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I've finally done it... I've cracked open Wizard's First Rule and...


dlan4327
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I'm in it to the bitter end no matter how ridiculous it gets. Before the bashing starts I'd like to explain my reasoning. Being a WOT fan I've naturally trawled these boards for a while now. Maybe a fews years, maybe less. Anyhow I've been privy to some particularly scintillating criticism of Terry "Goof-Kind" Goodkind. Now I was determined to see for myself if the rumors were true. Was Sword of Truth nothing more than WOT rewritten, reworded and repackaged so to speak? So I've read only a bit so far, just about 105 pages in. Okay precisely 105 pages in. You know what? I like it. SACRILEGE! I can see you know oiling your pitchforks and dipping your torches in kerosene preparing for a forced march to Sydney. Wait I say! Wait! I can honestly say thus far, admittedly not very far, I haven't sensed the so called "Blatant Plagiarism" but I am aware that I probably will sense it sooner or later and once I've read the series I will probably look back and sigh with the burden of knowledge and say "Hindsight truly is a wonderful teacher" then curl my lip in disgust and fling my copy of WFR into the fireplace. Well first I'd have to build a fireplace and second I'd have to pluck the book out quick-smart and return it with apologies to my librarian but you get the picture. Still until such point as the silliness and copyright infringements show themselves I will continue to read and enjoy this wonderful book/series and damned if I'll let any of you lot make me feel guilty doing so! Now before I wrap this up I'd like to ask your cooperation.

WITHOUT SPOILING the STORY for me could someone please answer me:

 

Roughly where does the series get silly/suspiciously familiar to WOT? (WITHOUT going into specifics. Just book number please.) Cheers. ;)   

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Roughly where does the series get silly/suspiciously familiar to WOT? (WITHOUT going into specifics. Just book number please.) Cheers. ;)   

 

Around...third or fourth book, I think. Even then, it is hardly similar. Brilliant books and glad you're reading them despite the critism.  ;)

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The first three books of the Sword of Truth series are really very good. But then after that, those books start degrading quickly in quality so that by the time you get to book 7 and 8, Goodkind's books have almost reached the level where large sections have sunk down into unbearable drivel.

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Guest cw

It gets bad right with Wizard's First Rule.  I hate not finishing a book once I start so I forced myself to complete it.  I didn't bother to waste my time on any of the others when they came out.

 

Jelly's comment about the 3rd or 4th book makes sense as I didn't find the Wizard's First Rule stole from the Wheel of Time.  That said, there wasn't an original thought in it and it is a little surprising Terry Brooks didn't sue him.  The first book, heck, the very title of the series itself, steals from Terry Brook's Sword of Shannarra.

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That said, there wasn't an original thought in it and it is a little surprising Terry Brooks didn't sue him.  The first book, heck, the very title of the series itself, steals from Terry Brook's Sword of Shannarra.

 

That's funny...I've read a ton of fantasy over the past 25 years and I've come across very few that actually have an original thought.  Doesn't mean that a majority of the books I've read weren't still entertaining.

 

Let me ask you...do you really think that WOT is based off of original thought?  A boy somehow learns he is the chosen one with magical powers and has to beat the big bad evil that threatens to take over the land?  Where is that original?  I've read that countless times.  What makes RJ's books so good is the "way" he writes them...not some sort of "mythical" original thought.

 

Go ahead and say that Goodkinds writing is bad, or his way of rehashing an OLD theme is bad..but critisizing him for lack of originality is inane.  Basically what we have is your dislike for his writing style.  Which is fine..it's a matter of taste..but the fact is that his books are best sellers and many people enjoy his writing style. 

 

OP...I personally found the first 6 books very enjoyable...the latter books got too hung up on the message thus ruining otherwise decents stories.  I think the books have enough similarities that if you were reading both series at the same time (like I did...waiting for each next book to come out) that you would sometimes have to conscientiously force yourself to make sure you are remembering the histories of the correct series.  (btw, this is the reason that I no longer buy new books until the whole series is out.)

 

To sum up...The Sword of Truth is great reading...enjoy!

