very existence of the woman he loves is what makes him such a compelling character. Sure, there were moments of doubt and uncertainty, but he battled past those dark times. Cara is always a joy to read and in Chainfire, there was a very subtle shift in their dynamic. Worry not, nothing romantic but a change nonetheless. I was most curious about Nicci, not that I was unsure of her bond to Richard (there could be no doubt about that) but about her as a character. She has certainly come a long way from her earlier beliefs and is a true ally to Richard. Even though she doesn't believe him, when he despairs of finding Kahlan, it is Nicci who forces him to see beyond what everyone around him wants him to see. She also warned him of his uncle, Nathan and Ann's idea of helping him while he was still in the Keep. She has become an indispensable part of the group. As for the rest, they make up those that had me wanting to tear my hair out. Sure Nicci and Cara contributed to that as well, but these three, Nathan, Ann and Zedd(especially Ann) were the real culprits. Zedd is always a pleasure to come across and his interactions with Rikka were among the most entertaining in the entire book. But like the others in the book, he was happy to look at the simplest reason for the disappearing prophecies and not look beyond. Nathan and Ann also journey to the Keep after they discover the blank pages in the various books of prophecy to see if the ancient books at the Keep have escaped that fate. Nathan's character in Chainfire was a little subdued since his customary wit and charm were absent. Ann was infuriating as always. She is a such busybody. Kahlan had the right measure where Ann was concerned and didn't care for her meddling ways. With memories of Kahlan gone, the change she had affected was absent as well. Of all the characters, I find Ann most annoying. The Mord Sith are entertaining as always and it was nice to see more of Rikka and Berdine. Kahlan was absent for most of the duration of the book and when we do meet her she is in a bad place. She too has no memory of who she really is and worse, she is in the clutches of the evil Sisters of the Dark. They need her to steal and open the Boxes of Orden and thus end the world of the living. Back when Richard used the Stone to Tears to close the rift to the Underworld, I thought that the problem of the Keeper had been handled a little too quickly and smoothly, clearly I was wrong. The Keeper is far from defeated and with what Sisters unleashed, the world is quite literally at the brink of destruction. There is still that inner steel that was the core of Kahlan's strength and I hope that she can somehow recover more of that inner strength that made her the Mother Confessor and a force to be reckoned with (independent of Richard) Chainfire was an entertaining read but it most importantly, it sets up Phantom and Confessor beautifully. It was a pleasant change of pace and plot in the series and I can't wait to see how it all concludes.

SPOILER ALERT: The last two large paragraphs of this review do contain spoilers.As the story goes on, I'm starting to become less forgiving of Terry Goodkind. While I still find the basic plotline is entertaining and interesting, this series has dragged on for much too long. I'll start with what I enjoyed and then get into my harsher critique.I'm not a big fan of Kahlan and actually find her quite whiny and annoying, so her absence in this book was a nice break. We had some interesting plot develops and a resurgence of characters and artifacts that we haven't seen in quite some time, so some long hanging questions got answers. There's even a part in the book (I won't be a brute and spoil it here) about Cara that made me shed a tear. This book has some twists that initially I didn't expect but it did very quickly become predictable (more on that later).Now, I don't think this is a bad book. However, there are certain things that are very much starting to annoy me. Firstly, the way that Goodkind continuously writes in that Matrix style, where he goes into tremendous detail describing the swing of a sword or the casting of a spell or running through a wood. When it's done well and at the right moments, it is very much an enhancement of the scene being painted. However, Goodkind does it so often that it's become more tedious that anything else. And in some cases it creates what I call a plot hole, but I am not sure it that is a misnomer. Bottom line, it's a detriment to the credibility of the timeline. There's scene in the book where Richard walks to a spot in the forest but then needs to run back. It takes him about three-quarters of a page to walk there but three full pages to run back (plot hole). There's another scene where it takes Richard close to two pages simply to draw his sword and cut his adversary's head off with one swing. Again, when done few and far between, this is an advancement of the story. But it happens so often, it had me longing for the end of the chapter.My other problem is all these hanging threads and characters. I don't know if this should be blamed on the author or just the sheer length of the series, but there are somethings that are left unanswered for a long period of time that I'm not entirely sure we'll have all the answers to. For example, since I believe book three, we've not heard again about gars. At all. I know they flew away to somewhere but they definitely still exist. Why aren't they out causing panic? What about Chandalen? Or his love interest, the girl with the gift for prophecy (I can't think of her name right now)? Until the book before this one, it was almost as if Chase had just ceased to exist. Perhaps the things that is most irksome about this is how he can leave a subject untouched, not even mentioned, for more than a half dozen books and then all of a sudden they become central to the plot again. For example, the two of the things are very important to this book are the boxes of Orden and the Sisters of the Dark who swore an oath to Richard to escape Jagang. Except for one brief appearance and subsequent execution of one of those Sisters in I believe the fourth book, none of those things or characters have ever been mentioned through the books. Goodkind does include a lot of history of previous books in each subsequent book, I'd imagine to fill in some blanks for people who've not read the previous, but he almost never mentions Order or the Sisters. If he does, it's only in passing. The characters themselves never seem to consider them. This causes two problems. One: Since he was talking about those particular Sisters of the Dark when he hadn't before, it pretty obvious they were behind whatever happened to Kahlan. Same with the boxes of Orden. Since they haven't made an appearance or even been mentioned since the second book, it was obvious from the get-go that something or someone was going to try to steal them, probably the long silent Sisters of the Dark. Two: It just makes everything seem too convenient. I'm sure this was not his intention, but it makes me feel like he's just leaves a few plot threads hanging around because in case he needs to pull one some day. I almost feel like it could have been a random rogue gar who did something terrible Kahlan as easily as it was Sister Ulicia and her crew. Admittedly, this could be the fault of the reader (i.e. me) because the series just drags on so much that I may have forgotten or missed certain details that answer the questions I have, but while I am a slow reader, I am pretty attentive I don't feel I could have missed ALL of it.I will finish the series, but at this point it's just because I just feel like I've invested too much time into it not to finish it rather than from really wanting to find out the end.

