Sometime during my freshman year of high school, my best friend Aaron lent me the first in this series of books by Terry Goodkind and told me I should read it. I was much more of a night owl then, but I still didn't often stay up all night reading books. I did with this one. Ten books later, last night, I was up late again reading the latest book in the series--Phantom.
The books are about a man named Richard and his lady-love Kahlan. Both have powerful magic and are fighting to save the world from utter destruction and despair, but just when you think that they've finally completed their goal something else bad happens. Nonetheless, they keep at it--meeting wonderful creatures and characters along the way. It would do no good for me to try to explain more than that here--it's way too much to summarize--however, if you're interested I suggest you begin at the beginning with "The Wizard's First Rule". Or you can read the summaries here.
To be honest, these books have had a lot going against them--I'm not all that into fantasy, the plot is really only so-so. But the characters, oh the characters! They are so well-developed and fun to watch. Over the years I have really cared and wanted the story to end up well for them.
And as the series has gone on--and I became a social science major--I really have come to love Goodkind's social commentaries and critiques. I often find myself drawing parallells between Faith of the Fallen and the current war in Iraq, for example. And in Phantom, there are very obvious references to religious zealotry and the perils that can insue therefrom.
As much as I have enjoyed the series though, I have to say, I'm glad this is the next to last book. I was thinking about it this morning as I was chugging down coffee--I don't think it's that I tired of Richard and Kahlan, as it is that I'm tired for Richard and Kahlan. They've fought the bad guys for long enough, I think it's time for them to go back to their little cabin in the woods, have fat babies, and live a quiet, happy life.