Oh my god. Richard kicked a sociopathic bitch in the face who freely engaged in torturing him with a magical device which makes American torture tactics
enhanced terrogation tactics look like a picnic in the park, and was now threatening to have her soldiers capture and rape then kill the woman Richard likes. In kicking the bitch in the face (which ends up mutilating her) he at least has a chance at stopping her doing the same to someone else. But I suppose threatening to have her soldiers rape and kill someone is just "talking shit about your girlfriend."
I suppose if the secret service injures some crazies in a fight, who are threatening to have President Obama's wife undergo the same treatment it must mean Obama is evil for sicking the secret service on them for "talking shit about his wife."
There are plenty of things wrong with Goodkind's writing (more to follow) but having his character retaliate against a villain who does such shit isn't one of them. But I guess because Goodkind's writing SUXS we can say anything we like even if its heavily edited to convey a vastly different picture than what is actually potrayed in the book. AM I RITE?Things which Goodkind didn't do so well.
1. Magic systems - starting off nicely with rules for the additive and subtractive magic, females find it hard to teach males because their magic is different etc (shades of Robert Jordan's One Power in the latter bit). He then started making things up as needed which IMO appeared just to facilitate the plot. For example earlier mage archetypes were dividied into Wizard (male) and Sorceress (females) with the Witch Woman Shota being something different. Then came the sorcerer whose not exactly a male version of a sorceress, but they have the ability to better copy enchantments because the plot demands it. Oh, and btw, they are immune to a Wizard's magic and vice versa. So we can have the sorcerer blast Richard (who doesn't actually know much magic) and have no effect so Richard can kill him the usual way.
2. Richard learns then forgets magic.
Seriously, its like super hero comics where you power up one character then depower him because he becomes too powerful. The review talks about stupid shit like Richard being able to carve a statue of his magical talents. Who the fuck cares about that special ability. I will rather learn the ability to fire bolts of additive and subtractive magic when I want rather than when the plot dictates. The point is, Goodkind also suffers from powering down his character maybe more so than the irritating thing of powering them up and making them Mary Suish.
You see guys, if Richard knows proper magic, he won't be able to win over people with the strength of his Randian arguments.
No seriously, if he had proper magic and can do things he won't end up captured / in a situation where the way to save his life is to lecture the people about the awesomeness of capitalism.
3. The anti- magic angle
The bad guys use magic, but want to get rid of magic. No, not just magic they don't control, but magic period. While it is quite plausible that we have someone who engages in self hate, like a certain religious deathcultTM
it doesn't change the fact that the bad guys idealogy is really stupid and irritating. Not only that, the ancient wars of wizards were fought between one side which wanted to eradicate magic even though they used it / where magical in nature.. because. because.. ah fuck its never explained.
Its as stupid as a scientist using technology to destroy technology for the sake of destroying technology. But thats ok, because they are religious fanatics so the stupidity is explained away.
The anti magic theme also manifests in certain other ways. The numerous foreshadowing that magic is the old religion, and how he creates entire plots involving magical destroying entities, so to power down the characters.
Anti magic capabilities are just used as a plot device. When you want to create false drama have Zed captured by some primitives with their own brand of anti magic magic.
Oh, and the bad guys are immune to the anti magic schick, as we Jagang effortlessly shrugs off the attempts by Mord Sith to contain him. Also the magical destroying chimes entities take longer to work on Jagang's magic. So there.
4. The Aynn Rand preaching
He might have only taken parts of Rand's philosophy which isn't totally stupid, ie he supports capitalism but neglects of mention things like Rand thought donating to charity was immoral (although she thought it was impractical to stop it).
Seriously, this gets tiresome
5. He hates democrats
Book 5 had characters which are blatant pastiches of Bill and Hillary Clinton, down to the Bill character having extramarital affairs and who rapes girls. Bill Clinton may be many things, but I am pretty sure his affairs were consensual.
They are in turn aided by an advisor. In the end the Bill and Hillary characters get their karmic comeuppance by contracting an STD. Oh, and the Imperial order comes after to rape and pillage their country. Thats what you get from siding with evil. Meanwhile the advisor character gets his comeuppance by realising that the woman he pined for is just a stupid idiot, and his policies led to the death of the woman who actually did love him.
