Goodreads Book Review - The Third Kingdom

The Third Kingdom (Richard and Kahlan, #2)The Third Kingdom by Terry Goodkind

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wasn't very kind in my review of the book that preceded this one on Goodkind's series, The Omen Machine. This book escaped a lot of the pitfalls of that one and, indeed, a lot of the pitfalls that have plagued most of his recent books, most notably the incessant and repetitive preaching of his philosophy. Because that brow-beating is absent here, I sort of feel like this might just be his best book since Faith of the Fallen. Parts of it are still incredibly repetitive, but it's a repetition of fairly fresh concepts for Goodkind's world and characters, and that makes it somewhat bearable. The drawback that prevents me from rating this higher than three stars, though, is the lack of those characters. Other than Richard, the characters we have all come to know and love are virtually nowhere to be found. Kahlan doesn't show up til page 340 or so and only appears in maybe 75 pages. Worse, Zedd, Cara, and Nicci don't appear at all until maybe the last 75 pages. I understand Goodkind's intention was to seriously shake up Richard's world with a completely new threat and make everything feel strange and dangerous again, and he does succeed, but the lack of the characters that are the most powerful draw to his series is a detriment. The other drawback is something I mentioned in my review of The Omen Machine: Kahlan has gone from being one of the most powerful female characters I have ever read about to being just another damsel in distress. I wish Goodkind would re-read his first few novels to see what the Mother Confessor used to be like, because she's just an insulting shadow of her former self now. Still, harsh words aside, I did enjoy this book a great deal and it is worth reading.

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