Friday, March 23, 2018

Soul of the Fire

Soul of the Fire.jpg

The fifth main Sword of Truth novel occurs where its predecessor left off, with Richard and Kahlan newly married, celebrations abounding, although something mysterious is happening among the Mud People’s chickens. When Kahlan saved Richard’s life towards the end of Temple of the Winds, she unintentionally summoned fourth a deadly force known as the chimes that is causing magic in the world to fail. Other odd occurrences occur among the Mud People, with a chicken attacking a boy and a baby’s stillbirth, with the mentioned chicken said to be a Lurk.

Meanwhile, the Haken Fitch works in borderline slavery for his Ander masters in the country of Anderith, where Hakens form the majority but the Anders rule, given the alleged misdeeds in the past of the Hakens. Several chapters deal exclusively with these people, with the enigmatic Stein, wearing a cape composed of human scalps, serving as a minor antagonist, and Bertrand Chanboor serving as the country’s Minister of Culture, the Sovereign on his deathbed. A woman who threatens to blackmail the Minister is murdered by Fitch and friends, with her death playing part in later events.

Back with Richard and company, Du Chaillu comes back to the Lord Rahl, claiming to bear his child, and the group gets sidetracked into visiting Anderith, a likely target of the Imperial Order, and which supposedly holds the solution for banishing the chimes. Defending Anderith is a series of bell-like weapons of mass destruction known as the Dominie Dirtch, with a minor female named Beata ultimately being thrown into the position of Sergeant and having a duty to man them.

There are also some scenes dealing with Sister Alessandra and the deposed Prelate Ann, while back in Anderith, Minister Chanboor sees Lord Rahl as a threat to his country’s sovereignty. A referendum is held to determine whether the country would join the D’Haran Empire, and some twists and tension abound towards the end, accounting for a satisfying continuation of the series. There are some things left unresolved, such as the circumstances of the dying Sovereign, although those who enjoyed this book’s predecessor will likely have a good time reading.

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