Monday, August 10, 2009

Hulu Recommendation Friday (on Monday) -- The Legend of the Seeker

Since 1994, Terry Goodkind's objectivist Sword of Truth has been flying off the shelves. The series combines objectivist philosophy with traditional fantasy storytelling to very good effect. If you ever wondered what a fantasy series written by Howard Roark would read like, the Sword of Truth series is a pretty good approximation.

The first novel, Wizard's First Rule, is the novel that suffers the most from "generic-itis." The overall story in the novel is very similar to the underlying narrative of Terry Brook's wonderful Sword of Shannara -- itself reminiscent of the Tolkien classic Lord of the Rings. Both Goodkind's and Brook's novels focus on the importance of Truth and the dispelling of "illusion." Both books are entertaining, but each approaches the central theme of Truth from a different perspective. Brook's Shannara series uses the more traditional fantasy toolkit of mythic tradition to advance his argument. Goodkind, on the other hand, uses the novel as a place to embed philosophic discussions. Beginning with the discussion of the titular "wizard's first rule," and not really ending in the first novel, the book continually examines the best tools for determining Truth.

Goodkind's books are entertaining and insightful, and one need not be an Objectivist to appreciate them.

The Legend of the Seeker television series is a very entertaining adaptation of the Goodkind series to the tv medium. Sam Raimi's production company Ghost House Pictures is affiliated with the show, but unlike Raimi's prior fantasy foray's Xena and Hercules this series doesn't fall as much into slapstick. Xena and Hercules were fantasy for Three Stooges fans (which includes Cinerati), but The Sword of Truth is fantasy for television fans.

As always, click play then click full screen and enjoy.


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