Do You like book Chainfire (2005)?

I know a lot of reviews of this were disappointed because it seemed like a set up for the next book only, and that is not as good as Terry's other books, but I think that's an unfair judgment. Yes, it is setting the basis for the next book, but it is just as good as the other books in my opinion. What author do we know truly that has not at some point, been forced to lay a foundation in one book, that he builds into a masterwork castle in the next? That's a pretty short list. I think Terry had planned it out because he knew that putting everything from Chainfire and the following book Phantom would have been far too much for the reader. Or maybe he had to split them for reasons unknown, I cannot say. But I can tell you, if you read this with an open mind, you can choose for yourself what it is or isn't, just as Richard Rahl would want.

Dang guys. Just dang. The beginning of this book kind of blew my mind. Kind of like I was all "WHAT?!?!?! NOOO!" made me rethink the whole series and what had happened. Honestly, I had a hard time reading this, I kind of was dreading it. I don't know how to explain Game of Thrones, bad things happen and I was shocked and sad sometimes for the characters, but it didn't make me want to stop reading or dread what was going to happen next. But in these books I feel like I care about Richard and Kahlan way more than those other characters. I'm tired of doom and bad things happening to them! haha I don't mind if bad things happen that they need to resolve, I just don't want those bad things to be between Richard and Kahlan! DUDES! Enough of that! Anyway, by the end of this book, a lot had happened and I feel a lot better about where things are going, still nervous and dreading how things will be resolved but hey, can't stop now! ;)

(**A few spoilers, but they're right at the beginning of the book anyway**) The first of the three absolute BEST books in this series. The book begins with mayhem and confusion as Richard, Cara, and Nicci were attacked in their camp and Richard was grievously injured. It is immediately clear to the reader that there is something very 'not right' about the entire situation. Nicci and Cara are convinced that Khalan is a figment created by Richard's mind in the moments while he was on the brink of death. Throughout the rest of the book it becomes Richard's quest, and obsession to prove she's real - both to the Midlands and to himself. The insecurity and possible madness written into the story is so excellent that it even becomes really hard for the reader to tell if Khalan did actually exist or not.One of the most emotionally involving storylines I have ever read. I was thrilled that the last three books were dedicated to this particular story arc. I will absolutely always return and reread the entire series in order to build myself up for the last 3 books. The rest of the series, of course, is awesome (one of my absolute favourites) but the entire time I'm reading the 6th or 7th novel, in the back of my mind I'm just racing to get to Chainfire!Truly Amazing and engaging!
—Sarah Staszkiel

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