Goodkind was an American writer who mainly wrote epic fantasy novels. One of the most popular and best Terry Goodkind book series of all time is his The Sword of Truth series. You’ll get to know plenty about the author and his life throughout all of the books he had to offer. Unfortunately, he died recently in 2020. No cause of death was ever released to the public, so it’s not known how Terry died.
During his life, he managed to sell millions of copies of his books. Goodkind’s Sword of the Truth novels alone sold more than 25 million copies worldwide. They were translated into over 20 languages, making them some of his best works of all time. His first book ever, Wizard’s First Rule, was bought for an attractive price of $275.000. Let’s now check out what the best Terry Goodkind books are and why every fantasy fan shouldn’t hesitate to read them.
Best Terry Goodkind Books
The Sword of the Truth series is massively responsible for providing most of the fortune and fame that this author ever had. There is so much going on inside the 15 original books of the series that it would probably take more than one Terry Goodkind book review to describe everything.
We will make sure not to spoil any huge events that might ruin your experience here. As the series begins, you will discover that magic plays a huge part in the world that our main characters live in. Speaking of main characters, there will be many that the story follows, but a few of the first ones you get to meet are Richard Cypher, Kahlan Amnell, and Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander.
Before It All Began
The first novel and possibly Goodkind’s best book of this epic fantasy series is called Wizard’s First Rule. That’s where the original story begins, that’s where you meet a few of the main characters and that’s where you find out what kind of world they live in. However, part of the reasons the books inside this series are a few of Terry Goodkind’s books ranked as the best-selling is the two prequels, which came out in 1998 and 2012.
The First Confessor is possibly the best Terry Goodkind book to start with. It was released in 2012 and tells a story happening 3000 years before everything begins in Wizard’s First Rule. In this book, you will meet Magda Searus, the heroine without whom our heroes 3000 years later wouldn’t have their powers, and the exciting story that follows wouldn’t be possible.
Debt of Bones
This book is marked as 0.5 according to the order of Terry Goodkind’s novels within his Sword of Truth series. It’s a wonderful book to read if you’re a perfectionist and want to know everything that takes place inside the mysterious and magical world of the series. Debt of Bones follows a character known as Abby and introduces you to Zedd Zorander, one of the original books’ main characters.
The main plot revolves around these characters as they work together to save the world from an ancient evil. At the same time, they must save an important child’s life while ensuring they survive the horrors that are about to follow. So begins the journey inside the Sword of Truth novels and thrusts you into a magically exciting fantasy journey that you won’t stop thinking about until it’s all over – and that could take some time.
Wizard’s First Rule is both this author’s first book ever and also the first novel of The Sword of the Truth series by Terry Goodkind. It’s advised that you read Goodkind’s Sword of Truth novels in order if you want everything to make sense. So, start with the two prequels and move your way up to the adventures that Wizard’s First Rule has in store for you.
This is the book in which you’re about to meet one of the most unforgettable characters in the entire series. Along with him will be others who add to the list of thrills the series has to offer, making The Sword of Truth series an unforgettable one.
Searching for the Truth
It all begins with Richard Cypher, a name that you won’t forget easily. Richard is a young and somewhat naive fellow who is merely looking to uncover the truth behind his father’s death. Richard’s father was brutally murdered, so you can understand his obsession with searching for the truth behind it all.
During his search, Richard comes across a character known as Kahlan Amnell. Kahlan is one of the good guys, or girls, as well. She is on a quest of her own that involves finding five wizards destined to save the world. She doesn’t know it at the time, but Richard happens to be one of the five wizards she is searching for. This is merely the opening to one of the best Terry Goodkind series you are ever going to read.
Stone of Tears is where reading the first two prequels from the series will start paying off. Richard’s world and life have already changed. After hearing everything Kahlan has to say, Richard learns that he must accompany her on her quest and become the Seeker of the Truth, which will start making more sense as you read further.
