Stone of Tears

Stone of Tears

infobox Book |
name = Stone of Tears
title_orig =
translator =


author = Terry Goodkind
cover_artist = Keith Parkinson
country = United States
language = English
series = The Sword of Truth
genre = Epic fantasy
publisher = Tor Fantasy
release_date = September 1995
media_type = Print (Hardback)
pages = 703
isbn = ISBN 0-312-85706-3
preceded_by = Wizard's First Rule
followed_by = Blood of the Fold

"Stone Of Tears" is the second book in Terry Goodkind's epic fantasy series, The Sword of Truth.

Plot introduction

With Darken Rahl defeated, Richard and Kahlan head back to the Mud People to be married. As they wait for their wedding day to approach, they discover the Sisters of the Light are pursuing Richard, intending to take him back to the Old World to be trained as a Wizard. Additionally, unbeknownst to Richard and Kahlan, the veil has been torn and the Stone of Tears has entered the world. According to prophecy, the only person who has a chance at closing the veil is the one bonded to the blade, the one born true.

Plot summary

After the death of Darken Rahl, Richard is afflicted by a series of painful headaches. He also learns from Shota of his lineage as the bastard son of Darken Rahl and the grandson (on his mother's side) of Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander.

After having mastered the Wizard's First Rule, Richard learns that the opening of the boxes of Orden has torn the veil between the world of the living and the underworld and thus, he has made a grave mistake; the violation of the Wizard's Second Rule, namely, that "The greatest harm can result from the best intentions".

Richard gets a visit from three Sisters of the Light, who inform him that his headaches are caused by the awakening of the gift within him and are fatal and unstoppable, unless Richard receives magical training. The Sisters tell him that he must go with them and wear a Rada'Han, a magical collar, in order to control his headaches and the gift.

While trying to receive guidance on how to repair the veil, Richard violates the second rule again, inadvertently bringing his father Darken Rahl through the veil and back into the world of the living. This allows him to continue his task of bringing the Keeper into the world.

Having been collared before in Wizard's First Rule by the Mord-Sith Denna, Richard is extremely reluctant to have another around his neck, let alone voluntarily putting it there himself. After having a surprise meeting with Denna's sprit Kahlan comes to understand that if she wants Richard to live, she must convince him to put the collar on, whatever the cost. Two of the Sisters commit suicide, trying to convince Richard of the need for him to accompany them, yet he still resists.

Richard misinterprets Kahlan's intentions, believing that she no longer loves him. Completely devastated, Richard submits to the Sisters, and leaves with them in search of a cure for his headaches.

Richard travels with Sister Verna, the last of the three Sisters, to the Palace of the Prophets, which is located in the Old World. The Sisters see their job as spreading knowledge of the Creator to the world via their trained wizards.

Before reaching the palace Richard is forced into a battle with thirty Baka Ban Mana blademasters, whose job it is to teach the Seeker to dance with the spirits -- using The Sword of Truth's magic to access the collective knowledge of all previous users of it. "Be a feather, not a rock. Float on the wind of the storm" is the first tactical advice he receives from the Sword's magic.

During his stay at the palace Richard comes to terms with the fact that he has the gift of magic and moreover discovers he is a War Wizard, one who has the gift of both additive and subtractive magic. Later, he learns from Nathan Rahl, another wizard in the Palace of the Prophets, that he is the first to be born with such power in three thousand years.

It is revealed that the Prelate took Richard to the Palace to flush out the Sisters of the Dark, a secret society within the Sisters of the Light dedicated to the task of unleashing the Keeper into the world of the living. As the Prelate herself says, "When your house is overrun with rats the only thing you can do is bring in a cat. This cat sees us all as rats. Maybe with good reason."

Richard also finds out that it was the Prelate and Nathan that helped Richard's step father, George Cypher, retrieve "The Book of Counted Shadows," containing instructions on how to correctly open the Boxes of Orden.

Richard also realizes belatedly that the Palace of the Prophets is the trap in time foretold by Shota the witch woman; the palace is spelled so that those within its walls age at a much slower rate. Nathan Rahl himself is close to one thousand years old.

Kahlan embarks on a long trek back to her home of Aydindril along with three Mud People. Along the way they come across a sacked city, Ebinissia, with the inhabitants' corpses filling the streets and the surrounding countryside.

Kahlan and the three mud people race to catch up with a band of some five thousand troops that are trailing the enemy. She soon realizes that these soldiers are much younger than she might expect. After getting over her shock, she assumes command of the army and begins her strategies of taking on the far superior army of what she now knows to be The Imperial Order.

Escaping the trap after months of imprisonment, Richard races to stop a prophecy from coming to pass, one he received in the Valley of the Lost: "Of all there were, but a single one born of the magic to bring forth truth will remain alive when the shadow's threat is lifted. Therefore comes the greater darkness of the dead. For there to be a chance at life's bond, this one in white must be offered to her people, to bring their joy and good cheer."

The prophecy speaks of the beheading of his love, Kahlan, whom he now realizes was only trying to help him by sending him with the Sisters.

Only by fulfilling the prophecy can Richard close the veil and thwart Darken Rahl, casting the Keeper back into the underworld with the eponymous Stone of Tears.

Themes

A major theme involves the Wizard's Second Rule, "The greatest harm can result from the best intentions" as multiple major characters make decisions of questionable quality with the best of intentions. The unforeseen consequences of decisions made in crises situations drive the plot.

Richard Rahl's adjustment to his new life constitutes another theme. Whereas his previous life, as a guide and woodsman, was predictable and relatively safe, his new one is filled with change and peril. Richard is beginning to undergo an intensive process whereby the guiding principles of his existence, constants amidst shifting circumstances, will become clear to him.

Characters in "Stone of Tears"

* Richard Rahl
* Kahlan Amnell
* Gratch
* Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander
* Adie
* Prelate Annalina
* Sister Verna
* Pasha Maes
* Sister Armina
* Sister Tovi
* Sister Ulicia
* Sister Nicci
* Nathan Rahl
* Chase
* Rachel
* Shota
* Warren
* Du Chaillu
* Queen Cyrilla
* Queen Bernadine
* Prince Harold
* Lady Bevinvier
* Pell

Mud People

Some of the Mud People include:
* The Bird Man
* Savidlin
* Weselan
* Siddin
* Chandalen
* Tossindin
* Prindin

Wizard's Second Rule

In this book we discover the Wizard's Second Rule: "The greatest harm can result from the best intentions." [Goodkind, Terry. "Stone of Tears" : pg. 634]

References

External links

* [http://www.terrygoodkind.com Official Terry Goodkind website]
* [http://www.terrygoodkind.net Unofficial Terry Goodkind website] (endorsed by Terry Goodkind)
* [http://sot.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page Welcome to the Sword of Truth Wiki] , including characters, places, items, etc.


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