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Richard and Kahlan April 27, 2011

Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011.
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 There’s a well-known book series by Terry Goodkind about a war waged between light and dark but it is not your typical good versus evil story line plot. What begins as a simple demarcation between right and wrong becomes blurred during the trials of Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell. Within seconds of turning the first page of the first book in this series the characters had blown up into full 3D human beings and I pictured Richard in the woods. I pictured the vine. And the red cloud. And the girl in white. How could I not keep turning pages?

Goodkind never makes the good versus evil so black and white as many people would like to have it but instead wove truth and belief and faith and genetics and life itself in and out of the good, and in and out of the evil. Throughout the series I was conflicted with feelings of both support and dislike for the same character, true for many characters, — at once understanding their motives while disapproving of  their behavior. A little like family, I think.

Throughout the Wizard’s Rule series (originally housed 11 novels but has published additional stories as well as a prime-time TV show I refused to watch) we are dragged, nails scraping ground, through the painful ordeals caused by Richard’s magical family ties and though, as a reader, I spent most of my time rooting for him and Kahlan, there were so many times in which I thought he should give up. But that’s good writing. And Richard has a good spirit.

One thing he says that has stuck with me for years and years now is the phrase, don’t think of the problem, think of the solution. The phrase has not only stuck with me, I have incorporated it into my life. Because…when isn’t this concept useful? It simply is.

I recommend this series to anyone and everyone. In fact, I was saddened to see the last of Richard and Kahlan in Goodkind’s finale The Confessor but then apparently the uproar of loss from his readers convinced him that more stories were necessary. And so we also have Law of Nines and (coming this August) Omen Machine.

I love stories for the art of escapism. Among many other reasons. We have this perfect opportunity to learn more about life and people when we read stories — even fiction, or…especially fiction. Writers take a different viewpoint of historical events, even present-day events, and they twist the viewpoint into this absolute magical dream. And then they take a backseat to the characters in the story as those created lives become something altogether different. Most people cannot dream the way a writer does. Or if they do dream in such colorful concepts, they are unable to put pen to paper.

Richard and Kahlan are like this. Two characters who never expected to meet each other but without the meeting, the world would never have been the same — their world. Ours.

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