After meeting Zedd, one of the most powerful wizards since the old days, Richard also learns about Darken Rahl, the darkest and most powerful of the evil wizards in the entire world. Rahl was banished once in the past by several wizards, including Zedd. Now, his presence has become known once more, and so begins the epic journey that these characters will take you on, making every single book from the series the best Terry Goodkind book of all time.
The Sisters of the Light
At first, Rahl isn’t as strong as he had hoped to be. That’s why he starts sending his minions until he has what it takes to open the veil and summon the Keeper, an evil entity that would devour half the world before anyone can stop it. Before beginning their mission to stop the madness that Darken Rahl has planned, Richard must first face a test that will decide whether he has what it takes or die in the process.
The Sisters of the Light’s ministration process will be difficult, and Richard’s journey through the Sisters’ forbidden city will be one of the most exciting parts of Terry Goodkind’s series.
The third book within the series and in our Goodkind book reviews, Blood of the Fold, will take events to the next level. Richard has finally learned his true identity, which is that he is a War Wizard. It took him some time to accept this fate and his destiny, but once done, he embarks on the next part of his challenging journey.
He must claim his birthright and unite all of the free kingdoms. Doing so might offer the chance he needs to stop a horrible invasion that could result in losing everything he, and the others, have worked for. Out of all Terry Goodkind novels listed here, Blood of the Fold is one of the biggest plot movers yet.
Passion Rules Reason
On top of having mind-blowing plots and compelling characters, the Sword of Truth series is also full of thoughtful messages and insights about our own lives. Passion rules reason, for better or for worse is the wizard’s third rule. These rules are a huge part of the story, building up to something even more exciting. Be sure to keep reading these Terry Goodkind books in order, and everything will make sense sooner or later.
Our heroes haven’t stopped fighting for the greater good and to prevent the constant attacks coming from the deadly Imperial Order. Under the orders of their leader, Emperor Jagang, a deadly plague has been unleashed into the world, one that will wipe out every living thing if not dealt with on time.
The hero of Goodkind’s Richard and Kahlan books, Richard himself, must do whatever it takes to prevent the plague from spreading and to find a cure before time runs out. Even though Kahlan is by his side, Richard must locate and reach the legendary Temple of the Winds. As the Seeker of Truth, he alone must pass the Temple’s tests and find the cure everyone desperately awaits.
Walking Into the Unknown
There aren’t many stories about the Temple of the Wind. The ones that do exist may not be as truthful and as precise. Richard is walking in blindly and is about to face his most challenging test yet, adding to the list of things that make this another one of Terry Goodkind’s best books out there.
The Temple of the Winds is also known as a fortress of evil that hasn’t seen a living soul enter and come out alive for 3000 years. Even if Richard finds it and somehow gets in, no one can guarantee that he will ever return alive. Everyone puts their hopes in the Seeker of Truth’s skills, as his actions alone will decide this world’s fate.
In Soul of the Fire, possibly the best Goodkind novel and the fifth book in order from the series, there’s a beautiful event that is the cause of the horrors that are happening. Ever since the first novel from the Sword of Truth books by Goodkind, we have seen Richard become so much more than a simple woods guide. Now, he has managed to overcome everything he has faced and become known as Emperor of the D’Haran Empire, the Seeker of Truth, a War Wizard, and much more.
However, he now bears one more title, one that he cherishes more than all his others combined. Richard is now the husband of the lovely Kahlan Amnell. Their wedding will provide a turning point in the books, making Soul of the Fire one of the top Terry Goodkind books ever.
Richard and Kahlan’s wedding was beautiful. There’s no doubt about it. However, this event was also responsible for unlocking a deadly spell that was sealed a long time ago. Because of its ability and power to destroy anything it comes into contact with, the spell was almost forgotten.
Now, the best books by Terry Goodkind are about to become even better, as Richard and Kahlan travel to the Midlands on a quest to save the world once again. It shouldn’t be too difficult for such strong characters, right? Well, normally it wouldn’t, but this time, these two characters are stripped from their magic, and Richard has lost the Sword of Truth.
