Currently the latest in Terry Goodkind's Sword Of Truth fantasy series.

This short novel is set approximately forty years before the events of Wizard's First Rule. At this time, the Midlands is engaged in a brutal war with the D'Haran Empire, led by the dreaded sorcerer Panis Rahl, who uses vicious Underworld magic against the Midlands. The war has dragged on for years, and the Midlands Alliance is finally recovering from the point of near devastation. This recovery is due to the Midlands using magic in retaliation against Rahl. As the story begins, a large crowd of supplicants waits outside the Wizard's Keep in the city of Aydindril, which is the capital of the Midlands Alliance.

One person waiting in line is Abby, a young woman from Coney Crossing who has come to ask for the wizard's help in freeing her town from D'Haran forces. As Abby waits, she talks to an old woman named Mariska, who has been standing in front of her all morning in the line. After a long wait when they finally enter the keep, a noble and two bodyguards skip ahead of them in line. Abby tells a sorceress that she must speak to First Wizard Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander himself. The sorceress, Delora, takes Abby, Mariska, and the noble to Zedd's office. The noble goes in first, and a moment later his bodyguards drag his ragged corpse out of the office.

Being much shorter than Goodkind's other works, I did not enjoy this as much, though, the emphasis on one of my favourite characters, Zedd, was enjoyable.

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