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The biggest criticisms that I have against Goodkind's SoT series is that he has many similarities that appear to be close rip-offs of Robert Jordan's WOT while at the same time Goodkind swears that he has never read the WOT AND Goodkind has the arrogance to claim that he is not even writing fantasy novels, but something else, instead.

 

Oh yeah, and the concluding chapters of the final book, "Confessor" was extremely crappy and most unsatisfactory.

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So..you read all the books even though you don't like them? Doesn't make much sense really...

 

I enjoyed the first 6 books of the series.... and even in the rest of the books, there were still scenes and characters whom I liked and enjoyed reading. Also, I am one of those people who has to finish reading a book series after I start up on one. So, yes, I did read each of the 11 books of the SoT series, and I am extremely dissapointed that the last book had a very very very weak and lame ending. Goodkind had a chance to end the series with a stunning and very good couple of chapters. But instead, he ruined any chance in my mind as being considered a good author with the way that he concluded the war against Jagang's empire. So yeah, I read the last 3 books, and now I wish that I did not. :(

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ya, the books were enjoyable up to number 6(or whichever book faith of the fallen was).  Faith of the fallen was especially good, with WFR coming very close behind.  after that, the series served only as his political soapbox.

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ya, the books were enjoyable up to number 6(or whichever book faith of the fallen was).  Faith of the fallen was especially good, with WFR coming very close behind.  after that, the series served only as his political soapbox.

 

Really? I gave up in the first 200 pages of Soul of the Fire. What the main plot would be was a bit obvious from the book before.

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Guest Dreadlord

I read Sword of Truth before Wheel of time, and when i read them I enjoyed although it did go downhill slowly after the first few, i stopped after Pillars of Creation.

 

But when I read WoT I realised how much of Goodkinds SoT is similar to WoT and it wouldnt work the other way round. RJs plots are too complicated to have been copied/borrowed on that level-it is definitely the SoT that is similar to WoT, not the other way round.

 

In the SoT there are equivalents to Aes Sedai, the Black Ajah, Darkfriends, Blademasters, Dreamwalkers, the situation where Rand must learn to channel, Rand gathering the nations behind him, Rands Maiden bodyguards, the Seanchan invasion, and when I read SoT now  I cant help but notice all these similarities. Hells teeth, there is even a mirror image of Couladin in SoT! Richard drives his sword into the ground-that bit is EXACTLY the same as when Rand does it. And when I say similarities, I mean the sort that is blatantly a stolen idea (not a borrowed one-that is different) and not the sort of similarities that you could say "well that appears in every fantasy." There is even a country called Andor in the SoT set. I could go on. There is only one thing that Sword of Truth has that Wheel of Time doesnt have, and that is Gratch. Goodkind was feeling adventurous at that bit.

 

These arent general similarities-there are too many things about SoT that are similar to WoT specifically for it to be a general coincedence of writers having the same ideas or using the same basic plot outlines. The way Richard and Rand both drive their swords into the ground is waaaaay too similar and the same goes for many of the above mentioned

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Guest cw

That said, there wasn't an original thought in it and it is a little surprising Terry Brooks didn't sue him.  The first book, heck, the very title of the series itself, steals from Terry Brook's Sword of Shannarra.

 

That's funny...I've read a ton of fantasy over the past 25 years and I've come across very few that actually have an original thought.  Doesn't mean that a majority of the books I've read weren't still entertaining.

 

Let me ask you...do you really think that WOT is based off of original thought?  A boy somehow learns he is the chosen one with magical powers and has to beat the big bad evil that threatens to take over the land?  Where is that original?  I've read that countless times.  What makes RJ's books so good is the "way" he writes them...not some sort of "mythical" original thought.

 

Go ahead and say that Goodkinds writing is bad, or his way of rehashing an OLD theme is bad..but critisizing him for lack of originality is inane.  Basically what we have is your dislike for his writing style.  Which is fine..it's a matter of taste..but the fact is that his books are best sellers and many people enjoy his writing style.

