First publish: 1994
In the book are 3 lands: at the left Westland, The Midlands and at the right D’hara, they were separated by magic boundaries which you can’t cross, because there was a war in which the ruler of D’Hara wanted to rule all the countries. At the end of the war, some people wanted to live without magic, so they created Westland, where no magical things or creatures are.
When the book starts, the main character, Richard,who’s living in westland, is looking for a tree, because George Cypher, his father was murdered by someone, and Richard found in his fathers house, in a jar where they kept important things, a vine and he thinks it is a last message from his father. When he finds the tree, a vine from it bites him, so he wants to go to his old friend Zedd, but on his way he sees an unknown woman followed by 4 men.
He goes to her and tells that she’s being followed, she says that they are a quad, 4 men send to murder and want to kill her, so they flee, but the men find them anyway and Richard has to kill one and the woman kills the 3 others with some kind of magic, a thunder with no sound.
She tells that her name is Kahlan and she comes from The Midlands. Richard doesn’t know what he must think. They’re going Richards brother, Michael, who is first councilor and he’s holding a speech, then they’re going to Richards place, because he wants to have a triangular shaped tooth which he had gotten from his father, the tooth is from a beast that his father killed when he stole a very important book from it, "The book of counted shadows”, and he made Richard learn the book by heart and made him promise to never speak of it again and then destroyed it.
But there is someone in Richards house, so he sneakes in, gets his tooth and some other stuff and Richard and Kahlan go on their way to Zedd.
On their way to Zedd, they meet a longtailed-gar, it’s a magical, carnivorous creature from D’Hara, but it doesn’t notice them.
It’s getting dark, so they stop in a wayward pine, it’s a kind of shelter tree. Then Kahlan tells to Richard that the boundary between The Midlands and D’Hara vanished and that Darken Rahl, the current ruler of D’Hara is invasing The Midlands. Kahlan was sent to Westland through the boundary with the help of five wizards who got killed while trying. In Westland, Kahlan has to find the First Wizard, who made the boundaries fifty years ago and then vanished to Westland. Then Kahlan shows Richard a night wisp,called Shar, a little creature who helped Kahlan cross the boundary and is going to die soon. She wants to talk with it alone, so Richard leaves the tree. Shar tells Kahlan that she has to tell who she is, but Kahlan sais she doesn’t want to. Then she askes Kahlan to touch her with her power, so she dies happily. From outside, Richard again sees thunder with no sound. The next day, Richard got a fever from the vine that bit him, but they make it to Zedds place, Zedd is also from the Midlands, but chose to be in Westland without magic when the boundaries came on, because he had arguments there. He knows what Kahlan is and gets angry, but that changes when he heard where Kahlan has been through. Kahlan tells him that the boundary between the Midlands and D’Hara has fallen and that Darken Rahl has put the 3 boxes of order in play. When Richard hears this, he is thunderstruck, because “the book of counted shadows” goes about the 3 boxes of order.
Because of the fever, Richard gets unconsciousness, but Zedd gives him a cure. While Richard is sleeping, Zedd and Kahlan have a chat. Kahlan says that Darken Rahl has killed all the confessors, except her, so you now know that she is an important woman, and then says that the First wizard has to apoint a seeker of truth, who must defeat Darken Rahl. Then Kahlan goes to bed and Zedd goes outside. There he commands a gar and tells it has to kill the other people who are on the way to kill Kahlan. So then you know that Zedd is the First wizard. Then he calls up his dead parents and askes for advice. They say that Zedd has to apoint Richard as seeker, they tell that Darken Rahl is after Richard too, but they don’t know why, but it is because richard knows where the book of counted shadows is, which Darken Rahl needs. They tell that Darken Rahl only has 2 boxes of order and that he is searching the last one.
When Richard is awake again, he figures out that Zedd is the wizard they are searching for. He knows because of 3 things. When Kahlan told the story about the war and the boundaries and what the first wizard did to the wizards in the midlands, that is to let them suffer the consequenses of their own actions, he thought that would be a typical thing Zedd would do.
