Myshkin

Goodkind 54: How to Revive a Dead Dick

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4 hours ago, Myshkin said:

1) Generally speaking, nipples are awesome enough not to need magic. Bannon is entranced by Audrey's boobs because boobs are fucking great. No magic required.

 

The boobs are the magic. There's a song I think...

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1 hour ago, Maester Llama said:

Oh my god, that's disgusting. I mean, the tree thing is the crown jewel of nope, for sure, but everything in this section is crazy misogynist. We've always known Goodkind is gross about this stuff, but as you say this is a new low. The whole recap has been mad funny, and I thank and salute you; you are doing noble work. But I am legitimately concerned both for and about this man now. Is this person well?

Vicky is one of the grossest stereotypes we've ever encountered in Terryland. She's been driven crazy by her inability to have babies. As a woman, pushing new life out of her vagina is her raison d'etre, and so her infertility has naturally broken her fragile lady-mind. That is the totality of her character development. Nicci on the other hand has chosen not to have babies, but we are made aware that she is fully capable of reproducing should she so choose, and is therefore a complete woman.

Edited by Myshkin

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Chapters 59-61

Several times in this thread I have boasted that I am better than my predecessors; stronger of will, truer of heart. While this is undeniably true, I feel now that perhaps I have undervalued these brave souls. I understand fully now the pain and horror they experienced, and which ultimately killed them. I feel a deep and abiding kinship with them, and as I endeavor forward with my mission, I do so to honor the sacrifices they made.

Okay, so not only does Nicci have a new Warder in Mrra, turns out she's also a warg. She dreams of hunting as the magic cougar, and even catches a glimpse of Vicky and the acolyte babes as they prepare for their ill-fated spell, though she doesn't really register it. She also remembers some stuff about Mrra's tragic upbringing. The cougar and her sister cougars were captured as cubs by a wizard and brought to some great city called Ildakar (which is almost an anagram of Kol Adair. Coincidence?), where the wizard branded them with magic and made them fight in gladiator matches. They were the best killing machines the city had ever seen, which makes it weird that they got their asses handed to them by a 10 year old girl, a bumbling asshole, and a sorceress whose magic wouldn't work on them. Anyway, they eventually killed their handlers and escaped the city. Then some time later they ran into the above mentioned trio and two of them died. And that's the story of Mrra up to this point.

Nate's found some maps, and so our group is ready to leave Cliffwall. I guess it doesn't matter that those maps will be thousands of years out of date. Bannon though doesn't want to leave without saying goodbye to his three true loves. Oh Bannon, sorry bud. Just then Mia comes running up and tells everyone that some weird shit's happening in the valley.

Cut back to Vicky, who is surprisingly still alive. More than alive really; the plant rape she suffered has connected her to the magic forest she created. She seems to be half tree, half woman, and is now the conduit for all that life force she unleashed. And she will no longer be satisfied with reclaiming the valley; she will expand this forest to cover the entire world. She is the bizarro Lifedrinker. She chides herself for misunderstanding the forest's intent, for struggling against it as it raped her. This is so fucking ridiculous.

Vicky decides she will need lieutenants to help her fulfill her new calling, and so resurrects Audrey, Laurel, and Sage. These chicks aren't really the same chicks they were before, but rather manifestations of Vicky's magic. Also, their hair is described as looking like Spanish moss. As there is no Spain in Terryland, it's a mystery as to why this particular plant would still be called Spanish moss. Vicky tells her new lieutenants to kill all humans.

Back at Cliffwall everyone agrees they gotta go out and see this crazy new forest for themselves. Simon and our four heroes lead an expedition into the former Scar. Nicci's the only one who thinks this might be bad news.

In the forest the expedition comes across the new and improved Audrey, Laurel, and Sage. The three forest nymphs are naked, and exude seductive pheromones. Every dude in the expedition gets the biggest boner of his life. Bannon's ready to bone down right then and there, but Simon shoves him out of the way. He wants greens on these babes. They rip him limb from limb in front of everybody.

Everyone's all like, “Holy shit! WTF?” Then giant tree-woman Vicky emerges from the forest depths, enormous pendulous boobs swaying. She looks at Nicci and proclaims herself Life's Mistress. It's a pretty sick burn.

