Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summary of Sword of Truths Politcal Arguments

Here is just a brief summary of the political arguments made in the series.

Book One Wizard's First Rule: Mostly apolitical except when explaining the governments of the countries in this fantasy land. Confederation vs republic vs totalitarian monarchy. Guess which one is evil. Come on guess. Hint the names of the last two rulers of the monarchy were Painis and Darken.

Book Two Stone of Tear: Again mostly apolitical, except some general braveheartish speeches about freedom and what not.

Book Three Blood of the Fold: This where things start getting a little political, but nobodies drunken crazy-aid just yet. The protagonist has to convince the confederation, who almost all hate him and each other, to unite and go to war. This leads to a speech about how you can't ignore the world's problems and hid from war. In other words why if you're a hippie peacnik you're part of the problem. Too be fair this is one of the most balanced political arguments in the series and still makes a lot of since within the context of the story and doesn't make me want to punch Goodkind in the face. And it was written way back in '96 well before the second invasion of Iraq.

Book Four Temple of Winds: Honestly, I only remember the first 50 and last 50 pages of this book, because well those are the only parts really interesting. The first 50 are funny and the last 50 are uhgg sad then happy then gushy and then slightly related to the plot of the next book.

Book Five Soul of Fire: Okay now this is where he starts making ridiculous political arguments, but hey at least at this point the books aren't yet about forcing his political rhetoric down the audience's throat, needlessly adding hundreds of pages for no reason...yet. Sure the argument is only loosely plot relevant, but he keeps it to less than a tenth of the book. So originally I didn't even notice. That is until later when I wanted to chart the crazy.

It helps that this is one of the more forgettable ones that I only read for the comedy of, Sorry hunny she's not my wife... yeah I am, no you're not... okay maybe in weird culturally I can't believe that constitutes marriage kind of way you are but I didn't say I do.

Anyway. There is the author's rant on why we don't need affirmative action. Now I disagree with that argument but I can understand why some would feel the country has outgrown the need for it, but he makes the argument the most idiotic way, which basically comes down to.

All the peoples the United States and the other western powers have conquered or enslaved have benefited so it's square.

Yeah... I'm writing on that one.

To be fair he also states that most of those atrocities were committed generations ago and most folks alive don't have individual responsibility for them. That I agree with, but it all depends on how you look at the purpose of affirmative action and the disparity of wealth and power between WASP males, women and minorities.

In other words I think he misunderstood(or didn't care about... down cynical and bitter me down) the opposition's argument and then stuffed a bunch of crazy straw men in the book.

By the way he's gonna repeat that from this book on, again, and again, and again, to the point where its almost... well not almost, insulting. This is a good point to explain what a strawman is.

In logical debate a strawman argument is a rebuttal to another argument that distorts or exaggerates the original argument and then rebuts this distortion.


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Book Six Faith of the Fallen: This is my favorite in the series. And its also the one I reread the most. BUUUUUT. Yeah, remember that straw man thing I said earlier. I'm conflicted. The straw man political diatribes, characters, and society further the plot and show clear character motivations. On the other hand (copy and pasted from the above on Soul of Fire your going to hear a lot of this).

I think he misunderstood, or didn't care about the opposition's argument and then stuffed a bunch of crazy strawmen in the book. Except this time its not quarantined to a few peaces of throwaway dialog and one or two minor expendable characters. The entire plot depends on these strawmen being these strawmen. And well. It makes for great drama.

The entire book is a treatise on why socialism and government regulation of well anything are bad.

As you can guess. I'm writing on that.

Book Seven: Pillars of Creation Honestly this book is so different from the others I skimmed it. It's not bad. Goodkind just decided to take a break from the primary characters and follow someone else this time around. The main characters get cameos though.

Book Eight: Naked Empire

To whatever end. Where is Hero. Where is the quest. Where is the horn blowing in the wind. They are all gone. Like grass on the meadow.

Must have faith in my favorite author. He's not crazy. He's not crazy. He won't ruin the series forever.

This book serves no other purpose than as a setting for his strawman political argument to why we need the death penalty. There is no plot. It exists solely so the heroes can go,"This is why you kill criminals". And for hundreds of pages condemn anybody who doesn't support their view.

After that, for the next three there aren't anymore new political arguments, just self-righteous condemnations of anybody who disagrees with the old ones. To be fair they're at least better than 8 and have a plot. Well that and death soccer.

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