The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind

RARGHRGH. Angry Giant Kahlan is angry. RARAGRHG! This is the cover that Terry Goodkind, apparently, helped design. Looks like an ordinary, generic cover. I expected more moral objectivity, beards, Ayn Rands and Goodkind’s name to be even larger and foiled in 22k gold. It is appropriate that Angry Giant Kahlan appears to be worshiping Goodkind’s name, though.

Terry Goodkind’s novels of the Sword of Truth series set a new standard for epic storytelling in a fully realized world. Now Goodkind returns to that world for a new cycle of tales, centering on Richard Cypher and Kahlan Amnell. The Omen Machine begins directly after the events of the Sword of Truth, but it starts an independent storyline. Readers who haven’t experienced the Sword of Truth novels can begin here, while longtime fans will be captivated by a new tale of the characters that fascinated them before.

Hidden deep underground for millennia, discovered only by chance, the mysterious machine has awakened, to begin issuing a serious of ominous and alarmingly accurate omens. As the wizard Zeddicus attempts to destroy the sinister device, it issues a cataclysmic omen involving Richard and Kahlan, foretelling an impending event beyond anyone’s ability to prevent it. With catastrophe imminent, the machine then reveals that it is within its power to withdraw the omen…on fulfillment of an impossible demand.

I love that it’s ‘a Richard and Kahlan Novel‘. I guess the ship has sailed on the Sword of Truth Series, though how this is anything but the 14th volume is a mystery to me. I mean it’s got Kahlan, Richard, Zeddicus, Prophecies, Omens (and Machines!), Valour, Heroism, (likely) jaw kicking and sadomasochism, and it picks up directly after the end of Confessor. Totally sounds like a new series to me.

Glibness aside, with all the Imperial Order junk out of the way, it does sound like it might recapture some of the fun and adventurousness that made the early novels in the series readable and, *gasp*, enjoyable. At least he’s not trying to hide it as a literary thirller this time around.

  • Stefan August 9, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I think it has something to do with the fact that the sword of truth brand was licensed to the tv show, so that anything from the SoT books could be used in the show. And since Terry wasn’t happy with the way the show went, he wanted to avoid new material being used.

  • aidan August 9, 2010 at 9:37 am

    But, the show was canceled!

  • The Mad Hatter August 9, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Canceling doesn’t mean the right reverted. TV isn’t like books.

  • Shane August 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Look, pretty much anyone can hate me for this, but I loved the SoT books. Well…at least the early ones. Kahlan is still one of my all-time favorite characters. I’m excited for this one and will continue with my vain hope that it will NOT be as dreadfully awful as Law of Nines.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Aidan Moher, Aidan Moher, Aidan Moher, Aidan Moher, Aidan Moher and others. Aidan Moher said: New Blog Post – Cover Art and Synopsis for THE OMEN MACHINE by Terry Goodkind. This is the cover he helped to design: […]

  • Gabriele August 10, 2010 at 5:22 am

    An omen machine? Oh come on, Terry, you can do better than that. Any self respecting non-Fantasy ripoff has at least some cackling old crone of prophetess, not a boring machine. :P

  • Rob B August 10, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Terry Goodkind’s novels of the Sword of Truth series set a new standard for epic storytelling in a fully realized world

    I guess Epic Storytelling is his way of saying fantasy, but I thought he didn’t do “fully realized worlds:”

    Orem Utah: What do you think distinguishes your books from all of the other fantasy books out there, and why should readers choose to read your series?

    Terry Goodkind: There are several things. First of all, I don’t write fantasy. I write stories that have important human themes. They have elements of romance, history, adventure, mystery and philosophy. Most fantasy is one-dimensional. It’s either about magic or a world-building. I don’t do either

  • Publius August 10, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Let’s be honest. As a writer, Goodkind stinks. As creator of worlds, or even of “stories with important human themes” (whatever the heck that means), he bites, too.

  • Rob B August 11, 2010 at 6:41 am

    The real question, is this: will the Goodkind apologists keep this thread alive for 8+ months the way they did for the one from December?

  • chico August 26, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    the sword of truth series was the best series of books ive ever read and im sure the omen machine will be even better

  • Johnny Dangerously September 7, 2011 at 8:14 am

    It’s always amazing at the difference between reading and reading comprehension. I’m thinking Publius always scored low in the reading comprehension tests…

    And Rob, two things:
    1) If you actually *read* the books, you’ll notice there really isn’t a lot of magic.
    2) The not “world building” is, just as an example, not telling how many blades of grass there are in the field in which characters are in.

  • Johnny Dangerously September 7, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Ooops, forgot. If you read The Omen Machine and think about it, you’ll realize that it’s not Kahlan on the cover. ;)

  • Rob B September 7, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Wow, color me wrong, it actually took more than a year for a Goodkind apologist to come into this thread.

    First Johnny, I am not the one who said magic, Mr. Goodkind himself said he doesn’t write novels about magic. Let’s pretend I said magic, for argument’s sake. I have, in fact, read a few of the books in the series and magic is undeniably present . Let’s see:

    • Richard Cypher/Rahl is a practitioner of magic, in a lineage of wizards
    • He magically becomes a master swordsman with little to no training once he gets…wait for it…a magic sword that also makes him stronger and altogether more powerful
    • Zedd is a wizard and practices magic
    • Darken Rahl is a dark wizard
    • The boxes of Orden are magical objects which grant magical power
    • Gratch, who for all intents and purposes is a gargoyle, is basically a magical creature
    • Worlds are separated by magical boundaries
    • Jagang can control dreams, which is basically magic
    • Kahlan is a sorceress, part of a sisterhood of Confessors
    • Mord-sith are utilize magic as part of their powerset

    As for worldbuilding, all writers do it to some degree and going down to ’how many blades of grass in a field’ is too granular for most people’s sake. That said, a novel or milieu where wizards, sorceress, people who control dreams, semi-intelligent creatures resembling creatures out of myth, worlds separated by barriers of magic, and a sword that endows a user with superhuman abilities, invented nations and politics…well, that sounds like worldbuilding to me (and a lot of other people). Granted, Mr. Goodkind doesn’t go into as much detail as a certain writer who (sadly passed away before finishing his series) created a series that spawned many imitators, but the world building is present.

    My point, when I discuss Mr. Goodkind at all and in this case, is how peculiar (to be kind) it is for a writer to say he or she doesn’t write fantasy when the following points can’t be refuted:
    (a) The spine of the book (i.e. the publisher’s logo) blatantly says fantasy
    (b) The books are shelved in the Science Fiction & Fantasy genre
    (c) The first book has a guy riding a dragon on the cover (as do a couple of the other books in the series
    (d) The main character practices magic, is of a lineage that practices magic, and carries a magical sword
    (e) The series is named after a magical object

    One can then infer Mr. Goodkind is embarrassed to be associated with Fantasy when he’s made a great deal of money from being a Fantasy writer. Kind of cutting off the nose to spite the face there, no?