6. The pacifists
Ok, in real life peace protesters most likely aren't peace at any price pacifists. In Goodkind's fictional world a lot of them are. Now in Goodkind's world those people are moral cowards whose pacifism helped the bad guys. If peace protesters were really like that in real life, they would be dicks as well. Now that I got that out the way...
I will just say I can't help noticing the allegory these pacifists are to the anti war protesters of the 2000s, even though peace protesters in real life aren't like pacifists in Goodkind's story. Given Goodkind's paranoid claim that America will be conquered because "we have forgotten what freedom means", buttressed with various statements about having to fight for your beliefs, this makes me think his pacifists were a blatant strawman and allegory to peace protesters in real life.
Pacifists come in two sorts in the Goodkind world
a) The first sort appeared later in the series, and these are the ones who Richard can inspire to do the right thing, and take up arms against the invading army which does to women what Catholic priests do to little boys. These peole will do so even if a loud minority of their fellows keep on preaching peace at any price. Now if a peace protester refuses to fight against that occurring on their very doorstep* in real life, I would think they are fucking moral cowards. However I am going to hazard a guess in real life people have their limits, and won't take this shit. In short, this suspiciously seems like another strawman of peace protesters Goodkind constructed.
* when I say very doorstep I mean in your own country and not in Shitholeastan.
b) the second sort are the ones which while talking peace actually do the opposite. They physically obstruct a retreating army running away from the bad guys who torture, kill and rape people. These peace protesters in doing so actually cause harm, not by spreading their policy of appeasement, but by physically helping the enemy. BTW Stofsk, these are the peace protesters Richard cut down. Granted he did it because he was feeling angry, but tactically getting them out the way so his army can run away actually makes sense.
Again one is left with a sneaking suspicion that Goodkind was "living" his fantasy regarding his hatred towards peace protesters with this strawman for Richard to um, cut down.Things which look like a blatant copy of Jordan's
Ok, I am sure there are numerous similarities, and some may simply be because they are using archetypes. However the Rada Han and the A'dam look very similar down to the description of them being a collar around the neck. For the uniniated these are devices which when you put these around the neck of a magic using person / one who can channel you control their powers.Things which Goodkind does better than Jordan.
1. He writes faster and his books being less filled with descriptions are easier to follow.
2. The anti-religion angle. The evil emperor isn't just a socialist, he is a fucking religious nutjob which puts Fred Phelps to shame. But that wasn't the part that struck me, because sometimes bad guys are just evil. It was one of the Wizard's rules which state that your only sovereign is reason. Granted the characters may not necessarily follow that, but thematically, and that is the operative word, thematically it was nice.
And in regards to the article (just a few points only)
This is a walking deus ex machina. Add to it that Rand is a channeler, drawing magic from the male half of the True Source and able to command all five elements; a master swordsman (no reason for that, either, as it’s just something he picks up in his spare time); somehow able to convince everybody that he’s their rightful ruler; and keeps finding bigger and bigger weapons to amplify his magic, and you have a demigod no one can touch. He was mildly interesting because he might have gone insane from a “stain” on his magic, but in the ninth book of the series, he cleanses the stain.
This guy must have read the book the same way military wankers and RDA apologist watched Avatar. I read those earlier books in the WoT when I was in high school and I can still tell you why he is a master swordsman. Granted this might be because Jordan's writing in those early books were actually good.
1. He picked up tips from Lan who is a master swordsman.
2. He manages to access Lews Therin's memories, the original Dragon being a master swordsman as stated by the Forsaken Be'lial ?sp in book 3 (shit I still remember this stuff, but this awesome reviewer can't)
3. He practices. I believe it was in book 7 he practices against numerous swordsmasters and pays whichever one manages to strike him.
I’ve since read more fantasy books than I can remember, but one thing I carried away from Tolkien is a sensitivity to language. It drives me batshit when fantasy authors can’t be bothered to apply realistic linguistic drift to a world.
Maybe if he paid attention to the story instead of the nerdy need to have language fit nicely he might realise why Rand is a master swordsman. Seriously, is that a big thing for people who aren't linguists?