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Confessor (2007)

Confessor (2007)

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4.07 of 5 Votes: 5
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0765315238 (ISBN13: 9780765315236)
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About book Confessor (2007)

I came across this series accidentally and started it almost on a whim and, more than once, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to finish the series. Well, I finally did and while the series is far from perfect, it is a lot of fun with fascinating characters, a rich world and some very interesting themes. Confessor is the final part of the Chainfire Trilogy and marks the end of the Sword of Truth series, so as with most finale books, I had certain expectations. More often than not, I am left feeling a little disappointed but Confessor was the perfect ending to the entire series. The previous books set up a number of problems for Richard to face: the Kahlan’s absence, the Chainfire spell, Jagang and the Imperial Order and the Sisters of the Dark working for the Keeper of the Underworld. Most of them seemed insurmountable especially with the odds stacked firmly against Richard. As things stand, there isn’t a lot going on that’s in Richard’s favour, he no longer has the Sword of Truth or access to his Gift, to make maters worse, he is in the clutches of the Order. At the same time, the Order has marched right up to the doorstep of the People’s Palace and the D’Haran forces attacking the Old World are being attacked by a sorceress working for Jagang. Did I mention that Jagang had captured both Nicci and Kahlan? So by all indications, the world was doomed and it seemed like it was only a matter of time before the Order crushed the New World forces and established their own rule with their twisted beliefs. And yet, even in the face of impending doom, the characters still fought and they still had hope. They decided that this was their life and if they were going to die, then they would die fighting. As with ALL of the books in the series, the pace of the narrative was uneven largely due to the fact that Goodkind insisted on a complete and very detailed recap every time we came across a character from the past. I kid you not, all of the books would be considerably shorter if these recaps were cut out, they are redundant and serve no purpose except to drive the reader insane. I ended skipping them entirely and I think that’s partly why I started to enjoy the books again. Overlooking those parts, the overall pace of the whole of Confessor was frenetic making it close to impossible to put the book aside for even a little while. The Sword of Truth series is violent and bloody. Throughout the series, there is always some war or battle going on and as with most real wars, the worst off are the women and there is a lot of violence aimed at women in the series. There are plenty of scenes and situations that feature graphic and gruesome descriptions of the state of women and one only has to look at how often Kahlan and Nicci are physically abused to get a sense of the brutality, Goodkind doesn’t gloss over these parts and while the descriptions are definitely unpleasant (case in point the condition of Galea when the Imperial Order attacked the kingdom in Stone of Tears and once again when Galea is sacked again by the Order, especially the fate of Queen Cyrilla) they only drive home the seriousness of the situation. What makes this series different from most other series that I’ve read is Goodkind’s attitude towards mercy. This is something that struck me very early in the series. There are many instances throughout the series that highlight this attitude. Goodkind leaves no room for misinterpretation when it comes to this. For instance when Samuel tries to rape Kahlan, she manages to Confess him after which he pleads for mercy, her response to his plea is, “Mercy is a contingency plan devised by the guilty in the eventuality that they are caught.” There are quotes like this throughout the series. And this is something that I was happy about. Goodkind did not beat around the bush where this was concerned. His characters acted according upon this ideal countless times throughout the series. And given just how brutal the Order was or Darken Rahl before them, it was not an attitude that I had any problem with.The other thing that struck me was just how immersive his battle scenes were. I felt that I was right there in the thick of things with Richard and Kahlan. What I also liked that when we read Richard’s POV during those battles, his attitude remained no-nonsense. He was all about efficiency and killing his enemies as quickly as possible, it was not about theatrics or dramatic sword moves. Even the Dance of Death was just that, it was about being committed to the ‘cut’ and concentrating on that alone. The fight scenes were some of the best-written parts of the series.Richard has come a long way from when he was a simple woods guide in Hartland. He is now the ruler of D’Hara as well as most of the New World. He was our eyes in this strange and magical world. He was the most relatable character in the series and he has certainly come a long way through the course of the series. In the beginning, he was almost always in denial when it came to either being