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Jesus Christ monkeyballs pogo stick what the fuck.

Also WIllow is an awesome movie, you should all watch Willow.

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Chapters 62-66

In Nicci's inner monologue we are told she never retreats under any circumstances. Directly after we are told this, Nicci retreats. Everyone scurries back to Cliffwall to regroup. Bannon's super bummed about what's happened to his babes.

Back at Cliffwall Nicci interrogates the remaining memmers. They don't really want to rat out Vicky, but Nicci teaches them the Wizard's Second Rule, the one about how good intentions can still lead to bad shit. Thus enlightened, the memmers tell her the spell Vicky used. But it's in some old-timey jibber-jabber that Nicci don't understand. Nate can read it though, so he gets to work on figuring out what to do.

Bannon's decided that he's gotta save his three bottom bitches, because he loves them. This kid is such a fucking sap. If I'd known he was gonna get all mushy I wouldn't have been rooting for him to get laid in the first place. Anyway, he's going to go scout the forest on his own.

Meanwhile, Vicky knows she's gotta take out Nate and Nicci fast, so she creates something called a shaksis, and sends it out to murder our heroes. A shaksis is basically a golem made out of bugs and forest stuff, but is still nowhere near as cool as a Skeksis.

Bannon makes it to the forest around midnight, and as soon as he gets to the edge of it the three former acolytes appear. All three have dark green nipples now. Terry is very preoccupied with nipple color. Bannon succumbs to their siren call, but right before he steps into the forest Mrra the cougar appears and knocks him down. This really pisses the forest chicks off. They try to grab Bannon with their thorny claws, but he hacks the shit out of them with his lackluster sword. He's crying like a total wuss the whole time. But the babes don't die, they just keep regrowing new limbs and stuff, and finally Bannon runs away.

Back at Cliffwall Nate thinks he's found an answer. Or maybe a clue as to where to find an answer. They gotta go back into that magic damaged tower where they found the acorn. They decide they'll get a good night sleep first, then venture forth in the morning.

Nicci is awoken by shouts. She wakes up instantly ready to fight, because she's a badass, and rushes out into the hallway, where she's joined by Thistle and Nate Dog. There they find the shaksis, who is fucking shit up. Nicci doesn't dare bring the full force of her power to bear for fear of destroying the books. This is the problem with writing Mary Sue characters; you always have to find some excuse for why your perfect in every way protagonist is unable to easily handle the situation.

The shaksis makes the mistake of grabbing Thistle, thus igniting Nicci's righteous rage. Nicci blasts it with some fire and it dies. Just like that. Terry made this thing out to be some kind of super magic assassin, but all it took to kill the thing was a little fire. Fire is like the go-to move for every magic user ever.

In the morning Nicci, Nate, and Nate's lady friend (or is she his special lady?) Mia head into the damaged tower to find a book that'll help them beat the new and improved Vicky/Life's Mistress. This is the second time Terry's made a big deal about going into this particular damaged tower, and the second time that it's turned out to be NBD. They just stroll in, grab the book, and stroll back out.

The book tells them that the only way to kill Life's Mistress is for a powerful sorceress (that would be Nicci) to pierce her with an arrow shot from a bow made out of a dragon rib. They don't gots a dragon rib currently, but I bet they'll find one.

Everybody gathers round to discuss how impossible it's gonna be to even find a dragon, let alone kill it and harvest a rib. Thistle pipes up to say that they don't need to find a dragon, they just need to find a rib from one. Nate Dog, like a fucking idiot, tells her that as dragon ribs come from dragons they do indeed need to find and kill a dragon. Thistle, a 10 year old child, calmly explains to the gathered morons that in fact they only really need to find a dragon skeleton. Everybody is astounded by how intelligent she is for thinking of this blindingly obvious fact. Also, guess what? Thistle's heard of this place up north were dragons go to die. It's called Kuloth Vale.

I have a bad feeling here. My kindle says we're 85% of the way through this book, and we still have to go on a journey to find a dragon rib, come back and kill Vicky, resume the journey to Kol Adair, and finally find Kol Adair and do whatever the fuck needs doing there. Either this is gonna be one hell of a rushed ending, or we're looking at a cliffhanger.

