As I started reading Severed Souls, I was kind of iffy. I mean, the Third Kingdom had been a bit of a disappointment and I was worried that the series would drop down from there. Boy was I wrong.
Now, there were some things that bothered me, most of it technical. It seemed that during the first half of the book, he was constantly using “he knew that…” or “she knew how…” in just about every paragraph. I know he was trying to establish a quick review of everything they had been through up until this point, but it was really annoying and that is what had me worried about where the book was going. There was still some repeat-issues, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as TTK. The other thing I wasn’t fond of is the whole hack-and-slash with the Half People. I was worried that it would be a recurring theme throughout the book, but thankfully it wasn’t.
As I pressed on, more perspectives were given from other characters. Irena came in and Samantha was happy and things seemed to be going well when they finally realized that a containment field could be found nearby.. Pretty good story so far. And then, the shit literally hits the fan. Remember when Terry told you to stop reading at Confessor if you wanted Kahlan and Richard to have a happy ending? Yeah, well…do not read this book if you like happy endings.
Okay. So from here on out spoilers—-because really, I can not hold back.
I think I can pinpoint the moment when things started getting serious. That was when Hunter arrived. Suddenly, it felt like the Terry I love and remember took over and was writing the story. The flow smoothed out, and the tension began to build. Now, I must admit, the moment I met Irena, I didn’t like her. Like Nicci and Kahlan, I immediately didn’t trust her. Something wasn’t right about her. When she mentioned the citadel, I felt like she was lying. Then, when Nicci voiced her concerns, I was beginning to feel more suspicious.
Then it happened—-the first real death. It didn’t impact me the way I thought it would. It was ten minutes before class, so I was anxious about a student coming in while I was reading. I wanted to go back and re-read that part because I thought maybe I read that wrong. But no, it was true. Zedd. Of all people. I mean…Zedd is Zedd. He can’t be dead…that just isn’t right. I was like Richard—-just too stunned to really comprehend it. Immediately, I fingered Irena. Somehow, I knew she was the one behind it. It made the most sense.
The scene with Red made me shutter a bit. I knew from the start that “the oracle” would choose Kahlan and that Hunter was tied into it somehow. While Red was very similar to Shota, she was a bit different. Mainly because her prediction was a bit more accurate, and I think she withheld the reasons from Kahlan. Really, when you think of it, Richard would have killed himself either way….but still, that is getting ahead of myself.
Anyway, finally making it to the citadel and salvation, I can totally understand their feeling of accomplishment. They were being careful, but they were also over-confident with having the answer at last. And they never considered a traitor in their midst. Irena leaving to get special lights was just too convenient, after all. But I knew that they would get out somehow. First there was Mohler anyone catch the similarity to the Mole, which was incidentally the nickname for Warren…) And then there were the Mord-Sith.
Now, the moment those Mord-sith showed up, I knew. As they asked their questions, I knew. They were not like Erika. They had value for themselves—-that was why they fled Darken Rahl. I actually grinned a bit when they pledged themselves to Richard. His answer was perfect, and the fact that they knew what it meant was heart-warming. Drier was small fry. The simple plan to capture him was perfect.
And then…all hell broke loose. The moment that thing fell out of Irena’s pocket, I knew the gig was up—-and I knew that Samantha would witness just enough of it to make her hate Richard. That was a given. Samantha was just so pure, and her mother was just so…evil. And being at that age, it is hard to believe your parents are evil when you look up to and hold them as the light in your life—-especially since she already lost her father. But the rage that Richard felt when he read that line..I was on edge waiting for it because I knew it was coming. I had never imagined that he would instantly go into a killing blood rage right there, using his bear hands and just slamming her against the wall like that. It was so brutal and savage…and just about right for someone who met the killer of one of their loved ones.
But Samantha. Poor Samantha. I really really felt for her. She had no way of knowing, of understanding, and it was still her mother—-the woman who raised her, who pretended to love her. She had no idea of the darkness in that woman’s soul and now the purity and innocence in Samantha is now completely shattered. And I just wasn’t prepared for this child to grab a knife and stab someone directly in the heart. Nicci was right—-her temper is extremely dangerous.
From then on out, I could barely read the words on my kindle. All I could do is just stare at the page trying to comprehend what was happening. This just couldn’t be. This was Kahlan. The Mother Confessor. Despite all the warnings and all the conspiracies, my mind could not wrap around the reality of what was happening. When Richard asked Nicci to do the impossible, it became more surreal. You just don’t do that…not to the characters who were the driving force for so many stories. The whole scene, the battle into the underworld made me feel both warm and fuzzy as he connected with his soul mate, and completely shattered.
Kahlan was so close—she was trying to connect something, knowing that Richard still had a chance, but she couldn’t figure it out. She did the best she could—-she got his body to stay as it is and then ended the threat of Erika and Drier in the best way possible. But my god, I can just imagine the pain and agony—-she lost Richard. Her soul mate. Her other half. After all the pain and lose in the world she has endured, after everything she has been through—-THIS is the thanks she gets?? No. No no no no no.
It is enough to know that there will be another book. It isn’t over. First of all, the Emperor and Hannis are still at large. Samantha is now out there, either consumed with rage or realizing what she had just done and totally freaking out. Richard’s body is basically in suspended animation, and Richard still has that bit of the third kingdom in him. Richard has always had a special ability with the Underworld, and he has many Good Spirits that value and love him. Denna, Kahlan’s mother—-but most importantly, Zedd. Zedd has a special bond with his grandson, and I wouldn’t doubt that he was vigilant in the underworld just in case. This isn’t the end, but damn, it was the most painful experience I have ever had reading.
On top of it, the book gave me a lot to think about in regards to the Wizard’s rule about hate, souls themselves, and other things. I need to absorb all of this and see what comes out. I don’t know if I could read this book again so soon, though. I was happy to see that Kahlan got a few moments in the sun to be her bad-ass self again. I was also happy that Terry put a lot into perspective about Kahlan’s roll and though she was still a bit of a damsel in distress, she gave as good as she got. I am hoping that in the next book, she realizes that it was Hannis Arc who was the cause of them getting that Sickness and turns her wraith upon him and the Emperor. But more than anything, I just want the next book and I want Richard back. Kahlan and Richard, more than anyone, deserve that happy ending—-and besides—Jax!
((side note…Irene or Irena….it is almost midnight and I don’t have the gall to check after that tear-storm))