the new Lord Ralh or with regard to his magical abilities, which quickly became tiresome. Thankfully, in the last few books, he came to fully accept his role as the Lord Rahl as well as the only War Wizard currently in existence. More than that however, it was his ability to inspire people was what made him a truly remarkable character. It wasn’t so much that he made grand speeches, but he made them question what they believed implicitly and inspired them by his own actions.Kahlan is certainly my favourite character in the series. She was amazing and absolutely kick-ass. In the beginning, I was a little wary and disturbed especially with that whole ‘a Confessor can’t take a man she loves as her mate’. But thankfully, that wasn’t a problem with Richard and Kahlan. What I loved about Kahlan was her inner strength and her strength of character that even the Chainfire spell couldn’t erode. Even with all of her memories missing, she still possessed her inner strength and her will to live even in the face of all that brutality at the Sisters and then at the hands of Jagang. Even though she doesn’t remember who she is, she still manages to save Jillian and kill numerous Order soldiers with nothing except her own intelligence at her disposal. Even before that, she single-handedly led the much-smaller Galean forces against the Imperial Order and emerged victorious and when Richard was stuck in the Old World with Nicci, she galvanised the forces of the New World and let an attack against Jagang and again succeeded in causing the Order lose soldiers in the tens of thousands, Zedd’s thoughts on the subject, “Zedd thought that if war was madness, madness had just found its mistress.”Not only was she a very powerful Confessor but she was also a formidable tactician and leader. What made me very happy with Goodkind was that he never diminished her character in favour of making Richard appear more powerful; he also added more dimensions to her personality as the series progressed. She was a very well rounded character who still seemed human and therefore very easy to relate to.I loved how devoted Richard and Kahlan are to each other they were. They fell in love in the very first book and since then there have been countless obstacles in their way, but their love never wavered. Part of the reason for that was their respect for each other. They both held deep respect for the other and that was what made them a force to be reckoned with. With the Chainfire Trilogy and Confessor specifically, we once again see them fall in love. Their love story has always been an integral part of the series and it was fitting that in the final book, we came back to their love story.The other character that quickly became one of the most important characters and another one of my favourites was Nicci. She started as a Sister of the Dark (one whom even other Sisters were wary of) but she saw the error or her ways and decided to join Richard in his quest against Jagang and his Order. She was also in love with Richard but she never tried to seduce him or lead him away from Kahlan, in fact, she agreed to help him even when she wasn’t sure whether Kahlan was real or simply a figment of his imagination. It was also amazing that she was uber-powerful, one of the most powerful sorceresses in the world. She not only became a loyal ally but a trusted friend.The other characters almost took a backseat towards the end. Sure we still saw plenty of Zedd, Cara (another favourite), Berdine, Nathan, Ann, Verna among others but they contributed little to the story. I feel that I must get this off my chest, but I hated Ann till the very end. That whole conversation she had with Nicci where she tried to convince her that she should take advantage of Richard’s loneliness was one of those moments where I truly hated the woman. She was being wilfully blind, seeing only what she wanted to see. She sought to control Richard first by manipulating events after he was born and now she was trying to do that again. Kahlan was right when she told Ann that it was her own meddling that created all their problems, high time someone told Ann to keep her nose where it belonged and to stop meddling in other people’s affairs.Rachel and Shota had more important roles to play this time around. Rachel has also come a long way from when she was a frightened little girl in Tamarang. She has found a loving family with Chase and has become a strong and brave young woman. When she is again captured by Violet and Six, she uses her head to escape and also helps Richard regain his gift. Shota also plays an important part, she orchestrates the events so that they help Richard and eventually kills Six helping Richard, Kahlan, Zedd, Rikka and Tom escape and reach the People’s Palace in time.The Sword of Truth series was fun and very entertaining and definitely worth a read. Goodkind raises some serious issues and handles them well and doesn’t shy away from them. He also doesn’t dumb things down for his readers. The series though somewhat slow paced at times is well worth the effort of sticking around to see things through. Confessor was a worthy end to a thoroughly engrossing and thrilling series. I plan to read the Richard and Kahlan series as well but I think I’ll wait for the final book to come out which is in November this year, so the wait won’t be too long.

The eleventh and final book in the main Sword of Truth series. I have read all of these over the last couple of years, but it seems like I have been reading this story forever. Now that I have finished I guess I will be missing the characters who I have been following for so long. Terry Goodkind has written another Richard and Kahlan book, but that isn't part of the overall story of The Sword of Truth.Overall I think this book wrapped up the entire epic very well. Most of the loose ends were tied up and after all the hardship it all turned out okay for most people. I was kind of sad for one of the characters, but as this is a no spoiler review I will not elaborate. In particular, in this book and the preceding two of the Chainfire trilogy, I loved the way Goodkind went into a lot of detail about how magic worked. Somehow I was expecting the stone from Stone of Tears to play a part in the ending. From what I read, Rachel was always in possession of the stone so I thought it was going to come into play at some point. Perhaps that's a loose end and material for a follow up book.The longest series I have read to date, but highly memorable and well worth the effort. The first book is of course the best, so read it and decide for yourself if you want to embark on this mammoth quest/read.Additional Note:Buried in the story itself, the most moving parts for me were the two paragraphs obviously dedicated to Terry's cover artist and friend Keith Parkinson. When Nicci is below the Palace of the Prophets she comes across a gallery of ancient artwork:"While the subject matter varied greatly, from a late-day mountain scene beside a lake, to a barnyard scene, to a towering waterfall, the thing that all the paintings had in common was an achingly beautiful use of light. The mountain lake sat between soaring mountains with light from beyond hazy mountains breaking through billowing, golden clouds. A shaft of that glorious light spilled across the shoreline. The forest all around fell back into a cozy darkness, while at the center, the distant couple standing on a rocky prominence were bathed in the warmth of the shaft of light."This is referring to the cover art for Soul of the Fire And."In the foreground of the painting with the towering waterfall spilling over a distant, lofty ridgeline, the arch of a natural stone bridge emerged from the dark woods to either side. A couple faced each other across that bridge, backlit by the setting sun, which had turned the majestic mountains a deep purple. Standing in that light the two people had a nobility about them that was transfixing."This is the artwork for the second edition of the first book Wizard's First Rule Apparently Terry Goodkind never liked the artwork on the first edition so he had Keith do a new painting for the subsequent printings.Keith Parkinson passed away in 2005, Confessor was not published until 2007 so I thought this was a fitting tribute to a great artist.Even more so because he actually completed the cover art for the three books in the Chainfire trilogy, knowing that he would not live to see them all published. Props to Terry Goodkind for making that happen.