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Chapters 67-72

Our group begins their long walk to Kuloth Vale. Nate points out that it'll take them “many days” to reach the dragon graveyard. Did all the horses in Terryland die or something? Was that in one of the previous books? Our heroes have traveled great distances in this book, and besides a short stint on a ship, they've done it all on foot.

On day two of the trek Nate tells another story about Emperor Kurgan and General Utros. This one's about the time Utros went off to conquer the famed city of Ildakar (it appears that Nate hasn't noticed the similarities in name between Ildakar and Kol Adair). Utros captured a silver dragon, which are the most badass type of dragon, to help him in the effort, but the dragon broke free, killed a bunch of dudes, and burned Utros' face up a bit. Never one to be deterred, Utros says fuck you Joboo, I do it myself, and continues his march toward the city. But when he gets to Ildakar he finds that the whole city has vanished. Nate can't fathom how Ildakar might have vanished, even though he knows how at least two other places, the Temple of the Winds and Cliffwall, did exactly the same thing.

Several days later our heroes arrive at Kuloth Vale. They find a dragon skeleton at the edge of the vale, but they decide to explore some more because Nicci wants to make sure she gets the coolest dragon rib. This turns out to be a poor decision. As they fuck around with the dragon bones an actual living, if somewhat elderly, dragon emerges from the center of the vale. He says his name is Brom and he's gotta kill them because that's his job. I forgot that dragons talk in Terry's world.

Brom don't brook no thieves looking to steal dragon bones. Nate tells the dragon that they're not thieves, which is entirely untrue in this context. Brom's not buying it, and letting out his trademark battle cry of I AM SMAUG!, he attacks. But Brom's totally ancient, and our group starts kicking his ass, while also dickishly teasing him about his age. Nicci decides enough is enough and so sets the dragon's heart on fire. Big fucking mistake. The fire rejuvenates Brom, returning him to the former glory of his distant youth. This boss fight just got real.

Now everyone is pretty fucking sorry about teasing Brom (remember in Point Break when Pappas punched John C. McGinley in face after telling him to respect his elders? Seriously one of the best movies every made. Can't believe they went ahead with that shitty remake. #notmyjohnnyutah). Brom starts wrecking shit, but Thistle's got an idea; she's gonna talk to the dragon. She fills him in on the story up to this point, and he decides okay I guess you can have a rib. They spend the rest of the day looking for the perfect rib.

Back at Cliffwall the forest has spread almost all the way to their doorstep. When our group returns Nicci sets about fashioning her new dragon rib into a bow. Mia though has found out some more stuff while they've been gone, and she tells Nate that they need a special arrow as well. Mia and Nate start the long, boring process of looking for the spell needed to craft the special arrow.

Nicci is super stoked on her new bow; she calls is a work of death. She can't wait to kill the shit out of Vicky with it. Nate comes in and spoils her fun. He tells her that the arrow she's gotta use must be tipped with the heart's blood of someone she loves. Nicci immediately plunges an arrow into Thistle's heart. Ha, just kidding, even Terry wouldn't go that far. But that leaves us with a problem; who's gonna die for this arrow? Does Nicci even love anyone? Besides ol' Dicky Rahl, that is.

Before they can figure out an answer to the problem, Vicky's forest attacks Cliffwall. All sorts of vines and shit creep into the archive building. One of them kicks Bannon's ass, and another one totally kills Nate's special lady Mia. Nicci then seals off that portion of the archive, thereby buying them some time.

After the attack Bannon steps up and tells Nicci she can have his heart's blood. Nicci's all like, “Lolz, I don't love you, stop being such a stupid dick.”

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I want a copy of this so next time someone complains about a fantasy setting being too obviously based on a d&d campaign/game I can hit them with this. Jesus. If I didn't know better I'd wear some girl and her ex and her new boyfriend were playing a d&d game with ayn rand as the DM and they took a break 2/3 in to watch legend of the overfiend.

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Oooohhh...wait, I get it, this entire book is the novelization of the un-made third season of Legend of the Seeker.  All twenty something episodes. Tairy just tweeked the characters a little.  C'mon, you all see this is straight up bad television in word form, right?

