Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Death's Mistress


I never found Nicci of the late Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth saga to be a terribly-memorable or even interesting character, although the deceased author evidently loved her to the point of giving the former Sister of the Dark her own series, following chronologically from the Children of D’Hara sequel stories. The first entry of the sequel series opens with Nicci in the Dark Lands joined by Nathan Rahl in a world where prophecy is no more, and the latter ages normally as a human. Both are exploring the expanded D’Haran Empire at the behest of Lord Richard Rahl, the two visiting the witch woman Red.

Nathan and Nicci seek the city of Kol Adair in the Old World, traveling south through D’Hara, where citizens are largely unaware of the Lord Rahl’s rule. Nicci saves a young man named Bannon Farmer, who becomes an important character in the first entry of Goodkind’s Nicci Chronicles, and contains excellent development, given his troubled past that included an abusive father, wisely caring about self-defense by purchasing a sword. Nicci, Nathan, and Bannon set sail on the Wavewalker, at sea encountering the merfolk known as the selka and consequentially finding themselves shipwrecked.

The company aids the citizens of Renda Bay, continuing to seek Kol Adair and encountering an adversary known as the adjudicator. They eventually encounter the community of Cliffwall that sits near a desolate region known as the Scar, with another opponent, the Lifedrinker, dealt with, along with a woman who fashions herself as “Life’s Mistress,” drawing power from a sentient jungle. Battling Life’s Mistress necessitates the retrieval of a dragon’s rib, with the characters encountering an antediluvian gray dragon, and the book ends with Nathan and Nicci arriving at the metropolis of Kol Adair.

All in all, I definitely enjoyed this Sword of Truth sequel novel, with the chronologically-preceding Children of D’Hara somewhat, but not completely, filling in the gaps between both literary franchises. Those who hope for a continuation of the story from Children of D’Hara will likely find disappointment in this novel, although the change of perspective is definitely a breath of fresh air, and the book definitely stands well on its own, with little knowledge of the Sword of Truth books necessary to enjoy it. With the author’s passing, I believe I have definitely found the right time to experience the Nicci Chronicles.

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