 

If you like his books, fine, but don't try telling me why I didn't like Wizard's First Rule.  Because, frankly, you are dead wrong in your assumption.

 

My dislike of the book had nothing to do with writing style.  I can easily distinguish a book I do not like based on style as opposed to one I don't like based on content.  An example of books I don't care for because of style would be A Song of Ice and Fire.  I can still read A Song of Ice and Fire because I'm not constantly thinking of how I already read it before and that it was called '[enter plagiarized book of choice here]'.  I couldn't help thinking how I had read Wizard's First Rule before and which books he copied his ideas from.

 

By lacking an original thought, I was referring to his failure to do anything distinctive or imaginitive with his source material.  I'm not going to say most fantasy draws from similar sources as almost all of it does.  What makes a good fantasy author, and where Goodkind fell completely flat, is the ability to do something unique and distictive with the subject matter rather than simply reiterating another author's ideas.

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That said, there wasn't an original thought in it and it is a little surprising Terry Brooks didn't sue him.  The first book, heck, the very title of the series itself, steals from Terry Brook's Sword of Shannarra.

 

That's funny...I've read a ton of fantasy over the past 25 years and I've come across very few that actually have an original thought.  Doesn't mean that a majority of the books I've read weren't still entertaining.

 

Let me ask you...do you really think that WOT is based off of original thought?  A boy somehow learns he is the chosen one with magical powers and has to beat the big bad evil that threatens to take over the land?  Where is that original?  I've read that countless times.  What makes RJ's books so good is the "way" he writes them...not some sort of "mythical" original thought.

 

Go ahead and say that Goodkinds writing is bad, or his way of rehashing an OLD theme is bad..but critisizing him for lack of originality is inane.  Basically what we have is your dislike for his writing style.  Which is fine..it's a matter of taste..but the fact is that his books are best sellers and many people enjoy his writing style.

 

If you like his books, fine, but don't try telling me why I didn't like Wizard's First Rule.  Because, frankly, you are dead wrong in your assumption.

 

My dislike of the book had nothing to do with writing style.  I can easily distinguish a book I do not like based on style as opposed to one I don't like based on content.  An example of books I don't care for because of style would be A Song of Ice and Fire.  I can still read A Song of Ice and Fire because I'm not constantly thinking of how I already read it before and that it was called '[enter plagiarized book of choice here]'.  I couldn't help thinking how I had read Wizard's First Rule before and which books he copied his ideas from.

 

By lacking an original thought, I was referring to his failure to do anything distinctive or imaginitive with his source material.  I'm not going to say most fantasy draws from similar sources as almost all of it does.  What makes a good fantasy author, and where Goodkind fell completely flat, is the ability to do something unique and distictive with the subject matter rather than simply reiterating another author's ideas.

 

Well..I would say that his propensity to have his main characters give pages and pages of sermons is rather unique?  ;) 

 

I did a yahoo search yesterday on Goodkind vs Jordan and ran accross an interesting review on Goodkind.  The reviewer states that it's an enjoyable read..kinda like junkfood...no real substance but good all the same.  Sums it up for me.  I enjoyed the first several books of the series...but I don't compare him to Jordan.  But in my book..no one compares to Jordan and if RJ is the litmus test, I wouldn't enjoy reading anything at all except for WOT. 

 

BTW...if you are planning on reading any SOT books, do yourself a favor and don't read any of Goodkinds interviews before hand.  He is a pompous ass and it will completely ruin it for you.

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Roughly where does the series get silly/suspiciously familiar to WOT? (WITHOUT going into specifics. Just book number please.) Cheers. ;)   

 

Around...third or fourth book, I think. Even then, it is hardly similar. Brilliant books and glad you're reading them despite the critism.  ;)

I think I left off at "Pillars of Creation" or something. Whichever one had Richard's half-brother and half-sister in it. I hate leaving off before a series is finished but I'd started rolling my eyes too much and it was making reading difficult. The first few books were enjoyable to me but character development and interaction is terribly simplistic and the writer gets preachy and pompous. Goodkind can talk as if people only criticise him because they "don't want to hear the truth" or whatever but the truth is I agree with him on many philosophical points but, if I'm not sitting in a pew, don't be throwing sermons at me and expect me shout "amen, Brother Terry" back at you.

