We made it, Kahlan is saved again and Mr. Goodkind gets to pontificate seemingly endlessly about his views, beliefs, and the weaknesses and foolishness of anyone who disagrees with him. More of the book is dedicated to his dogma than the story. But, I survived, At last!
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Jolted fully awake by the shock of pain, he instantly seized her bony wrist, preventing her from ripping open his thigh. A dingy dress, buttoned all the way up to her throat, covered her gaunt figure. In the dim light of distant campfires Richard saw that the square of cloth draped over her head and knotted under her angular jaw looked to be made out of a scrap of frayed burlap. Despite her frail frame, her sunken cheeks, her stooped back, she had the glare of a predator.
The woman who had stabbed him earlier that night had been heavier, and stronger. Her eyes, too, had burned with hate. The slender blade this woman wielded was smaller as well. The army of the Imperial Order did not bother to care for slaves with crippling injuries; they would simply have put him to death. That had probably been her plan in the first place. A drop of blood dripped from the tip.
He easily muscled her under his control. She was not the powerful killer he had at first feared. Her desire, her intent, her lust, however, were just as vicious as that of any of the invading horde she followed.
As she grunted in pain, vapor from each panting breath rose into the cold night air. Richard knew that to be gentle would only give her another opportunity to finish the job. Surprise had provided her with an opening; he would not foolishly grant her a second chance. Still firmly holding her wrist, he wrenched the knife from her grasp. He merely wanted her away from him. As soon as she stumbled to a halt, she spat at him. You are dogs — all of you! All of you from up here in the New World are heathen dogs!
He checked to the sides for an accomplice. Although there were soldiers not far away, just beyond the small enclosure of supply wagons, they were preoccupied with their own business. When she started to spit at him again, Richard lunged at her. She gasped in fright as she flinched back. Having lost courage for the business of stabbing a man when he was awake and able to defend himself, she cast him one last hateful glare, then turned and escaped into the night.
Even in the middle of the night the vast army encampment into which she had vanished was ceaselessly busy. Like some great, churning beast it swallowed her up. While many of the soldiers were sleeping, others seemed always to be at work repairing gear, making weapons, cooking, eating, or engaged in drinking and raucous stories around fires as they passed the time waiting for their next opportunity at murder, rape, and plunder.
All night long, it seemed, there were men testing their strength against one another, sometimes with muscle, sometimes with knives. Small crowds gathered from time to time to watch such contests and to bet on the outcome. Patrolling guards looking for any signs of serious trouble, soldiers looking for entertainment, and camp followers looking for a handout prowled the encampment throughout the night.
Occasionally men wandered by to size up Richard and his fellow captives. Between gaps in the wagons Richard could see some of the camp followers, hoping to earn food or even a small coin, going from group to group offering to play a flute and sing for the men. Others offered to shave soldiers, wash and care for their clothes, or tattoo their flesh. A number of the shadowy figures, after brief negotiations, disappeared into tents with the men.
Others wandered the camp looking to steal. And a few of those out in the night were intent on murder. Most of his team was made up of regular Imperial Order troops, but they were off sleeping in their own tents. As children these soldiers had played it almost from the time they could walk. Even to a scrawny old woman who followed her emperor to war and lived off the scraps of his conquest, murder was an acceptable means of helping her favored team to victory.
A winning team could bring far more tangible benefits to those directly involved than mere glory. Those who ran the top teams became powerful men. Richard, though, had had other reasons for "volunteering. He glanced over and saw that Johnrock, chained to the same transport wagon, lay on his back sound asleep.
The man, a miller by trade, was built like an oak tree. Unlike the point men of other teams, Richard insisted on endless practice whenever they were not on the move. Not everyone on his team liked it, but they followed his instructions. As tired as Richard was, he had only been dozing from time to time. He found himself having difficulty sleeping.