And when Kahlan told where she had been through, his whole attitude changed and he said to them that they were safe. And Zedd would never lie about such a important thing like Darken Rahl. Then Zedd apoints Richard to the seeker of thruth, Richard has no idea what it means, so Zedd explains. The seeker is a law upon himself, he seeks the truth. He stand above kings and queens, even above confessors. Zedd gives him the sword of truth, which has magic and belongs to a seeker. There is only 1 seeker and it is a very important person and is the standard bearer of Justice.
Then Zedd explains what the 3 boxes of order are. They are not bad things of itself, but you can use it for evil goals, like Darken Rahl wants. When you have put the boxes into play, you have to open 1 on the first day of winter, that’s in 2 months in the book. One of the boxes represents dead, if you open that one, then you will die. When you open an other box, you will have the power over all things living and dead, like, just by a thought, you can kill someone, but you can also help people with it. If you will open the other box, then every living thing is incinerated into nothingness. You can learn how to open the right box with “the book of counted shadows”. Richard knows all this, but acts if he doesn’t, but know he does know who has killed his father.
Because Richard is now the seeker, Zedd and Kahlan rely on him. They have to get to the Midlands to get the last box and Richard figures out that there has to be a pass to cross the boundary, he doesn’t tell them why he knows that, but he knows because his father must had to cross the boundary to get “the book of counted shadows”.
Then they hear people outside and they take a look, it are farmers from the countryside who want to attack Zedd, because they think he is evil, but he scares them away and then they flee. When they just have left, they see Zedds house burning and knows Darken Rahl has to be there.
They are going to Chase, a friend of Richard and a boundarywarden. On the way they’re getting attacked by a shorttailed-gar, but Zedd uses magic to make him flee. Chase will bring them to the pass. The pass is called King’s Port and lays near Southaven. Chase will bring them. On their way, Chase has to kill hearthounds, which are creatures who live near the boundary and come out at night and kill everyone near them.
Zedd tells Richard that he will never can get something with her because of what she is, but he doesn’t tell him what she is.
The next day Chase explains what the boundary really is. It is the underworld. When you come too close, dead people who you loved will try to convince you to step in the boundary, but when you do that you’ll die. Chase shows Richard, to let him getting to close, so he sees his dead father. Then they get attacked by shadows and they knock Chase and Zedd unconsciessness. Richards kills them with his sword. It’s getting dark and hearthounds are following them, so they jump in water and swim to an island, because hearthounds can’t stand water.
The next day they move on to Southaven where they find an Inn. At night, 2 men of the last quad come in the Inn, so they flee, but first Richard asks the owner to ask his brother, the first councilor to get the army ready to defend Westland.
Then they go to Adie, the bonewoman, Chase had told them to go to before he was knocked unconsciessness. Her house is at the foot of the pass.
She tells them that the pass is very dangerous, she lost her foot in it. At both sides of it, is the boundarie. She gives Richard a nightstone which will help him. It will give light in the dark. Kahlan and Richard leave Zedd and Chase by Adie.
In the pass are lots of shadows and when Richards swird touch them they vanish. He looses Kahlan on the way, but finds her back while she is being attacked by one member of the quad. Richard kills him.
When they come out the pass, they go to the Mudpeople, it’s a tribe in the forest called the Wilds an Kahlan speaks their language. They want to go there because the Mudpeople can call a gathering with their dead ancestors who can give advice and Richard an Kahlan want to ask them where the box is. When they arrive at the Mudpeople, they are told that they have to be a member of the tribe before they may call a gathering. Richard sees that they have bad roofs, so he learns them how to make roofs that don’t leak, but the Elders still don’t want to make them Mudpeople. At the same time a curious child, Siddin, was at Richards place and took the nightstone and is surrounded in shadows, but Richard saves him. Now they may become member of the tribe. They call a gathering, but the ancestorsspirits can’t tell them where the box is. They say they’ve got to go to Shota, a witchwoman. She can tell.
Kahlan and Richard leave to see Shota, who lives in the Agaden Reach, but she is very dangerous. On their way, an old man shows up who claims that he knows Zedd, but actually it is a monster who gets power at night. Richard founds that out a little too late and has to fight it, but then it suddenly flees an Richard is attacked by a strange creature called Samuel and he is a minion of Shota. He tells him that Shota captured Kahlan, so Richard follows Samuel and reaches Shota.