 

What gets me about WoT/SoT relations is all the accusations of plagiarism. I read SoT first and actually first heard about WoT when Jordanite trolls posted accusations on a SoT message board on Usenet back in the day. I didn't take them seriously in part because the poster was obviously a troll but also because some of the "thefts" were so ridiculous. The list included both main characters using a sword and both having a name starting with the letter "R". Other things on the list just made it obvious that both Jordan and Goodkind had at least a passing familiarity with the last 1,000 years of European and American culture, literature, politics and religion.

 

Now that I've read WoT, I have to say, I still don't see the plagiarism. Are there similar things in both series? Yes, and that's because they're both high fantasy/swords and sorcery series written by late twentieth century American authors who have heard of the Catholic Church and were educated in the Western cultural tradition (although Jordan seems to have paid more attention in class). I don't see why people keep insisting the plagiarism is there unless they're just the sort who like picking fights. Like I said, the first I heard of the accusations was when they were posted by trolls on a SoT Usenet group.

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Guest cw

BTW...if you are planning on reading any SOT books, do yourself a favor and don't read any of Goodkinds interviews before hand.  He is a pompous ass and it will completely ruin it for you.

 

I read Wizard's First Rule back around '95.  At the time, it was his only book.  If he did any interviews, I never read or heard them.  The book was perfectly able to ruin itself on its own merit.  It didn't require and any additional input from the author to do that.

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BTW...if you are planning on reading any SOT books, do yourself a favor and don't read any of Goodkinds interviews before hand.  He is a pompous ass and it will completely ruin it for you.

 

I read Wizard's First Rule back around '95.  At the time, it was his only book.  If he did any interviews, I never read or heard them.  The book was perfectly able to ruin itself on its own merit.  It didn't require and any additional input from the author to do that.

 

Ok CW..it's quite clear you don't like the book.  Others do...is that okay?  Must we agree with you?

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Guest cw

Apparently you didn't read where I said you are welcome to like them.  It was tied to a response where I said you shouldn't try telling me why I don't like something.  The later poster's response made it sound like he thought I was influenced by later comments and interviews to which I was clarifying that was not the case.

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Apparently you didn't read where I said you are welcome to like them.  It was tied to a response where I said you shouldn't try telling me why I don't like something.  The later poster's response made it sound like he thought I was influenced by later comments and interviews to which I was clarifying that was not the case.

 

I did not mean to make it sound that way.  It was meant to be a general comment to any future readers.

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That's funny...I've read a ton of fantasy over the past 25 years and I've come across very few that actually have an original thought.  Doesn't mean that a majority of the books I've read weren't still entertaining.

 

Agreed. And also agreed on your assessment of WoT. While WoT remains my ABSOLUTE SUPREME NUMBER ONE SERIES with may original ideas, the content itself is hardly original. In fact, I find it very UNoriginal. Just take a look at all religions and mythologies that RJ pulls from when creating WoT---Christianity, Buddhism, a TON from the myths of King Arthur! If you stripped away all the content that was borrowed from other sources, you'd still have a good story---unassuming boy finds out he's the savior of his planet---but hardly original.

 

As to the Sword of Truth series, I never got off WFR. About the time I finished it, CoT came out so I put the series down and just never came back to it. I probably will in the future---I found the themes, geography, and details etc. rather simplistic (if quite graphic)---but after I waded through the CRAP of the first half of the book, it actually made for a good story by the end.

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Guest Dreadlord

Guys the title of this post refers to SoT being similar to WoT, not WoT being similar to other stuff.

 

Anyway, in defense of RJ, he admits to borrowing ideas from other books, but he doesnt borrow them all FROM THE SAME SERIES!

