Mysterious and Haunting: A Review of The First Confessor

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The First Confessor (The Legend of Magda Searus, #1)The First Confessor by Terry Goodkind

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I won’t lie, I picked this book up completely unsure of what to expect. Half of me was really excited for the prequel to the fantastic Sword of Truth series and the other half was a little frightened at what I may find in a self-published book. Especially considering quite a bit of drama and hoopla revolving around this book and series for a variety of reasons that I care not to address or even involve myself in. As a reader though, these things were alarming and therefore I was a little scared.

There were things I enjoyed about this book but I was also a little disappointed. The cover of this book is absolutely gorgeous! The cover model is haunting and it really draws you in and makes you want to find out more about this mysteriously beautiful woman. The plot however was no different than the Sword of Truth series and I was very disappointed that this story wasn’t more original. I felt as if I had already read the story and that the characters were simply the old characters but with new names. Almost every single character in this story could have their names crossed out with the main characters of the Sword of Truth written in. Not to sound completely snarky but I thought that while enjoyable-ish-(hey, this is my review, I can make up a word if I want to!) the story has already been done. I wanted something new and instead I felt like one phrase stolen from Battlestar Galactica would have summed everything up, “All this has happened before, and all of it will happen again.”

There were also a lot of mistakes that an editor should have found before this book ever hit the virtual e-shelves. Now, I’m far from a grammar Nazi, this much is obvious to you if you’re reading this review. So, if I’m finding mistakes in something? YEOUCH!

Was the story necessarily bad? Not at all! It wasn’t new and innovative and for that reason—I’m disappointed. I can overlook mistakes if the story is so doggone fantastic that nothing else matters—cumulatively it led to some disappointments on my part. Don’t get me wrong, I really do enjoy this author’s writings—so much so that I named my daughter after TWO of his characters. However, I refuse to lie and say that this was one of favorites of his works when it’s pretty darn hard to top the Sword of Truth books.

Magda has lost her husband, the First Wizard. Now she is on a quest to ferret out the truth behind her husband’s death. It outlines the making of the Sword of Truth and the invention of the race of Confessors. Despite all of the reserves noted above, I really did enjoy learning how the sword was made and how intricately tied together the Confessor is to her wizard. That much of the story was brilliant. I think I would have liked to have seen more about the invention and the development of her power rather than much of the story which I felt was far too similar to the latter books in the Sword of Truth series.

Overall though, I give this book a solid three. Not the worst rating I could have given as it had areas that could have used improvements but the last half of the book was its redemption. I won’t lie—I would probably pick up book two about Magda Searus if one were made. Largely because I would love to see her become more proficient with her powers—see how powerful she became. If you’ve read the Sword of Truth series prior to picking this one up—I think you’ll still enjoy it. If you have yet to read the series—I would suggest holding off on this one and read Wizards First Rule as your first journey to the Midlands!
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Terry Goodkind is a contemporary American writer and author of the best-selling epic fantasy series, The Sword of Truth, creator of the television show The Legend of the Seeker, and writer of the self-published epic, The First Confessor: The Legend of Magda Searus (a prequel and origin story of the first Mother Confessor). He has over 20 million copies in print and has been translated into more than 20 different languages, world-wide.
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