Chainfire by Terry Goodkind is the ninth book in the Sword of Truth series. It was first released on January 4, 2005, and followed in paperback on November 29, 2005. It follows Naked Empire and is followed by Phantom.
Richard Rahl is the ruler of the D'Haran Empire, a collection of nations previously made up of D'Hara, the Midlands and Westland. Richard Rahl and the D'Haran Empire are currently locked in an epic struggle with the Imperial Order, an Empire from the Old World, led by Emperor Jagang.
Chainfire continues the story of Richard in his attempt to teach the people that their lives are theirs alone, that they can be free of the Imperial Order. Richard is gravely injured from an enemy arrow. He is brought to Nicci, a sorceress and former Sister of the Dark, who heals him using subtractive magic causing unforeseen events to spiral out of control. When he awakens, Richard discovers that his wife, Kahlan Amnell, the Mother Confessor, is missing. More than that, however, no one around him seems to remember her. Nicci and Cara both attribute Richard's memory of Kahlan to dreams and delusions brought about by his injury and quite possibly an unintended effect of the subtractive magic used in healing Richard.
Fearing for his beloved's life, Richard desperately tries to find some trace of her and at the same time convince the others that she exists. His search leads him to the witch woman, Shota, who revealing "that which you seek is long buried with the bones" demands the price of more information can only be offered for the price of the Sword of Truth. Shota utters the words "Chainfire" and "The Deep Nothing", demanding that Richard hand over the Sword of Truth to Samuel for this meager information. Shota also warns Richard of a "Beast" conjured by several Wizards and Sisters of the Dark, under the orders of Jagang. The beast is meant to kill Richard and is as unstoppable as it is unpredictable. What's more, the beast is now able to track Richard when he uses his gift.
In the meantime, Ann and Nathan together have discovered many blank pages in books of ancient prophecy. They seem to remember that the pages should not be blank but can't remember what was originally written there. Zedd makes the same discovery independently.
Concerned, but still determined to find his wife, Richard makes his way to the Wizard's Keep to find Zedd, who has no memory of Kahlan either. Ann, Nathan, and Nicci make their way to the Keep as well and are reunited with Richard, Zedd, and Cara.
As Richard continues to attempt to prove the existence of the woman he loves, the others become convinced he is mentally ill and plot to "heal" him. At the same time, the reader learns that Kahlan has been kidnapped by the four remaining Sisters of the Dark who escaped the Dream Walker in Blood of the Fold. The Sisters have cast a spell using subtractive magic to erase people's memories of Kahlan and Kahlan's memories of herself. The Sisters then use Kahlan to steal the boxes of Orden from the Garden of Life in the People's Palace in D'Hara.
Richard, Nicci, and Cara, make their way to the Sliph in order to escape the Keep and what the others would do. Richard learns that the Sliph knows of a place called the Deep Nothing. The Sliph takes them to a place called Caska in the Deep Nothing. Upon arriving they find themselves in the midst of a group of Imperial Order advanced scouts that have captured some of the people there. The reader is introduced to girl named Jillian and a people called the Dream Casters. While eliminating the Imperial Troops, Richard and Jillian look for answers in the Catacombs of Bones. Together they find the book called "Chainfire".
They travel to the People's Palace and learn that the boxes are missing. Richard figures out that the Sisters have stolen his wife and the boxes. While at the Peoples Palace, Richard needs to visit the troops and address them as well as the sisters of the Light informing them of the current events. While there they learn that an older woman has been captured and that there was something uniquely odd about her. As Nicci investigates she discovers that it is Sister Tovi, one of the sisters of the dark who gave an oath to Richard in order to be free of Jagang the Dream Walker. Nicci uses her considerable powers to learn every thing she can from Tovi, discovering that it was "the Seeker" (really Samuel) who stabbed Tovi and took the Box of Orden she was carrying.
Richard, Nicci and Cara return to the Wizard's Keep and, with the information gathered from Tovi and the book "Chainfire", they finally manage to convince Zedd, Nathan, and Ann of the truth. While no-one but Richard remembers Kahlan, at least now they believe that she exists.
- Main Article: Wizard's Rules
Chainfire has a total of 67 chapters.
Here is a list of all the characters who appear in Chainfire:
- Annalina Aldurren
- Mother Confessor Kahlan Amnell
- Sister Armina
- Chase Brandstone
- Brother Byron (First appearance)
- Victor Cascella
- Sister Cecilia
- Ferran (First appearance)
- Emperor Jagang
- Jamila (First appearance)
- Priestess of the Bones Jillian (First appearance)
- Jillian's grandfather (First appearance)
- Brother Kronos (First appearance)
- Lokey (First appearance)
- General Benjamin Meiffert
- Jennsen Rahl
- Prophet Nathan Rahl
- Lord Richard Rahl
- Prelate Verna Sauventreen
- Sister Tovi
- General Trimack
- Sister Ulicia
- Captain Zimmer
- First Wizard Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander
To Vincent Cascella, a man of inspirational intellect, wit, strength, and courage...and a friend who is always there for me
- 2006 - Prometheus Award - finalist
Facts & trivia
- The title of this book refers to the Chainfire Event, set off by the free Sisters of the Dark.