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The Third Kingdom    by Terry Goodkind order for
Third Kingdom
by Terry Goodkind
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
*   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Though I've enjoyed many previous entries in Terry Goodkind's long-running Sword of Truth epic, I'm finding them more and more long-winded, especially this latest episode, The Third Kingdom (sequel to The Omen Machine). The author's repetitive philosophical musings slow down both action and plot development.

The adventures of Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell continue in the Dark Lands in this episode, which is essentially a zombie story. As The Third Kingdom opens the duo (after killing Hedge Maid Jit) are captives of savages debating whether to trade or eat them! Kahlan is unconscious and Richard has no magic. Fortunately locals (called upon by Henrik) come to the rescue as they start munching. Richard is grateful but wonders what happened to their other friends. He soon learns that they are in deep trouble and that prophecy has given him a role once more.

He and Kahlan are taken to the village of Stroyza, where fifteen-year-old sorceress Samantha tries to heal them. But she cannot because their encounter with Jit left both Richard and Kahlan infected with death. Samantha tells Richard that she comes from a long line of guardians of the world of life, but now the wall to the third kingdom that they have watched is failing - someone is making armies of reanimated corpses and sending them to attack the living. But that is not the worst problem - there are also 'living people who have been stripped of their souls.'

Richard and Samantha set out for the third kingdom seeking Zedd, Nicci and the others, leaving Kahlan near death. There are quite a few captures and escapes for all concerned, before those close to Lord Rahl are reunited once more - and not all of them make it. This drawn out episode - which I can only recommend to committed series fans - ends with some enemies defeated but a cure still to be found.

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