Setting out a crucial part of the backstory to the Sword of Truth, The First Confessor tells the story of Magda Searus. The death of her husband leads Magda to attempt to follow him into the next life, but at the last moment she discovers a note that persuades her to take a different course. The stage is set for Magda to set out on a journey that encompasses some of the most significant moments in the creation of Goodkind’s fantasy world.
For those who have been following the Sword of Truth series (er, like me!), this is a fascinating attempt to flesh out names and incidents to which references have previously been made. But the book should still appeal to those looking for a stand-alone read, because the power of the narrative remains strong and Magda is an engaging protagonist. There are some great moments and Goodkind remains at his best when mixing moments of imaginative fantasy with moments that evoke genuine emotion.
Although Goodkind is an established and successful author, he has chosen to self-publish The First Confessor. Other than that, there’s no discernible difference between this and any of his other books. This is a fast-paced and memorable tale that adds weight and meaning to Goodkind’s other work. The only question now is whether there will one day be another novel that adds backstory to The First Confessor itself; after all, some readers will doubtless want to know the full story behind Magda and Baraccus.
Star rating for The First Confessor: 4.5 stars.
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