Though Goodkind’s new Sister of Darkness: The Nicci Chronicles is set within the Sword of Truth series, shifting his focus to a new protagonist allows him to explore whole new aspects of this world, and craft a foundation for a series that feels refreshing, immersive and thoroughly addictive. Goodkind’s worldbuilding abilities are outdone only by his striking character development, resulting in an adventure that is remarkably impactful. The supporting characters leap from the page, and the heroine is resolute, powerful and wonderfully human. Fans of the Sword of Truth series will feel right at home in this adventure, but skillful exposition ensures that newcomers will have no difficulty striking out on this journey as well.
Once known as “Death’s Mistress,” Nicci served the wicked Emperor Jagang before being converted by Richard Rahl and battling fearlessly at his side. Now that Rahl’s reign has been established, Nicci has determined to set out on her own and seek adventures in the new world that has been created around her. Though initially tasked with escorting the newly free, guileless prophet Nathan, it isn’t long before danger finds Nicci, forcing her to flex her formidable powers and test her strength in entirely new ways. (TOR, Jan., 512 pp., $29.99)