If it weren’t for my geeky excel-file where I keep track of what I read and when, I would have lost count of how many times I read the Sword Of Truth-series, at least the first six novels in it. How high it may or may not be, I always look forward to the fourth instalment, Temple of the Winds. I have the feeling that it’s way less popular than say, Faith of the Fallen, but in terms of how much I love it, this one comes very close to that magical Wizard’s First Rule.
On the red moon will come the firestorm…
Wielding the Sword of Truth, Richard Rahl has battled death itself and come to the defense of the D’Haran people. But now the power-mad Emperor Jagang confronts Richard with a swift and inexorable foe: a mystical plague cutting a deadly swath across the land and slaying thousands of innocent victims.
To quench the inferno, he must seek remedy in the wind…
To fight it Richard and his beloved Kahlan Amnell will risk everything to uncover the source of the terrible plague-the magic sealed away for three millennia in the Temple of the Winds.
Lightning will find him on that path…
But when prophecy throws the shadow of betrayal across their mission and threatens to destroy them, Richard must accept the Truth and find a way to pay the price the winds demand…or he and his world will perish.
The main plotline in Temple of the Winds consists of Richard and Kahlan battling an untouchable foe in the form of a plague epidemic. Whereas Blood of the Fold – the previous novel in the series – focused on the politicking and the laying of the groundwork for the remainder of the series, Temple of the Winds takes a turn for the personal and I consider that to be one of the strong aspects of this novel. The search for a remedy is longwinded, perhaps a bit too, but it takes several twists and turns to reach the end and in doing so, a couple of painful but beautiful moments are able to arise. When I think about this book, my first thought is always the portrayal of humanity and tenderness. For once, not through the preaching of our main characters or their love and devotion for each other, but through the Mord-Sith. The first few times I read this book, the scene with the squirrel always evoked some tears..
“when bodies are piling up, sex is the last thing on your mind
Because of the epidemic, Richard and Kahlan also turn their romance down a notch, which was highly appreciated. Understandably so, when bodies are piling up, sex is the last thing on your mind. In addition to that, the new characters of Nadine and Drefan provide some tension and break up the dynamic between the main protagonists nicely. They are not really likeable though, and I always feel like there is an unhealthy focus on Drefan’s manly parts.. On the other hand, there is Nathan who’s really coming into his own and bossing people around like there’s no tomorrow. While his storyline takes the backseat here, it’s no less important and overall very much enjoyable. Verna’s plotline, however, should have been more prominent, I think. In this and the previous novel, she’s been putting herself out there and I really like her and what’s going on with her, but she doesn’t really get a chance to shine, even though she’s going on suicide missions every other page. The best part of this book, though, has to be Zedd and Ann. I won’t give anything away here, but the dynamic between those two is pure gold.
“an unhealthy focus on Drefan’s manly parts
With the plague spreading, a lot of my nuisances with the main characters disappeared. This particular story really brought out a more softer side to Richard and he left the preaching and nagging behind. Near the end he did turn on his annoying persona again, but that was expected. I do wonder how Kahlan can stay in love with that prick. I mean, if you’re blaming her for not being able to tell when he’s in the room without her seeing him.. It’s not because he’s all powerful and has a great deal of nifty magical assets that she’s supposed to have them too, you know. Luckily, Richard and Kahlan were almost always accompanied by Cara and even though I’m repeating myself here, she is just great. Her remarks, her way of being, I simply love everything about her. The other two Mord-Sith are lovely as well, but while Cara has shown herself to be a natural leader, Berdine and Raina take the backseat. The other characters are pretty much the same, so I can easily point towards my review of Blood of the Fold for my opinion on Jagang and his band of lackeys.
The same goes for the writing, I am afraid. Temple of the Winds is very enjoyable and heartwrenching at certain points – really, there is one scene that is so beautifully written it brings tears to my eyes. Unfortunately, it is also plagued – pun intended – by repetition. While I didn’t find it as annoying as in the previous book, I still was able to skim whole passages because they felt like a literal copy paste from previous novels. A shame, really, cause it takes the flow out of the story.
As always, Temple of the Winds was a joy to read. Even though there were some aspects that I didn’t enjoy as much, this particular instalment keeps its place up there with the better novels of the entire series.
★ ★ ★ ★
Can you read with all the colours of the wind? Find out here!