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Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind

Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind
Book Name: Death’s Mistress
Author: Terry Goodkind
Publisher(s): Tor Books
Formatt: Hardcover / Paperback / Audiobook / Ebook
Genre(s): Fantasy
Release Date: January 24, 2017

Death’s Mistress is the first book in the Sister of Darkness: The Nicci Chronicles series. It is a new series following a character already established in Goodkind’s previous books, the Sword of Truth series. I am unsure the length this series will be but so far there are two books released. Although reading the previous series may give you a deeper understanding of things, it is not necessary to have read them.

In terms of the fantasy genre, this is very much a traditional quest storyline and the plot is quite simplistic in that way. At the start of the book Nicci and Nathan are given a task, and the rest of the book is focused on completing that task. Despite this, I found it be a compelling plot and once I started reading I didn’t want to put the book down.

I will say the beginning may be a little tricky to get into. It was clear that since I haven’t read the Sword of Truth series I was missing a lot of history, so it took a little while to piece everything together and have a vague understanding of that history. However, I think the author did a good job at giving enough information to understand without bogging it down with info dumping. Obviously, there are spoilers for the Sword of Truth series in this book.

Once they set out on their quest it did get easier to follow. In many ways Goodkind tried to make this book as accessible as possible. There is a simple task to overcome with no deeper context or conflict, which makes this a great introduction to the series, and a good way to reintroduce readers who are already familiar with the world. The plot is almost episodic in nature as the characters go from one task to another, this lead to what may be a rather repetitive sequence of events for some. The plot does follow the same path a few times but I had no issues with this repetition. The pacing is good throughout, which meant it was quite a quick, despite being over 500 pages long. There are also some great actions scenes and I look forward to seeing how things progress in the next book.

The characters were, at times, a little mixed for me. Although the character development was great, a little depth of character was lacking at times. Initially I wasn’t sure how the story would work with well-established characters, but the author did a good job at introducing them and world to new readers. However, at certain points the author could have expanded the characters inner thoughts, especially Nicci. This is only a small issue though, as the character development was generally good. Obviously, I can’t comment on how consistent the already established characters are in terms of how they are written in the earlier series. All I can say is I enjoyed their characterisations, and I think Nicci is a fantastic female protagonist.

The world was a weakness of this book. Goodkind focused mainly on the storyline and characters, and sacrificed some worldbuilding because of this. There is a vague understanding of the world, but I wanted more from it. I wanted more history and some politics, and how they affect the characters. However, I still found myself immersed in the world and the story. I am interested to see more of this world in the sequels to this book.

Overall, I am very glad that I picked it up. I thought it was a fantastic introduction to the series, especially for new readers to the world. It has well written characters, a compelling plot, and good writing. The second book in this series, Shroud of Eternity, is out now and I will definitely be checking it out. I also have the first book of the Sword of Truth series on my TBR so I’m interested to see how it compares.

If you have been reading a lot of traditional fantasy quest stories and are perhaps a little bored with it, then I wouldn’t recommend this book, as it doesn’t really do anything new within the genre. However, if you are just looking for an enjoyable and engaging fantasy story then I would recommend checking it out.


One Comment

  1. Avatar weeny says:

    I’m not sure I will begin a new Terry Goodkind serie…
    I’ve really been hooked up by the four first tomes of the seeker of truth. But then this serie is bringing what i don’t like in a tv show : filler books

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