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    FAITH OF THE FALLEN by Terry Goodkind

    A Sword of Truth Novel

    TOR Tom Doherty Associates, August 2000

    The army of Old World Emperor Jagang has invaded the new world killing and destroying everything it meets. Prophecy calls Richard Rahl the one man who can stop Jagang, but Richard no longer believes. His own prophecy or reason holds that if he resists, the result will be more death, more destruction, and a longer period before freedom again becomes possible. When Nicci, sister of the dark, compells him to follow her to the heart of the Old World itself, he goes.

    Kahlan, Richard's wife, rallies the New World armies to resist Jagang yet their very success appears to prove Richard's prophecy. No matter how many they kill, the Old World has the resources to continue to grind away, advancing despite the slaughter. Nicci's decision to rename Jagang as Jagang the Just appears to pay off as well with the socialistic dictates of the Order taking root even in the heart of Richard's realm.

    Nicci becomes the most intriguing character in FAITH OF THE FALLEN. Unlike Richard and Kahlan, who are good and true and all, Nicci is conflicted. She is compelled to do what is right, helping others even at the cost of self, yet Richard confuses her. She knows it is impossible for the poor to better themselves, yet Richard does. The wealth he attains must come from theft, yet the men who made him rich love him for it. Richard's apparent need to emotionally distance him from Nicci makes him miss the obvious opportunity to convert his captor. He focusses, instead, on building a sculpture that captures fundamental truths.

    FAITH OF THE FALLEN combines military action with psychological insights and a strong capitalistic/libertarian ethic. The anti-socialistic message occasionally runs close to becoming preachy, but Nicci's tortured soul is able to prevent this. The work is huge (539 small print pages in the hardcover version), and spans the huge distances of Terry Goodkind's fantasy world. The resolution, combining Richard's new prophecy with the original is far more satisfying than would have been a purely military approach.

    Three Stars

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