Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth is one of the odder Fantasy epics around, written about as gracelessly as a 13 year old trying to imitate Michael Moorcock and yet mostly devoid of color and vividness, except when brutality is involved and geared toward some sort of strange Objectivist ideology in a fantasy universe, its closest relative would probably be Norman’s Gor novels, except that the Sword of Truth novels may be filled with rape sequences, but they’re devoid of the contempt for women that the Gor novels harbor and the constant rapes just emphasize the villainy of the Imperial Order.
Among readers the endless debate over whether Terry Goodkind ripped off Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time or vice versa was settled when Robert Jordan died and Terry Goodkind focused his closing three novels, Phantom, Chainfire and Confessor in a new direction around Kahlan’s disappearance and Richard’s search for her. Say what you will, Goodkind unlike Jordan finished his series because he actually focused on getting the story done. And getting the story done is exactly where Confessor falls short.
In Confessor, the same unbearable diatribes about freedom and the fantasy version of technobabble, fantababble, dominate more than half the novel. Despite the fact that Confessor is probably the largest of the Sword of Truth novels, very little happens in it besides long discussions about the nature of various spells and tirades about freedom. The best elements of Faith of the Fallen do get lifted and incorporated into a story about Richard playing football in disguise against Jagang’s team (not as bad as it sounds) and everyone gets captured by Jagang, yet again, but as in Terry Goodkind’s first Sword of Truth novel, Wizard’s First Rule, the defeats of the Beast and Jagang are anti-climactic, silly and depend on the details of Goodkind’s magical system.
Confessor somehow tops off this confection of crap with an ending in which Richard using now seemingly godlike powers, banishes the New Order and everyone who doesn’t like magic to another dimension where they promptly forget who they are and begin building churches. Yup our world, which apparently had no actual history until 1000 years ago. Somebody better find out who built those pyramids.
There’s one good thing you can say about Confessor, it finally ends a series of novels that was clearly intended to be only one novel and drifted aimlessly from book to book animated only by the author’s obsessive politics.