The Omen Machine is Terry Goodkind's 14th novel and the first in a new series about Richard and Kahlan. The book starts off where the previous novel, Confessor, left off. It is followed by The Third Kingdom. The Omen Machine was released in hardcover on August 16, 2011 and contains 525 pages (hardcover).
"An accident leads to the discovery of a mysterious machine that has rested hidden deep underground for countless millennia. The machine awakens to begin issuing a series of increasingly alarming, if minor, omens. The omens turn out to be astonishingly accurate, and ever more ominous. As Zedd tries to figure out how to destroy the sinister device, the machine issues a cataclysmic omen involving Richard and Kahlan, foretelling an impending event beyond anyone's ability to stop. As catastrophe approaches, the machine then reveals that it is within its power to withdraw the omen ...In exchange for an impossible demand."
Richard and Kahlan are enjoying their peacetime now that the war with the Imperial Order has ended. A young boy, Henrik, is found in the palace marketplace in a feverish state and begins to say strange things. Richard discusses his state with his mother who reluctantly says she took him to a Hedge Maid, Jit, in Kharga Trace. Jit states the Henrik is not sick but special. After some more discussion, Henrik's mother mentions hounds have come around to bother them. Richard confused by this inquires more information but Henrik's eyes snap open suddenly and he lashes out at Richard and Kahlan, scratching them and running off as guards pursue him.
As they are making their way through the palace, a blind woman offers Richard a vision of the future. He gives the woman a silver coin, she looks at Richard and says "the roof is going to fall in".
Finding Zedd and Cara, who has recently been married to Benjamin, states that someone has been watching them in their room. Richard asks the group if anyone has heard of "Kharga Trace" and Cara informs him that it is part of The Dark Lands in the northeastern mountains of D'Hara along with the Fajin Province and that it is a superstitious and feared place. Kahlan states that soldiers from the area aided them in the war and Cara then tells Richard that Darken Rahl had sent Mord Sith to the region but some he sent have never came back.
Richard and company discover a strange book going through the library titled Regula with strange symbols on it. Nathan brings another book to their attention, a book titled End Notes. Nathan shows Richard a page in the book, the page only contains one sentence, "the roof is going to fall in". Taken aback by this Richard becomes increasingly concerned.
All the leaders and diplomats of the Midlands that have gathered in the People's Palace for Cara's wedding have also caught wind of the unsettling prophecies. Richard is informed by his guard that they have not found the boy that ran away earlier in the day and unfortunately two soldiers died with no wounds or signs of struggle. A serving woman covered in blood then approaches Kahlan in an attempt to kill her. Kahlan is forced to use her power on the womea who explains that she killed her children to save them from a vision she had of them being eaten alive. She also feels the need to kill Kahlan to save her from a worse death even after being taken by her power, begging Kahlan to let her kill her, Kahlan refuses causing the woman to collapse dead.
Kahlan and Richard retire for the evening, as they are going to bed they feel a dark presence. Suddenly a loud thud hits their door. A dark hound is killed by his guards but somehow managed to make it all the way to their room. They decide to go sleep in the Garden of Life, as they are laying in the garden the omen of "the roof is going to fall in" comes to Richards mind as they are gazing up at the large ceiling of the Garden of Life, now covered with thick wet snow due to an ongoing storm. Suddenly lightening strikes hit the ceiling causing it to come crashing down on them in a rain of glass, sno,w and debris. Luckily they aren't seriously injured. They come to discover a hidden room under the garden, exposed from the damage of the ceiling falling in. Richard and Kahlan find a strange machine in the middle of the room that burns symbols into small pieces of metal, the same symbols in the book Regula.
Hannis Arc is introduced and seeking vengeance on the house of Rahl. During Panis Rahl's reign he viewed Hannis Arc and the Fajin Province as a threat and had his family assassinated, Hannis Arc managed to stay hidden away and survive. With the aid of the gifted Ludwig Dreier and an undercover Mord Sith at the People's Palace Hannis Arc manages to sew seeds of doubt into some leaders using prophecy who then pledge allegiance to him in Faujia Province.
Richard comes to understand the book Regula which is a translation for the Language of Creation and learns how to translate the symbols on the metal strips that the strange machine outputs. They discover It is the source of all the strange prophecies and the machine runs deep into the foundation of the plateau the Palace is on.
The scratches on Kahlan's arm have gotten worse due to the Hedge maids magic, which seems to have failed on Richard. Richard, Zedd and Nicci all try to heal Kahlan but cannot. Needing rest Kahlan goes to her room. Richard attempts to destroy the omen machine but cannot. He discovers that the machine responds to their questions. During this time ,however ,Kahlan is chased out of her room off the balcony by the hounds caused by the Hedge maids magic. As she is running away she jumps into the back of a wagon in desperation to get away from the hounds but hits her head knocking herself unconscious. Kahlan awakes to find herself northeast near the Dark Lands. She tries to get back to the People's Palace but the hounds move her towards the Hedge Maid. Forced into a swamp she find sthe Hedge Maid's lair and goes into the thorny, bushy tunnels its made of. Henrik is tanglesdin the walls, as she is helping him down he tells her how the Hedge Maids magic worked because she got some of Kahlan's skin from under his finger ails but not Richards. Henrik then flees the lair but Kahlan is captured by the Hedge Maid and her creatures, they begin to bite her and suck her blood. Kahlan tries to use her power on the creature but it has no effect.
Richard finds Kahlan missing from her room and follows her trail to the Hedge Maid's lair. He encounters Henrik fleeing and tells him to run back towards the People's Palace and to tell his friends where he is when he finds them. Richard then begins to climb up on top of the thorn structure of the lair, silently making his way across the top until he begins to hear the chanting and drumming of the creatures with the Hedge Maid below him. He draws his sword and cuts through the top of the structure and ambushes the creatures there killing some but the Hedge maid is unaffected by the Sword of Truth and begins to capture and restrain Richard into her lair. Richard remembers the messages from the Omen Machine and gets an idea, he rips small pieces of cloth off his frayed shirt and uses them as ear plugs in Kahlan's ears while distracting the Hedge Maid. He plugs his ears as well and then quick as lightning uses his knife to slice open the sewn mouth of the Hedge Maid. The Hedge Maid's mouth opens wide and she begins to scream her life away, Richard feeling the pain of her screams ripping through him fears they will be killed from it and that the ea plugs weren't enough. Richard and Kahlan are rendered unconscious from the screams of the Hedge Maid.
Nicci finds them alive and Zedd burns the structure down. She finds the cloth in their ears and explains to Zedd the sound of a Hedge Maid is death which even will kill themselves and that Richard saved their lives by using earplugs and then cutting its sewn mouth. Nicci explains to Zedd that they are touched by death and will try to heal them with her knowledge of being a Sister of the Dark. Cara orders Benjamin to rush back to the People’s Palace, and he smiles as they ride off.
- Main Article: Wizard's Rules
The Omen Machine has a total of 86 chapters.
Here is a list of Character who appear in The Omen Machine:
- Mother Confessor Kahlan Amnell
- Bishop Hannis Arc (First appearance)
- Queen Catherine (First appearance)
- Abbot Ludwig Dreier (First appearance)
- Erika (First appearance)
- Henrik (First appearance)
- Henrik's mother (First appearance)
- Jit (First appearance)
- Jit's Familiars (First appearance)
- General Benjamin Meiffert
- Mohler (First appearance)
- Queen Orneta (First appearance)
- King Phillipe (First appearance)
- Prophet Nathan Rahl
- Lord Richard Rahl
- Vika (First appearance)
- First Wizard Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander