At present I'm stuck into Terry Goodkind's Phantom
. I started reading this series many years ago, but moved to Belgium then France, so halted my progress through the series. I just spotted this book recently in the train station in Glasgow. As I want to finish the series I bought it without realising that reading it meant I would skip the 9th book of the set. Oh well, I suspect that I'll place an order on Amazon for Chainfire
when I'm done with this one.
I loved the fast-paced action of the first four books of this series. It's your basic fantasy genre : sword battles, a little magic, introspection and realisation of the inner self by the heretofore 'ordinary Joe-Soap' of a hero ... sheer escapism. However, I felt that Goodkind, like many of his compatriots, got bogged down and became quite repetitive during the middle few books - same basic storyline, Hero and Heroine get separated and they and their entourage spend the book trying to save each other and get back together amidst lots of gore, bloodshed, violence, magic and repeatedly defeating the baddies against all odds.
There's a lot of ground being re-visited in this book too, but the emphasis now is more on the reflective, theological element than on the sheer brawn and battle accents of the earlier books.
I'm hoping for a more exciting finish, as it's disappointingly tedious to wade through the repeated violence and ruthlessness of Emperor Jagang, whilst waiting for Richard and Kahlan to work through their hang-ups and sort everybody out, save the Old and New World and get on with having that baby they both so desperately want
Despite my criticisms I do fully intend to finish reading the series. I still believe that Goodkind had some inspirational writing and certainly tought outside the box for this genre of writing. I like his style and his characterisations, regardless of the disappointingly similar storylines in the later books. Definitely a series worth reading if you enjoy fantasy fiction.