Shota can look in the future and tells that Kahlan will touch him with her power. She will grant Richard one wish and he chooses to let Kahlan live. Then she tells that the box is in Tamarang by queen Milena, but that it won’t be there for long. And she is right, because Darken Rahl has already found the last place of the box and he’s going that way. But at the queens house the wizard Giller lives and he prevents that Darken Rahl gets his box by giving it to a young girl Rachel who can escape the palace.
But Richard an Kahlan don’t know that, so they’re going to Tamarang, and on their way they see a place with lots of gars who are protecting an egg. Richard an Kahlan think that’s an odd thing to do, but it doesn’t bothers them.
At night they go to a wayward pine and Kahlan tells Richard finally what she is. She is a confessor. A confessor has a power: when she touches somebody she can release her power on him or her and the persons mind will be destroyed. There will be only love for her and he will do everythings she says, there is only devotion to her. The confessors were made a long time ago by wizards to help at trials. Because when she touches soemone he will always speak the truth. The confessors have the highest power in the Midlands an among them the mother confessor has the highest power, Kahlan is the mother confessor, but all the other confessors are killed by Darken Rahl. People fear confessors. Kahlan may not fall in love with someone because if she is with someone her power will destroy him and he is not the person anymore who he was. Confessors only have duty, not love.
Richard is pretty intimadated and a little bit chocked by it, he was just a woodsguide. But it doesn’t change their relationship to eachother.
The next day they find Rachel in a wayward pine when they’re looking for shelter, but they don’t know that she has the box and Rachel leaves again at night. They meet Zedd again. He tells them that he wanted to try to find “the book of counted shadows” and destroy it, but that he failed. Still Richard doesn’t tell them that he knows the book by heart. Zedd is going to explain magic to Richard, because it is a very complicated thing. There are two sides of the magic, additive and subtractive. All humans who are now born with the gift only have additive, but Darken Rahl is a wizard too and managed to acquire the subtractive part of magic, which makes him a very dangerous wizard.
Additive magic uses what is there and adds something to it or uses it somehow. Subtractive magic is the undoind of things. Zedd is a wizard with only additive magic, he can for example lift a rock with his thoughts, but he can’t let it vanish. Darken Rahl could, because he has subtractive powers.
Then they arrive in Tamarang, but they hear that Giller, the wizard, is dead. They find out that the box is already gone and they figure out that Rachel must have got it. So they leave again. They meet Chase and Rachel. Rachel was being attacked by a gar and Chase saved her and took her with him. Now they have the box. Chase tells them that Michael has gathered an army in the Agaden Reach to stand by, so they want to go there. But at the border of Tamarang, Richard is stopped by an invisible wall. The artist of queen Milena has drwan a keepers spell around him, so he can’t leave. Richard goes back to get rid of it, but he’s being captured by a Mord-Sith, called Denna. Mord-Sith are D’Haran women in the service of the Lord Rahl whose life is only to torture people Richard is brought to the D’Haran palace, called the People’s Palace. There Denna tortures Richard for three weeks long to break him. Then he must meet Darken Rahl. Richard tells him that he knows “the book of cunted shadows” by heart and Darken Rahl tells him that George Cypher isn’t Richards father, there’s put a wizards web around him to hide the real identity of his father. He tells Richard that he has the gift. He also has the 3 boxes of order ands tells that someone has betrayed Richard. Richard now may leave, but darken Rahl puts a web on him so that people who side with Richard see him as Darken Rahl, but people who side with Darken Rahl just see him as Ricahrd. He must be back in a week, because then is the first day of winter and Darken Rahl must open a box. He will come back, because if he doesn’t, Darken Rahl will let Kahlan get captured by a mord-Sith and he doesn’t want that to happen. He kills Denna and he wants to find his friend, but they are too far away. Then he finds out that Darken Rahl has a red dragon and he can command her because he stole her egg. Richard goes to her and now knows what the egg was on the their way to Tamarang. He and the dragon, called Scarlet are getting her egg back and as a favor he may fly on her to look for Kahlan, Chase and Zedd. When he finds them, they don’t recognize him, because of the web, he was forgotten about that, but he finds out that they have give the box to Michael. Richard goes to him and when he comes Michael recognizes him, so now he knows that he betrayed Richard and that Darken Rahl spoke the truth about having all the boxes. He flees and wants to try to find zedd, Kahlan and Chase again, but can’t find them. So he goes back to the people’ Palace.
