Monday, January 22, 2007
Goodkind, Terry. Phantom. The 10th installment in the Sword of Truth series ends with a cliffhanger...so there will be at least one more. Carl left a comment on an earlier post that Phantom is actually the middle book in a trilogy--that is part of the longer series.
The first chapter caught my attention and raised my hopes. Alas, for me, the book did not hold up to its early promise. It was wordy and repetitive, not just the technique of filling in events that took place in the earlier book, but rather in repeating the same thought as often as three times. A paragraph about Nicci's powers, followed by a paragraph about how powerful Nicci is, followed by a paragraph informing you that Nicci is one heck of a powerful sorceress.
Another aspect of this novel that bothered me was the emphasis on violence, on torture, and on rape. Not only are several main characters (Jagang, the 3 "sisters," Six, and Violet) sadistic, but Jagang's entire army is made up of men who enjoy horrific torture. Even Richard, when faced with the fact that his army could not defeat the sheer numbers employed by Jagang, decides to take a Sherman-like approach and take the battle to the Old World in a scorched- earth, heads-on-pikes, trophy-ears approach.
The story begins to feel like an excuse to live out some dreadful fantasies.
The only character who really stands out is Shota, the witch woman, who makes only a brief appearance.
Fantasy. Copyright 2006. 587 pages. Whew! Multiply that by 10!