Imaginary Interviewer: It's that time again, or, well, actually a day late, but you know what we mean. Who are we reading for November?
Humble Writer: This month we're doing 'Wizard's First Rule' by Terry Goodkind. I winced when this book came up but I'm really enjoying it.
II: Why did you wince?
HW: I've got this book mentally tagged as a "3S" book. That stands for Swords, Sorcery and Series. This isn't my favorite genre.
II: Why not?
HW: It's the third S that gets me. 'Wizard's First Rule' is the first book in the 'Sword of Truth' series. According to Wikipedia the series spans 21 novels and 6 novellas. The first book is over 800 pages. The entire series is probably close to 20,000 pages. If you read 100 pages a day, this would take you nearly 7 months to read. That's a lot.
II: Have you read anything by Goodkind before this?
HW: I had not. I'm sure I saw the books in bookstores but they look very 3S so I avoided them. Looking at Wikipedia, I don't see much to his career outside of the 'Sword of Truth' books. Not that he needed a lot more than them. More than 25 million copies have been sold in the series and it's been translated into more than 20 languages. That alone is a pretty meaty career.
II: And you're enjoying it?
HW: I am! My personal rule is to give a book at least 100 pages before giving up on it and I'm afraid that the 3S doorstops might hit that rule frequently. But I'm currently about 600 pages into 'Wizard's First Rule' and still going. The story is interesting, the writing is fine (if plain). What really gets me, though, are the characters. The main character is Richard Cypher and he's fascinating. Time and time again, the book puts him in a difficult position where he must untie some knotty problem and he keeps navigating them in surprising and virtuous ways! It's good stuff!
II: So you'd recommend it.
HW: I very much would. I'd certainly try giving it 100 pages and see if it catches you.
II: And the rest of the series?
HW: Yeah, that's the rub. Absent someone paying me to do it, I can't envision what would compel me to happily commit to 20,000 pages. But the first one, at least, is good and worth your time!