"How much of this blood is his?" "Most of it, I'm afraid," a second woman said as they both rushed along beside him.
As Richard fought to focus his mind on his need to remain conscious, the breathless voices sounded to him as if they were coming from some great, dim distance. He wasn't sure who they were. He knew that he knew them, but right then it just didn't seem to matter.
The crushing pain in the left side of his chest and his need for air had him at the ragged edge of panic. It was all he could do to try to pull each crucial breath.
Even so, he had a bigger worry.
Richard struggled to put voice to his burning concern, but he couldn't form the words, couldn't get out any more than a gasping moan. He clutched the arm of the woman beside him, desperate to get them to stop, to get them to listen. She misunderstood and instead urged the men carrying him to hurry, even though they already panted with the effort of bearing him over the rocky ground in the deep shade among the towering pines. They tried to be as gentle as possible, but they never dared to slow.
Not far off, a rooster crowed in the still air, as if this were an ordinary morning like any other.
Richard observed the storm of activity swirling around him with an odd sense of detachment. Only the pain seemed real. He remembered hearing it once said that when you died, no matter how many people were with you, you died alone. That's how he felt now - alone.
©2005 Terry Goodkind (P)2004 Brilliance Audio
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Critic reviews

"Bond's somewhat understated style and relaxed, steady pace keep the story moving and help listeners sustain interest from start to finish. The characters' secrets and political maneuverings are in good hands with Bond." ( AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By debs on 17-01-18

Back on track

Found the last book tiresome but this one reignited my love for the series, hard to stop listening.

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3 out of 5 stars
By Sam Edwards on 07-01-18

Jim bond could make Harry potter sound unexciting

is Jim Bond in the clergy? everything turns into a monotone trudge! apparently women only sound like long suffering scolds who preach and simper and have no backbone whatsoever. which, with the strong female characters in this series, is a real challenge! he managed it however. I love these books but they are almost impossible to listen to with him reading it.

the story is a bit of repeat though. Richard notices something, instinctively something is amiss, no one believes him, everyone nags that he's wrong, magic doesn't work that way, he's wrong and by the end of the book they remember who he is and realise they're wrong and should have known better! There. I've saved you paying for it.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Karanja on 10-06-08

Much improved from the Naked Empire

Terry Goodkind spends less time preaching his Ayn Rand derived ideas and more time telling the story. However, there are still significant flaws. While the preaching is much reduced there it still too much of it and it is poorly integrated in to the story. He fails to allow the story to make his points and resorts to having Richard simply "preach" his points. Further detracting from the book is Mr. Goodkind's appalling lack of skill when it comes to writing conversations. It is partly this and partly due to Jim Bond's presentation. The result is that almost every conversation sounds like the village idiot lecturing a slow child. I suspect that most (not all) of the fault is Jim Bond's as Phantom read by Sam Tsoutsouvas is much more palatable. If you like the Sword of Truth series, definitely listen to this book. If you used to like this series and gave up in frustration after the debacle of the Naked Empire (and a few of the books before it), this recording though heavily flawed, is worth hearing to advance the story.

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37 of 43 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 17-06-08

Deja vu all over again.

The speeches are long and redundant. The villains the same. Evil's tool is still the same: to threaten one member of the lovely hero couple while the other suffers. And, of course, the most powerful wizard in three thousand years is still impotent. The only time he can do anything is when the story needs him to or it will end. What's more, it's never intentional. This smacks more of divine intervention than the magic every other wizard in the story possesses. Finally, and most annoying, the story now becomes almost identical to the first book.

Poor Richard - he doesn't know magic, and he can't lay with his wife. He's tortured, poisoned, or driven to madness in every book, and Goodkind makes him give the same speech several dozen times in each book. I'm beginning to think that Goodkind thinks I'm stupid.

Don't get me wrong, I embrace his ideals, but his writing treats them inconsistently. After all, if everyone has the capacity for individual excellence, then surely Goodkind can give his readers the benefit of the doubt that they will not forget his mantra after it has been delivered several dozen times. Surely those of us that have made it to book ten get the point.

This had the potential to be a fantastic and philosophically educational epic. Unfortunately, too many sermons and too little action has destroyed it. Nevertheless, I have to see how the lovely couple suffers through their next two ordeals. Who knows? Perhaps Richard will learn how to light a candle.

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26 of 32 people found this review helpful

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