As the events towards the ultimate battle between good and evil progress, we get to watch Richard and his beloved Kahlan face yet another hard choice that would ultimately decide the fate of countless souls. In Faith of the Fallen, Kahlan’s condition isn’t looking good at all, as she is barely hanging between the line of life and death.
The New World is under constant threat from the armies, deadly plagues, and lethal spells coming from the cunning Imperial Order. They will stop at nothing to enslave all of humankind. This time, Richard’s homeland is about to be attacked by savage hordes who know no mercy. An epic battle is about to begin, one that would turn this book into another one of the best Terry Goodkind novels ever.
Let the Battle Begin
Faith of the Fallen’s plot holds one of the most exciting battles you will see in all of the best Terry Goodkind books out there. However, it’s not the all-time best, as the series has many more epic surprises waiting for you down the line. As the savage hordes are minutes away from attacking, Richard is about to make a decision that would decide whether the New World will fall forever or hold its ground.
The D’Haran armies and the Imperial Order army are about to engage in an epic battle, one that could go either way. Kahlan’s condition gets better as she is nursed back to health by Nicci. Nicci can’t count the years she spent in Imperial Order slavery, and now she has returned to get her sweet revenge.
The Pillars of Creation is the first book within our Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series list in which Richard Rahl is not the protagonist. He isn’t entirely out of the book’s story, but most of the main plot will focus on Jennsen Rahl, Richard’s half-sister. Jennsen’s life has never been an easy one, as her father, Darken Rahl, has marked her for death since the very day she was born.
She has been running for her entire life. She has evaded and barely survived assassins and countless soldiers that Lord Rahl has sent for her over the years. Now, a surprising encounter convinces Jennsen to stop running once and for all. Her new mission in life will be to end her father’s life if she is ever to find peace. So begins another adventure in the next best Terry Goodkind novel from our list.
Reuniting the Family
Aside from Jennsen, you get to meet one more member of the Rahl family. His name is Oba Rahl, and his story might prove to be more exciting. Oba has been promised invincibility and great power, which results in him killing his mother. The Pillars of Creation is about to turn into another one of the top Terry Goodkind books once these characters meet face to face, and the real fun finally begins.
We can’t deny that all of the novels inside this series have been a few of the best Terry Goodkind books of all time. Naked Empire is nothing less, as the story in this book will present our protagonist, Richard Rahl, with even more difficult decisions. That’s simply what the Seeker of Truth can expect as events become more complicated and life-threatening for everyone around him.
In Naked Empire, our hero has been poisoned and has been offered only one way out. In fact, if he agrees to the enemy’s conditions, not only will his life be saved, but he will be offered a chance to save countless other lives as well. So, what are these conditions that seem almost definitely worth it?
His Wife or the People
Richard is asked to do only one thing, deliver his wife Kahlan to the enemy as a slave. That’s far from being it, as there’s much more to this story. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be among the best-selling Terry Goodkind books around. There is another character who will make things much more enjoyable. His name is Owen, and he is the one who poisons Richard, thinking that it might force him to save his people. Owen’s people, the Bandakar, are threatened by the Order, and he knows that something must be done while there’s still time.
In Chainfire, you and Richard Rahl might be the only ones who have ever heard of a woman known as Kahlan. Someone recently raided Richard’s camp, and he was severely wounded. His friend, Nicci, was forced to use Subtractive Magic in order to save him. When Richard wakes up, he discovers that Kahlan is missing, and no one else but him has any idea of who this mysterious woman known as Kahlan is.
Richard can’t believe this is happening to him. He begins to question whether Kahlan is even still alive or if she ever even existed. The fact that no other living being has no idea of who she is starts troubling him greatly. However, the excitement making this one of the best-selling Terry Goodkind books is yet to arrive.
Where to Begin?
After a while of convincing the others of Kahlan’s existence, they begin their search for his wife, even though no one still remembers her ever being alive, or even his wife. It will take a lot of time and proof for everyone to believe Richard about Kahlan. If that wasn’t enough trouble for him, Richard discovers that a dangerous beast has risen, meant to do nothing but find and kill Richard.
