A magical sword from Terry Goodkind's book series of the same name. The sword is the main tool of the Seeker of Truth, enabling the Seeker to call upon the spirits of the previous wielders of the sword to guide him while fighting. The post of Seeker of Truth is filled by a person chosen by the First Wizard. Note that the sword does not make the wielder a Seeker, the Seeker makes himself. The sword is only a tool.

The Sword of Truth

is an epic series of novels set in a medieval fantasy world where the entire fabric of nature rests on the existance of magic. The basic plot is moderately formulaic, "Woodcutter blah blah Good Wizards blah blah Elves blah blah Swords of Truth blah blah Quest blah blah Princesses blah blah Evil Wizards" as one reviewer put it. The story itself however has a certain hard edge to it which draws the reader along almost in spite of himself.

From the modest beginnings of a humble woodsman's sudden plunge into a world of intrigue and adventure that he thinks himself unfit for, to his rescuing of his (previously unknown) half sister's soul from the clutches of the keeper of the underworld - The author Terry Goodkind leads us through a veritable gauntlet of murder, betrayal, terror, bestial cruelty, tender cruelty, mercy killing and rape.

The Series has now stretched to an impressive seventh book. There is also a corollary volume called Debt of Bones - previously released in an anthology of Fantasy short stories called Legends. The books are:

The newest volume of The Sword of Truth, Naked Empire, is to be released in 2003.

The Sword of Truth is a series of 12 fantasy books, characterized by the gruesome details of fantasy warfare that most writers gloss over, and by a message that bursts out of the plot's chest and devours it.

For all the rape and maiming, the first 1-3 books are innocent enough. Richard the Chosen One faces his Mysterious Past on a Quest to save the lands from evil. They've pleased some friends of the genre and noders of recognized taste.1

At roughly this point the author, Terry Goodkind, rejects the term "fantasy" and takes up "stories that have important human themes"(quote) 2 by bringing Objectivism from a background influence to co-starring with the storyline.(quote) 2 The ideology is presented not only as reasonable, but as the whole of reason,(quote) 3 self-evident and infallible.(quote) 3 The main characters come to follow the only moral path: to think like the author does and do as he would. It follows that the characters can do no wrong, and act like they know it, while the narrative is quick to stamp out any ambiguity.

Nicci had no compunction about what she was doing. She knew that there was no moral equivalence between her inflicting torture and the Imperial Order doing what might on the surface seem like the same thing.
                - Terry Goodkind, Chainfire (2005)

Disagreement is not foolish, it's a refusal to think at all. Since reasoning is everyone's duty, and reason inevitably leads to Objectivism, any other viewpoint is founded on cowardice, delusion, or hatred of the truth. It is "treason to one's self." Dissenters are characterized accordingly.

"But I think-"
Mother smacked her across the mouth a third time, hard enough to stagger her. "You think? Thinking is a vile acid that corrodes faith!"
                - Terry Goodkind, Chainfire (2005)

Only the author can describe the stories that result. From book #8:

"No war! No war! No war!" the people shouted as Richard led the men up the street at a dead run.
(...) A plump, curly-haired woman took a step out from the others. Her round face was red with anger as she screamed. "Stop the hate! No war! Stop the hate! No war!" (...) On his way past her, gritting his teeth as he screamed with the fury of the attack begun, Richard took a powerful swing, lopping off the woman's head and upraised arm.
(...) Men behind Richard hit the line of evil's guardians with unrestrained violence. People armed only with their hatred for moral clarity fell bloodied, terribly injured, and dead. The line of people collapsed before the merciless charge. Some of the people, screaming their contempt, used their fists to attack Richard's men. They were met with swift and deadly steel.
At the realization that their defense of the Imperial Order's brutality would actually result in consequences to themselves, the crowd began scattering in fright, screaming curses back at Richard and his men.
                - Terry Goodkind, Naked Empire (2003)

The works have also been adapted into a TV series, Legend of the Seeker.

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