Something was wrong, something not connected to all the myriad troubles swirling around him. It was not even anything to do with the immediate worldly dangers of being a captive. This was something different, something inside him, something deep within him. No matter how carefully he tried to analyze it, the nature of the feeling remained elusive. He was so confused by the inexplicable sensation that he was left with nothing so much as an aching feeling of restless foreboding. Besides that, he was too preoccupied thinking about Kahlan to be able to sleep.
Held captive by Emperor Jagang himself, she was not all that far away. He had at long last found her, and she was alive. He had to find a way to get her out. Reasonably sure that the latest woman to have stabbed him was no longer lurking in the shadows for another attempt, Richard finally pulled his hand away to inspect the wound.
If he had been sound asleep, like Johnrock, it might have gone much worse. He guessed that perhaps the odd feeling that had been keeping him awake had actually served him well. Holding his hand tightly over it had stopped the bleeding. Death had visited him twice that night and gone away empty-handed. Richard remembered the old saying that trouble sired three children. He hoped not to meet the third child. He had just rolled onto his side to try again to get some sleep when he saw a shadow slipping up among the wagons.
The stride appeared deliberate, though, rather than stealthy. Richard sat up as Commander Karg came to a halt over him. Without the leather shoulder plates and breastplates that the commander usually wore, or even a shirt, Richard could see that the pattern of scales ran down over his shoulder and covered part of his chest as well.
The tattoo made him look reptilian. Among themselves, Richard and Johnrock referred to the commander as "Snake-face. If there was one place that his real name would surely get him killed, Richard now sat right in the middle of it. But in the meantime you get no favors. He looked ready to murder Richard himself.
At this distance he could have gutted the commander before the man knew what had happened. But this was not the time or place. It felt good to have a blade in his hand, any blade, even one this small. He held the handle of the knife out toward the commander.
She stabbed me with it. Where else do you think I could get a knife? I would rest a lot easier if there were guards posted. He had been a valuable man, a good player, and therefore targeted. With a badly broken leg York had suddenly become useless as a player, and as a slave. For protecting the downed player rather than continuing play by taking the broc upfield toward the opposing goal, the referee had penalized their team by banning Richard from the rest of the game.
They had lost as a result. His new team was created from the best men in all of the Old World. Not long ago one of our men broke a leg. You did no less than the emperor did with his losers. That makes us even. We come into this contest on equal footing. He wanted Kahlan. He wanted her more than life itself. He intended to do what ever was necessary to get his wife away from the nightmare of captivity by Jagang and his Sisters of the Dark.
Staring down at Richard, Commander Karg finally conceded with a sigh. He watched guards in the distance rushing to set up a tight perimeter around the captive members of the team.
The realization of what could be lost to nothing more than a conniving camp follower had spurred Commander Karg to action. At least the attack had served the purpose of making it possible for Richard to get the rest he needed.
Now, at least, he was temporarily safe, even if it had been necessary to surrender the knife.
Please help improve it by removing unnecessary details and making it more concise. Rachel is discovered missing from the Keep. That night, the witch woman Six enters the Keep and steals the third box of Orden from Nicci and Zedd. Three Sisters of the Dark enter, killing Ann and capturing Nicci, while soldiers are sent into the catacombs to prepare an attack. Richard, after realizing that Jagang and the Sisters with him would recognize him during team inspections and throughout the tournament, disguises himself by covering the faces and bodies of his teammates and himself with intimidating symbols and parts of spell-forms.
Confessor by Terry Goodkind (Paperback, 2008)
Goodkind was the writer of The Sword of Truth epic fantasy series and the suspense novel of entitled The Law of Nines which is tied into his fantasy series. Worldwide, there have been twenty-five million copies sold of The Sword of Truth and this became translated into twenty various languages. In addition, it was made into a series on television which had its premiere on the first of November in and the seasons ran until May It was in Omaha, Nebraska that Goodkind was born in and moved in with Jeri, is wife into a house in Maine that he had built. Initially, he was dissuaded from being interested in writing due to the fact that he had dyslexia. Before beginning his career as a writer, Goodkind built violins and cabinets and was both a wildlife and marine artist, selling his work in art galleries.