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The D&D and episodic television descriptions seem very apt. There's no plot throughline. It's just go here, go there, get-the-magic-thing. I know it's a failure of empathy and that people enjoy all kinds of shit -- I love some trash too, but I now really struggle with how people can read Goodkind for enjoyment, rather than for reasons of parody. Like ... how!? This is soooooo bad.

 

There's this one time in Confessor, the last Goodkind book I read for reasons of self-hatred or something, where Terry straight-up skips the final fight with the crazy-ass beast that has been chasing Dick around for three full novels; like Dick goes to fight the creature, and in the next chapter he comes back and it's dead. It's like Terry just didn't write two full chapters of climactic fight because he wanted to get to the end and the book was due. Never underestimate our man's ability to rush an ending. Sounds like he's taking a more symmetrical approach to rushing in Death's Mistress, where we get the whole ending, just stupid fast.

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Chapters 72-76

Nicci gets real mopey. She sits around all day lamenting the fact that she now knows how to kill Vicky, but the knowledge is useless. This is repeated for like 10 pages.

Hey, remember that super poisonous flower Bannon gave Nicci earlier in the book? And remember how I told you that even Terry wouldn't go so far as to kill Thistle? Well, I was wrong. Thistle eats the flower. Nothing can save her now, so Nicci plunges an arrow into her heart. For real this time. Did Nicci love Thistle? Guess we'll find out soon enough.

Nicci's real pissed off now. She grabs her dragon bow and heads out to straight murder a bitch. Bannon and Nate meet her near the exit, but she tells them to scram, she'll do this shit on her own. During this brief conversation Nate uses Nicci's name for the first time in the whole book. It's a total throwaway line, and not even addressed to Nicci herself, but it's jarring to me.

Nicci marches into the magical forest, kicking all sorts of plant ass along the way. The three forest babes come out to play and Nicci murders the fuck out of them without even breaking a sweat. She tries out a cool new catchphrase after killing the bitches - “Death is stronger than life”. I don't think it's a keeper; it's too on the nose.

Eventually Nicci finds her way to the center of the forest, which is at the same place the Lifedrinker died. The journey to this spot used to take two days, but now Nicci completes it in a matter of hours, or possibly minutes. The text ain't real clear on it.

Vicky is no longer ambulatory; more tree than woman at this point, her legs are planted into the ground. But she's still a powerful motherfucker. And, we are told, she still has boobs. Wooden boobs, but boobs nonetheless. No word though on what color her wooden nipples might be. Vicky's pretty cocky at first, but Nicci explains how totally fucked she is, then shoots her with the Thistle-blood arrow. Vicky milks her death scene in the same way the Lifedrinker did. I was really expecting another cool catchphrase from Nicci here, but she fails to deliver.

With Vicky's death the unnatural rape-forest she unleashed also dies. Nicci has now double fulfilled her part of Red's prophecy.

After she gets back to Cliffwall she and Nate rip all the scholars and memmers a new asshole for fucking around with magic. They extract a promise from them to send an emissary to Big Dick, who will undoubtedly send someone to take control of this place.

Here's something that's bothering me; during our stay at Cliffwall Terry spent a considerable amount of time hinting that Vicky and her babes were up to something sinister. And I'm not talking about the whole rape-forest plot line either. Way before the rape-forest ever came into play the acolyte babes, under Vicky's direction, had some nefarious plan in motion, centered around seducing Bannon and Nate. Terry even went so far as to mention a succubus killing spell. That never came to anything. At all. Either Terry forgot about that plot thread, or he just unintentionally made these chicks shady as fuck.

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Chapters 77-79

Hey, did the leather chick Cara die in a previous book? Nicci's currently remembering friends she's lost, and Cara's name came up on the list.

Our original trio, plus Mrra, are back on the road to Kol Adair. Everyone's understandably bummed out. There's a picturesque moment when they climb into the foothills on the far side of the valley and everyone looks back to get a view of the place where so much shit went down.