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Orange Fescue-

 

The accusations of plagiarism stem from two items:

 

1) The similarities

 

2) The *timing*

 

It's the timing that's critical. TG cranked his books out in about a year, and all the things pointed to as borrowing- barring the ridiculous crap- would appear in his books one year after appearing in Jordan's. The fact he was at the least inspired by Jordan was very obvious, even if Jordan gave form to his muse. No-one would mind that. It was his vehement denial of ever reading a single one of Jordan's books, his insistence thereafter that he didn't read fantasy, etc., that built into all-but claiming Moses carried him down the mountain, that really pissed many WoT readers off. Goodkind has proudly stated he doesn't read fiction, then turns around and claims his books are the pillar of creative fiction because they contain content and aren't "trite" like other fantasy series- he even denies he writes fantasy books!

 

That's the problem. He thinks he's novel because he's ignorant, largely, of the genre. Most die-hard SoT fans are also not well-read, and this is the first time they've encountered concepts like Objectivism, so they feel enlightened. See the same thing with freshman and their Poli Sci 101 professors in college. Those ideas aren't novel, as have been mentioned, they're quite common in fantasy, and so many SoT fans believe Goodkind originated them all himself. Bah.

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Not that I suggest reading these threads if you are trying to escape the controversy, but if you are looking for actual posts, forum entries, and info other than just opinion, go to Brandon Sanderson's website, hit the forum link, and go to the 2nd page where someone asks about Terry Goodkind. It's easy to see why so many people get involved in the debate.

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I am visually impaired and don't read(in-print), very many books.  That said, I listen to quite alot.  If they don't have it in my library on CD, should I spend $20 or so on an MP3 of WFR from Amazon?  I just want see what everyone's talking about.  Thanks

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Ok, this post will be full of SoT spoilers... just so you know

 

SPOILERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really didn't notice much stealing from RJ or anything, I mean sure, the ideas are often similar, but I didn't think it was all that bad. All fantasy seems to borrow from other fantasy a lot. My main problem with Goodkind is how he uses plot devices. A great example is how he continues his books.

 

End of WFR: All right, we won, Darken Rahl opened the wrong box of orden and is dead, life is good.

 

Beginning of SoT: Oh wait, opening a box of orden killed Darken Rahl, but it ALSO tore the veil and now the keeper of the underworld is going to escape, and that's SO much worse than Darken Rahl. What do we do now?

 

End of SoT: Whew, the veil was repaired, and to do it Richard destroyed the old world's barrier towers, and that's good too, right? I mean, now that area is fertile again and life is good.

 

Beginning of BotF: Oh wait, destroying the tower barriers unleashed the dreamwalker jagang, who just happens to be the emperor of the old world, and now he is going to take over the new world with his huge army and unstoppable power to possess people who aren't loyal to Richard (another plot device)

 

End of BotF: Well, now the Palace of the Prophets is destroyed, and Jagang can't take over the world by living for a thousand years. Life is good, right?

 

Beginning of TotW: Nope. Now Jagang has unleashed a forked prophecy and sent a plague upon the new world.

 

End of TotW: Well, Richard had the plague, but Kahlan saved him by destroying the book and saying the three chimes (that Nathan told her). Wow, now life is definitely good, right?

 

Beginning of SotF: Damn it all! Wouldn't you know it, but naming the three chimes to save Richard's life also unleashed them upon the world, and they are draining the world of its magic. Now Richard and Kahlan have to travel to the wizard's keep on foot (ahem... plot device...)...

 

You get the point. It seems like every time Richard saves the world (usually by pulling some magic solution out of his ass), that very action will also, in the next book, be what causes the world to be in even worse peril than before. Goodkind also uses a TON of plot devices in the main story bodies as well, way more than most authors seem to, and it begins to make the story feel less frantic. He makes the outlook bleaker and bleaker in every book, but he also increases the absurdity of the methods used by the heroes to get out of those bleak situations, so much so that you don't even care about what's happening anymore because you just KNOW that he's going to come up with some magic fix to make things all right (only to find out that it didn't, in fact, make it all right at all).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End Spoilers

 

So that's my rant on Goodkind. If you can overlook the bad plotting and overuse of plot devices, the books really aren't that bad. I really like a lot of the characters, like Zedd. It's just that the plotting is so terrible that it really hurts the books.

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