Death’s Mistress: Sister of Darkness: The Nicci Chronicles by Terry Goodkind

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I’m not going to lie. I was scared to pick this up after Nest. However, I haven’t missed a Goodkind book yet and I wanted to give it a chance, if to prove myself wrong.

While reading Nest, I questioned whether I was remembering the incredible writing in Sword of Truth correctly, or if it’s always been the plain and expository style and I just didn’t see it behind the veil of my youth. It genuinely scared me.

So when I picked up Death’s Mistress, I began to read with a certain tightness in my chest. Did the illusion break after Nest? Will I find it dull and boring?

The first page answered with a loud, resounding no.

From just the first page, all my fears had vanished and I was immersed into a world of magic and fantasy. I walked along Nicci and Nathan on the skull graveyard, going to see Red the witch. I breathed the air and listened to the crows. God I love that world. I grew up in it. I lived in it. For some people, it’s The Lord of the Rings. For others it’s A Song of Ice and Fire. But for me, it is and has always been the Sword of Truth.

This book was dark and gritty at times but a far cry from the latest Richard and Kahlan series. It wasn’t all suffering and torture and death. It was a true epic adventure, told like episodes in a TV show, with familiar charismatic and likable characters. There were battles and magic and prophesy. And yes, there was death, but after the first few jabs in my chest I learned not to get too attached to anyone, and for good reason. There was no romance, and the book is better for it.

Let me confess something: I used to be a skimmer. I would skim pages upon pages of description because I wanted to get to the ‘good parts’ aka dialogue. My brain was already giving me all the imagery I needed.

But this book? All of it were the good parts. I read, in awe, the descriptions that Goodkind had written, guessing words I’d never heard of through context because if I looked them all up I would never have finished the book. And yet they flowed seamlessly, transporting me from my living room into the book. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer that I appreciated it all, but I could not stop being amazed. If you’re writing an epic fantasy and you need help with how to describe pretty much anything, this is the book to reference. Wow. Just wow.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, and I will definitely be picking up the next volume. I still wish we got a second Confessor book but I’ll take this too. There’s always a chance he’ll write it in the future.

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