You're probably wondering what happened to my book. I'll get to that in a second.
This is my fourth or fifth time reading this novel. I picked up this series when I was 14. It was my gateway into the larger world of adult fantasy novels. I believe this is my second favorite of Terry Goodkind’s stories, and, like the first book, Goodkind exhibits a passion for his characters, and the idea he wishes to share.
This novel continues with a similar tone and style as the first. However, it pushes Richard to grow a bit more, lets us see the full extent of Kahlan’s intellect and ability as a leader, and mirrors some of the ideas of Robert Jordan’s work. I'm a sucker for a corruption arc—seeing someone in a position of power bend an impressionable mind for ill. We have a few examples of this in Stone of Tears. I also love tragic backstories, and we finally see Adie’s in this sequel.
Though Richard is less likable than in the previous story, I still felt the emotions of the characters and was compelled to care for them. I wanted to see them to the end of the story. Zedd and Adie were ever-charming. Kahlan’s and Chandalen’s blossoming friendship was warming.
And Gratch. He’s pretty much the best.
Similar to the first novel, Goodkind wields his platform to share his ideas inspired by objectivism. In the first novel, we are encouraged to open our minds to his message with the first rule, with this novel, we are reminded time and time again how the consequences of our actions can lead to greater harm. And like Wizard’s First Rule, I would say that this idea is spoon-fed to us—the tragic flaw of Goodkind’s storytelling.
And, no, that's not why I destroyed this book. It actually got this way from reading it in bed as a teenager. I kept dropping it or falling asleep while reading it late into the night. I actually own a new, unused paperback of Stone of Tears. This recent re-read was via ebook, however.
This story is fun, but if you didn’t care for the first book, I wouldn’t even bother with this one as it's unlikely to resonate with you. However, if you had fun with Wizard’s First Rule, give it a shot.