An admitted full-on geek, I’ve been obsessed with fantasy novels since I first starting reading. Being a bit of a size queen I’ve always had a penchant for the thicker novels and on top of that, give me something in an extended series and I’m hooked. What really gets me going of course is anything with magic and dragons and all craziness in between. Essentially, my motto on books is that that they’re escapist tools so why read about World War II or Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul when you can delve into alternate worlds and realities- at least that’s how my brain works! So, when heading out to Quebec 13 years ago while in the 7th Grade I gravitated based purely on length alone (in an effort to impress god knows who) towards a novel called “Wizard’s First Rule”. It was 700 pages, had the word wizard in the title and had a huge red dragon on it… what more could a boy ask for? The book- first of 11 in its series- was written by Terry Goodkind and has not only enthralled me for the past decade but has of recent been developed into a so-far successful tv series: “Legend of the Seeker”. Rarely do we geeks get our fantasies made visual- comic book lovers aside of course that is… oh, and those “Lord of the Rings” people, so the news that this show was coming out put me in grinning ear-to-ear mode instantaneously. The big question that rises is: how will the show match up to the perfect image I created in my mind.
It’s completely rawsome.
Oh, you wanted more? Well, to start, the story is basically an epic love tale of two made-for-each other hotties (unfortunately man and woman, but we’ll let it slide because in my version of the story he’s a little bi-curious but only for mid-20 twinks 😉 Richard and Kahlan… of course, par for the fantasy course, they’re basically the most powerful and important people in their world and again of course they are continually ripped apart and only rarely brought back together for super hot sex scenes. He’s got a big sword (pause for saliva) and the rarest of magically talents that border on artistry and she’s able to turn anyone into her absolute slave. Having set the scene, the 11-novel epic sees them through trial after trial as they continue to save the world and their people from whatever newest monster is threatening the land.
Ok, book established, let’s get to the tv show. I will say that my immediate reaction to their choice of a Richard was a BIT disappointing… where I pictured the burliest and hairiest PumpJack model I could think of, they went with a youthful and babyfaced Craig Horner. Though, to be fair the boy can pull off a leather tunic. Kahlan is played by the gorgeous brunette, Bridget Regan… but enough about her 🙂 The show stays quite true to the first novel in its first couple episodes as it tackles the main conflicts and characters. Furthermore, a product of executive producer Sam Raimi- the well-known man behind both Hercules and Xena- this show also takes places cinematographically speaking in the gorgeous lush hills and forests of Australia but thankfully for the this show the writers have accepted the importance of violence and death in this series and allow for some pretty amazing fight scenes. Magic is sparsely used- but it`s the same in the books so I don`t begrudge them saving on special effects costs 😉 Still, when the fireballs do fly, it`s pretty damn cool!
Currently in its second season, the show has really started to take off in my opinion. New characters integral to the story have begun to be introduced and the frequent references to the lesbian-battle-vixen cult are carried over from the series (I know, I know, but it`s a straight dude writing this stuff so what do you expect?). While the storyline of the show follows the basic direction of the book, the television writers properly take carefully chosen side paths and introduce their own dramas and plot twists to elaborate their characters and maintain the interest of today’s viewer. Though the homo-erotic, daddy-son, incest-torture, ritual-abuse chapters from the first novel didn’t make the tv cut (booo), enough did to make this nerd smile episode to episode.
I do absolutely recommend the “Sword of Truth” novels if you’re looking for something lengthy and new, but for a great adventure show with a strong literary basis then “Legend of the Seeker” is definitely for you. Great effects, actually legitimate acting (for a Sam Raimi, faux-high-fantasy) and an engrossing and heartfelt storyline. First season available now on DVD and the second season still going strong! Give it a download!