Terry Goodkind Speaks
I'm frequently asked how many books there will be in the Sword of Truth series. the answer requires a bit of explanation. Each of theses books is, for me, am emotional journey. Temple of the Winds puts the characters to the test in a desperate struggle to stop a rampaging plague. I researched the great plagues of the Middle Ages to help me bring the readers the aura not only of the firestorm of the black death, but a sense of what life was like amidst the chaos.
I want people who haven't read the series to be riveted by Temple of the Winds without feeling lost. At the same time I strive to bring to those who have been following the series the intense excitement, passion, and satisfaction I hope they have come to expect.
My goal is for each book to captivate in its own right as a complete story and at the same time be a part of the larger picture of the series.
I delight in telling people's stories. The people I write about bring their world with them.; I don't build a world and then fill it with characters. To some that may seem a trivial difference, but to me it's one of the tenets of the way I approach telling these stories.
I love writing about Richard, Kahlan, Zedd, and the other characters we've met. Richard's heart is in the woods. I, too, cherish walking the woods and listening to the whispers, learning of ordeals and adventures yet to be faced.
Another part of the fun for me is bringing in new characters. They often arrive with enthralling stories that i hadn't expected. I love writing these sometimes surprising, sometimes dark excursions.
Characters who come into the story are people we all either know or are glad we don't - and that's why they interest me so much. Some are forced to face problems we can all understand: problems of survival in a world rife with those who would take everything from them, with those who would take their very lives. They could be people who turn down the wrong street. some are the ones waiting down that too - quiet street.
I endeavor to relate all these stories to our own world and to universal emotions so we can better understand the characters.
What if, for example, you are called upon to pick up a sword and kill a man. No way. What if you knew that the man would murder your family if you didn't kill him right now? Then what? No time to think or call for help. Could you really do it, then? How? What is he going to do to stop you? What will you do?
It might seem I'm writing something outside the realm of our experience, but in fact I'm trying to illustrate those things that we all share. In Richard, for example, I'm not interested in telling a story about an all-conquering hero; I'm writing about someone who I admire, someone who has qualities I look up to - qualities of honor, integrity, and honesty - but who at the same time makes mistakes just like the rest of us. Richard, like all of us, has to overcome his enemies.
He has to pick up the sword for the rest of us.
In the end, this is a journey. I want to take you with me and show you the sights - be your guide, as it were. If I were to put a set number on the books to the series, I would have to ignore many points of interest, many bewitching tales. I hope to keep you interested in the adventures of Richard and Kahlan - and those number of my favorite characters - for a long time to come. I know what the last book in the series will be about, but there are a myriad of exploits yet to unfold along the way. By making each book a story in itself - with its own ending - rather than simply an incomplete slice of the whole, I give myself the latitude to explore all sorts of intriguing tales as the present themselves.
And so I haven't put a fixed number to the books in the Sword of Truth series. If I did, I'd be cheating myself, and I be cheating you, the reader.
Knowledge is the destination, truth is the journey.
I hope you enjoy the journey. It will be dangerous.
- Terry Goodkind