Temple of the Winds
Terry Goodkind
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Get *Temple of the Winds* delivered to your door! Temple of the Winds

Terry Goodkind
Tor (Tom Doherty Associates)
Copyright 1997
528 pages
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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A character in Terry Goodkind's latest book in The Sword of Truth says that the true meaning of a prophecy can only be known after that prophecy has been fulfilled. Temple of the Winds plays upon that concept, the central mystery of the story being how a "bound fork" prophecy invoked by the Dreamwalker Jagang will play itself out. The prophecy says that Kahlan, Mother Confessor of the Midlands, will betray her beloved Richard Rahl, who rules now in D'Hara, worlds away from his humble beginnings as a woods guide in Westland. Another prophecy, this one delivered by the witch-woman Shota, says that Kahlan and Richard Curled Up With a Good Book must marry others to save the people of their world. The question is, can their love for one another be enough to overcome the catastrophe one prophecy predicts, and the lifetime apart the other foretells?

The fourth book in Goodkind's heroic fantasy series opens at Aydindril, the hub of power and judgement in the Midlands. Richard and Kahlan eagerly anticipate their wedding in the village of the Mud People, who have adopted the two into their tribe. Before they can wed, Kahlan and Richard need to first forge an alliance between the peoples of the Midlands and D'Hara so that their lands might be strong enough to repel an invasion from the Old World of Jagang's Imperial Order. Proud Midlanders must cede supreme rule to Richard, effectively allowing their lands to become part of the D'Haran Empire. Some representatives bring messages of assent to Richard's demands; some are reluctant to decide at all, and some refuse outright to take sides in a conflict they see as being strictly between D'Hara and the Old World. Richard's old flame from the Westlands, Nadine, turns up with news that Shota told her that she would marry Richard. Further impeding Richard and Kahlan's nuptials is a more ominous problem: an assassin, sent by Jagang to kill Richard, announces himself and his intentions.

Kahlan and Cara, one of Richard's elite Mord-Sith honor guards, imprison and question the would-be assassin. With her ability to control one who has attempted to wield magic against her, Cara gains control of Marlin. The two women quickly find out that they do not have the upper hand in the situation, for the Dreamwalker Jagang has hitched a ride along in Marlin's mind. He cripples the Mord-Sith and reveals the bound-fork prophecy he has invoked against Richard, then escapes in Marlin's body. Cara is brought back from oblivion by the dubious ministrations of a mysterious healer who turns out to be Richard's bastard brother.

Jagang unleashes a plague somehow brought out from the legendary Temple of the Winds, a Black Death that he and his minions visit first upon the children of the Midlands. Desperate to untangle the twisted words of prophecy and find out how they might stop the implacable plague, Kahlan and Richard agree to appease the spirits by marrying others. While Sisters of the Light, prophets and wizards race down parallel paths to stop the Old World threat, Kahlan and Richard will face the twin heartbreaks of purposeful and inadvertant betrayal. Richard must walk without hesitation into the world of spirits to find the only possible end to the plague. The final price may be too high for the Seeker of the Truth and the Mother Confessor to put their world back to rights. It will take truth, forgiveness, and the most powerful love to fix what may be irretrievably shattered.

Nathan Rahl, a wizard, prophet, and distant kinsman of Richard, says of prophecies in Temple of the Winds: "Don't try to understand what the words mean. I know that you people try to do that, but I am a prophet, and I can tell you with a great deal of authority that such an endeavor is futile. No matter what you think, what you fear, you will be wrong." With such a statement, Terry Goodkind sets himself up for an infinite succession of volumes in "The Sword of Truth." With untold numbers of prophecies yet to be made and discovered, an equal number of potential dilemmas face Goodkind's hero and heroine. If the author can maintain a focus for the series, "The Sword of Truth" can maintain its place as one of the better fantasy series-in-progress.

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