They climb up into the mountains and Mrra eats some marmots. As if prompted by Jaxom's earlier question, Bannon asks Nicci and Nate if they'll maybe someday bring him to D'Hara to meet King Dick. Both give noncommittal answers. I get it, I'd probably be embarrassed to bring Bannon home to daddy too.

Finally they crest a mountain pass and catch their first glimpse of Kol Adair. Turns out Kol Adair is a pristine mountain valley. How they all immediately know that this place is Kol Adair is a mystery to me. But it totally is. Chiseled into some nearby rocks is a message for Nate Dog; Wizard, behold what you need to make yourself whole again. What exactly that means is unclear, as is the identity of who left the message.

Nate tries to convince himself that maybe the beautiful view is what's supposed to restore his magic. C'mon bro, don't be dense. He reaches for saidin, but it's a no go. Fucking bummer. He tries not to cry in front of everyone. Bannon don't give up though. He finds some more words carved into a different rock. This message is for Nicci; Sorceress, save the world. Nicci says that ain't no rock gonna tell her what to do. Besides, she's already saved the world twice. That was the whole point of those hundreds of pages spent at Cliffwall.

Just when our travelers think all is lost the sun shines down at just the right angle and reveals... I guess a magical vision. The text is super unclear about it. Anyway, our heroes see a vision of a great city somewhere on the plains beyond the mountain. It's huge, bigger than any city any of them have every seen, and Nate and Nicci have seen all kinds of bigass cities.

The city disappears again. Despite having earlier told a story about the vanished city of Ildakar, Nate still has yet to put two and two together. I wonder if Terry thinks he's being being subtle with his hints. Our group heads off toward where they saw the city, and soon find a trail marked with the severed heads of four Japanese slavers (remember them?). I'd love to tell you what happens next, but this is where the book ends. I am both relieved and disappointed. I thought about somehow making the ending of this recap a bit more dramatic, but then decided that if a dull and anticlimactic ending was good enough for Terry, then it's good enough for me.

Edited by Myshkin

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Just now, Darth Richard II said:

Isn't Cara the BDSM chick who died in book 1 and OMG WHY DO I KNOW THAT

No, Denna is the BDSM chick who died in book 1; Cara is the BDSM chick who Terry chose to replace Denna. 

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Some final thoughts:

Terry's skills as a writer, never great, or even good, to begin with, seem to have devolved considerably. There is zero character development in this story, and the narrative itself is just a series of confrontations strung together, interspersed with long, repetitive periods of laughably shallow introspection. The dialogue is atrocious, and no one has a distinct voice. It's like the characters don't even know each other, and have therefore decided to speak to one another in the most formal and archaic manner possible. Despite not actually being in this book, Big Dick's shadow looms large over the story. Nicci makes it clear at least a million times that she super loves Dick, and everything she does is in furtherance of his will. It's obvious that Terry thought he was writing a strong, independent woman in Nicci, but since he's still Terry Goodkind he utterly failed at it. Pleasing Dick is Nicci's only motivation. It's actually kind of sad to watch Terry fall into this trap of his own making. The other major character, Nate Dog, is just Zedd dressed up in fancier clothes. After finishing the book I indulged my curiosity by reading some reviews of it. Unsurprisingly the majority of reviews, even the bad ones, were from established Goodkind fans. A common theme I found repeated in the bad reviews was that the writing was so poor that it was hard to believe that Goodkind himself wrote the book. I completely disagree with this assessment. While, as I said above, the writing is bad even for Terry, it is still recognizably Goodkind.

If you were wondering how many times Nicci would be almost-raped in this book, the answer is surprisingly only twice.

If you were wondering how many actual rapes would occur in this book, the answer is just one, but it's a fucking doozy.

If you were wondering how many times Terry would describe the color of someone's nipples in this book, the answer is four.

If you were wondering how many victims would be blamed for their situation in this book, the answer every single one of them.

If you were wondering how many words I would waste on recapping this book for you, the answer is more than 13,000. Take a moment to think about that. I think you'll find that I deserve a Nobel Prize.

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39 minutes ago, Myshkin said:

No, Denna is the BDSM chick who died in book 1; Cara is the BDSM chick who Terry chose to replace Denna. 

Oh God i'm starting to remember.

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