The beast is another creation by the Sisters of the Dark. Goodkind’s Sword of Truth books are about to get even more epic, as one book won’t be enough to show everyone the truth about Kahlan or to find where she is.
The previous book, Chainfire, focused on Richard’s perspective ever since everyone around him forgot about his beloved Kahlan. Phantom heads over to Kahlan now, following her side of the story since she was separated from her beloved. We find out that even Kahlan doesn’t know who she is anymore since she went under the Chainfire spell’s effects.
As the story progresses further, we also find out that the Chainfire spell has also affected most of the world of magic. Something doesn’t appear to be as it should, and Richard is among the first to notice this. Phantom might be Terry Goodkind’s best book yet, as the following events will provide another game-changing revelation that no one would be able to resist reading about.
All That Was Needed
There is much that goes on during the entire plot of this book. We can’t spoil all of the thrilling events even if we wanted to. It would take us days to explain everything. However, there is one game-changing moment that was all Richard needed to regain his and Kahlan’s hope.
Richard finds himself in quite an unusual situation with the Imperial Order. While he is being taken to the camps, he catches a glimpse of his beloved and finally knocks her back to her senses. The rest of the events making this another one of the best books by Terry Goodkind are up to you to explore.
Confessor is a notable milestone within the Sword of Truth series by Goodkind. The epic battle with Richard and Kahlan versus the Imperial Order is finally about to come to an end. With this, the world as they know it will also be forever changed. The Confessor ends the epic Chainfire trilogy and begins new dawn into the entire Sword of Truth series, making it one of the most popular Terry Goodkind books that you can’t miss.
The story starts with Richard once again. He has been captured by the Imperial Order and, for some reason, isn’t killed. Kahlan, his beloved, is also a prisoner of Jagang, the leader of the Imperial Order. Kahlan is still without her memories, but she will find something better near this book’s ending. She will find love once again and regain her powers and knowledge as the Confessor.
The Boxes of Orden
The Boxes of Orden were a massive part of the main plot of the series. You get to hear about them a few times before but now is when they finally come into play. They are a set of three magical boxes that have a strong link to the magic of life. Each of the boxes has a different purpose and properties.
The entire story regarding this set of boxes is a complex one, and if you’ve been reading Goodkind’s Sword of Truth books in order, then you will know how important they are and what they’re capable of. All you need to know about this epic story is that huge changes are about to follow, a new world is about to be created, and another epic tale is about to begin.
At first, it will be hard to believe that The Law of Nines is a book from his Sword of Truth series. However, as the plot unwinds and the characters become more familiar, you will discover a vast resemblance and the reason for this book being another one of the best-rated Terry Goodkind books ever. So, what is it that makes this book so different from all the others within this series?
For starters, the main character, Alex Rahl, is 27 and lives in the midwestern United States. Alex is a struggling artist who is about to experience something that would change his life forever. Before the plot can make any kind of sense inside this book, you need to understand who Alex is and why Terry decided to switch things up a bit after he ended the Sword of Truth’s main plot with The Confessor.
The Last Surviving Descendant
After the epic ending and the glorious battle that we read about in The Confessor, the world did experience a massive change. However, a prophet saw that there would be a new character who would once again save the world from inevitable peril somewhere in a very distant future.
Alex is the last surviving descendant of Darken Rahl. Alex inherits a piece of land that makes him a rich man. However, soon after this event, he becomes a high-priority target, and his life is forever changed. He meets a woman known as Jax. She claims that she has come from the other world and that danger will follow. We will let you learn why this is one of the most popular Goodkind books out there as you read on.
If you read the previous Terry Goodkind novels in order, then you would know that The Confessor was one of the most important and best plot-twisting books inside the Sword of Truth series. Now, The Omen Machine begins a new journey that involves two of our favorite characters from before, Richard and Kahlan.
