Bestselling fantasy author Terry Goodkind has died at age 72. Goodkind wrote the popular Sword of Truth book series that spanned over 20 books. The series began with the book Wizard’s First Rule in 1994, and the most recent title Heart of Black Ice came out earlier this year. Goodkind’s agent confirmed his passing, but did not provide a cause of death. Terry Goodkind was an intensely private individual, so it is unsurprising that no details are being shared. He leaves behind his wife Jeri, and a legacy of fantasy fiction that influenced a generation.
Image via Tor Forge
A quote from Goodkind’s website speaks to the author’s dedication to both his work and his fans. “My privilege in life is the joy of writing books and telling stories about people who fascinate me, the good and the bad. I am grateful to all of my readers for the critical role they play in making these books possible. Your passion is my passion, and I thank you.”
Terry Goodkind Rose Up To Live His Life How He Wanted
Terry Goodkind was born in 1948 in Omaha, Nebraska. Diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age, he had little interest in formal education and didn’t really consider a career in writing for many years. He worked as an artist and woodworker, building cabinets and violins. These artistic pursuits eventually influenced major themes in the Sword of Truth books.
Goodkind’s fantasy work often focused on philosophical themes. He was a fan of Ayn Rand’s objectivist theory. And this idea is highly prevalent in the Sword of Truth novels. Goodkind often garnered criticism for the political ideology of his books (and for inflammatory statements made over the years). But there is no doubt that he was a highly prolific writer who had a dedicated fanbase.
Image via Tor Forge
The unofficial Facebook page for Terry Goodkind announced the news of his passing on Thursday, and memorialized the author with a quote from his novel Confessor – the 12th book in the Sword of Truth series.
“To exist in this vast universe for a speck of time is the great gift of life. It is our only life. The universe will go on, indifferent to our brief existence, but while we are here, we touch not just part of that vastness, but also the lives around us. Life is the gift each of us has been given. Each life is our own and no one else’s. It is precious beyond all counting. It is the greatest value we can have. Cherish it for what it truly is . . . Your life is yours alone. Rise up and live it.”
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.