Do You like book Confessor (2007)?

Dear Mr. Goodkind:Thank you for putting this series out of its misery. Your desire to expound on black and white morality was okay for a while, got old in Pillars of Creation, and probably earned you death threats after Naked Empire. So, by comparison, the fact that entire pages of dialogue in every scene were dedicated to the same insulting diatribe that we've been subjected to for way too many books shows restraint on your part. One sign that you spent far too much time envisioning yourself as a moral philosopher and not enough as, you know, a writer, was the way you crammed eleven books worth of answers into two hundred pages. And, for answering those questions and leaving very little left undone, you get two stars. I'm happy, I know how it ends. The fact that the end of this series - which started off so promisingly and got so sidetracked by your holier-than-thou stapled on moral statement - was ended in such a hackneyed, deux-ex-machina riddled fashion just means I won't be picking up anything else you write.No love,me

The journey has ended. The quest is over. The last page has been turned. Yes, that's right, 161 days and 8,432 pages later, I have completed Richard and Kahlan's legacy. Back in January, I wrote a book review for Wizard's First Rule and, now that the series is over, I thought it only fitting to write a review for the final installment: Confessor.Sword of Truth Series: ConfessorConfessor is the end of a three-part finale (Chainfire, Phantom, Confessor), which is a mini story amid the gigantic series. In Chainfire, Richard wakes up from an injury with Kahlan gone and her existence erased from everyone's memory. Since then, Richard has been racing to get Kahlan back, reverse the spell, AND save the world. As the finale unfolds, Kahlan (without her memory), Richard (without his magic), and Nicci are all captured by Jagang in different parts of the enemy camp and Jagang with the Sisters of the Dark have the Boxes of Orden. Here, the characters' individual strength and nobility shine even amidst unimaginable defeat. The plot line provided the author a unique opportunity to show Richard and Kahlan falling in love all over again, without ever having the luxury of a proper conversation. It explored what it means for Kahlan to be an individual apart from her upbringing, memories, duties, or past. The reader reaffirms that her intelligence, reason, convictions and abilities are her own and that our faith in her and in her love for Richard is justified. Exploring this side of Kahlan was the perfect move. While it was always easy to love Kahlan, because we see her through Richard's eyes, these final installments gave us a glimpse of how truly remarkable she is. When getting to know her in Wizard's First Rule, Kahlan was constantly bound by duty, prophesy, and her responsibility as a Confessor. It becomes very difficult to separate what she is doing because of her own convictions and what she is doing for the sake of the quest (think of the moment she was giving Richard away to marry another at the Mud People's village). Also, she always had her title and authority to back her up. Now, she is stripped of everything, not responsible for anyone but herself, and yet she manages to successfully fight for the innocent (Jillian) and triumph over evil (even in just small ways). Most remarkably, the series came back to Kahlan as the central figure (I have said this from day one but feel free to argue this point, my sister adamantly disagrees). It seems fitting that, while is was she that came searching for Richard in Book 1, Richard needs to find her in the end in order to save the world.The eleven book series comes full circle in Confessor, paralleling the story from Wizard's First Rule and resolving all the conflicts we have encountered until now. It is truly a remarkable accomplishment considering that Richard was able to solve all the problems--the Imperial Order, the prestinely ungifted, the taint of the chimes, the sisters of the dark, and Kahlan's lost memory--all in one swoop. That is not to say that this resolution was too quick or underdeveloped. On the contrary, Goodkind has been setting us up for this finale since day one. Reflecting most on the first book of the series, the reader learns that the plot for Wizard's First Rule was a miniature mock up of the events concluding the series. The plot came down to the Boxes of Orden and the Sword of Truth, but now that Richard and the readers have matured, the plot is revealed anew.Ultimately, it is the growth that Richard and the readers have developed along the way that makes this finale epic and appropriate. Since Wizard's First Rule, the series has evolved exponentially, and what was once a simple struggle against a tyrant became a battle between worldviews and a complex lesson in magic. The final moments reveal that the story was always about the Boxes of Orden, a struggle that was introduced in Book 1 but was never fully resolved. In fact, it was this struggle that was falsely resolved but ended up spawning the rift in the veil, awakening Richard's powers, and eventually unraveling the entire world. It is appropriate that the battle come back to this moment because over the course of 11 books, Richard has taught us the value of life. The lessons learned created a rock-solid philosophy valuing life and the Boxes --the magic of life-- are the key to preserving that life and resolving the conflict. The final cherry on top was Sword of Truth being the key to the Boxes of Orden. Until Nicci discovers that Richard memorized a false copy of the Book of Counted Shadows in Phantom, the reader went 9 books thinking this was the key to opening the Boxes. But giving even more meaning to the series title, the Sword was the true key to the Boxes. A weapon of death was the key to the magic of life, emphasizing that life and death are always in balance.
—Christine Antonios

Who were you, Rachel Sther? I look back through the veil of time at you like Richard Rahl at the Wizard Baraccus. I think, "she has walked this path before me." I think, "she knows the terrors behind and the horrors that yet await." I think, "Like Baraccus, did she too throw herself off the parapet of the Wizard's Keep, unable to stand any more of the tortuous postfilling of plot holes, sexual violence, wooden speeches straight out of Atlas Shrugged, sexual violence, tedium, sexual violence, frustration, sexual violence, sudden wish fullfilment, sexual violence, and sexual violence?"I look back at you and wonder what you were doing flying from Dallas/Fort Worth to Wichita Falls on November third, just over one year ago, at 2:05 PM, on American Eagle Flight 4726, using your boarding pass as a bookmark as you pondered the imponderable secret messages hidden in this tome, not the true copy but one of the copies. I wonder whether you could anticipate, as I cannot, what remains in the Omen Machine. If I had the power of the Boxes of Orden, the power of life and death and reality, I would create a world, a world twin to this one, but with no self-awareness. All those, like Terry Goodkind, who felt that they wanted a world free from the self-aware, would be transported through the magic of Orden to this world, where they could move to the Rocky Mountains and trade gold for railroad bridge designs until they all died out because their children refused to mine for gold to pay for food and lodging. I and mine would remain on this world, and magically, the twelve most confusing problems I had would resolve themselves in five pages or so. That is what I would do with this power.I don't know when the final book in the cycle was written, but I expect, or should I say fear, that I will get to the last page of this ten thousand page monstrosity, turn it, and be faced with those eternal words, written in fiery letters a hundred thousand miles wide:"And if you ask me how I'm feeling, don't tell me you're too blind to see. Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna..."
—Gabriel C.

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