Review

The Law of Nines

by Terry Goodkind

For 15 years, Terry Goodkind took readers on a heroic quest in
his 11-volume Sword of Truth epic fantasy series. Over the
course of those books, he populated a fantasy world with magic and
mythology, and courageous warriors fueled by honor. Now Goodkind
embarks on an entirely new adventure with THE LAW OF NINES. Or does
he?

Alex lives in Omaha, Nebraska. His mother is locked away in a
mental institution, his father is dead, and he grew up under the
watchful eye of his eccentric grandfather. One sunshine-filled
morning, Alex sees a beautiful woman standing on a street corner in
the pathway of an out-of-control truck. Pulling her to safety, he
unwittingly passes a test and redirects his life into a mission to
save two worlds.

The woman is Jax, and she lays out a story that Alex finds
unbelievable. She is an assassin from another world, one that used
to be connected to ours, and one in which magic exists. At least it
exists so long as she and her forces can hold off and defeat a
powerful and brutal lord named Radell Cain, whose goal is to rid
his world of magic, then use a magical gateway to bring through
technological advancements from this world to wield total control
over all. She insists that Alex is part of a great prophecy and
that the Law of Nines positively identify him as the one both their
worlds need to survive.

Trailed by neck-snapping, knife-wielding minions of Cain, Alex
and Jax ultimately flee to Maine where Alex is to become a land
owner as dictated by an old family bequeathment, held in trust by
the Daggett Society. As they wend their way across the country,
Alex begins to believe Jax and her story and is confident that the
answers they seek will be found on this mysterious property in the
northeast woods.

THE LAW OF NINES marks a decided switch for Goodkind. No longer
swinging a sword in mysterious realms, the novel holds a very
here-and-now element, with enough mystical magic woven throughout
to give it a fresh flair. Readers of his previous works would do
well to pay attention to some names because they will be familiar:
Rahl, Amnell, the People's Palace. Hints of the Sword of
Truth
world pepper the tale, so he has not quite shaken the
hold that his old series had on him.

In typical fashion, Goodkind thunders THE LAW OF NINES at a
steady pace. Action comes quick and often. While the story is one
that will hook readers, whether they have read any of his previous
work or not, the only frustrating element of the book is a constant
repetition of discussions, oftentimes within the same few
paragraphs. It does occasionally pull one out of the story.

THE LAW OF NINES is not nearly as intriguing or as captivating
as The Sword of Truth, yet for a work that seeks to step
away from a 15-year legacy, even if not a full separation, it
serves to give Goodkind that room to stretch. It is an adventure
tale that could either end with just this outing or continue on in
further installments. Either way, it is a new mark on the Goodkind
resume that readers can enjoy.

Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard on December 30, 2010

The Law of Nines
by Terry Goodkind

  • Publication Date: August 31, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Jove
  • ISBN-10: 0515147486
  • ISBN-13: 9780515147483