Terry Goodkind’s: Stone of Tears

A Must Read 300If you read my previous review of Terry Goodkind’s Wizard’s First Rule, then you probably know where I am going with this one. Book two of The Sword of Truth series, Stone of Tears, is exactly what you want in a sequel. Obviously, some spoilers are about to be discussed so if you plan on reading the first, skip to the paragraph after next.

At the end of the first book, Richard has saved the world from a tyrannical ruler bent on becoming a god. As the new Lord Rahl, Richard soon finds that the difficulties of running a kingdom, especially a kingdom formerly ruled by a madman, are numerous: none of which are even remotely as threatening as the darkness looming on the horizon. As it turns out, dabbling in underworld magic in the attempt to become a god has a tendency to throw the natural order out of whack, and now the veil between worlds is tearing at the seams. Richard, Seeker though he is and powerful he may be, finds himself in the midst of an evil of prophetic proportions: what do you do when the Keeper of the Underworld walks among the living?

Now that Goodkind has established the world in which his books are set, as well as the characters, he uses this book as a chance to really hit his stride. The battles are fiercer, the enemies more ominous, and everything is set on a much grander scale. Now that the readers are familiar with magic, Goodkind delves into much greater detail, particularly surrounding additive and subtractive magic, which happens to be one of the coolest concepts I have ever read. On a more symbolic scale, this book serves as an excellent social commentary. While the first book dealt with issues such as tyranny, ignorance of the masses, and the individual struggle towards one’s potential, this book focuses on what happens when someone becomes a figure of extreme power? Are people responsible for what happens when they blissfully choose ignorance? I’m not going to spoil some of the deeper issues present, because, quite frankly, if you don’t discover them yourself you are missing out on much of the message. That being said, Stone of Tears manages to be one of the most imaginative, well-written, and relevant fantasy novels I have had the privilege of reading. If you decide to press on into this series, I wish you a pleasant journey: remember, fantasy is never about somewhere other than our own world.

Source: Jake Depew, Assistant Editor