Remember Wizard's First Rule? Wayyyy back when? Okay, now we have the freedom to go back and reread it over and over again knowing how the story (finally) ends. As much a relief to the author, I would think, as to the readers this is the final book in the Sword of Truth series and while it doesn't recapture the magic of that first installment it doesn't recapture the dry lectures of some of the later books either so all in all there is a balance.
All of the loose ends are tied up (though the conclusion left me with a 'Pam woke up and Bobby was in the shower' taste in my mouth) and the book is certainly readable (though yes, there is some lecturing, of course) and more enjoyable than some of the other titles in the series- you know the ones I mean. Definitely worth your time if you've stuck with it so far.
This is the last book in the series, the conclusion. For my part, I thought these last few books seemed to mark a return to the action/adventure feel we had in earlier books like Temple of the Winds. Then the books began to get bogged down with philosophy [if I have to hear about magic and art one more time...] No matter what the author says, his books ARE influenced by Objectivism - not in a subtle way that would have been interesting, but in a knock on the head with a sludge hammer way.
Parts of Confessor are treated with this as well, but I already made my peace with it and just skimmed until I got back into the story.
For those of you who have read the other books, it is worth reading this book to find out the ending. This could have been the most awful there ever was, but I still would have read it to find out the fate of Richard and Kahlan.
The only thing that really bothered me was how parts of the ending was left open ended, and made it seem like it could lead the way for a sequel with Richard and Kahlan. Apparently not...which really disappointed me, especially when what we got instead was The Law of Nines. Shudder.
Full of rape, torture, murder, blood and guts (literally). NOT good books, but very engaging. I was unable to put them down, and have lost a lot of sleep during the two months it took me to read the entire series. I cringed, I cried, I gasped, I had nightmares. I can't imagine what kind of twisted mind thinks up this kind of stuff.
In regards to the tv series based on these books DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME. THEY ARE FULL OF CRAP THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BOOKS. I had to force myself to at least give them a chance, but was so pissed off within the first few minutes of the very first episode. I don't understand why the author had to butcher the story.
Anyway, read at your own discression. Not for kids or teenagers (or even a lot of adults :)