The story begins with Richard and Kahlan enjoying Cara’s marriage. Soon after, a boy named Henrik appears. Henrik is only there to warn Richard and Kahlan of the terrible things that will soon overcome their lives. After finishing what he has to say, the boy scratches Richard and Kahlan and immediately runs away.
The Hedge Maid
Henrik, the young boy, was on to something when he explained the dark predictions to our protagonists. It wasn’t clear what he was saying at first, but when Richard finds a strange machine underground, he thinks he may have realized what the predictions were all about. Out of all the best Terry Goodkind novels we’ve seen here, The Omen Machine is about to become the most exciting yet, as this is the beginning of another epic journey involving two of the best characters from the series.
While Richard is finding out all he can about the machine, Kahlan’s scratch wound makes her condition worse. She wakes up, finding herself surrounded by a pack of angry dogs. She is captured by a dark and mysterious sorceress known as Hedge Maid. This magic user is a force not to be messed with, as Richard and Kahlan will soon find out why.
The Third Kingdom is the second in order from Goodkind’s Richard and Kahlan novels. It’s also the thirteenth book from his Sword of Truth series. The story follows immediately after where things left off in The Omen Machine. Richard and Kahlan survived their encounter with the Hedge Maid, but not without a price. You will find out what it is later in the story.
Now, they’re stranded in a place known as the Dark Lands and are unfortunately captured once more. Their captors are cannibals but are fought off thanks to a group of villagers that was sent by the boy we met in the previous book, Henrik.
The People’s Palace
Thanks to the Dark Lands and everything that lurks there, Richard and Kahlan have been infected with the essence of death. They will discover that it’s going to take something they don’t have in order to heal them. The People’s Palace is a dangerous place, but it holds what they’re looking for, a containment field.
All seems impossible until they meet Samantha, a healer, and another amazing character. So begins another quest for survival, one that Richard will have to go on without his powers. Luckily, he still has his sword and Samantha by his side. What will happen when they meet their enemy and one of the deadliest antagonists in the series, Hannis Arc?
If you’re planning to read these Terry Goodkind books in reading order and not chronologically, then The First Confessor is the first book you should read from the entire Sword of Truth series. The story in this one takes place centuries before the first events occur in Wizard’s First Rule. The main character you will follow here is known as Magda Searus.
This is where everything begins, where the order of women known as the Confessors is born, and where the roots of the epic fantasy adventure within the entire series are set. It begins with Magda Searus, a woman who is grieving as a result of losing her husband. She still can’t deal with the fact that he committed suicide.
Searching for the Truth
If we know anything about the Confessors from the previous Goodkind novels mentioned above, it’s that they are an order of women who will do anything to find out the truth and make sure it is real. Magda isn’t convinced that her husband, the mighty First Wizard Baraccus, would have committed suicide for no apparent reason.
She is determined to know what is behind his decision and begins a quest that involves unraveling dark and threatening secrets while writing her destiny to become the first Confessor. This book might not be the first of Goodkind’s books in chronological order, but it’s the first one you need to read before starting the epic journey that is the Sword of Truth.
The Richard and Kahlan novels by Terry Goodkind continue with the third book from the series, Severed Souls. This is a story of epic battles, struggles for survival, and a massive tragedy that would touch many Sword of Truth fans’ hearts.
Severed Souls begins with a plan for an invasion of the heart of D’Hara. The main antagonist of this series, Bishop Hannis Arc, along with the evil Emperor Sulachan, is planning to lead a terrifying army of the undead and once again threaten the lives of our heroes and all of their followers.
Fighting On All Fronts
Even though a massive army of Shun-Tuk and many more horrifying creatures are rushing towards D’Hara, Richard and Kahlan are far away from home and are fighting their own battle. A sickness is draining their powers and slowly weakening them. If they don’t find a way to heal fast, they won’t have time to save their people, or themselves for that matter.
This Terry Goodkind book list just keeps getting more exciting as this epic fantasy series doesn’t plan to stop with the surprises. Another event that you will look forward to is the mention of Magda Searus. She has sent a message through time for our hero Richard, one that would save a life but risk another in the process.
