Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Third Kingdom

At the beginning of the second entry of the Richard and Kahlan tetralogy serving as a follow-up to the main The Sword of Truth books by Terry Goodkind, the two characters find themselves in the captivity of cannibals ultimately identified as Shun-tuk, the two finding themselves unable to use their powers. Residents from the nearby village of Stroyza rescue them thanks to an errand by the young Henrik, and Richard and Kahlan soon find that they each have a taint of death inflicted by the death of the Hedge Maid Jit, found when the young sorceress Sammie attempts to heal the latter.

Only the containment field at the People’s Palace back in D’Hara can cure the two of their taint, although both the Shun-tuk and the revenant half-people divert their attention, with Richard, Kahlan being unconscious at the time, needing to deal with him somehow whilst rescuing friends such as his grandfather Zedd and Nicci. Sammie, eventually referred to as Samantha, accompanies the Lord Rahl, venturing to the eponymous third kingdom to the north, separated by a massive wall, the term itself referring to the gray area between life and death, and the main antagonist of the tetralogy, Hannis Arc, yearning to take D’Hara for himself.

Richard and Samantha later on find themselves to be Lord Arc’s captives, and Kahlan that of Abbot Ludwig Dreier once she comes to, the long-deceased Emperor Sulachan receiving some attention as well. Overall, this is an enjoyable follow-up to The Omen Machine, given its graphic detail at times and plentiful action, though at times it puts the quantity of its countless chapters above quality. Regardless, that makes the novel digestible in fragments, with The Third Kingdom being notably shorter than the main Sword of Truth stories, sure to please fans of the series.

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