A Mord-Sith shared her victim's breath when he was on the cusp of death. It was a sacred thing to a Mord-Sith to share his pain, share his breath of life as he slipped to the brink of death, as if to view with lust the forbidden sight of what lies beyond in the next world. Sharing, when the time came to kill him, his very death by experiencing his final breath of life.
―Richard, on the breath of life[src]

The breath of life appears in both The Sword of Truth book series and The Legend of the Seeker TV series. It's purpose in both series is to revive the recently deceased but the specific action differs between canons along with usage. In both series the Breath of Life is known exclusively by Mord-Sith.

Breath of Life in The Sword of Truth series (Books) Edit

In The Sword of Truth series, the Breath of Life is the last breath a Mord-Sith's victim takes before he dies at her hands. It is traditional for her to put her mouth over his and receive it, as a sign of their bond.

All Mord-Sith are taught how to return the breath of life to their victim, in a procedure that is a rough equivalent to modern day mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Many Mord-Sith revive their victims by returning their breath of life in order to continue their training.

Reviving the dead using their breath of life is a practice that can be taught. Richard Rahl learned it from his experiences with the Mord-Sith Denna and Cara.

Breath of Life in Legend of the Seeker (TV) Edit

Breath of Life

In Legend of the Seeker, the Breath of Life was a form of magic that Mord-Sith could use. It was introduced in Denna (TV episode). It was a way to revive someone who has been dead for a very short time.

The Breath of Life appeared as a small white mist exhaled from the lips of the Mord-Sith's mouth to the lips of the dead person. Mord-Sith could use this not only to revive their victims who died during torture, but also to revive one another. There are conditions on which bodies can be revived, although these conditions are extremely hazily defined. For the most part, the body has to be "warm," meaning their blood, organs, and tissues cannot be decaying or cold. The body also must be reasonably intact; burned bodies or crushed bodies will not do. In one case, a crushed windpipe meant that the breath could not be received at all.