The Sword of Truth Writer Terry Goodkind Has Passed Away

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Part of a book cover for Faith of the Fallen, a novel in Terry Goodkind’s  Sword of Truth series.
Part of a book cover for Faith of the Fallen, a novel in Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series.
Image: Tor Books

Fantasy author Terry Goodkind, who created the decades-long series The Sword of Truth, has died at 72 years old. He leaves behind an important but complicated legacy, as his personal views and attitude tended to collide with his work.

As reported by Tor and the New York Times, Goodkind passed away at his home on September 17. His wife, Jeri Goodkind, did not give a cause for his death. The author was best known for The Sword of Truth series, which he started in 1994 with Wizard’s First Rule. The series lasted for over two decades and 17 books—the latest being Heart of Black Ice, which published this past January. The series spawned the television show Legend of the Seeker, created by Sam Raimi, which ran for two seasons from 2008 to 2010.


Goodkind developed a strong and loyal fanbase with The Sword of Truth series, as well as its sister series Children of D’Hara, but also had a tendency to alienate some people with his behavior. For example, in 2018 he made headlines for publicly mocking the cover of Shroud of Eternity, part of the Sister of Darkness: The Nicci Chronicles series. At first Goodkind laid blame on the publisher, Tor Books, but later told io9 it was because he thought the cover was “sexist,” something cover artist Bastien Lecouffe Deharme said he’d never been told by Goodkind and did not agree with.

Jeri Goodkind told the New York Times that her husband was in the middle of writing another book when he passed away. “Only he knows where it was going and how it would end,” she said. “He was incredibly happy writing it.”

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