has been a long, hard road, one of anxious anticipation for
millions of devoted readers who first joined Terry Goodkind on this
journey back in 1994. The captivating tale of Richard and Kahlan,
intertwined with those of their friends and enemies, has all led to
this very moment in time: the release of CONFESSOR and the
conclusion to the bestselling Sword of Truth series.
CONFESSOR picks up where the jaw-dropping finale of PHANTOM left
off. Richard Rahl is now a prisoner of the Imperial Order, forced
to play Ja'La dh Jin, the Game of Life, and driven to win. One
reason is that those who lose are executed. Secondly, and perhaps
most important to Richard, is that the ultimate winners are given
the choice of a woman from Emperor Jagang. Richard has seen Kahlan,
his beloved, and knows she is being abused at the hands of the
Emperor. Thus his choice of a woman is an easy one.
So it is that Richard must drive his team to success, but the
stakes are more grave than ever. In addition to his own personal
desire, the balance of power throughout the world is tipping.
Emperor Jagang and his armies of bleakness and despair are
overtaking the land. Now they rest before the People's Palace, the
last bastion of the Old World, of freedom.
As Richard struggles gladiator-like in the savage Ja'La dh Jin,
Kahlan is suffering through her own incredible journey. The quest
to uncover her past (which began in CHAINFIRE and continued in
PHANTOM) is beginning to pay off. Clues lurk everywhere, and she
begins to vaguely recognize certain faces; each step brings her
closer to Richard. Typical of Goodkind, nothing can be quite so
easy --- if one could call this trek of Kahlan's easy. In fact,
there is a wrinkle in the Chainfire spell: should Kahlan learn of
her past and her connection to Richard too soon, the knowledge will
be lost to her forever.
Terry Goodkind does a remarkable job of bringing this series to a
rightful conclusion. Throughout CONFESSOR he keeps the action and
the tying up of loose ends perfectly timed and developed. This does
not mean that the work is without flaws. Some of the encounters
seem too convenient, but this can be overlooked for the most part.
The biggest slip-up would be the last 80-100 pages, which seem to
fly by at breakneck speed, as if Goodkind couldn't contain the
story anymore and simply dropped it out as quickly as possible. The
pace, in comparison to the rest of the novel, is too fast. Even so,
he does not fail to touch on every necessary open story from the
series and bring all those plot lines and questions to a
A patient and careful writer, Goodkind specifically chooses the
words he feels best get across his meaning, even when it is
sometimes hidden. With CONFESSOR, he has done all that anyone could
have asked. He has taken an entertaining journey and given it such
an end that it is both a shame and a comfort to close the back
Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard on December 28, 2010