In the meantime, Kahlan, Zedd and Chase are being attacked by a quad an by Demmin Nass, Darken Rahls right hand. He tells them that Richard was caotured by a Mord-Sith. When Kahlan hears this, she freakes out and calls up the Con Dar, the bloodrage. It’s hate, the contrary of her other power, and subtractive. They think Richard is dead and Kahlan goes to the People’s Palace to avenge Richard. They get there the first day of winter and they see Darken Rahl, and Kahlan touches him with her power. But it wasn’t Darken Rahl who she was touchin, it was Richard. Then the real Darken Rahl comes in and captures them all and makes Richard say “the book of counted shadows”. Richard can only speak the truth because Kahlan touched him and if he doesn’t tell the book, Darken Rahl will kill Kahlan. It takes all day, but when he did all the things the book said he had to do, he opens the one he thinks is the right one. But the box is the one that will kill him. Richard lied to him, which wasn’t possible. But Richard tells it was and goes off to find Kahlan.
Then Zedd and Darken Rahl are alone and while dying Zedd tells him that Darken Rahl is Richards father and that Zedd is his grandfather. Darken Rahl had raped Zedds doughter, but he didn’t know that. Zedd will tell Richard about it, but he will do it another time, not this day.
Richard now is the Lord Rahl of D’Hara.
Richard finds Kahlan who wants to commit suicide because she touched Richard and his mind is destroyed. Richard stops her and Kahlan is speechless that he doesn’t want to listen to her, he should be because of her power. Richard explains that her power didn’t work on him, because he already loved Kahlan so much that he would do anything for her, he’s already devoted to her. That protects him from her power.
Then he lets Michael being executed and Scarlet comes and dhe tells that her egg is hatched and they go with her to see it.
It’s a fantasybook, with much adventure in it and magic. It is also a lovestory between Richard and Kahlan.
Richard: Richard is a man between the 20 and 25 years old. He lives in Westland and is a woodsguide. Zedd names him The Seeker and he has become a very important person who must stop Darken Rahl. Richard has the gift to become a wizard. He is in love with Kahlan.
Kahlan: Kahlan is a woman bewteen the 20 and 25 years old. She lives in the Midlands and has the highest power there because she is the mother confessor. She goes to Westland so that the first wizard can name a seeker. She meets Richard and falls in love with him.
Zedd: Zedd is a man between the 70 and 80 years old. He lives in Westland. He’s Richards grandfather. He is the first wizard who names the seeker.
Darken Rahl: Darken Rahl is a man around the 40 years old. He wants to get all the power in the world. He is Richards father.
Chase: Chase is a friend of Richard and a boundarywarden.
Michael: Michael is Richards brother and first councilor in Westland. He betrayes Richard to Darken Rahl.
Adie: Adie is a friend of Chase who lives at the pass. She helps Richard and Kahlan pass it.
Rachel: rachel is a girl around the 10 years old and lives in Tamarang at the queens house and gets away with a box of order so Darken Rahl doesn’t get it.
Giller: Giller is a wizard who helps Rachel escape.
Denna: Denna is a Mord-Sith and she captures Richard and tortures him for three weeks. Richard kills her.
It is written in third-person.
Wizards first rule: people are stupid.
“People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they’re afraid it might be true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the different between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident that they can, and so are all the easier to fool.”
Richard beats Darken rahl with this rule. Darken Rahl thinks that Richard only can speak the truth after he’s been touched by a confessor because he wants to believe it. This is the reason for his failure.
I think that Terry Goodkind is the best writer ever. When you read the book, you get really drawn in it, and you want to keep on reading. He can express emotions very good. And he has a difficult plot, but he explains it so good, in a simple way, that it’s readable for almost anyone.
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