I have finally found the time to finish Blood of the Fold. This is the third book in the Terry Goodkind series. This is the book that seemed to have gotten the majority of bad reviews in the series. I think it has to do with the religious undertone of the book. In case you are unfamiliar this is part of the Sword of Truth series that focuses around the main characters of Richard Cypher and Kahlan Amnell as they fight evil and try to restore faith in humanity and magic.
At the end of Stone of Tears, Richard is finally accepting the fact that he is a war wizard and that his magic is brought upon in times of need and instinct. When he gets out of his own way he is one of the greatest magicians with the most amount of power we have ever seen. Kahlan has run with Zedd after her beheading. The Dark Sisters have escaped on a ship. Richard had finally found a way to forgive Kahlan for forcing him to put on a collar and we have seen new friends from the Old World. We were introduced to the Imperial Army and have heard mention several times about the Blood of the Fold.
In Blood of the Fold, Goodkind delves us deeper into the psyche behind the current leader of the Blood of the Fold a man named Tobias Brogan. The Blood of the Fold are called such due to the crimson capes that they wear at all times and the trail of blood that they leave behind in their quest to root out banelings (the keepers minions in this world). Brogan is a true blue believer in his quest and finds ways to explain everything so that he is always the good guy at the forefront of his mind. If something doesn't add up he will find a reason for it to be acceptable to him (for example, incest with his sister). If anyone makes him angry or stands in his way they are immediately considered a baneling and must be killed, he will force a confession out of anyone under extreme measures of torture to get them to admit to doing the keeper's work. He finds that joining with the Imperial Army is in the best interest of the Blood of the Fold at this time.
I honestly think that Terry Goodkind did an amazing job capturing the zealotry that can be found in religion. The need to always have one's faith proven correct no matter what the peril even if it becomes a personal vendetta.... enter in religious wars...
We are also introduced to the leader of the Imperial Army: Emperor Jagang who is a dreamwalker. Which means that he can enter into the dreams of people and physically torture them or find other ways to force them to do his bidding. He is all about slavery and forcing people to his will.
With Jagang's dreamwalking ability we learn that the Rahl bond that was created by Richard's ancestor is the only line of defense to the dreamwalker entering someones mind when they are asleep. Of course we can't forget the ever persistent new bodyguards to include the Mord-Sith.
Many of our friends from the Palace of the Prophets stay with us in this story as we can follow along and get to know even more about Verna and Warren and also more about the dark sisters that fled the palace. We also become intimately familiar with mriswrith and learn more about the great war from the past that destroyed so many lives and so many wizards. Richard & Kahlan seem doomed to be separated through events and prophecies beyond their control.
Overall I have to say that this book was shorter than the others and took on a different book than the previous two. With that being said I do not in anyway think that it is a worse book. I think it was a very insightful book into an enemy that plays on the fear of people as a "religious body". I loved that Terry Goodkind was brave enough to take this on and think that he did an excellent job in showing how when ruled by fear, we can lose freedom and reason in life.
Passion rules reason. —Chapter 43, pg number varies, U.S. hardcover edition. It is explained in the novel as follows: "Letting your emotions
control your reason may cause trouble for yourself and those around
And back to the wizard's second rule: The greatest harm can result from the best intentions.
"It sounds a paradox, but
kindness and good intentions can be an insidious path to destruction.
Sometimes doing what seems right is wrong, and can cause harm. The only
counter to it is knowledge, wisdom, forethought, and understanding the
First Rule. Even then, that is not always enough. [...] Violation can
cause anything from discomfort, to disaster, to death."
And of course the Wizard's First Rule: "People are stupid." "People are stupid; given proper
motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people
are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's
true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People's heads are
full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they
think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the
difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they
can, and so are all the easier to fool.
To see my two previous book reviews of the series you can go check them out at:
Stone of Tears Review Book 2
Wizard's First Rule Book 1