Warheart is the final book from Terry’s Richard and Kahlan series. It’s the book that holds the story that will change the world of these characters once again, and for the last time inside the series. As a result of previous events inside the story of Severed Souls, Richard’s attempt to save his beloved Kahlan’s life succeeded.
However, now it is him who is roaming around the world of the dead, uncertain whether he will ever witness the events that will change the world either for the better or for the worse. In another one of the best-rated Terry books, one more story of epic fantasy takes place, one that you will most likely never forget.
To Bring Back a Soul
After a series of spoiler-filled events we can’t discuss, Kahlan loses her beloved but refuses to end things there. Nicci, the powerful Sister of the Dark, travels to the underworld to locate Richard’s soul and bring it back to the world of the living. After coming back to life, Richard learns that his life is still in danger. He starts searching for answers and finally learns the true meaning and purpose of the Omen Machine.
The following events bring back old characters, characters who were once good but are now looking for angry revenge. It also brings about the terrifying army of the undead, the antagonists, and finally puts everyone together in an epic conclusion of this entire epic fantasy series that holds several of the all-time best Terry Goodkind books he has ever written.
The following series still has a lot to do with Terry’s Sword of Truth series, but they focus mainly on Nicci, a fan-favorite character from the books. The events happening throughout the series take place way back during the days of the Imperial Order and Emperor Jagang.
There are four books within the entire series. Death’s Mistress is the first one, introducing the plot and showing you what to expect from the story. You get to see Nicci’s side of things as she follows Richard and Kahlan on their missions and adventures. Goodkind’s Nicci novels are a few of his newer ones, as the first book from the series was published in 2017.
Filling In Gaps
If you read all of the books from the Sword of Truth series, you’ve probably noticed that Nicci wasn’t always by Richard and Kahlan’s side. While she served the realm following their command, she was often somewhere on her own adventures and quests. This series shows a great deal of those events, making sure to fill in a few gaps from previous events within the entire series.
The Children of D’Hara series holds five new books by Terry Goodkind, as these novels mainly came out during 2019 and 2020. The stories inside also have everything to do with Richard and Kahlan, as they talk about new, never-before discussed events from inside the lives of Richard and Kahlan.
The Scribbly Man, the first book from this series, sets the following story’s roots and continues after the ending of his Sword of Truth epic fantasy series. Making the series, and the entire saga, much more exciting are Richard and Kahlan’s children. We knew that Terry couldn’t leave his most notable and epic creation like that, so Children of D’Hara made sure to continue the epic lives of these two unforgettable characters.
Trouble Comes Again
If you thought that Richard and Kahlan’s lives would turn normal and forget about the dangers and life-threatening daily events after the Sword of Truth series ended, then you simply must see what this series has to offer. On the contrary, they have many more dangers and threats to face, as the first book of the series will immediately show you. Prepare for more thrilling events in yet another epic fantasy series by Goodkind.
Finally, we’ve reached the end of this Terry Goodkind list of books, but not before showing you yet another one of his best works. His Jack Raines series is a short one, holding only four books. However, this doesn’t mean it won’t be a great one.
The story follows mostly a character named Angela Constantine, a woman with a unique ability to recognize killers by merely staring into their eyes. Terry’s Jack Raines Thriller series isn’t like his other epic fantasy stories. This might be a great thing for anyone who loves and prefers thriller mysteries, with a little bit of fantasy in between. However, none of this means that the books inside won’t be a few of Terry Goodkind’s best books you’ve ever read.
Living a Secret Life
Angela Constantine is quite a fascinating character. You will learn much about her as the main plot progresses. She leads a sort of a secret life. There aren’t many who know her secret, seeing killers by looking into their eyes. The stories are suspenseful, the adventures she goes on are unforgettable, and the people she meets are either cold-blooded killers or anything else but that.
Robert is a science fiction and fantasy geek. (He is also the best looking Ereads writer!) Besides reading and writing, he enjoys sports, cosplay, and good food (don't we all?). Currently works as an accountant (would you believe that?)