Terry Goodkind’s ‘The Blood of the Fold’

A Must Read 300This week I finally had the time to sit down and blast through a book that has been on my list for quite some time. Back in November, I reviewed the second entry in Terry Goodkind’s The Sword of Truth trilogy, so I am excited to finally get to book three: The Blood of the Fold. Obviously, there will be some innate spoilers to this review in regards to the first two books. If you haven’t read them yet…why haven’t you?

When we last left our hero, Richard, he had stopped the god of the dead from claiming all living things: an impressive feat, by all accounts. Just when the Seeker thinks that he can go back to a normal life with his betrothed, a new menace that has been lurking behind the scenes shows its face. The Imperial Order, hailing from the Old World, is gaining considerable influence worldwide. Armies pledge their loyalty to the Order, who in turn vow to wipe magic from existence. In a magic-driven world, this means that many, many things will have to be eliminated. As Richard learns to accept his birthright as a Rahl, the reluctant hero is going to have to wage a war on something far more terrifying than any dark god: the fear and ambition of mankind.

I have loved The Sword of Truth every step of the way, and I was in no way disappointed in this installment. Things finally heat up. Training is over, negotiation is through, character relationships have developed, and it is finally time to see what our heroes can do. One of the most surprising aspects of this series, and The Blood of the Fold in particular, is how accessible it is. Most everything that the reader will encounter will be explained, so as to provide a recap. Strangely, though this is the third novel, The Blood of the Fold is not a terrible place to begin the story, as it serves as a turning point. The heroes step up to become leaders, and their strength of character is cemented throughout this book. That being said, if the story sounded interesting to you and you have not read the other books, I strongly suggest you start from the beginning. Unlike the previous two entries, The Blood of the Fold never has any slow spots. Nobody is standing around wondering what to do. Everything in this book is refined from the previous reads. Characters begin to develop strengths and flaws all their own, as opposed to stumbling through the (understandable) shock of their situations. The enemies, for the most part, are also far more complex. Whereas Darken Rahl and the Keeper were fairly one-sided, morally, the Imperial Order is not. Almost everyone feels as if they are real people trying to do what they think is right. Goodkind’s writing is still spectacular, and I read this rather large book in just a few sitdowns. The plot flows naturally, and, thanks to the changing character perspectives, there will be some very tense moments where both allies and enemies are within arms reach and never realize it. I am still as hooked on Goodkind’s The Sword of Truth series as I was a few chapters into the first book, and that is about the highest praise I can give such an intricate book. If you have read the previous two books and your interest has waned, try out The Blood of the Fold, it is a fantastic, fast-paced, unique addition to the fantasy genre. A final word: don’t let the fact that this is a fantasy series turn you off, as these books stand up to some of the best I have read from any genre, especially this novel in particular.

Source: Jake Depew, Assistant Editor